And in no way is this directed at the situation in AL, GA, TN etc. What has happened there is no joke. Caught unprepared, motorists/ students/ parents etc were put into a real state of emergency and my heart goes out to them.
Due to the recent snow/ice storm here in Southeastern VA, I’ve decided to take some time out from my Christmas crafting to put together this little public service announcement. After all, these wonderful southern people have allowed me (a Yank) to take up residence in their region for the past ten years; I figure it’s the least I could do.
(Disclaimer: In no way is this meant to be offensive. Some of my favorite people are ‘Southerners’ and we often joke about the differences between the north and south, driving being one of the best topics! So please take this in fun and I hope you get a good laugh from it.)
**Winter storm advisory is in effect until 7pm tomorrow night,
although this could change should the storm shift westward 1/18
of a millimeter. Periods of heavy snow are expected (or maybe just
rain for the coastal south – this system is unpredictable). Possible
accumulation of 1” to 8” depending on your location or if we have
read our highly sensitive, scientific equipment correctly. A winter
storm advisory means that snow will cause dangerous travel
conditions (but it’s very pretty!).
Survival Tips: The Snow-Shocked Southerner
GENERAL FAQsWhat do they mean, we’re getting snow? What the hell is that?!?!
DO NOT PANIC!
Snow is the white stuff falling from the sky. Should you look out the window and see some of this wintry goodness blanketing the ground, drop to your knees and thank the Snow Gods for such a blessing. Then realize you have no concept of winter travel and immediately go back inside.
But I haven’t gone to the store yet!
Trust me; you will survive one day without bread and milk. I know that seems impossible now but I promise it will be okay.
My next door neighbor is a Yank and he says that anything under a foot is a joke. I asked if that meant he was going to work. He laughed for about five minutes then said there wasn’t enough money in the world to get him behind the wheel. When I pointed out that he had a big 4WD truck, he laughed even harder. I think he said something about Virginia drivers. I dunno. Eventually, I just smiled and nodded – you know I didn’t want to be rude. But what the you-know-what is going on with that Yank? They talk so darn fast, you know? I could’ve missed something. Bless his heart but he couldn’t stop that obnoxious laughter.
You’re better off checking the FAQs here:
‘Survival Tips: I Have a New Yankee Neighbor (bless his/her/their heart/s)’
**Winter storm advisory remains in effect until 7pm tomorrow night. Snow early with freezing rain and ice later. Or you may just get freezing rain or nothing at all. Look, if you want to know the weather look out your window!**
They just added ice, freezing rain and/or sleet to the forecast. What’s happening!? Where am I!?
DO NOT PANIC!
A relative of snow, ice has the initial appearance of rain as it falls. But, DON’T BE FOOLED! Ice is nothing like rain. Ice is slick and deceptive and warrants extreme caution! Handled inappropriately, and it could kill you.
Freezing rain is precipitation that freezes upon impact with a surface. Significant accumulation is considered an ice storm. Regardless of amount, it causes treacherous road conditions. And… it could kill you.
Sleet, on the other hand, is precipitation that is already frozen (to some extent) before impact. Like ice and freezing rain, it creates a slippery road surface making travel unsafe. It too… could kill you.
Bottom line: DO NOT drive anywhere! Ice, in any of its forms… could kill you!
DO NOT PANIC!
Take a deep breath… repeat after me… ‘Ice is slippery. Ice can kill me. It doesn’t matter if I have feet or tires. I will not leave my house. Ice is slippery. Ice can kill me.’ Chant this mantra over and over again until you’re sure you understand. Then put on your Snuggie, get a cup of hot chocolate and cuddle up on the couch. There now, all better.
FAQ's (For the Intellectually Impaired)
Whatever, dude. I’ve me a big ol' pick-up with 4WD – ain’t no way I’m staying in for this! YeeHaw!
*** STOP. READ THIS NOW! ***
Under no circumstance does owning a 4WD vehicle make you the super hero of snow transit. Seriously, get those delusions out of your head right now! In the event you get stuck in a snow drift (unlikely down south) then by all means utilize that little sucker, but do not get all ‘big and bad’ with your jacked up truck and think that you’re immune to the white stuff. Ice is ice and you will still lose control when you drive too fast, then slam on your breaks last minute. And I really don’t want to end up in a heap of scrap metal!
I was just wondering if there is anything special we need to know. Like, can we still get cell service and whatnot with a storm like this? Like I really can’t be without my iPhone.
YES, PAY ATTENTION!
When driving in snow/sleet/ice/rain, not only should drive SLOW and keep distance between you and other cars, you also need to drive and defensively. I realize this is something you are not used to, as it requires, at the very least, the following driving skills:
- Using turn signals when appropriate (changing lanes, turning, etc.).
The stick on the left-hand side of your steering wheel will enable this device. Down = Left / Up = Right.
- Actually stopping at a red light before turning right on red.
That means putting your foot down on the break to prevent the car from moving.
- Understanding the difference between a stop sign and a yield sign (they aren't just pretty colors). And if you could also master 'merging'...
- Recognizing that you’re sharing the road with other drivers – it isn’t all about you and your need to get somewhere ASAP!
- Checking your mirrors BEFORE changing lanes to make sure there is sufficient space and that you won’t cut someone off. Remember: mirrors actually serve a purpose beyond checking out how cool you look or putting on make-up. USE THEM!
- PUT AWAY THE CELL PHONE!!!! SERIOUSLY, NO TEXTING, NO TALKING! NO $h!t!
I know you just can’t wait to call your BFF's to tell them that it’s snowing, or to post a photo of the car flipped over in a ditch (which is a truck, by the way) but don’t you think now is the time to focus on the road?! I’m just saying…
-SLOW the (expletive) down! 4WD is NOT a license to speed in snow/ice nor does it make you invincible. And your actions will cause accidents, or worse, kill people!
**Winter storm advisory has been lifted. Little to no snow accumulation has been reported and most areas are now experiencing rain showers (without ice). We are now monitoring the next big system heading our way. Check back often for the latest details as we prepare for another blizzard. **