Message from University Police: Be Prepared for Weather Emergencies

As the spring semester continues, please take a moment to consider actions you might take in the event inclement weather, including tornadoes, flash flooding or severe winter weather, threatens a University of Southern Mississippi campus, teaching or research site.

South Mississippi is not immune to hazardous weather, with the most frequent instances coming in the forms of tornadoes and flash flooding.

Please review the following information related to weather emergencies:

-Flash Flooding
-Winter Weather

Should you have questions, please contact University Police at 601.266.4986.

Eagle Alert
As always, University officials monitor local weather activity and will communicate via email, text and phone calls through Eagle Alert if an emergency weather situation arises. Please take a moment to check your contact information in the Eagle Alert system at

Due to reports that some Eagle Alert emails have been routed to “Junk” or “Clutter” email folders, USM will also continue to send all Eagle Alerts via regular email through USM Mailout. This may result in your receiving more than one email; however, this is necessary to best ensure your safety. If your Eagle Alerts have been sent to your “Junk” folder, detailed instructions on how best to correct this issue can be found on the Eagle Alert Frequently Asked Questions page.

Tornado Watches and Warnings
While a tornado watch indicates that a tornado may be possible, a tornado warning indicates a tornado is already occurring or will occur. In the event of a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately and move to the lowest floor of a facility with no windows. In a facility with many floors, pick a hallway in the center of the building. You may not have enough time to go to the lowest floor.

Flash Flooding
Heavy rain showers have the potential to generate flash floods. Motorists should be aware of possible heavy rain and the potential for damage from flooding in the following areas. Motorists should not attempt to access or navigate these areas, which may be hazardous for travel and to parked vehicles.

Gulf Park Campus in Long Beach
-Shared parking lot with St. Thomas Catholic Church on the west side of campus
-Beach Park Place
-Four-way stop at Bear Point and Gulf Park drives

Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Ocean Springs
-Halstead Road near the site’s entrance

Hattiesburg Campus
-Village Circle around Sorority Village
-Montague Boulevard between Kay James Drive and Ross Boulevard
-Parking spaces at the south end of Fraternity Drive (west side of street) at Montague Boulevard
-W. Fourth Street between Golden Eagle Avenue and Eagle Walk
-Southern Miss Drive between N. 30th and 31st avenues
-Ray Guy Way at Century Park South/Spirit Park
-South end of Kay James Drive at Montague Boulevard
-Trent Lott Center west lot next to M.M. Roberts Stadium
-Ray Guy Way at Eagle Walk by the raised crosswalk
-Parking area at the southwest corner of McCarty Hall

Severe Weather
Along with heavy rains and flash flooding, severe weather can quickly move into the area. This includes thunderstorms that bring high wind, hail and lightning. The strong rushes of wind that come with thunderstorms can cause severe damage.

Thunderstorms can oftentimes produce hail, thunder and lightning. In the event of high winds, hail, thunder or lightning, please seek shelter immediately. If you can hear thunder or see lightning, do not go outside. Stay away from windows, glass doors or anything that can be shattered if hail is falling.

Winter Weather
Although not as common as tornadoes or flash flooding, recent events have demonstrated severe winter weather is possible throughout Mississippi. When the National Weather Service designates a Winter Storm Watch for an area, it means that a winter storm is possible. If a Winter Storm Warning is issued, a winter storm is occurring or will soon occur.

Weather Safety

Weather Resources

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