You didn't mention whether you have a stock 2WD or 4WD truck. Assuming it's a 4x4 truck I would do the following (in order for best returns).
1. Good Tires. I recommend a high quality A/T tire with soft tread compound, but whatever you get, make sure it is "Severe Snow Service Rated". IE, has the mountain/snowflake symbol. The is a sign of good rubber compound for colder temperatures and has at least a 10% improvement in traction over an agreed standard.
2. Weight in the Bed (preferable secured). If you have access to a scale try to get the weight as evenly distributed to all 4 tires as possible.
3. Get a rear locker or at least a good functioning LSD. I swapped out the rear in my explorer this winter for a LSD unit, and was so glad I did.
If your SD is a 2WD model, the list is pretty much the same except I would move tires down to #3 in the list instead of #1.
I did all of these things to my mountaineer and I made it home through snow that was half way up the grill. Not talking little drifts, but 30 to 40 ft long stretches of road that were drifted closed. My only trouble was getting all of the snow out from under the hood afterwards.
As far as tire chains go, different states have different laws about chains. They do work wonders, but here in Michigan, state law says "If used, the chain must not come in contact with the surface of the roadway.". Well that pretty much means you can only run them during a blizzard at night and you better have them off by the time the roads are plowed. Just doesn't really make them a viable option for everyone.