Currently, Rochester is experiencing a mixture of wintry precipitation and snow, which is solidifying into icy road conditions as well as slick sidewalks. Furthermore, as ice collects on power lines, they become weighed down and more likely to break. This is causing power outages that could potentially last for days. Therefore, it has generally been advised that Rochester residents prepare heavily for the winter storms, taking into mind not only the road conditions over the course of the storm, but also the items that they will need in order to stay safe at home.
Nonetheless, there are some individuals who will need to hit the road either because they are commuting to work or because they need to go in search of important winter weather supplies. Additionally, the added complication of the COVID-19 pandemic means that lots of people may need to visit the hospital during these winter storms. Waiting for an ambulance may not be as attractive an option as driving.
No matter what your reasons for driving, it’s important to take road conditions extremely seriously. Several inches of snow are expected during the latest winter storm in Rochester, as well as ice and slush. Every year, 1.25 million people die in road crashes. An additional 20 to 50 million people sustain injuries or permanent disabilities as the result of car crashes annually, and the reality is that the likelihood of being in a car crash can significantly rise when you drive during severe weather incidents.
How Can I Prepare for Winter Storms in Rochester?
Your first priority should be avoiding the roads completely. If you have time, make sure that you stock your house with necessary groceries before the storm hits. This is both because many grocery stores will likely close temporarily due to severe weather, and because reaching those that do stay open will be remarkably dangerous during and shortly after a winter storm.
Firstly, make sure that you have everything that you need in order to live for a few days without leaving the house. Make sure that you have food that you can prepare even if your home doesn’t have electricity for a few days, as well as lots of bottled water that can be used to drink and to bathe with if need be. Another thing that you should consider when preparing to avoid driving for a few days is arranging a first aid kit. But of course, you can’t necessarily avoid driving entirely during the winter storm. Therefore, you should also explore safe driving tips in order to ensure that you are as safe as possible, with as little likelihood of running afoul of bad conditions as possible.
What Should I Do to Be Safe When Driving During a Winter Storm?
If you have time to do so, you should first make sure that you have the right winter tires for your vehicle. Not every car is going to work with the most common types of winter tires. For example, in October 2014, there were 43,000 Subaru vehicles sold in the United States. However, not all of those Subarus will necessarily correspond to the same types of winter tires. Having the wrong types of winter tires is as bad as or worse than having no winter tires at all. Winter tires create the kind of traction that will keep your car from sliding on black ice, and in this sense, they’re incredibly important. Additionally, tire chains can further enhance your ability to drive during bad Rochester weather. You should carry them in your car, and when the roads are slick, use them.
Once you’re on the road, you need to make sure that you aren’t driving too quickly. The reality is that driving too quickly can be deadly when the roads are icy, and it’s not worth risking your life. With that in mind, you should also be careful and make sure that you don’t brake too quickly. Both braking and accelerating too quickly can cause your car to slide and spin out over the ice, sending you off the road. Even if you manage to stay on the road and in control of your car, braking and accelerating too quickly on the road can cause your car serious damage.
But then, there is also the possibility that your car will slide over the ice regardless of how careful you are. In that case, you need to make sure that you increase your following distance so that if your car does skid and slide, you have more time to course-correct before you collide into the vehicle in front of you. Keep this rule of thumb in mind: whatever the distance that you keep between yourself and the car ahead of you when you’re driving on dry pavement, you need to multiple that by 10 in order to be safe when driving over ice. You should also avoid trying to pass other cars, as you may be more likely to lose control when you do so. Additionally, passing other cars will put you in closer proximity to them, which is exactly what you’re trying to avoid. If other cars do attempt to pass you, you should very carefully steer towards the shoulder in order to give them more room.
In general, you should avoid driving at night, as this will obscure your vision and make it harder for you to tell when you’re dealing with ice. Additionally, you should check for ice around your windshield wipers. Even if your car’s thermometer reports temperatures above freezing, you shouldn’t trust them overly much.
While driving on these icy roads in Rochester may be hard to avoid, you need to do what you can to stay home. If you do need to drive, stay as careful as possible, and do everything you can to avoid a collision.
The COVID-19 has had far-ranging impacts on all aspects of life and the economy. With schools, restaurants, and gyms closed, perhaps permanently, life has been upended for millions.
Some of the most harrowing effects of this include things like divorce and increased drug use. Studies have shown that those who get regular physical activity are 30 percent less likely to get depression. However, the closure of gyms threatens even folks who would normally be quite active.
This can have cascading effects in all aspects of life, including marriages. Relationships are strained, sometimes leading to divorce in these troubled times.
It is often in the early stages of recovery when people are most likely to relapse. Folks trying to break addiction habits need support to have the best chance possible at staying sober.
However, getting support is complicated in times when people need to stay apart or risk spreading a deadly virus. With divorce up and gyms closed, people are more alone than ever and that poses a significant risk in terms of their odds of recovery.
A survey by The Recovery Village looked at 1,000 adult Americans and how often they were using drugs in the past month. Respondents reported having used alcohol, marijuana, prescription opioids, benzodiazepines like Xanax, cocaine, and prescription stimulants like Adderall.
It wasn’t just that people were using these substances, however. It was that they were using them more. The survey found that 55 percent of people reported using more alcohol in the past month, with 18 percent saying they used “significantly” more, and 36 percent reported increased use of illicit drugs.
Why were people turning to drugs? Over half of survey respondents said it was to deal with stress. Another 39 percent were bored and 32 percent said they were trying to manage mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.
All of this adds up to a dangerous situation, especially for recovering addicts. If they are experiencing additional stresses from the COVID-19 pandemic like divorce or financial trouble, they may be even more likely to relapse.
Using Health and Fitness to Combat Addiction
Luckily, there are some places trying to help. The Phoenix is a gym community with locations in 22 states. This gym specifically tries to help recovering addicts build a sober community so that they can stay on the right path and lead better lives.
Of course, this comes with some challenges during the pandemic. Due to restrictions, they are now offering things like live streaming and community challenges in lieu of in-person classes. They have national live streaming events as well as virtual programming based on location.
Even where in-person classes are allowed, they are sticking to regulations regarding social distancing and proper mask-wearing. All of this keeps their members safe while still allowing them to get the community and activity they need to be healthier and stay sober.
They strive to make this affordable by offering membership for the price of 48 hours of sobriety – that’s it. Beyond that, classes will vary in price depending on length, location, activity, and more.
No matter what your circumstances – from drug addiction to divorce to financial trouble – you can find something at the Phoenix to help. Maybe it is rock climbing. Maybe it’s community yoga. Maybe you have a stationary bike at home and can do cycling. The Journal of Public Health found in a study that cycling lowers premature mortality by up to 30 percent and lowers the risk of developing cardio-respiratory diseases by about 40 percent. However you choose to move your body, it can lead to great benefits for both your body and mind.
All of this adds up to a huge community impact. When someone is trying to cope with drug use, it can have a ripple effect in their life and even lead to things like divorce. That can suddenly make everything more complicated and stressful. In fact, more than 10 percent of couples say they divorced due to drinking or drug abuse.
Suddenly, you have to deal with divorce on top of substance abuse. Maybe you have real estate you have to untangle or custody to consider. All of this can be an incredibly heavy burden. It might sound strange to think that a gym could help, but the Phoenix aims to do just that. Those 48 hours of sobriety can start someone down a path that will change their life forever.
The gym has helped nearly 43,000 people in 22 different states try to regain their sobriety and their lives. The Phoenix faces additional challenges thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic but is still moving ahead with its mission through things like online classes and virtual community challenges.
This ability to keep a community together and supportive in tough times is a lifeline for many. Whether their main issue is drug use, divorce, financial trouble, or something else entirely, the Phoenix is a bright spot in a dark time.
There’s nothing quite like a lake effect snowstorm in Rochester. That’s why it’s important to think about the safety measures you can take before any major storms roll in this winter. Below are some tips to help you stay safe and healthy this winter season.
Get Your Car Checked
Before the winter weather gets worse, make sure that your car is ready for the winter. Every year, there is approximately 60 billion dollars of vehicle maintenance that isn’t done. While some of this maintenance might not seem necessary, it can mean that your car isn’t operating in its optimal state. If one part has to compensate for some sort of damage or disrepair, it’s possible that it could break or sustain damage more easily. If you’re driving in bad conditions, you want your car to be working the best that it possibly can, which is why regular maintenance is key.
Get a Designated Driver
One of the three most common car accident causes in the U.S. is drunk driving. If you are going somewhere and you know you will likely be consuming alcohol, you should make sure that you have a designated driver that will remain sober. If the weather is bad, it’s even more important that any driver on the road is alert and ready to respond quickly to anything that happens, like a patch of black ice.
Give Yourself Enough Travel Time
One of the other top three reasons for car accidents is speeding, so you should make sure that you’re giving yourself an adequate amount of travel time. If you’re speeding, you could lose control of your car more easily when the roads are bad due to severe weather. If you’re running late, it’s better to just accept that you’re late and not try to speed to your destination. If you get in an accident because you’re speeding or otherwise distracted while driving, you will be significantly later than if you went the speed limit and drove carefully. Arriving late is better than not arriving at all.
Have an Emergency Kit
Having an emergency kit in your car and your home is important for any time that there is bad weather. In your car, you should keep things like blankets, extra winter gear (hats, gloves, scarves, etc), hand warmers, snacks (like granola bars or trail mix), and a flashlight. These can be very useful if your car goes off the road. You don’t want to get too cold while you’re waiting for help, and these supplies can help keep you toasty and as happy as possible while you’re waiting for help to arrive.
In your home, you should keep an emergency kit just in case the power goes out. You should keep candles, matches, flashlights, extra batteries, portable chargers, and food that doesn’t need to be heated up to be eaten readily available in your home.
Salt or Sand Your Sidewalk and Driveway
Salt or sand are used to melt the snow and ice that cling to walkways in the winter, and it’s important to use them when the weather necessitates it. Once the temperature gets closer to ten degrees Fahrenheit, salt is no longer effective. Once it becomes that cold, sand can be used instead of salt. Instead of melting the ice and snow as salt does, sand adds traction to the existing snow and ice since it is no longer possible to easily melt the snow and ice. If you or someone in your household is one of the 6.8 million Americans that use assistive devices to help with mobility, it may be even more important to avoid having slippery walkways on your property.
Walk Like a Penguin
This may sound odd, but the University of Rochester recommends you “walk like a penguin” when you are on slippery ground. When you take small steps, you are less likely to lose your balance while you are walking on slippery ground. When you take larger steps and accidentally slip, you are less likely to be able to catch yourself. If it’s possible, doing a shuffle where you never fully take your feet off of the ground is also a good idea. Walking on a slippery walkway is another good time to not rush or try to go too fast — if you fall, you will at best be a little bit soggy and at worst could be seriously injured.
Any time that you’re going out into bad weather, you should make sure that you’re properly layering up for whatever the temperature is. If you know you’ll be outside for a longer period of time, like for a walk or a winter sport, in extremely cold weather, make sure that you’re wearing multiple layers of pants and shirts to ensure that you don’t get too cold while you’re outside. A day at Bristol is only fun if you’re not spending the entire time freezing. If you’re playing winter sports, make sure to take into consideration the heating and cooling effect of exercise on your layering choices.
For basic winter layering, make sure that you wear a hat, gloves, a scarf or other neckwarmer, and a thick coat. Adding in a base layer of long underwear or other thermal wear under your clothing is a good idea for truly cold weather since you can always take it off once you reach your destination.
Know the Signs of Hypothermia
If you or your family are spending time outdoors in the winter, make sure that you’re aware of the main symptoms of hypothermia, which the CDC has listed as:
Feeling exhausted or very tired.
If you notice someone near you exhibiting these symptoms, make sure that you immediately take them to a warmer place. Make sure to remove any wet clothing they have on, and seek to warm the core of their body immediately. Warm, non-alcoholic drinks can also be helpful in warming up someone suffering from hypothermia. If a person’s temperature is below 95 degrees, make sure to seek medical attention as quickly as possible.
The winter can be a dangerous time if you aren’t careful, and sometimes even if you take every precaution, accidents can happen. Make sure that you’re alerted and as prepared as possible for any winter-related problem, and you will have a great season.
Whether you’re a parent, a child, or simply young at heart, you might have toys on the brain during this time of year. Back in 1964, 94,000 pedal-powered toy Mustangs were purchased for children during the Christmas season. And while more than 50 years may have gone by, we’re still paying tribute to the toys that shaped our childhoods thanks to Rochester’s own Strong Museum of Play and its National Toy Hall of Fame.
Earlier this month, the renowned museum announced three new inductees into its National Toy Hall of Fame. Recognized for their popularity, creativity, and cultural impact, the 2020 honorees included sidewalk chalk, Jenga, and Baby Nancy — the first babydoll to have an afro hairstyle and other Black features.
Baby Nancy was a highlight for many, as she was the first doll created by California-based company Shindana Toys, which was launched by a not-for-profit organization called Operation Bootstrap, Inc. The organization as created as a means of self-help for the Black community following the Watts riots in Los Angeles. The doll soon became the best-selling Black doll in the city and quickly thereafter became a hit nationwide. Baby Nancy’s popularity showcased the demand for ethnically accurate Black dolls — and while Shindana Toys succumbed to financial issues in the 1980s, Strong Museum curator Michelle Parnett-Dwyer noted that Baby Nancy “still stands as a landmark doll that made commercial and cultural breakthroughs.”
Museum chief curator Christopher Bensch also acknowledged that recent events, both across the country and at home in Rochester, Baby Nancy’s new inductee status holds an even more significant meaning. “In the wake of protests, demonstrations and a larger understanding of racial inequities, it was time to recognize the breakthrough that was Baby Nancy,” he said.
Even if you didn’t own a Baby Nancy doll, however, you probably played with sidewalk chalk. While 90% of people believe the arts should be taught in grades K-12 and 2,721,786 students enroll in charter schools nationally every year, sidewalk chalk makes it easy for children (and adults, for that matter) to use their imagination and be creative with a unique artistic medium even outside of school.
Bensch explained, “There are few limits to what kids can do with chalk. Every sidewalk square, patio, and driveway holds the potential for a work of art, a winning game of strategy and cleverness, or a demonstration of physical agility, poise, and balance.”
And then there’s Jenga, a wildly popular yet simple wooden block game that derives its name for the Swahili word for “to build.” Created by UK resident Leslie Scott, Jenga can easily be played by anyone with no limit to the number of players. And while laws note that child support should be payable by a parent until a child turns 21, there’s no age limit on who can have fun with Jenga.
The 2020 National Hall of Fame inductees were chosen by a panel from 12 finalists that included games and toys like bingo, Lite-Brite, My Little Pony, Sorry!, Risk, Tamagotchi, Yahtzee, and others. The three newest inductees will be on permanent display at the National Toy Hall of Fame along with previous winners that have been displayed since 1998, when the Strong Museum launched the initiative. Nominations for new inductees are received year-round from anyone who wishes to recognize a particularly special toy or game.
After remaining closed for months during the start of the pandemic, The Strong Museum of Play has reopened to welcome guests back. Masks must be worn at all times and admission is limited to ensure safety. Whether you want to see the new inductees in person or appreciate all of the other exciting exhibits on display, it’s clear the Strong will continue to play an important role as a Rochester treasure — even in the midst of our current crisis.
I have always had an affinity for the mansions on east avenue, which is why I jumped at the opportunity to tour, video tape and photograph the house at 935 East Ave. While it has been used as offices since the 1950’s, they maintained much of the original character of the house. Many of the mansions on East Avenue have been converted into apartments, condos or offices. While the outsides have mostly maintained their original appearances, the insides have been divided, and even in one building I have been in, they have covered or painted woodwork and used office ceiling tiles. Some have even had “additions” attached. There are still a few that remain single-family residences though.
All across the U.S., COVID-19 is having unparalleled and unexpected effects on housing sales. In spite of expectations, sales are booming. Traffic on mobile applications like Zillow and websites like Realtor.com is up by up to 50% in nearly all markets, according to Forbes, and a growing number of Americans are buying their first homes or purchasing more spacious and more expensive ones.
There are so many great businesses in the Rochester area. Many of these companies have been struggling since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are still things that can be done to end the year on a high note and increase productivity, worker happiness, and revenue for the future!
Here are some awesome tips for Roc business owners looking to improve their organization:
There’s no doubt that the pandemic has severely impacted the way we live. From how we run errands to the way we work and learn, the threat of COVID-19 remains constant. And while the average American life expectancy is 78 years, our current national crisis indicates that if we don’t get things under control, we could experience thousands — if not millions — of lives being cut short.
But aside from the coronavirus’s impact on our survival rates, it’s also had major effects on the way we socialize and have fun. With the continued need to wear masks, practice social distancing, and reduce the inherent risks associated with public places, it’s no wonder that many of us are wondering whether we’ll ever really be permitted to have fun in a worry-free way again. Although Florida attracts more than 100 million visitors each year, the majority of New Yorkers need to stay put (and away from national hot spots) in order to reduce their risks.
With that in mind, you might be stuck in the area for the foreseeable future. And as the seasons change, what exactly can you do for fun? You might be pleasantly surprised with the fall activities that are still going on — with restrictions in place — in the greater Rochester area.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the finances of families everywhere, causing record-setting unemployment rates and the shuttering of many local businesses. Strangely enough, the real estate market in Rochester hasn’t been taking hits like many of the other sectors of the economy. In fact, Rochester real estate is downright hot right now.
Not only did realtor.com rank the Rochester area zip code 14617, which includes West Irondequoit, number three on their list of the 10 hottest zip codes in the United States, but houses across the area are flying off the market almost as soon as they hit it. Buyers have been in a frenzy to snatch up a home in Rochester, with houses getting multiple offers within hours of going on the market. According to Tysharda Thomas, Realtor at New 2 U Homes, homes have been selling for $10,000 to $50,000 above list price.
New Yorkers are no stranger to the stress that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on our shoulders. It’s officially been five months since Governor Cuomo enacted the “New York State On Pause” executive order and social distancing guidelines are still in place. As such, many workers are still performing the ins and outs of the daily grind from the comfort — and stress — of their own home.
As we enter the sixth month of quarantine measures, some businesses have allowed employees to reenter the office. Regardless, countless small offices have refused to let their employees bump elbows for the time being. Even though many people have begun to accept the trials and tribulations of remote work, that doesn’t mean that staying focused has become any easier.
Why has it been so hard to stay focused as we continue to work remotely?
In order to stay healthy, adults should try to achieve at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week. However, that hasn’t been easy to do over the last six months. Due to concerns pertaining to the coronavirus pandemic, gyms and health clubs throughout the New York State are staying closed. But while many of those facilities will eventually reopen, there are two community mainstays that have been forced to shut their doors for good.
The legendary pioneer photography company Kodak in Rochester is developing a fresh new role in another industry. The company is tapping into the $4.2 trillion global wellness industry to produce pharmaceutical ingredients. However, there are developments that could delay the company’s future plans to reinvent itself. Here’s more on how Kodak is making international waves once again.
The weather is finally getting nicer so it’s time to put the video game controller down, gather up the family, and do something fun! Here are some great ways to kill time and have a blast around the great city we call Rochester…
According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHSA), there are approximately 1.5 million deer-related car accidents annually, leading to 175 to 200 fatalities each year. Of course, this number pales in comparison to the number of human pedestrians killed in traffic accidents each year (4,700), but in certain areas of the country, deer collisions are a real threat.
Clearly, the coronavirus has changed the world. There isn’t a person in the United States that has not been drastically affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Thousands of people have lost their lives, millions of people have lost their jobs, and virtually every single person is riddled with severe anxiety over the last few months.
Hopefully things are starting to return to at least somewhat normal, especially as phases one through four begin opening. But it’s imperative that every Rochester citizen remains vigilant and focusing on preventing the spread of this deadly virus.
Here are some important aspects to pay attention to as we reach the later months of the COVID-19 pandemic…
There isn’t an individual in the U.S. that hasn’t been affected by the coronavirus in some way or another. Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their lives, tens of millions of people have lost their jobs. And literally every single person in the country has been dealing with unprecedented levels of anxiety and fear.
Things are scary. That might be the understatement of 2020 — but they can and will get better. It’s just on us to do everything we can to better ourselves, our communities, and our world.
In Rochester and abroad, it starts with maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
During quarantine, it’s easy to slip into a funk and waste away your day eating junk food, watching 8 hours of Netflix, and including in some other unhealthy habits. Donuts and Netflix every once in a while is not a bad thing — in fact, it’s downright necessary. But you can’t do that too often because your health will be in serious jeopardy. You have to do everything you can to stay healthy so you can fight off any viruses and so you’re in a good mental state to get back to work and start building your future.
Here are some great tips for staying healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic and in the days, weeks, and months following…
During Governor Cuomo’s daily briefing at Rochester Regional Health in Irondequoit on Monday May 11, he announced that the Finger Lakes region — which includes Monroe County — is among those that have met the necessary criteria to reopen amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Cuomo’s “New York on Pause” order, which mandated that all non-essential businesses close their physical locations and all individuals only leave their homes for trips to the grocery store and other essential needs, goes through May 15. Any region that has met certain criteria can start to reopen after that date, while regions that have not met the criteria will see an extension of the stay-at-home orders through June 1.
There is no getting around it: COVID-19 continues to have a significant impact on local businesses. A great deal of uncertainty surrounds the virus, leaving many questions unanswered. What does the future look like for essential and non-essential businesses? When will things return to “normal?” Is it possible to fully return to the normal we once knew?
Several businesses are taking action into their own hands, not sitting idly by or waiting around for answers. Here are just a few things businesses are doing in a stirring show of perseverance, strength, and solidarity during these uncertain times.
Just a few short months ago, Wegmans made headlines for its willingness to lead the charge ahead of the statewide plastic bag ban. While annual polyethylene production clocks in at around 80 million tons worldwide, the popular grocery store chain was willing to be the first to tell its customers they’d need to make the switch to reusable or paper bags instead.
But now, Rochester’s hometown supermarket is being subjected to even more pressure to our rapidly changing world. As COVID-19 continues to impact thousands of Flower City residents, Wegmans is evolving almost as quickly as new cases are confirmed.
After the Erie Canal was rerouted south of downtown Rochester, the Rochester
Industrial & Rapid Transit Railway (the subway) was built in
its place as a link between the five different railroads and interurban trolley
lines that served the Rochester area. As the industrial landscape of Rochester
changed, and highways replaced the railroads, the Rochester subway gradually
became a relic of a bygone era. In 1956 the subway was abandoned and much of
its route was converted into Interstate 490 built to connect Rochester
with the New York State Thruway (I-90). Read more about the history of the Rochester Subway.
RochesterSubway.com exists to help spark
public dialogue around how we can better connect the neighborhoods of Rochester
NY, surrounding communities, and their cultural offerings. Rochesters
future is written in her past. Let's rediscover it.