Heavy Snow and Blizzard Conditions

Stay ahead of winter storms, our comprehensive guide equips you with essential tips and resources to stay safe during any winter storms.  Be ready, be safe. Explore now.


Before a Winter Storm 

  1. Sign up for Emergency Alerts from the Town of Needham. 
  2. Ensure your vehicle is ready for safe winter driving. Keep the gas tank at least half-full, have a Winter Emergency Car Kit in the trunk, and make sure all parts of vehicle are ready for winter: wipers, tires, etc. 
  3. Build an emergency kit for disasters that contains items that will sustain you & your family's specific needs if you are not able to leave your home.
  4. Ensure your home is ready for winter. Remove dead or rotting trees and branches around your home that could fall and cause injury or damage. Ensure your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working and have fresh batteries. 
  5. Be a good neighbor. Ask elderly neighbors or neighbors with disabilities if they would like your assistance with preparing. 
  6. Prepare for power outages by charging cell phones and electronics and setting your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings. If you use electricity to get well water, fill your bathtub with water to use for flushing toilets.  

During a Winter Storm  

  1. Drivers are encouraged to stay off the road if they can during the storm. If you must travel, clear snow off your vehicle, maintain a safe distance, take it slow, give yourself extra time & #DontCrowdThePlow. 
  2. Stay inside if possible, during the storm when conditions may be dangerous. If you are outside, watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia. 
  3. Be careful when shoveling, especially heavy, wet snow & take frequent breaks. Over-exertion can be dangerous.  

After a Winter Storm  

  1. If you are able, please help public safety officials by shoveling out the nearest fire hydrant to your home or business. 
  2. Protect you and your family from Carbon Monoxide after the storm. Shovel away snow from exhaust vents around your home, clear your vehicle's tailpipe before starting your car and ensure working CO detectors. 
  3. Stay away from downed utility wires. Always assume a downed power line is live.  
  4. If your power is out, follow these power outage safety tips.  
    • Report power outages to your utility company. 
    • Use generators and grills outside because their fumes contain carbon monoxide. Make sure your carbon monoxide detectors are working as it is a silent, odorless, killer. See more Generator Safety Tips.  

  5. Check with your local authorities or call 2-1-1 to find locations of warming centers or shelters near you or for other storm-related questions.  
  6. Be a good neighbor. Check on family, friends, and neighbors, especially the elderly, those who live alone, those with medical conditions and those who may need additional assistance.  

Winter Weather Preparedness for People with Access/Functional Needs  

  1. Create an emergency kit tailored to your needs: medications, medical supplies, mobility aids, batteries, etc. Don’t forget a communication plan!  
  2. Stay informed! Follow local authorities for updates and evacuation orders. Use accessible sources for information.  
  3. Register with your local emergency management agency to receive assistance during evacuations and sheltering.  
  4. Notify neighbors, friends, and family about your situation and emergency plan. Stay connected for support and updates.  

Additional Resources

Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA)
MEMA: Extreme Cold Safety Tips
Center for Disease Control:  Indoor Safety During and After a Storm
Mass. Dept. of Fire Services: Winter Home Heating Safety Tips