If you haven't already started preparing for the historically terrible storm that is preparing to pummel the Northeast just in time for Halloween, you are way, way, way behind and it's precisely this lack of foresight and planning that will ultimately cost you your life when the storm touches down next week.
While weather models are currently split between three potential outcomes, the worst-case scenario for the mid-Atlantic is that Hurricane Sandy (currently cha-cha-ing around Florida) will collide with an early winter storm from the West and a front of arctic air from the North the night before Halloween. This would bring drenching rain, gale force winds, and likely even a snowstorm to parts of the region, potentially dropping several inches of wet heavy snow in New York City.
Because it would be a combination snowstorm + hurricane, the proper name for this storm is "snowcane," but, as there is no time to learn new words in the midst of a crisis, you should refer to it as a "snowcone."
People are already comparing this thing to the infamous Perfect Storm, which killed thirteen people, caused $200 million in damages, and starred George Clooney when it made landfall around Halloween 1991.
Because that storm struck off the coast of New England, and this one has the potential to slam into a more populous area, the worry is that the impact of this storm would be even greater—possibly causing one billion in damages, according to the meteorology director of Weather Underground, Jeff Masters.
That's right. We are staring down a storm that is more perfect than The Perfect Storm. A storm that got 100% on the quiz and then answered five bonus questions correctly.
If you haven't already, run out now and buy batteries. LOTS of batteries. These can be used to replace the batteries in your flash light after the power goes out and you have a strobe party, as a weapon (if placed inside a sock) to defend yourself from friends and neighbors asking to borrow batteries, as a nonperishable snack, and as massage rollers.
Once you have your batteries, there's nothing left to do but sit tight and wait a couple days as weather models readjust themselves to more accurately predict the storm's path.
At the moment, there' s still a chance (though dwindling) that it could blow east and slip harmlessly out to sea.