Many of you will be snowbound as you read this, a result of the latest storm of the year decade century millenium.  A monster lizard, some have called it.  Many of you are handling the situation in stride, but some of you are going a bit crazy.

Whenever I have the misfortune of needing to go to the grocery store on the day before a big storm, the place is always packed with people gearing up.  I can understand making sure you have some staples on hand, but there’s a point where prudent preparation gives way to insanity.

This is most apparent on the toilet paper front.  I haven’t witnessed this myself, but anecdotal evidence points to people stocking up on the Charmin in advance of a big storm.  Seriously?  Do you people not have an adequate supply on hand in general (remind me not to be your houseguest)?  Or does the storm make people need to go to the bathroom more?  OK, there’s a bit of logic in the bathroom being used more, since the whole family is stuck at home … but still, you don’t need to buy a six week supply to wait out the storm.

While it’s prudent to make sure that some of the food you have on hand doesn’t require cooking (lest you lose power), again, there is a practical limit that comes into play.  For starters, don’t you already have some food that would suffice in an emergency?  I could certainly get by for a few days eating peanut butter sandwiches, Pop Tarts, and dry cereal.  Not exactly fine cuisine, but good enough in a pinch.  In my neighborhood, the risk of power outages is minimized by the fact that the power lines are buried – meaning that a main line need to go down in order for us to be affected.  You know the lines I’m talking about – the ones the power companies generally fix in a matter of hours.

When you get back on the road, drive safely.  This means not driving 80 mph in the midst of a snow storm … but it also means not driving 15 mph in flurries on the interstate.

It seems to me that a lot of people overestimate the impact of these storms.  While it’s true that some rural areas can get cut off for a week or more, the reality is that for people living in cities, this isn’t common (especially in the midwest, where I live).  Weather will be bad for a day or two, and then things will pretty much return to normal.  This is modern day America, with cell phones and 4 wheel drives – and reasonably well maintained roads.

I hope everyone stays safe during the storm, and that things are quickly back to normal.  Just breathe deeply and don’t panic.  And for you goofballs who enjoy the white stuff, enjoy it while you can – spring is just around the corner.