National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
Banner for Severe Weather Awareness Week in Wyoming

Flood damage in Kaycee, WY, that occured in the early morning hours of August 27, 2002.
  Kaycee, WY - August 27, 2002.

Main Watch/Warning Program Planning for a Disaster Severe Weather Safety Lightning Safety Fire Weather

Staying Aware of the Weather

Ready, Set, Go: This is the mindset we want people to be in when it comes to being prepared for hazardous weather.

Before Severe Weather Season: Develop an emergency plan and practice it regularly.

Here are a few questions to ask when developing your plan:

  • What is your risk for a natural disaster?  Do you live in a flood prone area? Knowing your risk can help you develop a plan tailored to your family.
  • Where do you go in case of a natural disaster?  Is it a basement such as during a tornado, or go to higher ground during a flash flood.
  • Do you have a designated meeting place for your family if you get seperated? During a natural disaster phone service might be disrupted, and getting in contact with loved ones might be difficult.
  • What would you do if basic services such as water, gas, electricity, or telephones were cut off?  Having an emergency supply kit in your home and car is essenital.  It is recommended  you keep enough supplies in your home to meet your needs for at least 3 days.  After a natural disaster it could take awhile for emergency responders to reach your location.
  • How will you be notified of a natural disaster? What about at night?


Ready: At this stage, the National Weather Service sees something on the horizon that may end up being a widespread severe weather event in the future. The Hazardous Weather Outlook issued by the local NWS offices will give you this information. Also, the Storm Prediction Center issues thunderstorm outlooks that give an idea of where severe thunderstorms may develop in the next 8 days. At this stage you should make sure your emergency plan and supply kit are up-to-date.

Set: In this stage, we are confident that a hazardous weather event will occur, but are not sure of the exact timing, location, or impact of the event. For severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, a Watch is issued to give the public a heads up that they need to be prepared for the possibility of severe weather within the next 8 hours. At this stage you should keep abreast on the latest weather conditions, and be ready to implement your emergency plan at a moments notice.

Go: When we hit this stage, we are confident that a thunderstorm is producing severe weather and we issue a Warning. The lead time can be just precious minutes out to an hour. At this stage, you should activate your emergency plan.

FEMA, the Red Cross, local emergency management, and the National Weather Service can help you develop your plan. Here are a few websites with guidance in making your emergency plan:

NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards - Popular Features

Tone Alarm: Most warnings and many watch messages are broadcast with a tone alarm. The tone will activate all the weather radio receivers which are equipped to receive it, even if the audio is turned off. This is especially useful for warnings which occur during the night when most people are asleep.

SAME: Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) allows a user to specify the particular area for which you wish to receive alerts. This minimizes the number of "false alarms" for events which might not be impacting your area.

Selectable Alerting of Events: Some receivers allow a user to turn off the alarm for certain events which might not be important to you.

Battery Backup: Since power outages often occur during storms, having a receiver with battery backup can be crucial.

External Antenna Jack: While most receivers come with a whip antenna which can usually be extended out from the unit, a user may need an external antenna to get a good reception. Some receivers come with an external antenna jack (normally in the back of the unit) which will allow a user to connect to a larger antenna (indoors or outdoors).

Strobe Light: A strobe light accessory provides a visual alert. It's ideal for the hearing-impaired and for use in noisy production environments like metal working facilities to alert personnel of a warning.

Weather Radio

Public Alert Logo

Other Sources

Internet: The National Weather Service's webpage at allows you a fast and easy look at where the hazards are occurring for the current day. To find out information for your local area, just click on the map in your general area.

Broadcast TV and Radio Stations: Most local radio and television stations across the state automatically receive hazardous watches and warnings and help disseminate that information over the air. They have local knowledge and want to be able to provide their viewers and listeners with the best information they can.

Wireless / Cell Phone technologies: Many cell phone providers are including an option of getting warnings on your cell phone through text messaging or other means. Check with your provider to see if they offer a service like this. There are also some NWS programs that allow you to get alerts on your mobile device. For more information see:

Weather Radio Sites Across Wyoming

Weather Radio Sites

Additional Information

NWS Weather Radio Home Page

Storm Ready