News Releases

July 2, 2020
WOHS supports businesses by providing PPE

WOHS is supporting 1,266 Wyoming non-healthcare related businesses by providing personal protective equipment (PPE) to aid public safety efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In May, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon allocated $2 million from the CARES Act funding to the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security to purchase and distribute this vital equipment to assist businesses in keeping their employees and customers safe.

“We are pleased to be able to supply our Wyoming businesses and communities with the equipment they need to be safer as we navigate through this process,” Director Lynn Budd, Wyoming Office of Homeland Security said. “Working together and helping each other is the standard in Wyoming and exemplifies our true western spirit.”

The first round of PPE was distributed in mid-June. The final round of requests closed July 1 and supplies will be distributed to businesses as soon as possible.


Sublette County Emergency Management delivered PPE to Melissa Rider of Rider Property Management in Pinedale.

June 3, 2020
Wyoming communities have mitigation plans

Years of hard work and planning have led to all Wyoming communities having an approved mitigation plan. As a result, the state of Wyoming is more prepared to respond to, and recover from all-hazards.

Every community in the state now has a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved mitigation plan. This achievement better positions Wyoming communities and will minimize the impact of natural disasters. Historically only about 70 percent of Wyoming communities had an approved mitigation plan.

The Wyoming Office of Homeland Security initiated the planning process in 2014 and local communities, counties, tribes, and emergency response regions joined together to complete mitigation plans. In the mitigation planning process communities review natural hazards and their jurisdiction's capacity to respond to, and recover from natural events. Mitigation projects are then developed to help communities be more resilient and minimize the impact of natural hazards.

“Wyoming communities are the places where we work and raise our families – the place we call home,” Director Lynn Budd, Wyoming Office of Homeland Security said. “The time dedicated by these communities to complete these plans ensures our neighborhoods become more resilient and prepared to deal with natural and manmade disasters.”

Counties and jurisdictions with current mitigation plans are eligible to apply for federal grant funding recover from disasters and to complete mitigation projects to become more resilient.

The Wyoming Office of Homeland Security created a partnership in 2014 with local emergency managers to reach the goal of all jurisdictions having an approved mitigation plan.

In recent history local communities have submitted successful mitigation grant applications to protect communities and critical infrastructure through riverbank stabilization projects, detention/retention pond projects, property acquisitions in the floodplain, and electrical grid hardening.

FEMA mitigation grants cover up to 75% of the cost of the project, with the community covering the remaining 25 percent.


May 15, 2020
Funds allocated for Wyoming businesses to receive PPE

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon has allocated $2 million to the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security to purchase and distribute Personal Protective Equipment to non-health care related entities. This effort will support public safety for businesses and communities across the state under the new health orders.

WOHS will be working with the Wyoming Business Council to assess the specific needs as restrictions are eased. Needs of businesses will be assessed in future communications with WOHS and the Business Council.

“We are happy to help our Wyoming businesses as we move forward in easing restrictions,” Director Lynn Budd, Wyoming Office of Homeland Security said. “Ensuring our communities have the essential needs to navigate this process is important to our state’s recovery."

Information will be available on the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security website at hls.wyo.gov and questions may be emailed to wohsppeinfo@wyo.gov.

April 16, 2020
Cowboy State Volunteers conduct flights to support COVID-19 response

Volunteers from across the state flew into action to assist with delivering test kits for COVID-19.

Three members of the Cowboy State Volunteers flew private aircraft to deliver Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 equipment and test kits across the state on April 14, 2020. The organization is comprised of volunteer pilots who provide support for search and rescue operations, disaster relief and organ transportation.

“Wyoming has a well-deserved reputation for helping our neighbors in times of trouble,” Ken Johnston, Cowboy State Volunteers president said. “During the ‘great blizzard of 1949’ volunteer pilots, using their own airplanes delivered food, medicine, and also transported medical personnel to snowbound people across Wyoming. The Cowboy State Volunteers has been created to continue that tradition.”

The volunteers delivered 10 Abbott machines with 12 testing kits each across the state.

Heather Tottingham, Wyoming Department of Health accompanied Mike Gray, in his Twin Comanche and flew from Cheyenne to Casper with crews and transferred the equipment and kits, and then continued their flight to Gillette and Newcastle.

“I'm very grateful to the Cowboy State Volunteers. With their help, we were able to make deliveries to 10 Wyoming communities in one day,” Tottingham said. “They generously donated their time and fuel cost to help Unified Command with this important task. Mike and Ken were great to work with, and it gave me the unique opportunity to personally make sure these machines made it to their destinations safely.”

The aircraft used are provided by Wyoming pilots. “We fly our own airplanes and no one gets paid except for the fuel and oil used on a flight,” Johnston said.

Twenty pilots and five crew members volunteer their time to the Cowboy State Volunteers. The organization has 18 fixed-wing aircraft and two helicopters across the state.

The flights were a joint effort among pilots and crew. Chad Kuhn (Pinedale), and Alex Heil flew equipment in Kuhn’s Cessna210 to Lander, Rawlins, Rock Springs and Kemmerer. Joe Feiler (Casper) and Dallas Chopping flew Feiler’s Cessna 177 Cardinal to deliver supplies to Thermopolis and Cody.