But winter is something local road agents are used to dealing with, and each seems to have his own technique on how to keep streets safe from snow, sleet and ice.
Their strategies are necessary because storage is in short supply. Coupled with the high demand for road salt statewide, it can make for some restless nights for local officials.
Road Agent Bruce Caillouette's strategy is ordering salt for Danville from three different suppliers in case one or two run out.
Because Danville's highway garage only has room to hold 180 tons, he has to order at least one load during every snowstorm. A load is typically 30 to 35 tons. When the storms come close together, as they did last month, Danville's short supply gets lower and lower.
"I was sweating a bit," Caillouette said. "They weren't getting it to me fast enough."
Caillouette has to keep a good supply, even when snow isn't predicted. Even with high daytime temperatures last week, he said he had to get up every hour at night to see if melted snow and rain had turned to ice on the roads.
"When they say it's going to get cold, you have to put it down where it needs it," Caillouette said.
Plaistow's salt shed also holds just under 200 tons, requiring Road Agent Dan Garlington to order road salt about every storm and a half, he said. His strategy is to stay loyal to Morton Salt and its subcontracted distributor in Newington, he said.
"They have been super," Garlington said. "There might have been two or three storms we might have run out, if they didn't sneak me a load."
Garlington has called for loads in the past and found himself on a list of at least 300 towns. He estimated the company can only make 250 deliveries in a day. But some of the drivers live near Plaistow, and have actually brought 30 or so tons to Garlington's facility on their way home, he said.
Derry has found a way to conquer that issue. They will move to a new facility this week that can hold almost three times as many tons as the old one - 3,500 tons to be exact.
Public Works Director Mike Fowler said since the town uses about 3,800 tons of salt a year, he will be able to store almost an entire supply and not have to compete for shipments with other towns.
"This gives us much more control over our own destiny," he said.
The new shed has about 500 tons in it already. Once a new barge comes into Eastern Mineral in Chelsea, Mass., Fowler said, a couple of truckloads a day will come to Derry until the new shed is full.
In the future, Fowler will have the luxury of shopping around in July and getting deliveries without ever being "nervous about the next storm" again, he said.
For Salem, the strategy is in the fine print.
As part of the bidding process, the lowest bidder guarantees to make up the cost difference if they run out and the town must order from the next lowest bidder, according to Operations Manager Dave Wholley.
"We do it as a means to protect ourselves from ever running out," he said. "But we do have a much grander storage facility than most other towns."
Salem's shed can hold 3,000 tons of salt, and always has enough for at least three storms in it, Wholley said.
But the bigger shed also must accommodate many more miles of road than the smaller towns. To date, Salem has ordered 3,800 tons of salt this winter, he said.
Over in Hampstead, the salt shed only holds 250 tons of salt. But because it's a smaller town with fewer roads, Road Agent Jon Worthen only has to reorder after using two to three loads, or 60 to 90 tons.
During December's storms, Worthen said, he had to reorder often and received smaller loads more often. Instead of getting six loads, he said, he received three deliveries of two. That way, each town gets some, he said.
Worthen also deals with Morton Salt, and said he can only remember them running out one time. They just hauled from a pile farther away, he said.