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Atlanta's Snow Breakdown

By Gabby

It may not have anything to do with guns, but last week's "weather disaster" in Atlanta has everything to do with preparedness, so I believe that gives me enough of a right to rant!...

I guess I'm lucky. I work from home, so when the snow started falling I thought "Oh, Pretty!!!" And then went back to my desk. Having grown up in Manhattan, snow doesn't cause all that much excitement in my house. As a child my school's policy was that a "snow day" wouldn't happen unless an ambulence couldn't get down the street. I can remember about four total snow days in my entire grade school and high school career. This is probably due to multiple factors: New York City has the trucks and salt to spread and does so most every year, the city's streets are trapping heat from below that melts the snow as it falls, buildings are required to clear ice from the sidewalks in front of them, most people walk in Manhattan (as I did to school every day) and walking in snow isn't as difficult as driving in it.

Now, I'm often the first to defend my adopted southern home, but after the 2011 storm and now 2014 I am forced to shake my head in disappointment and shame. In 2011, as the snow fell on a cold Sunday night, I waited to hear if my university would be closed the following day. As we awoke on Monday morning to a snow covered Dixie (and school was of corse, canceled) I turned to my norther raised friend and asked, 
 "So when are they going to get the ploughs out?" His response basically blew my mind, 
 "They don't have any." 
 "Then what are we supposed to do? Wait till spring?" I joked, because I didn't know what else to do!
 "Thaw," he said. And that's exactly what happened. Everyday the snow melted a bit, but then, every night, it would freeze back up again. And so we sat and waited for an entire week in January 2011. All I could think was,
 "What a waste!"

Now the same situation has occurred again, and the country and media is asking, who is to blame. As much as it pains me to say it...Atlantans, YOU are at fault. The weather reports told us to be cautious, I was watching them with y'all! They said the snow was coming to the city, and I had accepted that fact as of 10:30 Monday evening. My boyfriend and I had come up with a contingency plan, before he left for work at 5am on Tuesday. Contrary to what the media has been saying, on Tuesday kids should not have stayed home nor should have anyone else. The snow wasn't falling at 8am. You know as well as I do, if you hadn't shown up to work at 9am on Tuesday, no matter whether the snow eventually came or not, you're butt would have been fired! So yes, just as we did, we all should have gone to work on Tuesday morning. However, at 10am the snow began falling (just as forecasted)...

It is this moment that I mark as the time when the decision was made, to fail as a city. Atlantans know two things, whether they are willing to admit them or not: 
1. Atlantans' ability to drive when it rains is highly questionable, let alone when it snows 
2. Atlanta's infrastructure is completely inequipt to clear roads of snow 

joke%20image%20of%20atlanta%20snow%20stormSo I ask Atlantans who were sitting at work at 10am on Tuesday, at what point did you ask yourself, "How will I get home?" You should have asked it at the sight of the first flake. And the answer should have been, "It's now or never!" At 1pm, when it seems every actually did leave their offices, it was too late. I don't mean to sound harsh, because I really do love this city, but please, just admit it: when the snow comes, you no longer have a means of transportation. No, but you don't! Just like a hurricane or a tornado, YOU STAY PUT. Just because you can see your car out the window doesn't mean you have the right to operate it. You are not prepared to operate it! 

 Now let's talk about preparedness (not like a crazy prepper) but what every person with a car should be doing so that they don't put themselves back in this situation. 

Acceptance: No one can drive on ice. Not 4x4, not trucks, Nobody! It's a slippery surface, capiche? If you accept this fact you are already ahead of the game. Also, black ice is a very real thnig. If you think you will be able to see it and swerve to avoid it, let's put a stop to that kind of thinking right now. And who could forget the 2011 storm? Did you really think the Atlanta streets and highways would be salted, ploughed and in pristine condition this time around? Remember, our city still lacks the funding for proper prepping, so snow is always going to pose a problem, and the responsibility will fall on us citizens, to help ourselves. Lastly, if you think you're a really good driver, hold that thought, and go take an inclement weather driving course. It may even lower your car insurance rates! 

Kitty litter: Grab some plastic storage bags, fill them with non clumping kitty litter and store them in the trunk of your car. This will give you traction up a hill or out of a driveway when you sprinkle it under your tires and over slick roadways. If you want to go even further, get a plastic canister of ice melting salt, but be careful as this stuff is highly toxic. 

Emergency blanket (the shiny Mylar ones they give runners): They take up almost no room and are useful for many situations. Personally, I keep a small fleece sleeping bag in the trunk of my car. I have used it multiple times, and I'm always glad to have it.

Provisions: A granola bar in the glove box never hurt anybody, so what's the harm?
Side note: On the news I heard about a couple who walked from their car in the traffic jam, to a nearby nearby convenience store and brought back a few bags of chips and a soda for each of them... C'mon people! After sitting in your car, and not moving for hours, did you think things would suddenly start moving and you'd be home in time for a late dinner?
This applies to food for your car as well. It might not have lasted for 14 hours, but if you had filled your car's tank on the way to work, simply because of the forecasts, you would have been warmer for more of those hours than everybody else.

Of corse you will say, "Easy for you to say, Gabby, you never left the house!" And you wouldn't be wrong, though not for the reasons you might think. I've done my fair share of winter driving and while I wouldn't call myself an expert I feel I would have been competent on the Atlanta roads between the times of 10am and 12pm Tuesday morning. I do keep an ice scraper, blankets and a little canister of salt in the trunk of my car, but I still would not have been out driving later than the afore mentioned time. This is because, though I felt solidly prepared, it was through the acceptance of my limitations that kept myself and my family safest.
©2014 ArmedCandy,LLC

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