I just got word from a friend who lives in the snow belt—currently defined as that swath of land from Virginia northward through New England—that their local grocery store has been cleaned out thanks to back-to-back snowstorms. That isn’t too surprising because when a big storm approaches, people set out in search of food, emptying shelves of mostly everything.
Some areas won’t see fresh deliveries for several days as snow drifts, more snow, and inaccessible streets keep the big trucks away. But, once the snow does stop there will be a few places that will reopen, but quickly be cleaned out. Hopefully, you have enough supplies on hand to ride the storm out, however if your baby is in need of formula, you may have to search around. And fast too.
Convenience stores. They are over-priced and have limited stock, but most are open around the clock and don’t close down even in the worst of weather. Bring along some cash because credit might not do and buy just enough to tide yourself over until the streets are cleared and deliveries can be made.
Church pantry. Local churches may be shut tight, but if they have a pantry, expect that someone will open it up as soon as possible. Under normal circumstances you may not “qualify” for assistance, but nothing is normal about what your area has experienced.
Eat out. If restaurants can’t get food, then they won’t be able to serve you. But, count on your local fast food restaurant(s) to have enough food on hand to serve whoever stops by. Sure, they’ll be out of some items, but Burger King, Hardees, and McDonald’s, will open up as soon as they get enough people to work behind the counter.
Check 311. Your city may operate a 311 information service whereby you can call that number and be connected to find city services. If you are a shut in and the weather really has you shut in, you may be able to connect with a meals-on-wheels representative for help.
Ask neighbors. Now is the time for people in your neighborhood to pull together. If you’re out of something, ask a neighbor for help. Consider combining supplies, cooking together, sharing leftovers, trading food items. An emergency can build relationships like nothing else can.
If you absolutely don’t need to shop right now, then don’t. There will be enough other people out and about in search of food with some in a more desperate situation than you.
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