If you are reading this: congratulations! You are one of the lucky survivors of Jersey’s Code Red Extreme Weather Event (2013).
For a week in March, it was by no means certain that Jersey and its people would not be buried beneath our unseasonal snowfall, forgotten like a stray fish finger at the back of the freezer. As ever the Island took decisive action, and as soon as the marinas were cleared and golf courses defrosted a committee of enquiry was established. Its first recommendation? A PR campaign to promote snow awareness. We at Gallery are proud to have been chosen as the official snowmageddon media partners, and hope that you are reading this somewhere warm and free of penguins. Like us on Facebook, if you still have access to electricity!
As part of Jersey’s future preparedness plans, funding has been released from the rainy day fund (to be renamed ‘ask your manager if you can get a snow day fund’) so that each citizen may be issued with a snow disaster survival pack containing: a sealed copy of this document, six Tracker bars, two pairs of M&S thermals, a hacksaw for cutting fallen leylandii and 200 grammes of road grit. If you’ve opened this, the snow must have returned. Follow this official advice, stay safe, and please do not eat the grit.
Home safety and shelter
We hope you’re reading this at home next to a fire, and that the fire is wood or coal, rather than smashed furniture or copies of Gallery Magazine. If you are trapped at work, or in a smart car beneath the Beaumont Hill glacier, don’t panic – somebody will be along soon to free you. Or turn you into food. Either way, struggling is futile.
Homeowners should have been visited earlier this year by Jersey’s Snow Countermeasure Safety Officers, who will have advised you on the best ways to render your dwelling polar bear-proof and comfortably above zero in the event of further cold snaps. Perhaps you’re lucky enough to live in one of the luxury two-bedroom igloos slated to open mid 2013 on the site of the Plemont holiday village, in which case conserve your energy to repel savage raiders from Sark. The most important message is not to go outside, unless absolutely necessary. If you do, make a change from Jersey tradition and dress appropriately. Men: winklepickers and suit trousers worn without socks will cause gangrene; tie your bloody scarves properly. Women: unless it’s August, it’s probably too cold to wear a vest top and mini skirt to work.
Food and other essentials
To avoid mass starvation, each Parish has been issued funding for an ATV snowcat to make emergency delivery of lattes, sushi and goat’s cheese paninis (with onion confit) to people accustomed to eating only from St Helier coffee shops. Iceland will remain open as normal, and we have received assurances that M&S will ration supplies of Percy Pig’s to those most in need. The authorities warn that anybody caught attempting to eat dairy cows or Oscar the Puffin will be made an example of. It is recommended that you fill your basement with tinned luncheon meat, as although largely inedible it offers better insulation than fibreglass, makes a handy weapon and can be utilised to farm penicillin if the hospital is smashed up by yetis (again).
We expect that following snow chaos it may take some days for communications to return to normal, not because there’s any issue with the billion pound, platinum plated fiber-optic phone lines, but because Jersey’s single pipe of internet from England may well collapse under the strain of all your Instagram photos of snowmen. If this occurs, we ask that all Islanders refrain from making non-urgent communications (Harlem Shake videos, Bieber Tumblr, live-tweeting the lateness of your Graze box delivery) and reserve our precious bandwidth for warning others about direwolves and wildlings prowling St John’s village.
Transport and resources
In the event of further snow emergency, it has been decided that all buses will be cancelled indefinitely. An unfortunate mixup with suppliers lead to LibertyBus purchasing vehicles that can only drive in the middle of the road, and the icey death slaloms of March have demonstrated that they will inevitably collide with 4×4 vehicles destined to be abandoned by college mummies as soon as a single snowflake hits their bonnets. To ensure that essential personnel (and some non-politicians) reach their destinations despite the weather, a project has been initiated to fit Terrence The Train with skis.
Contingency plans have been enacted to ensure that the Island does not run out of supplies. In short, this has entailed the hoarding of marine diesel, a coat of blue paint for the rebranded Camping Gazometer and a stern letter to the JEC instructing them not to forget to put 50p in the meter again.
Government and administration
Plans are afoot to relocate Jersey’s ‘winter capital’ to the North Coast, to avoid a repeat of the near disaster that occurred when several backbench members who turned up to work in St Helier were fatally gored by a mammoth. It was only through quick thinking on the part of the Attorney General that saw the wily pachyderm battered to death with the Bailiff’s mace before it could eat any ministers. Schools will be closed and parents are requested to teach their children from home, perhaps via an educational screening of classic snow-themed films such as ‘Alive’, ‘Touching The Void’ and ‘The Shining’.
Culture and entertainment
During the Blitz, the people of London kept their spirits up by creating art and culture that expressed their refusal to surrender and a heartfelt desire to see normal life resume as soon as possible. In Jersey, we coped with snowmageddon by erecting rude snowmen and sledging down green lanes. It’s essential to remember that survival is not just about hunting the St Mary’s bigfoot for his thick coat of fur, it’s also about remaining close with families and neighbours by playing games, making music and secretly voting on which neighbour you’re planning to eat next.
We at Gallery look forward to seeing you following the big thaw. Keep calm and don’t eat the yellow snow.