I got in the car tonight to head home at the end of a training class, and hadn't even pulled out of the driveway when I heard the DJ come on and announce that everyone should “head to the store right now and buy out the water, buy out the milk and bread” because of the “large” snow storm that's supposed to hit this part of the state tonight.
You know, the storm system that the weather service has been following for at least five days. That was supposed to hit us last night but we got an extra day of reprieve. That they predicted three days ago would drop around 6” of snow. The “unexpected” winter storm that's going to hit us in the middle of a midwest winter. That one.
I know there are people who don't think further ahead in their lives than this very minute, but it's not like a lot of storms are completely unexpected these days. Anyone who has checked the weather app on their phone or listened to the news within the last week knew this particular storm was coming, and actually got an extra day to prepare for it. Yet there are indeed people making a run to the grocery store at this very moment, thinking if they don't get that extra gallon of milk they're going to be suffering their own version of the Donner party at home tomorrow morning before they're able to shovel out their driveway.
The plows are already running all around the city – I passed four of them salting the roads in the space of seven blocks tonight, so the roads will likely be kept relatively clear. Most people will be able to get to work, the store, the gym, or wherever else tomorrow with little to no inconvenience. But many people are panicking because . . . well, I'm not sure exactly why. Perhaps because it's suddenly becoming real to them, an imminent problem that they haven't made previous plans for.
I'm sure the DJ's announcement doesn't help matters any, but if you aren't prepared for a little bit of snow overnight (which was predicted days ago), are you going to be ready one day if you wake up late in the morning to a house that's 40 degrees because the power went out in the middle of the night? Or a true winter storm that shuts the entire city down for a couple days under seven feet of snow followed by warm temperatures and flooding?
If you're not prepared for little things, how can you be possibly be prepared for the larger disruptions in life?
Take some time to think tomorrow, maybe learn a lesson from this if you're one of those people running around like a chicken with its head cut off tonight. Later this week buy some extra supplies for your pantry so your caloric needs aren't reliant on making it to the store at the last possible second. Cans or dried goods store well and for an extended period of time over fresh goods, and make a good start to an emergency supply. Put other necessities away for a rainy day (or snowy day, in this case). Fill up your car with gas. Pull a few extra dollars out of the bank. Plan, don't panic.
And most of all, stay warm and safe tomorrow!