As we begin the fall semester, be reminded that the 2020 hurricane season is underway. While no active weather systems are currently predicted to enter the Gulf of Mexico, students, faculty and staff are advised to prepare now in the event a hurricane threatens The University of Southern Mississippi’s campuses, teaching and research sites at any point during hurricane season, which continues through November 30.
You can view hurricane preparedness information provided by the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).
You should also be aware of the following institutional protocols that will be in effect for the duration of hurricane season.
If a tropical weather system emerges, 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 emergency notification system.
If a major hurricane is predicted to threaten the University, all USM locations will be evacuated 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.
-Students who live in USM residence halls will be asked to notify their resident assistants of their evacuation plans before they leave campus.
-Assistance may be provided for international students and others who need help identifying temporary housing in locations away from the storm.
If you would need assistance prior to the University closing for such an emergency, please contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 601.266.6028.
Hurricane Preparedness: What You Should Do Now
MEMA recommends four steps to individual hurricane preparedness:
-Know Where to Go
-Put Together a Disaster Supply Kit
-Set Up Emergency Alerts
-Establish a Communication Plan with Family and Friends
Students, faculty and staff should also consider the following actions:
-Check now to make sure your contact information is up-to-date in the University’s Eagle Alert system.
-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. Review and update your contact information at https://www.usm.edu/police/eagle-alert.php.
You may add other phone numbers, including parent or family member 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.