The 2014-15 winter season kicked off to a robust start as the Buffalo area recorded more than 50 inches of snow Tuesday-Wednesday, with up to another 24 inches predicted over the next few days.
How does one handle extreme snowfall like the storm Western New York is experiencing? The Snow & Ice Management Association, the North American organization representing snow management professionals that clear snow and ice, has this advice.
"The snow storm in Buffalo is a good reminder about the dangers of snow and ice," said Martin B. Tirado, SIMA CEO. "Venturing out during a significant snowstorm increases the chance of having a car accident, getting stranded in your car, falling and breaking a bone, or suffering from frostbite. Just stay home."
To stay safe during an extreme snow event, SIMA has these tips:
Tip No. 1: Check the weather reports. Listen to news stations and visit news websites to hear about local road conditions before leaving home. Pay careful attention to what roads are impassable and plan another route. If the roads are hazardous or closed, take heed and stay home.
Tip No. 2: Be prepared. Like the Boy/Girl Scouts, be prepared for hazardous weather. Have an ice scraper and brush in your car - not in the trunk, as snow may make it difficult to open the trunk. Have a full tank of gas; check the tire pressure, battery and oil. Wear the proper clothing - boots, gloves, hats, scarves, etc. - and take extra clothes. Charge your cell phone before leaving home and take a car charger. Carry a safe winter car kit containing items such as kitty litter, rock salt, a shovel, a blanket, flares and water.
Tip No. 3: No need for speed. Slow down. The time you need to stop and the possibility of sliding on ice increases when it starts to snow or when freezing conditions persist.
Tip No. 4: Stay back. Make sure you remain a safe distance away from snow removal equipment. While the strong lights on the snow removal equipment should allow the professional to see you, these lights can be blinding if they are behind you. In addition, some trucks may be spreading salt, further blocking your ability to see.
Following these tips from SIMA will help ensure you survive whatever this winter brings your way. For more snow and ice removal tips, visit www.sima.org.