University of Southern Mississippi students, faculty, and staff are strongly urged to prepare now for potential impacts of Tropical Storm Ida, which is currently predicted to enter the Gulf of Mexico today and make landfall as a Category 3 hurricane in Louisiana on Sunday evening.
To assist with your hurricane preparation, you can download the 2021 Emergency Guide provided by the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), as well as review the University’s emergency operations plans.
As Ida approaches, the National Weather Service has issued a Hurricane Watch, a Storm Surge Watch, and a Flash Flood Watch, for much of the northern Gulf of Mexico, including Mississippi. While the greatest threats remain along the coast, impacts of the weather system, including high winds, heavy rain, flash flooding, and possible tornadoes, are also expected to extend well inland. Should Ida impact the University’s regular operations at any location early next week, the Eagle Alert emergency communication system will be activated this weekend.
Hurricane Preparedness: What You Should Do Now
MEMA recommends four steps to individual hurricane preparedness:
1. Know Where to Go
2. Put Together a Disaster Supply Kit
3. Set Up Emergency Alerts
4. Establish a Communication Plan with Family and Friends
Please review additional details at http://www.msema.org/be-prepared/hurricanes/.
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: https://www.usm.edu/police/eagle-alert.php.
• 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.
Potential Flood Zones on USM Campuses
Local residents and visitors are asked to remain aware that these weather conditions may make some streets on the Hattiesburg campus and coastal sites impassable or hazardous to navigate.
Motorists on the Gulf Park campus in Long Beach should be aware of potential flood damage to parked vehicles at the shared parking lot with St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church on the west side of campus, along Beach Park Place, as well as the four-way stop at Bear Point and Gulf Park drives.
Motorists at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Ocean Springs should be aware of the potential for flooding on Halstead Road near the site’s entrance.
Motorists on the Hattiesburg campus should be aware of potential flood damage to parked vehicles in these areas:
• Pine Haven Drive around Sorority Village
• Montague Boulevard between Kay James Drive and Ross Boulevard
• 10 parking spaces on the south end of Fraternity Drive (west side of the street) at Montague Boulevard
• West 4th Street between Golden Eagle Avenue and Eagle Walk
• Southern Miss Drive between 30th and 31st Avenues
• Ray Guy Way at Century Park South/Spirit Park
• South end of Kay James Drive at Montague Boulevard (next to the DuBard School)
• 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
Motorists should use caution in these areas during times of heavy rain and should not enter flooded areas.
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.