Snowstorm Etiquette

Weather is wacky and it makes people crazy worrying about it. Cue the weatherman with his Doppler radar and terrifying statistics! But there's no need to panic. Check out Modern Manners Guy's tips on surviving a snowstorm with your manners (and a sense of perspective) intact.

Richie Frieman
6-minute read
Episode #279

As I write this article, my local weatherman is warning my fellow Marylanders about a “megastorm” coming this weekend. Will it be “mega”? Maybe, maybe not. Who knows? It’s the weather!

The weather changes in Maryland faster than a toddler’s moods. Just the other week we had a high of 340F one day and the next day was 710F. I kid you not.

So, what have I learned from my magnificent little state (aside from having the world’s greatest steamed crabs)? Weather is wacky…and what's more, it makes people crazy worrying about it. Cue the weatherman with his Doppler radar and terrifying statistics.


Now, I’m not trying to pick on my fellow Marylanders -- going completely mad over snowstorms is a national phenomenon. There’s three inches of snow coming! Uh-oh…did you get enough bread to open your own bakery? What about enough toilet paper for the entire neighborhood?

So before you start to panic and raid the supermarket, check out my top 3 quick and dirty tips for proper snowstorm etiquette:

Tip #1: Hit the Supermarket Early

Newsflash: When the weather report calls for snow, the supermarket becomes a zoo. I take that back, I’ve been to zoos and seen wild animals act more reserved over a fresh steak than most humans become over the last roll of toilet paper on the shelves.

I also believe there is an evil supermarket owner sitting behind the scenes laughing his tail off at how people jump over one another for anything and everything at the slightest chance of precipitation.

My question is why would you go to a store the day before – or even the day of - a snowstorm? In what world does that make sense? After all, the weatherman has been saying for days how bad the storm will be, yet you felt like waiting. I know what you're going to say: “But Modern Manners Guy, I don’t watch the weather 24-7, how am I supposed to know?” Come on, get real, who doesn’t care about the weather. The last minute supermarket run comes down to just plain laziness.

When you know a storm is coming, go to the store the day you learn about it. Now, listen closely, I said “When you know it’s coming” as in heed the advance notice. Don't get into your car once the snow starts falling. Even if you feel you don’t need to go, just do it anyway. What’s the harm? That milk that says you have two more days to use it, don’t count on it.  Be safe, and get another one. 

Poor planning is just a headache and the last thing you need after being snowed in is to worry about running low on toilet paper! When you go to the store at the last minute, it’s in a panic. And when you're in panic mode, you may not be at your most focused, which means you might miss something  crucial or buy frivolous items you don't need.