As Buffalo prepares for its first big snowfall, the The International Institute of Buffalo (IIB) is ensuring that refugees and immigrants are equally prepared as seasoned Buffalonians. After all, many of these immigrants have never seen a snowfall, which means that they don’t know the drill. Who is responsible for shoveling sidewalks? How does one dress for the snow? What is a snow day? There are a lot of questions, and all of the answers can be found written in English, which can be very problematic.
In order to catch our new American neighbors up to speed, IIB has translated a handy-dandy “Be Prepared for Winter Weather” check list of sorts, into a number of languages, including Burmese, Dari, Somali, Swahili, and Pashto.
The PDFs are essentially Winter Weather Preparedness guidelines that will help immigrants and refugees to better navigate the unknowns of snowy conditions.
“For many of our immigrant, refugee, and asylee neighbors, this season will be their first experience with winter weather,” said Jennifer Rizzo-Choi, executive director of the International Institute of Buffalo. “While many have some facility with English, we want to ensure they have this vital information in a way they can easily understand so they stay warm and safe this winter.”
WNY residents are being asked to share this information via word-of-mouth, social media, and/or with schools, churches, libraries, and clubs.
The hope is that this online information will help immigrants or refugees, living in any city that experiences snowfalls, not just Buffalo. While many people are busy preparing for some significant snow coming our way, there are others who aren’t quite sure what to expect. This new multilingual guide should be a welcome relief for these first-timers.
The information can be found on the International Institute of Buffalo website at iibuffalo.org/snow.