Thursday, November 3, 2011

October Storm, Redux

Earlier this week, in a preview of this Sunday's game between the Bills and Jets, a NY Daily News columnist wrote, "..the weather in Buffalo is never good."  While it would be easy to point out to Mr. Bondy that it's 60 degrees and sunny here on November 3rd, the truth is our bad-weather reputation is at least somewhat based on past events, and we know all too well what some of our Northeastern neighbors are currently going through.

Photo Courtesy

A weekend Nor'easter dumped record amounts of snowfall for October in parts of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, New York, New Jersey and Maine, collapsing trees and branches that had not yet shed their leaves.  Over three million homes and business lost power, and officials say the power may not be restored until this weekend in some areas.

All of this should sound eerily familiar to Western New Yorkers.  We lived through the same thing five years ago during our own October Surprise storm, so it's no surprise that Western New Yorkers are stepping up to help this time around.
Almost 3,700 people spent Tuesday night in Red Cross shelters.  Tuesday morning, volunteer Steven Schwartz of Buffalo deployed to Connecticut to assist in those relief efforts.  This is Steven's second disaster deployment of 2011--he took part in the tornado relief efforts in Alabama this spring. 

As we saw a couple months ago, when over three dozen local Red Cross volunteers deployed to assist in the Hurricane Irene/Tropical Storm Lee response, more Western New Yorkers will be ready to join Steven if called upon after this October Surprise sequel.  We certainly have experience with this sort of thing! 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Scary shouldn't mean dangerous!

Hopefully all of you were trick-or-treating with us indoors at "Eerie" Community College during "Safe & Seen Halloween" on Saturday.  However, some of you might still want to take your little ghosts and goblins out to scare up some goodies tonight, and while dark and spooky is the order of the night, this Halloween tradition shouldn't be dangerous!

In the spirit of the holiday, the American Red Cross has put together a "Lucky 13 Tips" for a safe Halloween.  Most of these tips are common sense: don't walk in the road, bring a flashlight, wear reflective clothing so drivers can see you.  But frighteningly enough, you may never have considered some of the "Lucky 13!"

One of the overlooked dangers involves something we talk about all the time here at the Red Cross--our dislike for candles!  We really don't like them when they're hidden inside of something, such as a pumpkin.  What if one of the ghouls knocking on your door accidentally knocked over that jack-o-lantern you spent hours carving??  Use a glow-stick instead to avoid a fire hazard.  If your kids are anything like mine, they'll have the added bonus of a "toy" to play with afterwards!!

Before the creatures start roaming the streets tonight, make sure they follow ALL of the "Lucky 13 Steps" for a safe Halloween, so you can be sure that nothing unexpected goes "bump in the night!!!!"