Huge salt sacks are to be left in areas of Durham as part of a pilot scheme to help residents cope with ice and snow this winter.
The one-tonne containers will be placed near homes in Consett, Teesdale and Stanley for a few days when conditions become severe.
Durham County Council said it had also ordered an extra 6,000 tonnes of salt to grit the county's roads this winter.
The bags' handles will be removed once in place, to prevent them being stolen.
A spokesman for the council said: "We recognise the very particular challenges we experience in the face of severe winter weather in County Durham, having so many scattered rural communities.
"We are willing to try new approaches and to work with residents to support as many communities as we can to keep moving this winter.
"The wards to be chosen for this trial experienced really tough times during the prolonged severe conditions and we will closely monitor conditions."