What is a nor’easter, and should you be worried if you live on the East Coast?

Some of us might’ve thought that we’d be breaking free of winter soon, but not so fast. Mother Nature may have something different in store. A nor’easter is expected to hit the East Coast Friday morning, March 2nd, affecting regions from Maryland to Massachusetts.

But before we hit the panic button, some of us might be wondering what is a nor’easter? According to the Weather Channel, a nor’easter is a storm spurred by strong winds off the Atlantic Ocean. As a result they typically hit the East Coast and are often associated with winter storms and very strong winds. Some nor’easters entail snow (but it’s not a requirement), and they’re most likely to occur between September and April.

The easiest way to handle a nor’easter is to stay safely indoors, try to remove any loose objects surrounding your home like garbage cans or patio furniture that could blow and shatter windows. Other tips include turning your refrigerator and freezer to a colder setting just in case you lose power and your food needs to stay colder longer.

A concern for this particular storm is that significant coastal flooding is expected in New England.

Also according to the Weather Channel, “Coastal flood watches have been issued by the National Weather Service from southern Maine to North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Some coastal flood warnings are now being issued for parts of the Eastern Seabaord, as well.”

The best way to combat this is to have an effective communication strategy with family members and to plan ahead of time. If you have older grandparents, parents, young children or family members with disabilities you may want to check on them or considering evacuating. Keep in mind a plan for evacuation can only safely occur if the storm hasn’t started and if road conditions are safe since driving during a flood poses particular challenges.

You may also want to keep an emergency supply kit on hand with a gallon of water per person, non-perishable food, a flashlight and any necessary medications.

Otherwise grab your blankets, bundle up, and stay safe east-coasters!