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Storm resources: Hotlines, food and shelter

Amanda Robert
Buffalo Toronto Public Media
Clifford Street in Buffalo is covered in snow Monday, Dec. 26, 2022, following winter storm Elliott.

Here's a list of resources that can help you if you're in need as a result of the Buffalo blizzard.

911 — Use 911 for life-threatening emergencies, including life-threatening medical emergencies.

716-858-SNOW — The Erie County SNOW line is for requests for non-emergency medical assistance, including transportation to dialysis or cancer treatments, and delivery of critical, life-sustaining prescription medications like insulin. This line cannot provide medical advice. Please do not use this line to report unplowed streets, abandoned vehicles, or power outages.

211 —Non-emergency resources for storm recovery and connection to basic needs and human service agencies.

311 — City of Buffalo Municipal Helpline for up-to-date info on city response to the blizzard. It can also be used to report unplowed streets. It's answered 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the storm recovery, while it's normal hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

988 — National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for mental health and crisis support. It's available 24/7 nationwide.

If you need shelter or a warming center, call 211 for the most up to date options.


  • All Erie County offices are closed through at least Wednesday, Dec. 28. Essential workers will continue to respond to the weather emergency. The Jesse Nash Health Center at 608 William St. in Buffalo is also closed (includes Sexual Health, Family Planning, TB and Immunization Services, and COVID-19 testing and COVID-19 vaccine).
  • Buffalo City Hall is closed through at least Wednesday Dec. 28. Essential workers still must report to their workstations.
  • Buffalo Erie County Public Library, Buffalo Central and City Library branches, will be closed Wednesday, Dec. 28.
  • Erie County Sheriff's Office has canceled in-person visits through Saturday, Dec. 31, at the holding center and correctional facility due to travel bans-advisories and to assist with clean-up efforts
  • Check with your local food pantry or soup kitchen before traveling - many are closed due to the blizzard.
  • BestSelf Behavioral Health has all locations providing services. Clinics located in driving ban areas are closed to the public and are instead offering telehealth services. Call ahead to clinics outside of Buffalo to confirm appointment.
  • Buffalo Public School offices at all locations will be closed through Wednesday Dec. 28.
  • Child & Family Services will remain working remotely providing telehealth appointments through at least Thursday, Dec. 29. Essential employees in residential programs and maintenance should report to work. Friday, Dec. 30, is an agency holiday.
  • Northland Workforce Training Center will remain closed on Wednesday, Dec. 28.
  • The following Horizon locations are closed on Wednesday, Dec. 28: Hertel Elmwood Recovery Center, Bailey Recovery Center, Broadway Recovery Center and Union-Losson Recovery Center.
  • Visually Impaired Advancement will be closed through Wednesday, Dec. 28.


  • List of Tops Stores and their Open/Closed Status: https://www.topsmarkets.com/Blizzard22 
  • Wegmans have reopened. Be aware of New Year's Eve-Day closures. https://www.wegmans.com/stores/
  • Lexington Co-op - both stores have reopened - 12/27 - Hertel store closed at 5pm, Elmwood store will close at 9pm
  • Buffalo Dream Center Emergency Food Service, Wednesday, Dec. 28, from 3 to 5 p.m. at 286 Lafayette Ave., and 437 Masten Ave.
  • Old First Ward Center, 62 Republic St., 14204, free lunch Wednesday, Dec. 28, and Thursday, Dec. 29, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The food pantry open Thursday, Dec. 29, from 9 a.m. to noon.
  • Check with your local food pantry or soup kitchen before traveling - many are closed due to the blizzard.
  • National Grid Food Reimbursement. Customers who experience an electricity outage at their National Grid service address that lasts at least 72 hours are eligible to request reimbursement for loss of food and/or prescription medication. Request for reimbursement must be filed within 14 days of the 72-hour outage mark, regardless of current outrage status. More info and form here. Call 315-428-3370, or email foodloss@nationalgrid.com   
  • Little Free Pantry Finder. Small stand alone pantries that are available 24/7 and may or may not be stocked due to the storm.


  • Driving Ban continues in Buffalo, while a travel advisory remains in place for all of Erie County. See erie.gov for updates
  • NFTA Bus service is running limited service on routes 4, 8, 11, 24, 25, 34, 35, 40, 47, 48, 49, 50, 52, 55, 59 and Metro Rail: check for updates: https://metro.nfta.com/
  • NFTA PAL - Paratransit Access Line - is NOT running
  • Buffalo Niagara International Airport will remain closed until Wednesday 12/28 at 11am https://www.buffaloairport.com/
  • NITTEC - Niagara International Transportation Technology Coalition - https://www.nittec.org/ 
  • 511 NYS - current state highway information, includes NYS Thruway, 33, 290, etc.
  • Towed Vehicles https://www3.erie.gov/dpw/towed-vehicle-inventory 
  • Amherst, Clarence, and nearby areas are towing vehicles to ECC North
  • Cheektowaga is towing cars to the old Appletree Mall
  • Tonawanda - 716-879-6613 or 716-879-6614
  • Niagara Falls - call 716-286-4711
  • West Seneca - 716-674-2280



  • Crisis Services is available for phone counseling/support 24/7 at 716-834-3131 or 988
  • Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) regularly offers mental health support and treatment 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Call the Help Center at 716-898-1594 or schedule a virtual visit at: ECMC Virtual Help Center Visits.  

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