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Storm Information

Snow Alert Western NY- November 18, 2022

  • DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officers, Forest Rangers, Emergency Management staff and regional staff are on alert and monitoring the developing situation and actively patrolling areas and infrastructure impacted by severe weather. DEC is coordinating resource deployment with agency partners and all available assets are positioned to assist with any emergency response.
  • Due to expected inclement weather conditions, DEC facilities may be closed or have restricted access during and after the storm.
  • Backcountry users to be aware of and prepared for winter conditions. Winter hiking safety and preparedness are extremely important no matter your physical ability or destination. Properly preparing for winter conditions is essential for a more enjoyable and safer experience.
  • DEC reminds those responsible for the large-scale removal and disposal of snow to follow best management practices (PDF) to help prevent flooding and reduce the potential for pollutants like salt, sand, oils, trash and other debris in snow from affecting water quality. Disposal of snow in local creeks and streams can create ice dams which may cause flooding in nearby areas. Public and private snow removal operators should be aware of these safety issues during and after the storm.

Special Storm Alert for Western NY Hunters

DEC encourages hunters taking part in the opening weekend of New York's Southern Zone big game season to take extra precautions during this weekend's storm.

Be Prepared:

  • If local weather advisories suggest staying home and off the roads, stay home;
  • Plan and be familiar with maps/directions. Remember that many hunting areas will not have cell coverage;
  • Check weather and travel conditions along your route and at your destination. Snow bands can cause dramatic changes in conditions. Allow yourself extra time for travel;
  • Communicate your travel plans to others. Let them know your route, your specific destination, and arrival time;
  • Clear snow and ice from all vehicle windows, lights, mirrors, wipers, and roof;
  • Allow the fog to clear from the interior of the windows so you will have good visibility all around;
  • Check your tires, lights, heater/defroster, and wipers;
  • Make sure you have sufficient windshield wiper fluid;
  • Keep the gas tank at least half full to help ensure adequate supply should you become stuck in traffic and will also prevent gas lines from freezing;
  • Bring enough food, water, and supplies if the storm prevents travel home;
  • Carry a light source even if you do not plan on being outside in the dark, as it gets dark early this time of year; and
  • Put extra clothing in your vehicle. If you get wet while hunting, you can change into dry clothing.

In the Field:

  • Wear fluorescent orange or pink;
  • Dress in layers;
  • Use caution when hunting from a tree stand. Wear a full-body harness and stay connected from the time you leave the ground to the time you get back down;
  • If you fall while carrying your firearm, make sure your safety is on, unload your firearm, and clear any obstructions from your barrel before reloading and continuing your hunt;
  • Be sure of your target and beyond, especially if wind and snow limit visibility. More information about hunting safety here;
  • Know your limits. Trekking through deep snow and dragging your harvest out of the field is physically demanding. Adjust accordingly to reflect conditions and health constraints; and
  • Additional tips for hiking into the backcountry during winter here.

On the Road:

  • When snow and/or ice are falling, visibility is critical; drive with headlights on - it's the law;
  • Remember that it takes longer to stop on a slippery road. Allow adequate spacing between yourself and the vehicle in front of you;
  • Avoid abrupt actions while steering, braking, or accelerating to lessen the chances of losing control of the vehicle; and
  • Drive slowly. You may think you can drive fast in the snow, but stopping and maneuvering adequately at high speeds are much more difficult.


  • Park in designated areas and/or be sure your car is fully off of main roadways to allow plows to clear roads and prevent accidents; and
  • Leave a note in the car to help first responders know you parked intentionally to hunt and are not just stranded from the snow.

Get Notified with NY-Alert

NY-Alert warns citizens of critical information and emergencies and provides timely information to protect lives. Warnings and emergency information can be directed to a phone call, email, text message or fax. Visit for more information.

Flooding Safety Tips

  • DO NOT attempt to drive over a flooded road. Turn around and go another way.
  • DO NOT underestimate the destructive power of fast-moving water. Two feet of fast-moving flood water will float your car. Water moving at two miles per hour can sweep cars off a road or bridge.
  • Leave early to avoid being marooned on flooded roads.
  • Follow recommended routes. DO NOT ignore emergency detours to view flooded areas.
  • As you travel, monitor NOAA Weather Radio and local radio broadcasts for the latest information.
  • Watch for washed-out roads, earth-slides, broken water or sewer mains, loose or downed electrical wires, and falling or fallen objects.
  • Watch for areas where rivers or streams may suddenly rise and flood, such as highway dips, bridges, and low areas.
  • If you are in your car and water begins to rise rapidly around you, abandon the vehicle immediately.

For more safety tips for all types of weather events, visit the DHSES website.