Tips and Tricks for Navigating the Winter Months in Missoula

Winter weather hit Missoula quite early this year when snow fell during Halloween. Fortunately, the county was prepared for the wintry weather and managed to clear the roads. Missoula gets an average of 40 inches of snow per year compared to the U.S. average of 28 inches.  Preparing for emergency situations in winter is a task that remains a challenge not only for the county, but also to its residents.

Backup Power is Important

Whether a blizzard hits Missoula forcing power cuts or a glitch in the system or the electricity grid, it always pays to be prepared. Power is very important as it provides energy to homes and businesses to keep their heaters going as well as cook food to eat or boil water to drink tea or prepare a baby’s formula.

One of the  ways to ensure continuity of electricity supply is to install a generator system. A standby generator is hooked to the house’s electrical system and will kick in once there is an outage. If you cannot afford an automatic one, there are also portable generators that you can purchase to provide energy for your home. For example, dual fuel generators give you the choice of using gasoline or propane, the latter being a  cleaner and cheaper source. If you opt for a generator, ensure that it is run outdoors and that your fuel supply is stored in a well-aerated and safe place. Stock up on dry wood for your fireplaces or wood-burning stove as additional sources of heat or energy.

Emergency Supplies to Survive

Standby or backup power is not the only essential thing that you must prepare for. In cases of whiteouts, blizzards and winter storms where there can be as much 39 inches of snow, you will find it difficult to get in your car and drive away to do your errands or shopping. It does not, therefore, hurt to stock your pantry with food and water to tide you over till the roads are opened again.

Keep a supply of bottled water allowing 1 gallon per person per day. The supply should be good for two weeks according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Go for tinned food, soups, and easy-to-heat meals. In addition,  include a first aid kit at home that is constantly updated. Bandages, compressions as well as antibiotics and saline solutions must be available. Other essential items to store include shovels, rock salt to melt the ice and clear pathways, and sand to enhance traction.

Snow storms and extreme cold can immobilize Missoula closing roads, downing power lines, and preventing you from moving. Preparing adequately for any emergency ensures that you and your family stay safe and well in extreme weather.