East Coast Blasted By Blizzard: 'What Would Rob Do?'

Much of the East Coast is being blanketed by a blizzard Wednesday. This is the fourth storm to hit the region this winter. Host Michel Martin talks with Tell Me More director Rob Sachs, who produces the popular NPR podcast "What Would Rob Do?" about how to get out of sticky situations. Sachs gives tips for those being forced to brave the elements and venture outdoors in inclement weather.

Copyright © 2010 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

MICHEL MARTIN, host:

And finally, it's a snowy day here in D.C. on top of what had already been a record-breaking winter in these parts. Now, here in the mid-Atlantic region, officials are asking people to stay home if at all possible and leave the roads clear so clean-up crews can do their work.

But some people have to get into their cars and brave slippery streets and some will get stuck. To help us sort through how to get out of this particular predicament, we've called upon our own director, Rob Sachs. He often looks at ways to get out of sticky situations on his podcast, What Would Rob Do?

So, Rob, what would Rob do?

ROB SACHS: Well, Rob would do a lot to try to get out of this because this has been an historic snowfall. Now, Michel, the D.C. region normally gets only about 22 inches of snow per year. The record for snowfall in D.C. was set back in 1898, 1899 and that was 54.4 inches. It looks like we're going to beat that record.

MARTIN: So we're not whining. This is really serious business.

SACHS: Yes, but for us, you know, 54.4, okay, that's crazy but go out to places like Washington State or Mount Rainier, they get snow accumulations in the hundreds of inches.

MARTIN: So, we are whining.

SACHS: Yes.

(Soundbite of laughter)

MARTIN: Okay, so what can we learn from these folks who really - who really do experience snow?

SACHS: Well, I called up Mark Carson. He is the co-owner of Fred's Towing, which is in Washington State, and he says, now, if you're stuck in a ditch, watch out for those Good Samaritans.

Mr. MARK CARSON (Co-Owner, Fred's Towing): A Good Samaritan will come and they will happen to have a (unintelligible) up and they'll hook it up wrong and pull your front bumper off or bend stuff that ends up costing you more money and a lot of times it actually makes the job harder for us, because they go further in the ditch.

(Soundbite of laughter)

MARTIN: Oh no.

SACHS: Yeah, so you're like, oh, I need some help, and then some guy comes up and rips off your bumper, so that's not so good.

MARTIN: Oh man.

SACHS: So he says leave it to the pros.

MARTIN: Okay, what else?

SACHS: Well, if you're not in a ditch, per se, Carson of Fred's Towing said you really only need two things.

Mr. CARSON: A lot of these people can get out with just a little bit of sand and, you know, having a small shovel in their trunk.

SACHS: The idea is to get some traction underneath your wheels. So you want to dig around your wheels and you want to put down that sand to get the traction. Now, I also heard kitty litter is really good thing. So one other thing Carson says is watch out for spinning your wheels because this can make things worse. What you want to do is try to rock back and forth slowly, so inch up a little bit, go back a little bit and this rocking motion will hopefully get you out of that jam. So don't spin, rock back and forth.

MARTIN: Okay, good to know.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SACHS: So, and I hope, Michel, is all else fails, you can call me up. I'm going to come, I'll push behind your car. You always want to look for the burly guys walking down the street who will help shove your car from the back in case you're really stuck. So I've been working out, Michel, and I'm going to help you out in case that should happen to you.

MARTIN: Rob, you forget that there's a picture on your podcast.

SACHS: Oh.

MARTIN: We can tell what the truth is.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SACHS: Okay.

MARTIN: That's our director, Rob Sachs. He also hosts the NPR podcast What Would Rob Do?, an irreverent guide to life's daily indignities. He's author of a forthcoming book by that name. Thanks, Rob.

SACHS: My pleasure, Michel.

(Soundbite of song)

MARTIN: And that's our program for today. I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Let's talk more tomorrow.

Copyright © 2010 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.