The National Weather Service has set aside this last week of October as Winter Weather Awareness week across New York State.  As we're expecting our first dusting of snow, the timing is right on.

Upstate New York locations from Buffalo to Old Forge have legendary winters with plenty of windy, cold blizzards causing snow to pile up and roads to ice.

Did you know that not all major snow storms are technically blizzards?

To be a blizzard, a storm must contain wind gusts of 35 miles-per-hour or great for 3 hours combined with intense snowfall and limit visibility to a quarter-mile or less.

Another winter hazard we deal with is lake effect snow.  Only a few areas of the country experience lake effect.   Only those areas on the downwind side of the great lakes experience lake effect.  Lake effect is caused by cold air masses moving over a relatively warmer lake.

To keep yourself and your family safe during winter the National Weather Service recommends:

• Battery-powered NOAA Weather Radio and
portable radio to receive emergency information.
• Extra food and water – at least a 3 day supply.
• Extra medicine and baby items.
• First-aid supplies.
• Heating fuel.
• Emergency heating source, such as a fireplace,
wood stove, space heater, etc.
• Fire extinguisher and smoke detector.
• Flashlight and extra batteries.