BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Hurricane season is just around the corner, and weather experts are expecting a pretty active year.
The Louisiana Department of Education is working to make sure schools are prepared for the worst.
“For the Springfield area, I don’t think there was a road that didn’t have multiple trees across it. We didn’t have power for almost two and a half weeks, so we were clearly out of school for a good three weeks,” said Springfield High School Principal Spencer Harris about Hurricane Ida.
From flooding to hurricanes, Harris said they dealt with it all.
“I don’t think there was a road that didn’t have multiple trees across it,” he said.
This time around they are working with the state to make sure they are better prepared for the next storm.
“A major storm hits. It’s going to tear up a school. If a tornado hits a school, that’s going to do major damage. But if that happens, are we prepared? What is our next step?” Harris said.
That’s why the state’s education department created a hurricane preparedness team to put an action plan in place for disasters. Harris is a part of that group.
“It’s just a way to gather information, use people’s experiences so that they can share with other schools throughout the state and help,” he explained.
“It’s really about pulling together those best practices for the school districts,” added AT&T Louisiana State Director Stephanie Doiron.
The company has invested $50,000 into the hurricane preparedness team just ahead of the big storm season.
“Our schools need to be equipped with the best practices and information that they can possibly have to continue teaching our students, communicate with their families, with their employees themselves,” she said.
Harris said the commission is very diverse, with a group of members from all across the state of Louisiana to help put together the plan or a checklist for schools during a disaster.
“We need our kids in school. And so the more prepared we are to deal with circumstances, the faster we can get our kids back in school,” he said.
Harris said they need more investments like AT&T to extend beyond the walls of the classroom.
“As a school, we’re the center of a lot of these communities and we have to work to help and make sure our community’s okay,” he said.
AT&T also offered some tips below for best cellular practices during a storm:
- Try texting vs. calling
- Keep your mobile devices charged
- Save your smartphone’s battery life
- Keep your mobile devices dry
- Back up important information and protect vital documents