When Disaster Strikes, We are Here


United Way of Southeast Louisiana is here before, during, and after disasters. When a disaster strikes, your gift helps families get back in their homes, rebuild schools and businesses, and give our vulnerable neighbors the care they need. United Way work’s with local organizations to thoughtfully build strategies to create resilient communities.

COVID-19 exposed the widespread economic instability of Louisiana. Before the virus, half of households in the state could not afford basic household necessities or save for an emergency like sudden job loss or a natural disaster. Now, these families – and many more – are in crisis and need help to recover as they still battle the financial strains of COVID-19.


What to Do When Disaster Strikes

The disaster response team at United Way of Southeast Louisiana encourages you to prepare your household for potential threats from the upcoming inclement weather. Those preparing for and impacted can find vital, FREE resources to become weather-ready, make informed decisions, and speed their recovery.
We are closely monitoring the storm and are prepared to respond. Please stay aware and heed local advisories. For up-to-date weather information, visit http://weather.gov. Continue reading for information on steps you can take to get storm-ready and links to parish resource pages.
In the coming days, please pay attention to how you and your loved ones are coping emotionally. For people in the path of this storm who may have been affected by other disasters, this is a particularly stressful time. Promote emotional recovery by following these tips.
Hurricane Preparedness:

In preparing for a disaster one of the most important things to do is be prepared.  With a little preparation and forethought, you can minimize the stress of reacting when a storm is approaching.  Preparing you and your family will help avoid the chaotic rush to grocery stores, hardware stores or other venues in search of needed emergency and safety related items, which typically become inundated days before a storm hits shore.

You should stock six basics for your home: water, food, first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools and emergency supplies, and special items. Keep the items you would most likely need during an evacuation in an easy-to carry container. Possible containers include a large, covered trash container, a camping backpack, or a duffle bag.

Make your preparations easier by downloading the available checklists online such as https://hurricanesafety.org/prepare/hurricane-safety-checklists/ or https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/ready.php

Food and Water


  • Store water in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles. Avoid using containers that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles. A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. Hot environments and intense physical activity can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers, and ill people will need more.
  • Store one gallon of water per person per day.
  • Keep at least a three-day supply of water per person (two quarts for drinking, two quarts for each person in your household for food preparation/sanitation).


Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking, and little or no water. If you must heat food, pack a can of Sterno. Select food items that are compact and lightweight. Include a selection of the following foods in your Disaster Supplies Kit:

  • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables
  • Canned juices
  • Staples (salt, sugar, pepper, spices, etc.)
  • High energy foods
  • Vitamins
  • Food for infants
  • Comfort/stress foods

Around Your Home

  •  Remove debris from gutters and downspouts.
  • Clear debris from in front of catch basins. Never lift a catch basin lid or insert anything into a catch basin.
  • To reduce the risk of street flooding, do not park in front of or on a catch basin.
  • Prune trees and shrubs.
  • Bring outdoor furniture and decorations inside.
  • Secure or bring garbage bins inside.
  • Do not walk or drive through floodwaters. 
  • If water rises around your car, abandon the car immediately.
  • Report major flooding to 9-1-1.
  • Gather emergency supplies.
  • Sign up for special needs registry if available through your parish president’s office
  • Prepare for potential power outages: turn your fridge to its lowest temperature, charge electronic devices, preserve cell phone battery life, and prepare flashlights.
  • Bring pets inside.

Do You Need Flood Insurance

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) oversees the NFIP.  More information can be found at https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program; https://www.floodsmart.gov/; https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program-publications

Whether to purchase flood insurance is a question many individuals and businesses ask themselves.  Visit the NFIP sites above to find out more information and becoming more prepared.  These sites can give information on what to do before a flood, after a flood, addressing insurance claims, information on purchasing flood insurance, and more.

Resources for hurricane preparedness/updates:

Department of Homeland Security Disaster Guide

State of Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Guide

American Red Cross-download mobile phone app

National Weather Service Radar Loop for our area

For the latest information specific to your parish below are the Parish Government Links:

Orleans Parish

Jefferson Parish

St. Bernard Parish

Plaquemines Parish

Tangipahoa Parish

St, Tammany Parish

Washington Parish