AAA and utility crews prepare for bone chilling cold in WNY

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — “The day after day of cold temperatures is one of the worst things for your vehicle and for your battery,” said Elizabeth Carey, AAA Public Relations Director.

Crews at AAA have been working around the clock responding to more than double the calls for things like dead car batteries due to the bone chilling cold.

“In a typical January day we’d see about 600 calls for roadside assistance. Yesterday we saw well over a thousand calls,” said Carey.

Car batteries die faster in subzero temperatures.

“Stay prepared. We know the cold weather is coming, if you’re going to be traveling make sure you have an emergency kit in your car,” said Mark Mika, AAA ERS External Operations Manager.

“With that pile up on the 90 earlier this week a lot of people realized what it was like to be stranded in their car for a long period of time so that’s why we remind everyone to pack some warm clothes in the car, a blanket,” said Carey.

Utility crews across the region are also gearing up for another wintry blast.

“Additional crews will be brought into service today, tomorrow and throughout the weekend in the event that they are needed. This extreme weather means our delivery system will need to work even harder,” said Karen Merkel, National Fuel spokesperson.

Extra NYSEF crews are on standby, ready to handle any potential power outages.

NYSEG has the following tips for customers with generators:

-Hire a license electrician to install generators

-Never run a generator indoors.

-Do not store fuel indoors.

-Do not try to refuel a generator while it’s running.

National Fuel also has a reminder for customers ,”Anytime that we have ice and snow we recommend to our customers and remind them to keep their furnace vents and their gas meters clear of ice and snow,” said Merkel.

In subzero temperatures you want to be careful about leaving things in your car, like your cell phone. It can stop working in the extreme cold. The other thing you want to make sure you don’t leave in your car is pop. Water expands when it freezes and that means you could come back to a big mess in your car because a can of pop could explode.

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