Prepare for Extreme Winter Weather

Massachusetts winter weather can vary considerably from year to year - sometimes even within a winter season. While winters are getting warmer and shorter because of climate change, a warmer atmosphere holds more moisture, which means heavier snowfalls are more likely to occur.

These events can be dangerous, but we can take action to be ready. Prepare now to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your home.

Emergency AlertSign Up for Alerts

Receiving advance warnings for severe weather, timely emergency alerts, and information during a disaster is critical to staying safe during an emergency. Learn about and sign up for local emergency alerts.

ChecklistMake a Plan to Stay Warm

Develop a plan with members of your household, and know where you will go if your home becomes too cold. You could go to a friend’s house or a local warming center, like the Morse Institute Library or Community Senior Center. 

Emergency KitGather Emergency Supplies

Make sure you have enough food, water, medicine, heating fuel, and warm clothing for everyone in your household before a winter storm. Stores might be closed, and it may be unsafe to travel. Organize your supplies into a Go-Kit (3 days of supplies you can carry with you if you need to leave home) and a Stay-at-Home Kit (at least 2 weeks of supplies).

PCar Winterrepare Your Vehicle for Winter Weather

Reliable transportation is especially important in the winter. Make sure your vehicle is working properly before heading out in the snow and pack a Winter Emergency Car Kit. A kit is important even for short trips. If you have an accident or breakdown, you may be waiting several hours in the cold for assistance. Visit mass.gov/winter-weather-driving for more information.

House IceWeather-proof Your Home (Inside and Out!)

Keep the cold out to save on heating and extend your fuel supply. Insulate walls and attics. Caulk and weatherize doors and windows. Install storm windows, or cover windows with plastic wrap. Sign up for a Mass Save Home Energy Assessment to qualify for 75-100% off insulation.

Take steps to prevent frozen water pipes. Locate and insulate pipes susceptible to freezing (near outer walls, crawl spaces, garages, attics). Disconnect hoses and shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets. Make sure you know how to shut off the water, in case pipes burst.

Remove dead or rotting trees and branches around your home that could fall and cause injury or damage.

Clear clogged rain gutters to allow water to flow away from your home. Melting snow and ice can build up if gutters are clogged with debris.

Have your chimney or flue inspected each year if you plan to use a fireplace or wood stove.