Welcome to the North, where we will outlive you because… Winter.

Winter in The North, in case you come from a place where all the seasons aren’t properly represented, is about five months of cold and dark. Temperatures below freezing are not uncommon. Snow covering all surfaces for weeks at a time is likely.

Because winter mostly sucks and the most common coping mechanism is to hide from it. As soon as the first weather report of the winter season comes in, everyone rushes to the supermarket to buy canned and other non-perishable goods. Stocking up on other supplies makes sense too. It’s going to be cold and crappy out for a while after the first storm so no one wants to have to leave the house for toilet paper or dog food.

In The North, we expect Winter power outages.

Once I was meeting up with a friend in Canada. She was coming from Cuba and I was coming from my home in Massachusetts.

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She asked if I might have an extra sweatshirt to bring her. I laughed to myself. I’m from New England, I have an unreasonable number of sweatshirts.

I also have allocated the largest drawer in my dresser to socks- though there is still overflow. Currently, the two couches in our living room have two blankets each. Gloves, hats, and scarves are always within reach. Candles, matches, and some way to generate either heat an are or warm food without power are all things I can see from my spot on the couch as I write this.

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The North has readied long-term residents to survive without power for longer than normal people can survive without food or water.

This allows northerners to avoid initial looting chaos, coming into contact with infected neighbors, or having to rush to react. I don’t know how people in the south will stay cool in the summer heat or keep their food from spoiling but I know how my neighbors and I will stay warm.

In The North, people stay put because it sucks outside.

Hordes of zombies or looters are far less likely in The North than in warmer climates. Why? because walking in snow and on ice is so hard. It’s a labor-intensive struggle when you’re fully conscious and physically fit. One cannot simply shamble through feet of snow or slush. Shambling on ice can work for a bit but not for long.

If for some strange reason, a person (or what used to be a person) is out on the streets they won’t last long. They’ll either succumb to the cold or… that’s really it. They might slip and fall. Up North, we’re less likely to get exposed to sickness carrying other or hungry zombies because we’ll be inside and they’ll be stuck in the snow.

If a survivor needs to pop out and run an errand, it won’t take special skills to see fresh tracks in the snow or hear someone coming.  Also, there won’t be crowds because in the winter no one goes outside if they don’t have to except children and drunks. And everyone knows Children and Drunks are likely to get themselves or others killed ASAP anyway.

By the time spring comes the weak will have perished and the hordes will have rotted.

In The North, we’re not afraid of your illnesses.

For starters, Massachusetts has more hospitals per square mile than any other state in America. Antibiotics are about as hard to find as a Dunkin Donuts (you can’t go five miles without seeing a Dunks). Because of the desensitization to winter and lack of incentive to go outside, we’re also much more comfortable being a little sick or uncomfortable. I expect it, personally.

I know which boots I can wear with multiple pairs of socks and I have no issue taking expired medication. Unless I’m broken, bleeding for longer than two hours, or experience some moderate state of physical decay, I’m not going to the hospital. I’ve never actually been hospitalized. When I broke my thumb I went to an urgent care center… the next day. Weakness is super inconvenient.

Would you survive winter in The North?

  • Do you know how to control your car if you suddenly find it sliding on ice instead of driving on a road?
  • Can you identify the signs of hypothermia and/or frostbite?
  • Can you find matches and candles or a flashlight in the dark in your house?
  • How long would the food in your house last without a working refrigerator?
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  • If it was below freezing for a week and your home had no power, would you survive inside?
  • How many layers can you fit under your winter jacket?
  • How cold is too cold?
  • Are your boots waterproof?
  • What is a chimney damper and why do you care?
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  • How do you identify “black ice?”
  • What’s worse for traveling, sleet or snow?
  • Is snow sanitary?

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