Billings is bordered by rimrocks and then opens into prairie to its south and east. My family and I were fortunate in that we were visiting a relative in a care facility built like a brick outhouse. It barely muted the sound of the wind and thunder rolling through, though. My kids were scared. Okay, all of us were scared, but we had shelter.
I wondered at the time how tribes handled these sorts of events while they were exposed on the prairies and other open ground. They were nomadic and followed the food supply all year. The only time they hunkered down was to winter over, otherwise they had portable housing, maybe a little sturdier than what I had, but in that setting, wouldn't have held together long.
The horses and the dogs wouldn't have liked it. The children were probably gathered around their mothers and the fathers were doing everything they could to find safety out of the wind. They no doubt knew to stay low in the open to avoid lightning. They otherwise were wide open to the elements.
We look at most storms today as an inconvenience, except for the residents of Colorado at the moment. They looked at it as yet one more necessary event to survive. The children knew what it was like to try to go to sleep in the fury wet and hungry. The relief felt after the storm passed into the distance must have been great and with any good fortune, all survived to live another day on the flat land.
We were inconvenienced by a one hour lightning delay during the Seahawks/Forty Niners game. Everyone took cover by the refreshment stands. As far as I know, no beer went unserved. How the times have changed.