Monday, April 4, 2011

Here We Go Again!

It's an old joke--If you don't like the weather in Western New York, wait five minutes and it'll change!  Sunday afternoon, I was enjoying a lovely spring-like day outside playing baseball with my son, niece, and nephews.  Then, after watching the Sabres game (I know we're supposed to be neutral, but Let's Go Buffalo!), I went with my wife and son to the grocery store in the early evening.  As we pulled into the parking lot, it was much cooler than it had been earlier in the day, but nothing out of the ordinary.  Then, not an hour later, we left the store to find, you guessed it, snow!  And not a little bit, either.  Thankfully, it was too warm to stick to the roads, but it was coming down hard!  Now today, most of our area is under a Flood Watch from 1pm this afternoon through tomorrow morning, with over an inch of rain and that melting snow making flooding conditions possible over the next 24 hours or so.

As anyone who's lived in Western New York knows, we really do need to be prepared for anything that's blown our way, and conditions can change at a moment's notice. It's always a good idea to have an emergency kit prepared BEFORE severe weather strikes.  With potential flooding on the way, your kit should include:
·         At least a 3-day supply of food and water
·         Flashlight
·         Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
·         Extra batteries
·         First aid kit and a 7-day supply of medications
·         Baby and pet supplies
·         Personal hygiene items and extra clothing
·         Emergency blanket and rain gear
·         Copies of personal documents, including birth certificates and insurance polices
·         Cell phone with chargers, and family and emergency contact information
It's also important to make sure your insurance covers flood damage.  Flooding has caused nearly $24 billion damage nationwide over the last ten years, but losses due to flooding are not covered under typical insurance policies.  Flood insurance is offered through the National Flood Insurance Program--you can get more information at

For more tips on how to be Red Cross Ready for flooding or any possible disaster, be sure to visit our website,, or contact Denise Herkey-Jarosch, Regional Coordinator, NYS Citizens Preparedness Program, at (716) 878-2231 to set up a presentation.

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