The first snowfall of the year is an exciting time. It’s the time of hot chocolate and fuzzy socks. It’s wonderful—until you realize that here in Erie, the snow doesn’t stop. As an Erie native, I’ve become accustomed to this reality. Over the years, I’ve learned some important tips to surviving an Erie winter. 

Here’s a list of all the ways to prepare yourself for the winter season: 

  • Don’t expect winter to end in January, or February, or March, for that matter. Because we are located so close to Lake Erie, winter lasts longer here. Once the lake freezes over, it takes many consistently warm days to melt the ice and bring warmer weather.  
  • On that same note, since we are on the lake, we experience lake-effect snow. I could explain why this happens, but what is most important for you to know is that boots are essential. Now, not just any pair of boots will do. Brands like UGG and Bearpaw do a great job of keeping your feet warm but are sub-par at keeping your toes dry. You want a pair of boots with rubber bottoms that have good traction. Duck-boot style boots and Timberlands are great choices. These will keep your feet warm and dry. They will also keep you from slipping on ice because they provide good traction between the ground and your soles.  
  • This next point is applicable anywhere the weather gets cold enough for gloves. However, it is crucial to surviving winter, so I am including it anyway. Gloves are meant to keep your hands warm, not to warm your hands after they are cold. This is because gloves will trap the heat from your hands. So, if you want to keep your hands warm, make sure that they are covered before you step outside into the cold.  
  • Another important tip is to allow extra travel time. When the roads are icy or slushy, drivers are more cautious so getting from Point A to Point B takes longer. Ten minutes usually is enough leeway time, but give yourself an extra 15, just to be safe!