Published On: Wed, Dec 7th, 2016

Winter Safety Tips

While Massachusetts winters mean skiing, ice skating, and scenic views across the state, they can also bring extreme cold and severe winter storms.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA)Department of Fire Services (DFS)Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), and the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) provide tips to help Massachusetts residents get through the harsh winter months safely.

  1. Winterize Your Home — Keep your family safe by protecting your home from heating fires and taking steps to prepare before a winter storm hits, such as insulating windows and having your furnace checked by a licensed professional. Make sure all of the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in your home are working. Trim dead tree branches and limbs that may fall off in strong winds and damage your house or nearby power lines. Once a storm has passed, make sure you know how to remove snow safely from rooftops.
  2. Drive SafelyPrepare your vehicle for winter driving, and follow MassDOT’s winter driving tips to stay safe on the road. Keep a winter emergency car kit in your vehicle, and stay up to date with traffic advisories on current road conditions during storms. Remember, it’s always better to avoid driving in extreme weather if possible.
  3. Prepare for a Blizzard — Build a home emergency kit with supplies like canned goods and flashlights in case you can’t leave your home or experience a power outage during a winter storm. Customize your kit for your family, and make sure you account for family members with special medical needs.
  4. Protect Your Pets — Keep your pets indoors when possible during the winter. If you do take them outside, keep them safe by following MEMA’s winter pet safety tips. Don’t forget to include your pets in your emergency plan, and take them with you if you need to evacuate your home.
  5. Keep an Eye on the Weather — Download MEMA’s free Massachusetts Alerts app to get real-time public safety information and emergency notifications. If you use Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) services, check the MBTA’s service alerts to keep up with delays or travel route changes during severe weather. The MBTA winter weather page has additional information on snow routes for buses, parking, and more.

Whether you’re dreaming of a winter wonderland or dreading the first sign of snow, you can stay safe this season with a little preparation.

Share these tips with friends and family, and check out more winter weather resources at Comment below or tweet @MassGov with any questions.

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