Things are really going downhill here in New York, and by down, we mean the temperature. Up until now, we’ve been able to count on one hand how many days this year the winter temperatures dipped below 40 degrees, but the cold season is now upon us. If you’re a diehard New Yorker or still fairly new to the city, you probably know that one of the favorite pastimes of Manhattanites is to complain about our ridiculous weather. First, it’s barely-breathing, sweat-in-unspeakable-places summer heat followed by an investment in cross country skis just to get to work a few months later when winter comes back with a vengeance.

While the weather might leave outsiders baffled as to why New Yorkers stick around the concrete jungle and trek down into the subway to commute to work during these extreme conditions, tough city dwellers know that it’s all about preparation. From one New Yorker to another, here are some of our “must have” staples to survive winter in New York.

Waterproof Boots

Year after year you’ll see the same scene. A poor, unprepared commuter forced to step into the half melted snow sludge that is drowning the corner of every intersection in the city after any significant snowfall followed by higher temperatures. It’s the worst, and it’s also the very scenario that forces every city newbie to invest in waterproof snow boots. Anyone who has experienced this knows there’s nothing worse than sitting in slush-filled shoes for the remainder of the work day.

A Place Where Everybody Knows Your Name

The borders of your neighborhood and the distance you will travel to socialize will shrink as the temperatures plummet. New Yorkers are notorious for sticking to their ‘hood in the deep winter months, socializing only with those friends that they share an office or a block with. An important aspect of this hibernation mentality is to find your favorite cozy neighborhood restaurant, bar or coffee shop. It’s the place you will spend the majority of your winter evenings in, so choose wisely.

The Perfect “Puffer” Coat

There’s no way around it. If you’re going to spend even just one winter in the city, you have to invest in a good coat as one of your key winter staples in New York. And we aren’t just talking about a dapper wool peacoat, we are talking about the puffy, thick, ridiculous-looking winter jacket with a sufficient hood and warm accessories.

Food On Demand

If you ask a random New Yorker on the street what their most important winter staple is, the majority of them will likely say their food delivery apps. When it is 9 degrees outside with blizzard-like conditions, the last thing you want to do is walk 8 blocks with your Whole Foods grocery bags or spend time cooking when you could be in a Snuggie in front of Game of Thrones. Make sure to queue up your apps with your favorite restaurants and those comfort food staples… and don’t forget to tip your delivery guy. You know you’ll see him on your door step more than once this winter, and these kind souls are braving the conditions to bring you your meal while it’s still hot!

By following just a few of these unspoken rules of winter in NYC, you’ll survive just fine. The great thing about being a New Yorker is that every year we make it through these tough few months together, and come out on the other side basking in the sunlight on spring days in Central Park. Don’t you just love New York in the spring?