BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Life in south Louisiana means living with frequent rain, and there are occasions when severe weather seems to come out of nowhere.

So, what can we do to lessen the likelihood of getting caught in bad weather or even being harmed by inclement conditions?

According to the National Weather Service and related resources, the following suggestions may help:

Stay current on daily weather conditions: It can be a challenge to keep up with daily weather forecasts when you’ve got a busy schedule. But, if possible, try and keep the local news on while you’re getting ready for work or for another outing so you can listen to the weather forecast.

Sign up for notifications: Download the WGMB/WVLA BRPROUD Weather App to have the latest breaking weather news and forecasts sent to your phone. Click here to download it.

Always carry a phone and umbrella: If you are caught in a storm, having your phone with you will allow you to monitor the weather and any alerts. It also provides you with a way to call for help if needed. As for the umbrella, many Louisianans know that a sunny day can easily turn stormy, so having an umbrella on hand during an outing is a must.

Create a Communications Plan: Have a family plan that includes an emergency meeting place and related information. Pick a safe room in your home such as a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows. Get more ideas for a plan at:

Practice Your Plan: Conduct a family severe thunderstorm drill regularly so everyone knows what to do if a damaging wind or large hail is approaching. Make sure all members of your family know to go there when severe thunderstorm warnings are issued. Don’t forget pets if time allows.

Prepare Your Home : Keep trees and branches trimmed near your house. If you have time before severe weather hits, secure loose objects, close windows and doors, and move any valuable objects inside or under a sturdy structure.

Help Your Neighbor: Encourage your loved ones to prepare for severe thunderstorms. Take CPR training so you can help if someone is hurt during severe weather.

Essentially, one of the most important things we can do to avoid getting caught by an unexpected storm is to stay up to date with the latest weather forecasts and act in accord with suggestions from meteorologists.

For the latest weather information, download the WGMB/WVLA BRProud weather app or follow @BRProudNews on Twitter.