Not going to happen this time: Lessons from Atlanta's stranded snow survivors

Story highlights

  • Atlantans stranded in last month's snow talk about plans for new possible storm
  • Top tips: Don't leave the house if you don't have to; Technology can help you work from home
  • Most importantly: Have pants available at all times

(CNN)Atlanta residents stranded on icy interstates and at strangers' homes during a January 28 winter storm aren't taking any chances now that another snowstorm is brewing -- they're taking matters into their own hands.

While rain, sleet and snow are expected Monday evening, above-freezing temperatures will likely spare the city of commuter drama, according to the National Weather Service. It's Tuesday night through Thursday that the big show is expected, with a major ice storm forecast, say CNN meteorologists.
Two weeks after 2.6 inches of snow paralyzed the city, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is taking a proactive approach this time around, declaring a weather-related state of emergency for 45 counties. City and state officials were heavily criticized for their handling of the January 28 storm, when workers and school children dismissed at the same time caused massive gridlock in Atlanta. Some people were stranded 20 or more hours on icy, jammed interstates, and others abandoned their cars to seek overnight shelter.
    But despite government precautions, many people who were marooned on Atlanta's icy roads say they're taking matters into their own hands this time. CNN followed up with some of the stranded snow survivors and got their hard-earned lessons for how to deal with a rare snowstorm, Southern style.
    1. Don't leave the house if you don't have to
    Charles Davidson spent a grueling 7½ hours trying to get from Georgia Tech to his home in Marietta during the last storm. He wound up ditching his car and running the last 5 miles home -- he tracked his distance via the Nike+ app. This go around, he's planning to hole up at home.
    "My wife and I decided a few days ago that we were going to get groceries early in the day and we're going to stay in. We're going to stick around for the next two or three days," he said.
    The 33-year-old, who lives outside the city perimeter, doesn't want to repeat that scenario anytime soon. He's already cancelled his Tuesday plans downtown. "I decided it doesn't need to happen," he said.
    Jagannathan Santhanam had a similar nightmare commuting tale. After being in his car for six hours, he gave up and walked the last 2 miles to pick up his son from Kennesaw Mountain Magnet School. With that experience fresh in his mind, he figures it will be easier to stay at home this week.
    "I will work from home and keep my kids home too," said the software developer. "It was not fun, especially with family members stranded for more than 24 hours in different places during the last storm."
    2. Technology can help you work from home
    Working from home doesn't mean you can't interact with your colleagues.
    Santhanam will have meetings over the phone or video conferencing software. He also suggests updating your contact list, as he did. "You n