Back 1950s and earlier, this wouldn’t have been such a big deal. Millions of Americans home-canned foods for just such eventualities. Then, we got lazy and began depending on supermarkets (which have–at most–3 days worth of food in stock if there’s no panic-buying).
This is just one reason we implore you to get prepared:
Updated at 6:50 a.m. ET: A major storm dumped nearly three feet of snow and brought blizzard conditions to parts of the Northeast Saturday, with winds gusting to hurricane strength.
The National Weather Service also warned there was more to come and said that some areas could be hit by coastal flooding due to a storm surge.
At least two people died amid dozens of snow-related car accidents.
By 6:05 a.m. ET Saturday, 34 inches of snow had fallen at Hamden, Conn., just north of New Haven, with 27.5 inches at St. James, N.Y., and 22 inches in Worcester, Mass., weather.com reported. New York City’s Central Park had 8.1 inches.
Portland, Maine, saw a record snowfall of 29.3 inches, surpassing the previous record of 27.1 inches, which was set in January 1979. More snow was expected.
Some 645,000 homes and businesses, including more than 400,000 in Massachusetts, were left without power.
Newark International Airport closed at 2:48 a.m. ET Saturday “due to snow,” but was expected to reopen 8:30 a.m. ET, the Federal Aviation Authority said. Teterboro closed at around the same time and was expected to reopen at 8 a.m. ET. At JFK there were “excessive delays,” according to flightstats.com.
Almost all flights in and out of Boston’s Logan Airport were canceled.
The Associated Press reported more than 5,300 flights were canceled through Saturday, while roads in Massachusetts and Connecticut were closed to ordinary traffic.
On the Long Island Expressway, there were an estimated 60 to 100 cars stuck because of the snow, Lt. Daniel Meyer, of Suffolk County Police, said.
He said officers had been working through the night to get people out of the cars and take them to safety. Meyer said there had been no loss of life.
“The plows cannot plow because of all the disabled motorists and the snow keeps piling and piling up,” Meyer said.
On Friday, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick had ordered all non-essential vehicles off the roads and said people should brace to be snowed in for two days. He said the storm was “profoundly different” from others the state has endured in recent years.
In Connecticut, Gov. Dannel Malloy also banned car traffic on limited-access highways from 4 p.m. Friday.
“It’s critical right now that residents stay off the roads, so that our plows can continue their efforts to clear our streets and highways,” Malloy said. “This is a record-setting storm. It’s going to take time to dig out of the snow. Stalled or abandoned vehicles will only slow that process. Unless you face an emergency, please stay put.”
The National Weather Service, in a notice posted at 4 a.m. ET, warned of “hurricane force wind gusts across New England and Long Island” in addition to heavy snow.
“Blizzard warnings are in effect for the entire coastal section of the northeast…including the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area,” it said.
“Winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories are in effect for much of the northeast from eastern Pennsylvania north and eastward into much of Maine,” it said.
“Coastal flood warnings are in effect for coastal areas in southern Delaware as well as southeast New Jersey,” it added.
The NWS recorded peak wind gusts of 82 mph in Westport, Conn., 83 mph in Cuttyhunk, Massachusetts, and 76 mph in East Boston. Plum Island, New York, saw gusts of 75 mph.
Coastal residents were worried about the prospect of flooding after superstorm Sandy.
“I’m really nervous,” Kathy Niznansky, a 65-year-old teacher in coastal Fairfield, Conn. told The Associated Press.
She was knocked her out of her house near the beach for two months by Sandy. “I just don’t want any more flooding.”
The winter storm is being fueled by two weather systems — a so-called clipper pattern sweeping across the Midwest and a band of rain from the South — that converged over the Northeast early Friday.
It arrived in earnest late Friday and the governors of New York, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island all declared states of emergency.
More than 800 National Guard soldiers and airmen were activated in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York to provide roadway support, emergency transportation and back-up for first responders, the Department of Defense said Friday evening.
In Poughkeepsie, N.Y., a car driven by an 18-year-old female went out of control in the snow and struck Muril M. Hancock, 74, who was walking near the shoulder, police said Friday. Hancock died from his injuries at the hospital.
There was also a fatal crash in Prospect, Conn., at about 9 p.m. ET Friday, state police told NBCConnecticut.com.
A 19-car pileup on Interstate 295 in Falmouth, Maine, was blamed on the storm. Police said there were minor injuries.
In New York, the Metro-North suspended service Friday night due to the storm. The Long Island Rail Road shut down service east of Speonk about 9 p.m.
New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg warned people to stay in, encouraging New Yorkers to cook a meal or read a good book.