Winter in the City: Top Tips for Weathering the Storm

NYC.Gov’s Snow Response Page (you can track the snow plows!)

Ready.Gov’s Winter Weather Resources

 

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Your Family:

  • Shop early and shop smart. Definitely pick up hot chocolate with mini-marshmallows, but also make sure you have easy-to-eat foods on hand in case the power goes out.

  • Buy some “hot hands” or other hand and feet warmers.

  • Keep your cell phones and other devices charged in case of a power outage. 

  • Check in on family members outside your home to make sure they are okay. 

  • Have extra water on hand just in case. (Filling up a bathtub or some big pots works.)

  • Get blankets, fuzzy socks and fun layers ready in case the heat goes out. Mittens are warmer than gloves. Wear a hat to keep your whole body warmer. A warm neck helps too, so remember to wrap up in a scarf!

  • Co-sleep if the power goes out!  

  • Have flashlights, candles, and books on hand to read if the power goes out.

  • Heat up a blanket or towel in the dryer and snuggle up if you have power. Watch the flakes fall and talk about fun times in the snow. 

 

Childcare

  • Do I bring my nanny in? If you need your nanny, determine beforehand how they will get to work safely (with regards to the storm as well as Covid safety). You may even want to incorporate this into your nanny work agreement.

  • What are some of the other issues around having your nanny come in?  Does the nanny have kids that would need to come with? Do they have care set up for their kids if there are delays and the nanny can’t make it home in time?

  • Do you pay your nanny if they can’t make it in? The standard is YES, you should pay your nanny. 

 

Your Home

  • Make sure you know the city’s responsibilities as a homeowner (From NYC.gov). This page includes times when you need to have your four-foot path cleared from your sidewalks and a reminder to keep fire hydrants clear. 

 

See also our PSP article on How to Winterize your Home

 

  • Get yourself a good shovel. Leopoldi’s, Tarzian, and many other mom-and-pop places carry these, although in a pinch there’s also Home Depot and Lowe’s.

  • If you have a fireplace (you lucky dog!), make sure you have some wood on hand.

  • Get weatherstripping to close up any drafty doors or windows, and put towels at the bottom on the doors where air comes in.

  • Get de-icer or rock salt to keep your sidewalks safe. In a pinch, you can use ashes, sand, or even cat litter to give traction.

  • Check in on your neighbors, and get their phone numbers if you don’t have them. Many may not have been going outside, and some may not be able to shovel their driveway. If you can shovel for your neighbors (or help them de-ice the sidewalk before the storm hits), you’ll be a hero for the whole community. 

  • Use WD-40 on your show shovel. This helps make shoveling easier.

  • If you have a door to the outside that swings out, open it occasionally during the storm to make sure you don’t get snowed in. 

  • Have a place ready to store food outside if the power goes out. 

  • Check in with landlords if you are not responsible for snow shoveling.

  • If you can’t clear snow yourself, find a snow shoveler. Ask neighbors for people they might know. 

  • Shoveling snow can take a toll on your body and heart. Take it easy!

 

Your car

  • Put a blanket over your windshield to make it easy to clean the next morning. 

  • If you have to drive, try to find a spot on the left side of the street. The city’s snow plow pushes snow to the right. (More about this here.) 

  • Avoid driving if you can (and make sure to have emergency supplies in the car if you do need to go out).


Once the storm has passed and you’re ready to have some fun, check out Winter Fun on the PSP website. It has reminders for keeping kids happy and warm outside for longer fun! Hitting the slopes? Review our Sledding Safety Tips before you go!

 

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