The threat is that people might be snowed in for up to 3 days. Power Might go out for a night. No Armageddon, no threat of widespread panic, no DHS threat upgrade, yet the store shelves are empty!
Had this been a true emergency, imagine how the general public would have responded. Instead of just bare shelves, you would have bare shelves, murder, rape and pillaging. People aren't reasonable, they have zero survival skills past the next 24 hours. Just peruse facebook for a few hours. I see people I know that work menial jobs wearing 600 dollar outfits and driving a new jalopy every few months from the buy here, pay here lot. No thought of the future, no idea that the money faucet would ever end up dry. They always have the new Ick phone 47 and the latest fashion and never consider the idea of going without should there be an event to disrupt society. Uncle Sugar will always be there to make it right is they get too stoned to get up and go to work, thus losing their job.
These are the Zombies. The dangerous, nothing left to lose, hungry, insolent masses that will be out to get you when the chips are down and survival comes down to the prepared and the Zombies. Things are good right now, Keynesian economics has fooled everyone into a false belief that the US is doing great and money is flowing into the middle class. We still have people fighting to the death over sale items on Black Friday. Urban youths continue to strike innocent subjects for fun. The Knockout game is now the Cut your face game and not a soul is worried about it. Remember Ferguson when the police pulled back? I had friends on the ground protecting some infrastructure and stores when the police went away. They won't be there when things fall apart and it's wide spread. It's all a foreign problem to suburbanites. Imagine the depravity that would ensue in the aftermath of a coordinated electrical infrastructure attack. Think of an attack like the one on Silicone Valley in larger scale. http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/07/us/california-sniper-attack-power-substation/index.html
I recently read a book that explained the effectiveness of a coordinated mortar attack on several refineries using time delayed mortars from 2 angles. Genius to say the least, but catastrophic to the economy if it happens. Think about 10 dollar a gallon gas and it's impact on the economy. The 2007-2008 financial meltdown was triggered by fuel prices. Our current economy is on the razors edge, now would be the perfect time for an attack to have the greatest impact.
How would you survive? Would that $3k 1911 keep your family fed? Do you have enough fuel to put in a garden in the spring? If today was the last day you could make it to the grocery, would you make it til spring? Can you even heat your house without the utilities you rely on?
A snow storm is a non event. It's a hiccup and not a heart attack, yet the shelves are bare and people are acting like idiots. When it really happens, people are going to come unhinged in the first 24 hours when they can't nuke their corn dogs and the VP runs out of their brand of cigarettes. Prepare accordingly.