Severe Weather


Severe weather is a hazard across Routt County. The term severe weather includes several weather conditions, including drought, extreme heat, thunderstorms, lightning, hail, and strong winds. More information about each of these conditions is available in the Routt County Hazard Mitigation Plan

It's important for you to understand the risk of severe weather and what you can do before, during, and after. There are many great resources out there. We've shared some top tips here.

What to do Before

  1. Know the weather - check the forecast regularlyWhen thunder roars, go indoors! Stop all activities and seek shelter.
  2. Sign up for emergency notifications from Routt County Alerts
  3. Create a family communications plan and practice your plan
  4. Prepare your home by keeping trees and branches near your house trimmed. Secure loose objects and move valuables inside or into a sturdy storage area. Close windows and doors if severe weather is imminent. Above all, keep yourself safe!

What to do During

  1. Continue to monitor weather forecasts
  2. When thunder roars, go indoors! Take shelter at the first sign of thunder or lightning. Wait at least 30 minutes before resuming outdoor activities. Realize lightning can strike miles from the storm, and it's possible to for lightning to strike near you without you hearing thunder or seeing rain.
  3. Know the difference between a watch and a warning.
    1. Watch: conditions are favorable for severe weather
    2. Warning: imminent danger to life or property - seek shelter immediately

What to do After

The National Weather Service offers this guidance for what to do after severe weather:

  1. Stay Informed: Continue listening to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay updated about severe thunderstorm watches and warnings. More severe thunderstorms could be headed your way.
  2. Contact Your Family and Loved Ones: Let your family and close friends know that you're okay so they can help spread the word. Text messages or social media are more reliable forms of communication than phone calls.
  3. Assess the Damage: After you are sure the severe weather threat has ended, check your property for damages. When walking through storm damage, wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and sturdy shoes. Contact local authorities if you see power lines down. Stay out of damaged buildings. Be aware of insurance scammers if your property has been damaged.
  4. Help Your Neighbor: If you come across people that are injured and you are properly trained, if needed, provide first aid to victims until emergency response team members arrive.

Additional tips include:

  1. Listen to emergency alerts and messages.
  2. offers general advice for what to do after a disaster.
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This image discusses the threat of lightning on various terrain.

This is an infographic detailing camping safety from the National Weather Service.