Surviving Severe Storms in Wyoming: A Practical Guide


Wyoming, with its vast open landscapes and varied weather patterns, is no stranger to severe storms. From thunderstorms and hail to tornadoes and blizzards, the state’s weather can turn deadly quickly. Whether you’re a resident or just passing through, it’s essential to be prepared. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to survive severe storms in Wyoming.


1. Understand the Types of Severe Storms


Wyoming experiences several types of severe weather events:


Thunderstorms: Often accompanied by lightning, heavy rain, hail, and high winds.

Tornadoes: Though less common than in the Midwest, they can and do occur, especially in the eastern parts of the state.

Blizzards: Intense snowstorms with high winds and low visibility, particularly dangerous in winter.

Flash Floods: Resulting from heavy rains, especially in areas with poor drainage or near rivers and streams.


2. Prepare an Emergency Kit


A well-stocked emergency kit can be a lifesaver during severe storms. Your kit should include:


Water: At least one gallon per person per day for at least three days.

Food: Non-perishable items like canned goods, protein bars, and dried fruit.

First Aid Kit: Including bandages, antiseptics, medications, and any prescription drugs you need.

Tools and Supplies: Flashlights, batteries, multi-tool, whistle, and a manual can opener.

Clothing and Bedding: Warm clothing, sturdy shoes, blankets, and sleeping bags.

Personal Documents: Copies of identification, insurance policies, and medical records.

Sanitation Items: Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties.


3. Stay Informed


Staying informed is critical during severe weather. Here’s how:


Weather Alerts: Sign up for local weather alerts via your phone or email. The National Weather Service (NWS) and local news stations provide real-time updates.

Weather Radio: A NOAA weather radio can provide continuous updates even if you lose power.

Mobile Apps: Download weather apps that provide alerts and real-time information.


4. Develop a Safety Plan


Having a clear plan can save lives. Here’s what you need to consider:


Identify Shelter Locations: Know the safest places in your home to take shelter. For tornadoes, this is typically a basement or an interior room without windows. For flash floods, move to higher ground.

Communication Plan: Ensure all family members know how to contact each other. Designate a meeting place if you get separated.

Evacuation Routes: Know multiple routes out of your area in case roads are blocked or impassable.


5. During the Storm


When the storm hits, follow these guidelines to stay safe:


Thunderstorms and Lightning: Stay indoors, away from windows, and avoid using electrical appliances. If you’re outside, seek shelter immediately. Avoid tall objects like trees.

Tornadoes: If a tornado warning is issued, seek shelter in a basement or an interior room on the lowest floor. Protect your head and neck. If you’re outside and can’t get to shelter, lie flat in a low spot and cover your head.

Blizzards: Stay indoors and keep warm. Avoid travel unless absolutely necessary. If you’re caught outside, seek shelter and cover exposed skin to prevent frostbite.

Flash Floods: Move to higher ground immediately. Never attempt to drive through flooded roads—just six inches of fast-moving water can knock you off your feet, and a foot can sweep away a car.


6. After the Storm


Once the storm passes, the danger isn’t necessarily over. Here’s what to do:


Check for Injuries: Provide first aid if needed and seek medical help for serious injuries.

Inspect Your Home: Check for damage to your home, including gas leaks, electrical issues, and structural damage.

Stay Informed: Continue to monitor weather updates and follow local authorities’ instructions.

Help Your Community: Assist neighbors, especially the elderly or disabled, and volunteer with local relief efforts if you can.




Surviving severe storms in Wyoming requires preparation, vigilance, and a calm approach to emergency situations. By understanding the risks, preparing thoroughly, and knowing what to do before, during, and after a storm, you can protect yourself and your loved ones from the dangers that Wyoming’s severe weather can bring. Stay safe, stay informed, and always be prepared.