In what Bostonians or Minnesotans would have called just another day at the office, DC residents experienced one of the worst snowstorms in the area’s history – what officials called Snowstorm Jonas, and we called Snowzilla or more aptly, the Snowpocalypse, considering the city’s response to two feet of snow. As a child of the tropics, I guess I was a little excited for the snow despite having seen it at least five times before, but just one small detail made this experience a lot more intense than my other snow encounters: it was one of the most intense snowstorms in the history of the United States.
The snowstorm might just have been the one time in history when all citizens of DC lived like college students – stocking up on microwave meals, packets of ramen and chips. CVS lines were going out the door, Whole Foods was packed like sardines, and Trader Joe’s saw more trade than the New York Stock Exchange in the days before the impending Snowzilla.
Yet, somehow, I managed to survive my first ever snowstorm (almost) unscathed and here are a few ways YOU can too.
1. Do not go to grocery stores near campus
I escaped the lines and empty racks of Foggy Bottom’s Whole Foods and made the trek to P Street to get myself stocked up for the Snowpocalypse. Foggy Bottom’s Whole Foods quite literally caters to the entire campus and our community around it so making the trip there a couple of days before the storm hit was definitely not and option and shouldn’t be one!
2. Stock up on your movies/TV shows
Yeah, food is important BUT what would you be watching when feasting on your microwave Mac and Cheese? I personally went for my guilty pleasure movie series of Bring it On and had episodes of FRIENDS and New Girl lined up. Make sure you’ve got your personal offline Netflix ready, just in case the Internet decides to stop working, in which case your world might just crumble.
3. 7/11 is always an option
It’s basically required by law that 7/11 stays open, rain, shine, snow, hail and even Godzilla so you can always count on your neighborhood 7/11 for your last minute/emergency needs like orange juice, ice cream, paper towels and first aid kits – in case you impale yourself with an icicle because that’s…normal.
Take this tip with a pinch of salt. Please do not go out into a storm that may kill you. When things are tame, bundle up (go hard on the bundling) and take a trip down to the monuments (here’s to you, DC kids) or even jump off benches into the snow! I did get sick after laying in the snow for five minutes straight but it was my fault for not wearing proper boots and gloves, which may be important.
5. Bunk up with friends…if needed
Being a Vernie can be tough, especially when you’re stranded up on Foxhall Road without the Vex running. Staying on the Vern is not bad at all, most of my hallmates did stay on the Vern and had fun HOWEVER, if you DO want to visit the monuments and have most of your friends on Foggy Bottom, find a bed on Foggy Bottom. I managed to find a bed on Foggy and basically packed my life into two duffel bags and stayed there for six nights!
6. Do NOT wear Uggs in the snow
From personal experience, this never ends well. Your Uggs get soaked in gross black snow, become sponges your feet wear, and do no good for the temperatures of your toes. I started off the day with toasty toes and came back after a venture to the monuments with frozen toes and soaking wet socks. Nobody likes wet socks.
7. Thank those outside
The only reason why you’d be able to go out and buy survival gear or enjoy the city in the snow is because of those who spend their days in the grueling wind shoveling snow and making it easier for you to make your way around the city blanketed in beautiful, white snow.
For the next snowstorm, follow these tips, and you might just survive it!