If there is one lesson to learn from the storm that swept away Binghamton last week, it’s to make sure you read the weather forecast before you leave home in the morning. Not only can the weather forecast inform you on how to dress for the day, it can also tell you what to expect for the next week. In the future, if you see a week’s worth of weather coming your way, you should be prepared to have the essentials ready at hand.

Here is what you need to survive the height of any storm.



And not one of those $5 ones from a street vendor in Manhattan. A large one that spans the width of your body, made from sturdy material that won’t flip up in the wind. Spending $20 is recommended, and you will get your money’s worth living up here for four years. It’s also advisable to just keep an umbrella in your bag at all times. Binghamton has extremely sporadic weather.

Waterproof boots

In the event you do venture into the outdoors, an umbrella hardly ever protects your feet. Nobody likes walking around in soggy socks and sneakers. Plus, boots can also prevent the bottom of your pant legs from getting wet. Since the rain boot trend arrived a few years back, you can find a cute pair at a very low cost, and they can be used as a medium for expressing your personality.


NOT A PONCHO. Simply put, ponchos are like a condom. They’re for single use and only 80 percent effective. Again, it rains all the time here, so it’s worthwhile to search for an attractive raincoat, because it will make you feel better about the poor weather.


Peanut butter

Everybody loves peanut butter. You can put it on bread, crackers, cookies, fruit, cheese and especially Oreos — so pick up all those things too. For all “The Parent Trap” fans out there, there is nothing more comforting on a rainy day than Oreos and Skippy.

Hot liquids

Bad weather is kind of like being sick; it makes you want to stay in bed all day and wallow in your misery. The best cure is to drink plenty of fluids, juice, water, but nothing warms your heart like tea, hot cocoa and soup.

Water bottles

For drinking, brushing your teeth and showering, just in case you receive 14 emails in a row telling you to conserve water or that the faucet water is contaminated.


Card games

Take another cue from “The Parent Trap” and hone your poker skills. Spice up your life and make it strip poker. Get warmed up from a game of spit, since there isn’t much else to energize you. Kings, anyone?

Read a book

Preferably a mystery novel. It seems appropriate to read something sinister when it’s dark outside. It would be pretty frightening if lightening struck right at the apex like in the movies.

Play an instrument

Find that one person who has a guitar, grab everyone you live with and start a Kumbaya circle. After all, college is not that much different from camp.