BUFFALO, N.Y. — The big takeaway from the last storm — and even Buffalo Common Council members said it — was that the city and surrounding region were unprepared.
While this weekend isn’t going to be nearly as intense as the Blizzard of ‘22, local leaders want to make sure that’s not the case this time around.
In the City of Buffalo, Mayor Byron Brown announced that six electronic signs have been placed in high-traffic areas to make sure that citizens are aware of the dangerously cold weather coming — something the mayor and the city were widely criticized for ahead of the December blizzard.
“One of the things that we heard is we need to look for even more ways to get that information out to the public,” Brown said. “These electronic signs are another way to get information out for people that might not see it on TV, might not hear it on the radio, might not be on social media, might not have access to computers."
Temperatures are expected to drop to zero with wind chills reaching -15 degrees — conditions that can cause frostbite to exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.
“There were too many tragic deaths associated with the blizzard in December, and quite a number of them were homeless individuals,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said. “There is a mechanism in place to help these individuals.”
In addition to the 14 warming centers in Buffalo, county outreach vans will pick up residents in need from all across the region to transport them to shelters in the city and the suburbs. The number to request a pick-up is 716-240-2220.
The County Executive does not expect to issue an official state of emergency but is still urging people tonight to use good judgment when making plans for the next two days.