• Emergency: 911
  • University Police: 601.266.4986

Tornado Preparedness

Students, faculty and staff should prepare now in the event a tornado threatens The University of Southern Mississippi’s campuses, teaching and research sites.

MEMA: What to do in Case of a Tornado Warning

In case of a tornado warning, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) recommends the following actions. If you are at work:
  • Go to the basement or to an inside hallway at the lowest level of the building.
  • Avoid places with wide-span roofs, such as auditoriums, cafeterias, large hallways or shopping malls.
  • Use your arms to protect your head and neck.
If you are outdoors:
  • If possible, get inside a sturdy building with a concrete foundation.
  • If shelter is not available, or there is no time to get indoors, lie in a ditch or low-lying area or crouch near a strong building.
  • Be aware of the potential for flooding.
If you are in a vehicle:
  • Never try to outdrive a tornado in your vehicle. Tornadoes can change direction very quickly and can lift a vehicle and toss it in the air.
  • Get out of the vehicle and take shelter in a nearby building.
  • If there is no time to get indoors, get out of the vehicle and lie in a ditch or low-lying area away from the vehicle.
If you are in your home:
  • Go to the lowest level of the home, an inner hallway, or smaller inner room without windows, such as a closet or bathroom.
  • Get away from windows and go to the center of the room. Avoid corners, because they tend to attract debris.
  • Get under a sturdy piece of furniture, such as a workbench or heavy table.

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 should use caution in these areas during times of heavy rain and should not enter flooded areas. For more information, contact the USM University Police Department at 601-266-4986.

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. Additional phone numbers can be added into the system under your record, including parent or family member phone numbers. Update and customize your notifications within Eagle Alert to Stay Connected! All official USM emergency messages are posted at emergency.usm.edu. Related information may also be communicated through University accounts on Facebook and Twitter, media outlets and emergency notifications at usm.edu.