January 02, 2014 12:00 PM

Naming winter storms may be bad science, but we can’t deny it’s good fun. (And, in the social media age, incredibly useful.)

As the blizzard The Weather Channel has dubbed “Hercules” approaches the East Coast (Nine inches expected in New York City! 14 in Boston!), here’s your guide to surviving 2014’s first storm, from none other than the demigod himself.

1. Don’t Get Caught

Hercules will start throwing down snow on the East Coast starting Thursday night. You don’t want to be stuck far from home in the middle of its wintery wrath. Stay indoors!

2. If You Have to Go Outside, Bundle Up

With wind chill, temperatures may get as low as 15 below, putting you at risk for frostbite and hypothermia. You don’t need to wear a Nemean Lion pelt; a solid winter coat should do in a pinch.

3. Watch Your Energy

Appropriately for a storm named after the son of the lightning god, Hercules may knock out your fuel sources. Make sure to stock up on some alternative supplies while it’s still safe to drive.

4. Stay Dry

The National Weather Service reminds us that wearing wet clothing during a winter storm is almost as bad as wearing no clothing at all. (Which, judging by the statues, Hercules also did.)

5. Don’t Overexert Yourself

You’re not a demigod, so don’t make your own labors a heroic sacrifice. Heart attacks from shoveling snow are common in the winter. Weatherman Eric Holthause recommends shoveling Thursday night, when temperatures will be less hellishly cold, but no matter when you do it, watch yourself!

Of course, there’s a (very slim) chance that this is all media hype, but if Hercules misses you completely, we have a feeling you won’t be disappointed

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