Severe Weather

The weather conditions in New Orleans can quickly change with little or no notice. Severe thunderstorms have the potential to produce a number of hazards that can pose a threat to life and property. Be prepared for flooding, lightning, and/or tornadoes which may occur during any severe weather event.

The University will communicate guidelines during severe weather that poses a threat to campus, such as a tornado, flash flood, tropical storm or hurricane. Make sure your contact information is up-to-date with Loyola Emergency Communications and sign up for emergency notifications from the city at NOLA Ready.

General Action Guidelines

  • Go to or stay inside a solid structure.
  • Be alert to flying or falling objects.
  • Stay away from windows, mirrors, glass, and unsecured objects.
  • Proceed to a fully enclosed central hallway of the building, or a closed room with no windows.
  • Do not use elevators.
  • If requested, assist persons with disabilities to the safest area on the same floor.
  • Refer to the sections below for incident specific information.

    Thunderstorms and Lightning

    Thunderstorms are common in South Louisiana and can be dangerous. They can produce lightning, tornadoes, wind, hail, and flash flooding. During thunderstorms and lightning

    • Seek shelter from wind and lightning
    • Get inside a home, building, or car.
    • You're much safer inside a vehicle than outside.
    • Avoid contact with electricity and 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.
    • If stuck outside, avoid pools or standing under tall objects, as these put you at greater risk of being affected by lightning. 


    In New Orleans, flooding can happen anytime, but June, July and August are our rainiest months. During a flood:

    • Avoid flood waters
    • Move to higher ground.
    • Do not walk or drive through flood waters. 
    • If water rises around your car, abandon the car immediately.
    • View reports of street flooding at
    • Avoid contact with electricity.
    • Don’t touch electrical equipment. Every source of electricity can be dangerous during or after a flood.
    • Report flooding.
    • Call 911 to report street flooding and life-threatening emergencies.


    A tornado is the world’s most violent storm and can devastate a community in seconds. A tornado is a funnel-shaped cloud that drops from a thunderstorm to the ground with winds up to 300 miles per hour. When there's a tornado risk, the National Weather Service, City of New Orleans and Loyola issue alerts.

    Tornado Watch: severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are possible

    Tornado Warning: a tornado is happening or about to happen. Seek shelter immediately.

    During a tornado:

    • Seek shelter immediately
      • If you’re in a building, go to an interior room on the lowest level, like a closet or bathroom.
      • Stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls.
      • A vehicle or modular building does not provide good protection. Plan to go quickly to a building with a strong foundation, if possible.
      • If shelter is not available, lie flat in a ditch or other low-lying area. Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
      • Stay in the shelter location until the danger has passed.
    • If outside, protect yourself
      • Try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter.
      • Take cover in a parked car. 
      • Lie in an area lower than the level of the roadway.
    • Cover your head
      • Cover your head with your arms. Most injuries come from flying debris.
      • Go into an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor, if possible.

    For more detailed instructions on how to respond during severe weather, visit NOLA Ready.