With the 2017 hurricane season beginning June 1, the college administration has made preparations for potential storms and storm surges/flooding. All college employees are encouraged to take a moment to review their campus and department severe-weather policies and plans and go over the pertinent information with students.  Both employees and students should also review their personal emergency weather plans.

The federal government predicts an unusually active 2017 hurricane season for the Atlantic Basin, with five to nine hurricanes expected to form.  The season officially begins June 1 and runs through November 30.

Overall, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasts 11 to 17 named tropical storms will develop in the region, which includes the Atlantic, the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico.  Of the hurricanes, two to four could be major, with wind speeds of 111 mph or higher and rated as Category 3, 4 or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale of Hurricane Intensity. An average season typically spawns six hurricanes and peaks in August and September.

Factors contributing to the prediction include: A weak or non-existent El Niño, near- or above-average sea-surface temperatures, and average or weaker-than-average vertical wind shear. Strong El Niños and wind shear typically suppress development of Atlantic hurricanes.

The MGCCC administration wants to remain prepared for any eventuality as there is always a possibility of a storm striking the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Communications play a key role during any emergency, so college information will be communicated through the Regroup Mass Notification System, the college website and social media.

To enhance communication efforts, please review the following checklist:

▪    To ensure notification through Regroup, visit Web Services by logging in through the college website. Once you have logged in to the secure area, update your emergency notification information at the bottom, left-hand side of the page under the Personal Information tab. It will ask you to provide both a cell phone number and emergency email address. You will receive emergency information as a telephone call/voice mail, as a text message and/or as an email message.  Emergency text messages will come from the number 58339.

▪    Employees and students are encouraged to check the website, check the MGCCC Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MGCCC/, follow the college’s Twitter feed @MGCCCBulldogs and/or Instagram at @mgcccbulldogs for periodic college updates during severe-weather situations.

▪    If evacuation becomes necessary, students and employees who evacuate will find important updates through local television, radio and newspapers as well as the Mississippi Public Broadcasting’s statewide network of radio and television affiliates. MPB’s radio frequencies are listed on all state evacuation signs.

▪    The college administration will continue to monitor evolving conditions in the tropics and will issue updates throughout the summer and fall.

▪    Periodic updates will be posted on this section of the website throughout the 2017 hurricane season.

The following sites are also important to hurricane preparedness:

▪    http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/ready.php

▪    http://www.mpbonline.org

▪    https://www.wunderground.com/hurricane

▪    https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes

▪    http://www.msema.org

▪    http://mdot.ms.gov/portal/emergency_services.aspx

The safety, protection and wellbeing of our employees and students are of the utmost importance as we prepare for severe weather and other emergencies.

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