Thursday, November 17, 2011

Let it snow?!?

Snow outside the Cheektowaga Senior Center in December 2010
Did you look out the window in downtown Buffalo moments ago?  That white stuff falling from the sky was not a figment of your imagination.  Yep, it's that time of year again--snow.  Thankfully, it didn't last long and hasn't started sticking to the ground here yet, although some of our neighbors to the south may be in for some lake-effect snow over the next couple of days.  However, it should serve as a reminder that winter is on the way, and spur us into action.

Anyone who does any driving in WNY knows that everyone seems to have forgotten how to drive in the snow during the first real winter storm of the season, making for some treacherous travel.  Do you have an emergency kit including food, water and warm blankets in your car in case you're stranded on the roads?  Is your home emergency preparedness kit stocked and ready in case snow restricts travel or knocks out power?

Let this quick snowfall serve as a warning--winter is on the way, and there's nothing we can do about it except be prepared.  So take a look at these winter storm safety tips, and make sure that snow shovel is ready for another Western New York winter!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

We never even went to Kansas!

Photo courtesy
Multiple news outlets are reporting that investigators from the National Weather Service has confirmed that two tornadoes touched down in Chautauqua County last nightThe first tornado touched down in Fredonia at approximately 5:10pm, knocking down multiple trees and power lines and tearing the roof off a house.  There are reports of more roofs being torn off and a barn being completely demolished in Westfield, where the second confirmed tornado touched down a short time later.  High winds and rain caused damage throughout parts of Southern Erie, Chautauqua and Cattaragus Counties, but thankfully there have been no reports of any injuries.

Would you know what to do if a twister blew in your direction?  When a tornado warning is issued, that means a tornado has been seen in that area.  If a warning is issued where you are, seek shelter immediately, in a basement or storm cellar if possible.

This storm came quickly, leaving little time for Southern Tier residents to prepare.  Tornadoes can cause massive damage quickly.  Does every member of your family know the safest place in your home to go if a tornado touches down?  Is your emergency supply kit stocked with the supplies you'll need if power outages or travel restrictions leave you stranded for a couple days? 

Take some time now to review these tornado safety tips, because unlike Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz," you can't simply click your heels and go back home if a twister rips through your neck of the woods!