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Storm Clouds
Mitigate & Adapt: Extreme Storm Events

In response to the County-wide, crippling Blizzard of December 2022  

that took the lives of 46 people,  Erie County commissioners 

and department heads reviewed actions taken during the event. 

Recommendations  include the following:

Erie County Blizzard Analysis-

  • The purchase of additional heavy-duty snow-clearing equipment, including high lifts and industrial snow blowers.

  • The purchase of additional tracked rescue vehicles and related equipment to transport medical patients and other individuals.

  • Contracting with the University at Albany’s Center of Excellence in Weather & Climate AnalyticsCenter to develop a blizzard rating system and to provide the county with weather analysis from the NYS Mesonet system.

  • Developing MOUs with area snowmobile clubs to utilize their tracked trail groomer vehicles.

  • New policy to more aggressively use the  IPAWS system (FEMA's Integrated Public Alert & Warning System.

  • Policy to increase pre-emptive driving bans.

  • Plan to pre-position more high lifts in the City of Buffalo to open up critical corridors to hospitals downtown.

  • Plan to pre-position high lifts with fire companies.

  • Task-force model to team up ambulances with tracked vehicles to get to patients in extreme conditions.

  • National Grid has agreed to add tarp and bolt systems to substations to keep blowing ice and snow from damaging its systems and is stationing more torpedo heaters at substations.

  • Tasked the Deputy County Executive to lead efforts to improve emergency preparedness in underserved communities including the distribution of emergency preparedness kits and offering emergency preparedness classes in conjunction with the NYS Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.

Town of Aurora

Emergency Shelter

. The Town of Aurora Senior Center is an emergency shelter for the Town of Aurora.  It is equipped with a generator and will be open during emergencies.

Town of Aurora

Emergency Management

Town of Aurora

Highway Department-

In the winter the Highway Department plows and salts all town roads and approximately 70 miles of Erie County roads per contract with the county.  CLICK HERE for a list of all town roads, and CLICK HERE for a list of county roads the town is contracted to plow. 

Town of Aurora 

Emergency Alert System-

The Town of Aurora has instituted a new rapid emergency and general notification service called CodeRED as a proactive tool to keep our residents informed in emergency situations. Sign up below today. It could save a life! 

                                                        Be Weather Aware and Prepare! 

The National Weather Service (NWS) at issues severe weather advisories by region

including heat index forecasts, freeze watches, warnings, and frost advisories.

Electric Grid Resilience 

As witnessed recently during the historic Blizzard of 2022, our community is vulnerable to severe

winter storms that can cause power outages during extremely cold temperatures. This magnifies

the impact on residents and the economy from these storms as well as extreme storm events

throughout all four seasons.  Erie County's Climate Action Plan affirms that electrification

is an important strategy to mitigate climate change. It is also important to develop strategies to 

increase resilience during power outages, such as installing back-up power systems for critical facilities. 

(Source: Erie County Climate Action Plan)

Solar Panels


  • Town of Aurora Solar Law-  The Aurora Town Board has recently passed laws to permit residential, commercial, and utility-scale solar energy systems.  Read the law here. 

  • West Falls Community Library Solar- A current application for NY Forward funding would allow the West Falls Community Library to be modernized to improve energy efficiency with the goal of being fully operated by solar. Read more about the plan here! 

  • Town of Aurora Community Solar- Stay tuned! We'll be announcing exciting opportunities for Community Solar in our town for 2024! 

For more information on building resilience to storms & severe weather events through electrification we recommend the following links

Additional resilience recommendations from Erie County

are illustrated in the following chart:


Tree health and tree replacement when necessary, are key to maintaining a storm resistant tree canopy. The Village of East Aurora Tree Board's mission is to protect and improve East Aurora's Village trees, specifically along the streets and within parks and other public areas. They're on a mission to plant 10,000 new trees! The Board's tasks also encompass the following:

  1. Provide advice and consider tree-related issues as they arise in the Village.

  2. Participate in the National Arbor Day Foundation's Tree City USA program, including an Annual Arbor Day Celebration along with the East Aurora public schools. East Aurora has been designated as a Tree City USA since 1998!

  3. Educate tree board members, Village staff, Village leaders and members of the public about the value of community trees and their care. Tree Board members try to stay abreast of the most current research in urban forestry.

  4. Assist the EA Department of Public Works in maintaining the Village tree inventory, addressing yearly tree plantings, maintenance and removals.

  5. Help maintain adequate funding for Village forestry programs.

  6. Organize occasional programs and projects that protect and improve Village trees.

   Choose trees that will withstand the challenges of our changing climate  

Extreme Storms: Challenges
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