Summer Weather Safety
Lightning | Hail | Tornado | Flood
Did you know that the Weather Forecast Office in Riverton offers weather spotter and safety training? Each spring and summer staff from the Riverton office travel across western and central Wyoming providing the two hour multimedia presentations free of charge. Weather spotters provide important reports to the NWS in Riverton during the thunderstorm season. Click here for the current training schedule and for more information.
Lightning Safety Rules
Lightning Safety Out of Doors:
Move inside a sturdy shelter immediately! If you can see the lightning or can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck.Avoid being the tallest object around! Get as low as you can, but don’t lie flat on the ground. Squat on the balls of your fee. If you are wearing a backpack, remove it.
Avoid being near the tallest object around, like a tree. Sheltering from the rain under a tree is dangerous.
If you take shelter in an automobile be sure it is hard topped and keep the windows up. It is the metal shell that protects you, not the rubber tires.
You do not have to be directly hit by lightning to be affected. Lightning can travel along the ground or jump from nearby objects that have been struck.
Avoid being near fence lines or power lines. Lightning can travel along the wires and jump to your body.
Don’t take shelter in small sheds, under isolated trees, roadside picnic areas, or near water. Move to a house or other substantial building.
If you are hiking or camping in the mountains above treeline you are the tallest object. Move immediately below treeline!
Call for medical help immediately if someone is struck! Often lightning victims are not dead, their hearts have just stopped beating. Administer CPR immediately. People who have been struck by lightning do not carry an electrical charge.
Safety at home:
Action plans should be implemented, complete with locations of safe evacuation sites and shelters. These sites would include substantial buildings and fully enclosed metal vehicles with the windows up. Metal bleachers, baseball dugouts, and golf carts are NOT safe shelters. Avoid open fields, trees, water, and high ground. Next, a responsible person should be designated to monitor weather conditions during events. This person should not be the coach, umpire, or referee, as they frequently are unable to devote the proper attention needed to monitor changing weather conditions. The designated monitor must know the facility’s action plan and be empowered to enact the plan. When thunder roars go indoors! Lightning strokes from 15 miles away, “bolts from the blue,” are not uncommon. Activities should also be stopped if the sky darkens or appears threatening. Lightning can develop overhead with little or no warning.
Stay away from windows and doors.
Do not touch anything that conducts electricity. This includes corded phones, wiring, plumbing, and anything connected to these.
If you use a cordless phone stay away from the base station. The base station is connected to the wiring and will conduct electricity!
Do not shower or wash dishes.
Unplug electronics before the storm arrives.
More Information on Lightning Safety
Indoor Hail Safety
- Stay indoors, do not go outdoors for any reason
- Stay away from windows being hit by hail, if it becomes large enough the hail may break the window.
Automobile Hail Safety
- Do not seek safety in a soft-topped vehicle during a hail event.
- Stop driving.
- If possible, find an indoor shelter.
- Protect yourself from the potential of broken glass from hail breaking windows.
- Do not seek shelter under an overpass.
Outdoor Hail Safety
- Find an indoor shelter immediately.
- Do NOT seek shelter under a tree, they are more likely to be struck by lightning. Hailstones falling may also cause additional hazards under tree due to falling/breaking branches.
- Go to a designated storm shelter.
- If no designation has been made, go to the lowest floor of the building.
- If no basement is available, go to the lowest level, and find an interior room with no windows.
- Lay face down on the floor with your legs tucked under your body and your arms protecting your head and neck.
- Stay away from windows.
- Do not open windows.
Automobile / Mobile Home / Outdoor Safety
- Vacate your vehicle or mobile home (even if the mobile home is tied down).
- Do not try to outrun a tornado in your car, they can shift directions quickly.
- Do not seek shelter under an overpass.
- If possible, seek shelter in a sturdy building and follow above safety rules.
- If shelter is not available, find a low lying area and lay face down with your legs tucked under your body and your hands protecting your head and neck. Please be aware of flooding potential!
- Be careful of flying debris, hail, etc.
- Do not move to the basement during flooding.
- Be careful of windows which may break under pressure from flood waters.
- Wear shoes at all times.
- Do not drive into flooded roadways, it can be impossible to tell the condition of the road beneath the top of the water.
- Turn Around Don't Drown!
- Do no drive through moving water. It only takes 2 ft. of moving water to move a car, including pickups and SUVs.
- Be careful in low lying areas (ditches, culverts, etc), it only takes 6 inches of moving water to knock down a person.
- Find a sturdy shelter if possible.
- Be especially careful in canyons during flooding or flash flooding events. The rock walls and base will leave little area for the water to go.