Snow has come (I measured 8" at my house this morning), and unless you plan to hibernate for the winter, you have to get comfortable driving in it — and that means being prepared. A lot of folks think the only way to get around in snow is to have a big honking SUV, but that isn't necessarily true. Sure, I do have a big SUV (a Dodge Durango), but also have a tiny Chevy Sonic (with front wheel drive), and use both regularly. Here are some tips for you flatlanders about driving in snow.
First, the most important thing is traction. Those all season / all weather tires that came on your car are fine for light snow, but aren't that great for heavier snow or slicker conditions. A lot of folks (me included) who live up here year round change their all-season tires out in the winter for snow+ice tires. Snow tires have a different rubber composition and tread pattern that grips better. The downside to snow tires is that they can be 'noisier' on cleared roads, and your gas mileage will likely drop a bit. But they do make a big difference in winter conditions.
If you don't have snow tires (and most people in the city don't), then pick up a bag (or tube) of sand and keey it in your car. If you get stuck, throwing some sand under your tires can give you that extra bit of traction you need to get unstuck. Keep a utility knife or other cutting object in your glov compartment to open that bag of sand. Another option is to keep some carpet samples in your trunk to put in front of your wheels. The floor mats from your car can also work if you don't have anything else.
If you have front wheel drive car, you likely have "traction control." It would be reasonable to assume that "traction control" would give you some extra traction when you start slipping in the snow, but it's actually the opposite. What "traction control" actually does is take power away from a wheel when the car senses a wheel is spinning or slipping. The idea to keep you from swerving. But what happens when you're trying to get up a slick incline is that your wheels will stop moving and so you stop or slide back. If you're in this situation, turn your traction control off temporarily and try to get up the incline again. You'll likely feel some side to side slipping, but your wheels will keep power. When you're past the touigh spot, remember to turn your traction control back on.
Also, keep a small shovel in your car. You can find little shovels with extendable handles at auto supply stores that can tuck into the side of your trunk.
While all wheel drive is helpful in many winter situations, it is not a substitute for adequate traction. A Subaru or Jeep doesn't make you invincible, all of their tv commercials notwithstanding. Every winter I have at least one or two experiences where a client from the city in an expensive SUV gets stuck because they were convinced they could drive through something they couldn't.
Finally, be wary of ice! The only thing that can really give you traction on ice is studded snow tires. Ice on the roads is the one thing that shuts down everything. If there's ice, don't even think about moving around — just light a fire and curl up with a book.