Just about one year ago, the United States was hit with a massive snowstorm that impacted nearly 50% of the country. That storm, named Winter Storm Elliott, left a terrible mark on the nation as it caused more than 50 deaths across the country.

The devastation left by the storm was felt the hardest right here in Western New York, as more than half of the deaths happened right here in the 716. Most of the people who died lost their lives due to emergency personnel not being able to get to them in enough time to rescue them.

City, County, and State officials received a lot of criticism from the public for how prepared first responders were to deal with the once-in-a-lifetime storm. Government officials took some of those comments and have taken steps to be better prepared if another terrible storm hits Buffalo again.

The City of Buffalo Acquires Several UTVs For Winter Rescues

As Buffalo took the brunt of the storm as the blizzard left snow drifts more than 8 feet tall across the city.

To help make sure they're better prepared, the City has acquired a fleet of Utility Terrain Vehicles, or UTVs. According to Nationwide Insurance, UTVs are large, powerful all-terrain vehicles that able to seat passengers side by side, and built with lots of storage space, that commonly used to haul equipment and supplies in locations that make using a truck impractical or impossible.

Local governments in Buffalo and Western New York did not have many of these types of vehicles, so when roads became impassable, they were unable to do much of anything to rescue people. New York State has a few, but even state officials weren't able to provide much assistance as conditions worsened.

The vehicles will be available for emergency rescue conditions, along with other situations where they may be useful.

Here Are A Few Things To Do To Get Ready For A Winter Snowstorm

Before the winter weather in New York starts getting bad, here are a few steps that you can take right now to make sure you're ready to ride out the weather.

Gallery Credit: Ed Nice

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Buffalo Blizzard of 2022

Various Photos from around Buffalo and Western New York during and after Winter Storm Elliott brought a cyclone bomb to the area.

Gallery Credit: Ed Nice

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