Be Prepared for Peak Hurricane Season

As we enter the peak of hurricane season, students, faculty and staff should be preparing now in the event a hurricane threatens The University of Southern Mississippi’s campuses, teaching and research sites.

While the path of Hurricane Irma is not fully clear, officials are continuing to track and prepare for many forecast possibilities. The following institutional protocols will be in effect not only for Hurricane Irma, but for the entire hurricane season.

Institutional Protocols

University officials will monitor weather closely to determine if a school closure or cancellation of classes is warranted.

If a hurricane or other significant weather system is expected to impact the University, advance information will be distributed through University email accounts, and relevant emergency advisories will be shared through the Eagle Alert system.

If a major hurricane is predicted to threaten the University, all USM locations will evacuate for your safety, as well as the safety of local emergency responders. If these extreme circumstances occur:

USM will provide as much notice as possible, with the goal of initiating evacuation procedures at least 48 hours prior to landfall.

You will be required to evacuate USM campuses, teaching and research sites until the threat has passed or the University has completed its initial recovery.

Assistance may be provided for international students and others who need help identifying temporary housing in locations away from the storm.

Students who live in USM residence halls will be asked to notify their resident assistants of their evacuation plans as they leave campus.

If you would need assistance prior to the University closing for such an emergency, please contact the Dean of Students office at 601.266.6028.

Hurricane Preparedness: What You Should Do Now

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) recommends four steps to individual hurricane preparedness. Those steps include:

-Know Where to Go
-Put Together a Disaster Supply Kit
-Set Up Emergency Alerts
-Establish a Communication Plan with Family and Friends
-Please review more detailed preparation steps at http://www.msema.org/be-prepared/hurricanes/.

You should also consider the following specific to your activities as students, faculty or staff:

-Check to make sure your contact information is up to date in the University’s Eagle Alert emergency notification system: https://www.usm.edu/safety/eagle-alert.
-Monitor emergency communication channels outlined below.
-Comply with preparedness and emergency safety advisories issued by University officials or other local or state agencies.
-Back up electronic files on portable drives or, for University-owned computers, through Eagle Backup.
-If the University closes, take valuable personal property with you as you leave campus.

Emergency Communication Channels

Eagle Alert is the official emergency communication channel for the University. Faculty, staff and students are required to receive alerts via email. You may also receive alerts via phone call and/or text message. Please review and update your contact information at https://www.usm.edu/safety/eagle-alert.

You may add additional phone numbers, including parent phone numbers, into the system under your record.

All USM emergency messages are posted at SouthernMiss.info. Related information may also be communicated through University accounts on Facebook and Twitter, media outlets and emergency notifications at usm.edu.

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