SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A dangerous and deadly snowstorm that hit western New York this past weekend has left more than 30 people dead.

Communities in western New York are still digging out after a historic blizzard hit the region. The storm has shut down major highways, stranding residents and killing dozens. While western Massachusetts was spared from the worst of the storm, the situation comes as a sharp reminder to always be prepared for winter weather.

The Red Cross of Massachusetts reminding people to keep emergency equipment in their vehicle.

“A bucket of sand because if you get stuck it helps with traction around your tires,” said Red Cross of Massachusetts Director of Communications Kelly Isenor. “A brightly colored cloth… If you do get stranded in a blizzard, tie it on your radio antenna and it will alert emergency vehicles that your car is there and a flash light.”

The organization says people should also make sure home heating systems are working properly and store an emergency kit with water, non-perishable food items and warm clothes.

Isenor says the most important reminder, “When you’re told to stay off the roads, please listen to that advice. That doesn’t come lightly. We need to let plows do their job, we need to make sure the roads are clear so ambulances can get through, police officers, firefighters. It’s a real thing.”

Another tip for any emergency situation, scan and take pictures of important documents to store on your phone. Then no matter where you end up in a weather disaster, you’ll have those documents with you.