<p>I hilariously read reports of bread and milk flying off the shelves up and down the East Coast as reports of impending snowfall make their way up I-95.</p>
<p>For the life of me I'll never understand why people feel the need to stock up as if they were in the 1950s outfitting an Atomic fallout shelter, when most snowstorms are over in 24 hours or less. Saw a great online joke this morning about the mad rush to supermarkets in southeast Pennsylvania;</p>
<p>"The bread, milk and eggs shelves at the markets will soon be empty. Why do Philadelphians feel a compulsion to make French Toast whenever it snows?'</p>
<p>My husband just said the same thing to me. He works nights, so he was grocery shopping this morning -- his regular day to do that. He said the supermarket was absolutely packed with freaking out people.</p>
<p>I don't know why people in PA are panicking but here in the district, we're expecting 26" +, and the state of Virginia told people basically to expect to stay indoors at their homes all weekend, because the roads won't be cleaned up until Monday morning/afternoon -- because the area just hasn't quite figured out how to deal with two feet of snow in a timely manner.</p>
<p>I moved to PA from New England over 20 years ago and thought the panic was hilarious. Folks here go buy eggs, milk, bread and toilet paper with every storm.
When a storm would fall on a payday - like today - I would be embarrassed to do my regular weekly shopping with the panic.
Then came the Blizzard of 1996. We got over 40" of snow and we were in a state of emergency preventing anyone save for emergency or essentials from driving. IIRC the storm began on a Friday or Sat and we didn't see a front end loader until Thursday.
I was glad we planned ahead on that one!</p>
<p>A couple of factors for this storm - the southern states don't have the infrastructure (plows, sanders) to deal with lots of snow. It's hard to find a wing plow down here. This storm is falling on weekend when people normally shop and it's Superbowl weekend when lots of people buy lots of food.</p>
<p>I think Justamom makes several good points. When you get a few feet of snow, you might not be out for several days. And lots of people shop regularly on Friday or SAturday, so they'd tend to want to get the shopping done before the storm hits. I'm not one of those stock-up at the last minute folks, but as I get older, I find myself less questioning other people's logic and actions. I'm sure lots of what I do looks goofy from the outside, too.</p>
<p>I can understand the urge to stock up on certain grocery items, I suppose. What I do not understand is why there seems to be a run on snowshovels with the announcement of every impending storm in many parts of the U.S. Stores sell out, the shelves are empty! What are people doing with the shovels they bought for the last storm? ;)</p>
<p>That's interesting. I grew up in PA, in the lake-effect snow belt - moved south when I was 27. I had never experienced the run on the grocery stores until I moved to GA. Maybe those folks in PA are former southerners?</p>
<p>We always laugh here about the run on bread and milk. Even if I ran out, I could live without bread and milk for a few days. I'd be more inclined to make sure I had plenty of shelf staples -- eg crackers, peanut butter, and apples. Things that wouldn't go bad if we lost power, and that didn't need to be used up immediately.</p>
<p>The only time we had any real problem was when tornado-like storms went through our neighborhood. We were without electricity for several days, and trapped by trees across roads. We did fine, though. Ate lots of soup, and popped popcorn in the fireplace. Kids thought it was great. We had two foster kids at the time, so there were 7 of us sleeping in front of the fireplace. Neighbors with electric stoves came for supper.</p>
<p>Just wait until the cable/electricity goes out on Super Bowl Sunday-you'll see news stories of people snowshoeing/skiing/sledding to the nearest sports bar.
A win for supermarkets-clearing the store shelves.</p>
<p>ok, guilty of being a "snow shovel" buyer. Went to local ACE hardware, to buy a new, plastic light weight "pusher" type of shovel. (Used one last weekend, and am a believer) Apparently, Home Depot is sold out. </p>
<p>Yes, we still have the standard metal kind of shovel-nothing fancy, nothing ergonomic! </p>
<p>Ya' know you are in trouble when the Weather Channel sends one of their reporters to your immediate area...ie Atlantic City.</p>
<p>My neighborhood is notorious for losing power during weather “events”. When I hear a forecast for bad weather, instead of a run to the store, I run around vacuuming, doing laundry, and stacking wood. I do like to keep a couple of quarts of the Parmalat milk in the pantry for emergencies.</p>
<p>We have made a move to buying more and more fresh food products and far less processed foods, canned foods, boxed foods. So I find myself at the market pretty frequently because I don't like to waste food by allowing it to spoil. It works for me, but if I wasn't going to be able to get to the store for several days, we might be running low on some of our staples. We wouldn't starve, of course, but I can see how you might want to get to the store in advance of a really big storm. Which in Texas would be 1 or 2 inches of snow, or God forbid, ice.</p>
<p>binx - with all due respect the lake-effect snow belt (northwest corner) of PA is a different culture/climate than we here in SE PA!</p>
<p>SouthJerseyChessMom - my motto is when the weather channel shows up in your town, get out while you still can! I remember during the blizzard of '96 watching them at the PA turnpike tollbooth in King of Prussia - we are about 40 miles away and I knew we would get it bad and we did.</p>
<p>The other thing about storms is when you have kids and are cooped up for a couple of days - it's nice to bake. I used to bake a lot when it would snow - and it warms up the house. For some reason housebound kids like to eat!</p>
<p>GUSTY NORTHEAST WINDS 20 TO 30 MPH WITH VISIBILITIES FREQUENTLY FALLING BELOW ONE-QUARTER MILE DUE TO HEAVY SNOW WILL DEVELOP TONIGHT TO PRODUCE NEAR-BLIZZARD AND EXTREMELY HAZARDOUS WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS TONIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY MORNING. TRAVEL IS HIGHLY DISCOURAGED TONIGHT AND WILL BE VERY DANGEROUS. </p>
<p>LOOKING BACK AT THE BIGGEST STORM OF RECORD FOR WASHINGTON DC... THE JANUARY 1922 KNICKERBOCKER STORM... 28.0 INCHES OF SNOW WAS PRODUCED FROM 3.02 INCHES OF LIQUID WATER. CURRENT FORECASTS FOR THIS EVENT HAVE TOTAL LIQUID FALLING FROM THIS STORM APPROACHING 3 INCHES... WHICH ACCORDINGLY WOULD CREATE A SNOWFALL THAT WILL RIVAL THE KNICKERBOCKER STORM TOTAL. GENERALLY ACROSS THE REGION... 20 TO 30 INCHES OF SNOW WILL FALL BY SATURDAY EVENING. </p>
<p>BALTIMORES RECORD OF 26.8 INCHES FROM THE PRESIDENTS DAY FEBRUARY 2003 STORM WILL ALSO BE THREATENED. </p>
<p>Removing 20-30 inches of snow from a heavily populated area is no easy task.</p>