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March 06, 2018

What you’ll need if you have to go into work on a snow day

Weather Work
Carroll - Snow Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Two men carry shovels on Liberties Walk in Northern Liberties during Thursday's bitter cold snowstorm.

Editor's note: This valuable winter weather advice was adapted from a story originally published in March 2017.

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When it becomes clear that a winter storm will create hazardous driving conditions and disrupt public transportation in the Philadelphia region with a barrage of snow and/or sleet, two words enter the minds of many employees at local businesses: snow day!

Or, at the very least, they know it means they can work from home, if their jobs allow.

This, of course, is not an option available to everyone, especially people who provide essential services, like health care workers, firefighters, and police officers. But even in some instances, where a person's job isn't vital to maintaining the very fabric of society, those workers still trek their way to their workplaces.

While PhillyVoice has had me trapped in its offices for two years writing 24/7 someone please come save me graciously gave us all the option to work from home during a recent storm, I strapped on my snow boots, bundled up in layers and made the 1 1/2-mile hike from my apartment into our Center City office before daybreak.

Knowing I wouldn't be alone, I've prepared the essentials needed for a snow day spent in my cubicle. Enjoy:


Daniel Craig/PhillyVoice

PhillyVoice Executive Assistant Radhika Shah shows off her enthusiasm at work.

While everyone else is posting to social media about staying warm and cozy at home, you're at the ol' 9-to-5. But that's nothing a positive attitude can't fix! Think about how accomplished you'll feel when you finish for the day.

Oh, this isn't helping? Being told to stay positive while all your friends are sipping hot cocoa from the comfort of their beds actually makes you feel worse? You've already closed this article tab on your browser? Sorry, I should have known better.

Comfortable clothes (that look like work clothes)

Daniel Craig/PhillyVoice

Me showing off my pants.

Do you see these pants? They might look like ordinary khaki pants to you. They're not, silly. These are joggers – basically, sweatpants that look just enough like normal pants.

Here's the thing: If you've made it into the office, you're likely one of the very few co-workers who didn't take a personal day because of the weather. While you may still want to look slightly professional, coming in when the weather's this bad is basically a free pass to dress for comfort. T-shirts that don't have stains, hoodies and your most comfortable pants that you feel are appropriate to wear in public are all recommended.


Daniel Craig/PhillyVoice

Wow, those are a lot of treats, PhillyVoice reporter John Kopp!

They say laughter is the best medicine, but you're probably in no mood to laugh if you're at work. So let's stick to sugar and carbs. Make sure to bring donuts, pretzels, chips, candy or pretty much anything that tastes good even though it's not good for you.Treat yo’ self.

Somewhere to crash

Depending on how bad the conditions are, you might be forced to have a little sleepover before or after the day of the storm. When I worked in radio, bringing an air mattress or sleeping bag into the studio the night before a storm was regular practice. Luckily, we have some couches in the PhillyVoice office's co-working space, just in case anyone needs to spend the night. (Warning: If your office doesn't have a shower, don't be offended by your coworkers avoiding you and your odor the next day).

A nearby bar

Daniel Craig/PhillyVoice

McGlinchey's bar in Center City Philadelphia.

Obviously, if you have to drive home in the snow, drinking is a no-no. But if you walk, take public transit, or are crashing at the office, that's a free pass to booze through the rest of the storm after clocking out for the day. Find a seedy dive bar near the office and drink away. In Philly, depending on the severity of the storm, local watering holes actually offer snow day specials.