Buffalo.com’s storm survival guide
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • January 06, 2014 @ 11:06am
By all indications, Western New York is set to get pounded by a winter storm “of the decade!” over the next two days.
Let’s face it—grandiose predictions often fall flat on their face, so it’s possible that the City of Buffalo receives three inches of fluffy snow and a lot of grumpy doomsday theorists, but it’s better to be safe than sorry (or attract frostbite).
If you’ve been a lifelong WNYer, you know the situations that accompany virtually every winter storm—wild weather rumors swirl like a game of Telephone, bread shelves become almost instantaneously empty, everyone grumbles about the lack of plowed streets and their dire need for a car wash.
Regardless, Gene Warner of The Buffalo News suggests that this winter storm could be really, really bad. Read his take here.
We’ve delineated five useful tips that you should keep in mind as this storm unfolds:
1) Buy a shovel to keep in your car: You’ll thank yourself forever, as—especially when plows shove all the thick sludgy snow to the side of the road—entering and leaving parking spots becomes near impossible.
You shouldn’t be driving anywhere to begin with, but travel can be unavoidable if Uncle Louis is deprived of running water or cousin Leon is stranded in Masten. (Also worth having on hand: A flashlight).
2) Don’t skimp on the windshield wiper fluid: Not only are dirty windshields distressing in their own right, but they’re straight-up dangerous when visibility is already limited by the weather.
The preventative measure is quite cheap, too—you can snag a gallon for around $3.
3) Be mindful of the driving routes you’re taking: Expecting a lot of ice and slippery driving conditions? Probably avoid the Scajaquada (198) because of its virtually non-existent shoulders and frequent sharp turns.
High winds in the forecast? Choose a different route than the Skyway (which may be closed regardless).
4) Generators and pipes: If you own a generator, you should be aware of how to care for it.
If you are concerned that your water pipes may freeze, you should look into preventative measures.
5) Keep your feet and head covered and warm: This way, you won’t be that whiny family member or roommate who’s complaining every 30 seconds about how you’ve lost feeling in your toes. No one likes a whiner.
6) Stock up on beer, wine or at least a lot of bottled water: I realize this is a curious mix of luxuries and necessities, but I suppose the definitions of those differ by the individual.
But, you may as well be cheerful when you’re barricaded inside (for what it’s worth, we’d recommend a porter or a stout in the beer realm, or a coffee and Bailey’s or Kahlua in the liquor sphere.)
7) Help out around Buffalo: The Food Bank of Western New York has a really handy list of soup kitchens and their contact information.
We’re hoping to visit Friends of the Night People tomorrow afternoon.
8) Warm hearts: Finally, a sappy message from loving Buffalo.com/Buffalo News staffer Katie Costello (small chance that she’s pulled this from her own horoscope):
Keep your heart warm by falling in love multiple times a day. Whether it’s with your favorite book, a rekindled friendship or a new romance that could turn into the love of your life. Hey, ya never know!
Stay safe, Buffalo, and proudly be a good neighbor.
(Photo of the Dupont Monk’s Stout is courtesy of Flickr / Bernt Rostad).