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Montana Winter Weather Awareness

Montana Winter Weather Awareness

Safety: Caught in the Storm

Winter Weather
Photo Courtesy of NWS Glasgow - Hills south of Fort Peck Lake - March 25, 2008.

Overview Watch / Warning Program Winter Weather Climatology Be Prepared Safety: Caught in the Storm Weather Sources

If you are caught in a winter storm, follow these safety tips to help you stay safe:


Find Shelter: Try to stay dry. Cover all exposed body parts.

If No Shelter: Build a lean-to, windbreak or snow cave for protection from the wind. Build a fire for heat and to attract attention. Place rocks around the fire to absorb and reflect heat.

Stay Hydrated: Melt snow for drinking water. Avoid eating snow. Eating snow will lower your body temperature

In a Vehicle

Stay In Vehicle: You will become quickly disoriented in wind-driven snow and cold. Run the motor about 10 minutes each hour for heat. Open the window a little for fresh air to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked.

Be Visible To Rescuers: Turn on the dome light at night when running the engine. Tie a colored cloth, preferably red, to your antenna or door. After snow stops falling, raise the hood to indicate you need help.

Exercise: From time to time, move arms, legs, fingers and toes vigorously to keep blood circulating and to keep warm.


Stay Inside: When using alternate heat from a fireplace, wood stove, space heater, etc., use fire safeguards and properly ventilate.

No Heat: Close off unneeded rooms. Cover windows at night. Eat and drink plenty. Food provides the body with energy for producing its own heat. Keep the body replenished with fluids to prevent dehydration. Wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing. Remove layers to avoid overheating, perspiration and subsequent chill.

Additional Information

Some of the pages listed below are in a PDF format. To view these files Download Adobe Reader

Winter Storms...The Deceptive Killers Brochure

Wind Chill Information

Red Cross Checklists: Winter Storm | Pets and Disasters | Power Outage - Prepare. Plan. Stay Informed.

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