If it’s your first winter in Chicago, it may seem like everyone has it figured out except for you. These nine tips for surviving Chicago’s cold months will help you get through this season like a pro.
There’s no reason to be miserable just because it’s cold. Check out what you should do instead.
1. Keep a snow shovel on hand.
If you have to park your car on the street during a snowstorm, this tool will become your best friend. Not only can snow drift in the streets but plows push it up against your vehicle like a wall of ice. You'll definitely have to dig your way out.
As an added tip, place a lawn chair in the spot you dug your car out of so that it will be there when you get back. This is called "dibs," and Chicagoans take it very seriously.
2. Keep kitty litter in your trunk.
This helps with traction. Chicago isn't always great about plowing and laying salt, so in addition to digging your car out, you might find some slippery patches that make it hard to get off your street. Place this under your tires and be free.
3. Shop before the storm.
Chicagoans are known to clear shelves of food before a big snowstorm. No one wants to have to go out for milk or bread in the middle of a blizzard, or right after for that matter. You'll be out of luck if you try to buy too late.
4. Drive at your own risk.
Typically, Chicago will have the streets cleared after a snowstorm, but if it's a big blizzard, it could take a while and your car could get stuck. Check the radar before heading out and heed warnings.
5. Walking is even worse though.
It might be slightly less dangerous, but walking through the city after it snows can be a nightmare too. It's up to the locals to clear the sidewalks, and no one wants to do that, so they often stay icy and slushy.
6. Bundle up.
You won't make it here this winter if you don't buy some good gloves, hats, boots, coats, sweaters, long underwear... you get the gist. Cover every portion of your body when the temperature gets below freezing, as it often does.
7. We don't stop for snow.
Nothing can stop us from doing the things we set out to do. Like any city, we are a busy place and we don't have time to stop for the weather.
8. It snows before and after winter.
Don't expect the cold months to only last December through March. Snow and freezing temperatures can begin in November and extend into April.
9. Have fun!
Don't let the cold weather keep you inside. One of the best tips for getting through these cold months is to embrace them. Go ice skating, sledding, skiing, or even just sightseeing. Chicago is transformed into an arctic wonderland this time of year.
How else do you survive a Chicago winter? We’d love for your to share your tips with us in the comments below!
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