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The City of New Orleans

Plan for Emergencies


Thunderstorms & Lightning

Thunderstorms are dangerous. They can produce lightning, tornadoes, wind, hail, and flash flooding. When there's a severe thunderstorm risk, the National Weather Service issues alerts.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch: severe thunderstorms* possible

Severe Thunderstorm Warning: severe thunderstorms are happening or are about to happen

*Severe Thunderstorm: winds of 58 mph or more and/or hail one inch in diameter or bigger

Prepare for a storm

Preparing your home and neighborhood before a storm can help reduce potential damage.

Understand your flood risk

Climate and topography make flooding a reality in New Orleans. And certain parts of the city are more likely to flood. Learn about your flood risk with our interactive tool: 

Ready for Rain

Additional flood risk information can be found at:

Insure your property

Floods are the most common and costly natural disaster, so it’s important to have the right coverage. Homeowners and renters insurance usually don’t cover flood damage. Flood insurance takes 30 days to take effect, so now’s the time to buy. 

Clean your property and street

  • Remove debris from gutters and downspouts.
  • Clear debris from catch basins. Report clogged catch basins to 311. Check out our adopt-a-catch-basin app!
  • Prune trees and shrubs.
  • Bring outdoor furniture and decorations inside.
  • Secure or bring garbage bins inside.
  • Move possessions to your highest floor.
  • Photograph your property for insurance purposes.

During thunderstorms & lightning

Seek shelter from wind & lightning

  • Get inside a home, building, or car.
  • You're much safer inside a vehicle than outside.

Avoid contact with electricity & plumbing

  • Don't touch electrical equipment or cords that are plugged in.
  • Don't wash your hands, shower, or wash dishes. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.

Avoid flood waters

  • Move to higher ground.
  • Don’t walk or drive through flood waters. 
  • If water rises around your car, abandon the car immediately.