Wyoming Winter Weather Awareness Day
Home, Work, and Outdoor Safety
When a Winter Storm Strikes At Home, Work, or on the Ranch.
Stay Inside: When using alternate heat from a fireplace, wood stove, space heater (see portable electric safety tips below if plan on using), etc., use fire safeguards and properly ventilate.
AVOID OVEREXERTION, such as shoveling heavy snow, pushing a car or walking in deep snow. The strain from the cold and the hard labor may cause a heart attack. Sweating could lead to a chill and hypothermia.
Move animals to sheltered areas:Shelter belts, properly laid out and oriented, are better protection for cattle than confining shelters, such as sheds.
See info graphics below for more cold weather safety tips for you pets and animals.
During Winter Storms Have an Emergency Preparedness Kit Available At Your Home or Workplace:
OUTDOOR SAFETY TIPS
Wyoming winter weather offers many recreational opportunites across the state. Whether skiing, snowmobiling, or ice fsihing certain safety tips should be kept in mind for a successful outing.
AVALANCHE SAFETY TIPS
Although avalanche conditions are somewhat predictable, it is up to those out in the back country to control their own risk by keeping in mind a few safety tips.
KNOW THE TERRAIN: Avalanches commonly occur in steep terrain with 30 to 50 degrees of slope. They can also occur in areas that are exposed to steeper terrain above. Wind can also cause avalanches by depositing additional snow on the leeward slopes.
LOOK FOR THE SIGNS: Mother nature can give avalanche signs such as cracking or collapsing snowpack, hollow drum-like sounds on hard snow, or by showing signs of a recent avalanche may indicate others are possible. Weather wise, significant snowfall or rain can trigger avalanches on the clear days after a precipitaiton event. In addition warm temperatures can cause snow to become less stable, and create an avalanche.
SAFE TRAVEL: Never travel alone while in the back country. Allow only one person at a time cross avalanche prone terrain while others wait in a safe location. Be alert for changing snow and weather conditions. Carry avalanche safety and rescue gear, and make sure everyone in the group knows how to use it.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The Bidger Teton Avalanch Center issues daily avalanche forecasts, advisories, watches, and warnings for the mountains of western Wyoming where most avalanches occur in the state. These products are issued from around Thanksgiving weekend through at least the end of April, depending on snow conditions.
The graphs below show Wyoming avalanche fatalities by activity, area, and month. While looking at these graphs note that any activity, in any avalanche prone area, could result in a dangerous situation. For even more information see the links below.
For those participating in activities on the many frozen lakes and reservoirs of Wyoming, keep this tip in mind: There is no such thing as 100 percent safe ice!
Other safety items to consider:
The table below shows recommended minimum ice thickness for certain activities on frozen lakes, but remember ice is never 100 percent safe.
Some of the pages listed below are in a PDF format. To view these files Download Adobe Reader
Winter Safety: National Website | WY Winter Safety Brochure | Winter Storms: Deceptive Killers | Winter Safety Info (Red Cross) | Portable Electric Heater Safety Tips | Avalanche Safety | Wyoming Avalanche Stats | Wyoming Avalanche Forecasts: Bridger Teton Avalanche Center | Wyoming Snowmobile Safety Tips