BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — With snow on the way, everyone is getting prepared for the storm, including Erie County’s Public Works Department. They say they will have plenty of plows to clear about 600 mile of roadway during the storm. Some Western New Yorkers say they are ready for anything.

“I’m going to be prepared. I have the big shovels. I have the big snow blowers. So I’m ready,” Lawrence Bell of Buffalo said.

The weather outside could be frightful on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Forecasts predict significant lake effect snow for parts of Erie County and the surrounding area. High winds are also a factor. Erie County DPW says they have 30 trucks with 70 drivers to go in shifts.

“We want to make sure we have everything ready and that we get our staff well rested. And it’s going to be a big ask for them, but nothing that they haven’t been up against before,” Bill Geary, Erie County Department of Public Works Commissioner, said.

The county says they approximately 15,000 tons of rock salt on hand for the season. They also say there is no supply chain shortage, as they source their salt locally from Mount Morris, N.Y.

Many local stores have shovels, salt and snow brushes in stock, but they don’t expect a flurry of shoppers just yet.

“Buffalonians just wait and see. But [we’ve sold] a few more, a few shovels, a few bags of salt,” Dan Japadjief, manager and part-owner of Dibble True Value, told News 4.

Many Western New Yorkers are preparing their snow blowers early. Bell was at True Value repairing his spark plug ahead of the storm.

“Don’t wait because when you wait and you’re going to take it to the shop there’s a backup,” Bell added.

In terms of home preparations, Japadjief suggests keeping air vents clear of snow.

“You want to make sure your vent covers are open for your exhaust for like your dryer, you don’t want those to be blocked up because then you could get carbon monoxide inside. But other than that pile it where you can,” Japadjief said.

Snow is inevitable in Western New York, but planning ahead is key.

“Don’t panic. When it comes just be prepared and if you don’t have nobody to shovel your snow, reach out to your cousins, your nephews, your grandkids who can help you,” Bell said.

The best advice from Commissioner Geary is to stay off of the roads if you can so that crews can make their way through your neck of the woods safely. If you do have to be out on the roads, make sure you have a snow brush and a small emergency kit with you.

“Be prepared for the conditions you’re going in. Especially in a lake effect event, you could be driving and it could be clear and a million and then go right into a white out and conditions can change rapidly,” Geary concluded.

Also, Commissioner Geary says don’t crowd the plows on the road and keep a safe following distance.

Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a reporter in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.