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To paraphrase George RR Martin, a blizzard is coming. (If you haven't heard already, a nor'easter is very likely headed our way, bringing what might possibly be the heaviest of snowall this climate-confused winter season.) While our suburban counterparts have their own winter woes to deal with, New Yorkers aren't entirely immune to storm issues, either. So we've dusted off our handy 2015 snowstorm guide and updated it for you here.
If you're stuck in your apartment tomorrow—or worse, actually attempting to get to another place—we've got you covered. (And head to Notify NYC to get text, email or phone alerts from the city.)
- The mercury is going to stay in the 20s and 30s, so your landlord definitely needs to turn on the heat (to at least 68 degrees).
- If they don't, here's how to put on the pressure.
- And, yes, you can get a break on your rent if it's bad enough.
- Your building staff should do the shoveling for you. But get on their good side with a courtesy cup of coffee and, by all means, say thank you!
- If you've got a townhouse, stock up on shovels and salt (if you haven't already) since it's on you to clear the area outside your door. And curse yourself for not renting this West Village house with radiant heat sidewalks.
- Cancel your open house only as a last resort. But offer rags and paper towels to the brave few who show up so that no ones tracks slush inside.
- Common courtesy, people. Don't let your dog pee right in front of the building, and remove your snow boots from the hallway before next week.
- Don't hog the building's washing machines. Set a timer on your phone and avoid death stares.
New Yorkers who need to get around:
- If your car gets buried scrape together (see what we did there?) about $20 to $25 and get someone else—a building staff member or local teen, perhaps—to do the digging out. And remember, it's a lot easier to do this before the snow builds up, melts and freezes again, so if you're on the hunt for an affordable covered parking space, there's an app for that.
- For the status of subways and buses (which are already running slow), head straight to the source: the MTA's alerts.
- Sign up for regular updates on alternate-side parking suspensions (which we're guessing could go all week).
- Check the progress of your local snowplow at PlowNYC.
Or are stuck at home ...
- Consider setting up a temporary office in an underused closet (if you're lucky enough to have one, that is).
- You can get just about anything delivered, but some services are running bare-bones operations. And be courteous here, too. If the conditions are dangerous, don't order. If you do, tip very handsomly.
... With the kids
- Legos, activity books, DVDs and "surprise treats" are the way to go.
- Think of the neighbors! Bust out rugs, pillows and poufs to muffle the sounds of two-day, non-stop jumping.
- Don't invite everyone over to your building's playroom, and if kids are sick (double whammy!) keep them away, too.
[Note: This story was first posted on January 2015, and was updated in March 2017.]