Preparing for Boston wintery weather

Storm preparedness

As always in Boston, there is a chance of cold and wet winter weather during our conference. Please plan for the worst. The CDC has a comprehensive winter weather preparedness and response manual, so for delegates unaccustomed to cold weather, please take a look.

Here is the weather forecast for Cambridge, MA.

Roads and public transit

Plows will clear roads for cars and buses if it snows and public transit such as trains will continue to run unless a state of emergency is declared. This only happens a couple times a year, maybe if it’s a Nor’easter that is going to dump 2+ feet of snow, and people are asked to stay home for their safety. Otherwise, if it’s going to be just a few inches of snow, the city of Boston is not going to shut down.

What to bring? What to wear?

New England weather in winter is pretty unpredictable. Within the first week of January 2014, temperatures ranged between -15F and 50F!

Between the Harvard Red Line T stop, the Harvard Square Hotel, and RIJS, it’s about 7 minutes of walking outside. If you will be joining us for the nijikais, you may be outside longer than that and keep in mind it will be colder at night.

Dress code – The conference sessions and dinner receptions are business attire. Nijikais and sanjikais are casual attire.

Shoes – If you have snow or rain boots, it might be a good idea to wear/bring them as the sidewalks can get slushy due to the salting.  You may also want to weatherproof/waterproof your fabric or leather shoes with a spray or wax protectant which you can find at a drugstore or supermarket. The salt they put on the roads and sidewalks here may stain your shoes. Sometimes they even use blue-colored salt.

Warm accessories – Smart wool socks, lots of layers, warm mittens, haramaki & long underwear is also good to have. (NEJETAA tried but were unsuccessful in getting Uniqlo heattech swag!)

Warm packs/Hand warmers – These Grabber Ultra Warmers are just like the ones in Japan. You can buy them at a Home Depot, Lowe’s or sports stores like REI or EMS.

Update – as of Monday, Jan 6: It appears that we will have great weather over the conference weekend. Temperatures will be above freezing so it might be slushy but most of the snow will melt. We might have a bit of sleet on Saturday, but no major snowfall is expected.

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