Lessons Learned from the Buffalo Blizzard

In December 2022, the City of Buffalo in Erie County, New York experienced a “generational storm” that claimed the lives of 31 residents and brought activity to a standstill for nearly a week. Mayor Byron Brown commissioned the NYU Wagner School to conduct an analysis of the storm’s impacts and to identify actionable solutions aimed at improving preparation and recovery, and reducing loss of life and property in the future. 

A research team of nine individuals including C2SMART Director Kaan Ozbay, Rudin Center Interim Director Sarah Kaufman, and additional advisors focused on and investigated four primary areas of impact:
  • Roads: How disastrous road conditions and insufficient snow removal resources impeded the storm response and recovery
  • Utilities: How power losses affected residents and city operations
  • Communications: How warnings and emergency messages were communicated to the public
  • Equity: How the storm exacerbated existing inequities in the city of Buffalo

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