Originally published in Bee Newspapers

January 2, 2019

As we move through winter and even into the early spring, there will always be a possibility of snow accumulation.

If you have a plow service clearing snow from your driveway or property, be sure the contractor does not deposit excess snow in the street, on a neighbor’s property or in an area that blocks pedestrian access to sidewalks.

Each week, Clarence police reports indicate an abundance of neighbor issues caused by snow being piled in unnecessary or illegal places. A resident shouldn’t have to deal with more snow on his or her property because of the negligence of a neighbor’s snowplow service.

Also of importance: If you observe a snowplow service damaging property, get the vehicle’s license plate number and call the police. Do not attempt to confront the plow driver yourself. Stay in your house and allow a police officer to sort out the situation. Additionally, Erie County residents have access to a phone app that can provide information related to emergencies, such as in the instances of heavy snowfalls and road closings. ReadyErie is a free smartphone or tablet app that allows users to do a number of things, such as receive critical information and emergency alerts through push notifications, locate Erie County’s emergency shelters, view up-to-date evacuation route maps and create a personalized Emergency Preparedness Plan. ReadyErie gives users the information they need when they need it, helping them respond to emergencies in a safe and organized manner.

According to Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, users who create a personalized Emergency Management Plan can store the plan on their device and share it with family and friends. Every individual’s plan includes an emergency supply kit checklist tailored to his or her needs; a customized emergency food supply shopping list; an emergency communications plan to notify loved ones of the individual’s status; and information to prepare the person’s home for impending disaster.

Being prepared with in this way can avoid the potential of scrambling in the case of an actual emergency and can mitigate the stresses that result from such situations. Sitting down with family members to discuss plans can also be a helpful endeavor.

ReadyErie is free, is easy to download for Apple or Android devices and is a great way to keep you and your loved ones safe in an emergency. The app can be downloaded at the county’s website, www.erie.gov.