East Baton Rouge Parish officials are expanding their efforts to communicate with the public and educate children about what to do in an emergency, thanks to grant from ExxonMobil.
ExxonMobil of Baton Rouge donated $100,000 to the Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness on Thursday.
The grant will be used to update and improve the Red Stick Ready smart phone app and to purchase an interactive mobile trailer that will simulate emergency scenarios to educate children.
“With this investment, we will all benefit from rapid, accurate and comprehensive communications that help our community remain safe,” said Mark Northcutt, manager of ExxonMobil Refinery of Baton Rouge.
Early this year, MOHSEP rolled out its Red Stick App for iPhone and Android devices.
During an emergency such as a hurricane, the app provides information about where to find sandbags and sand, government office closures, road closures, school closures and evacuation shelters.
The app provides tips on what to do in the case of extreme heat, flood, storm, tornado and extreme cold.
Mayor-President Kip Holden said his office will take suggestions from the public about ways to improve the app to make it more user friendly and helpful during emergencies.
“We plan on using this money to help get information through East Baton Rouge Parish to our citizens when it’s needed most,” Holden said.
The emergency preparedness coordinator, William White, said the trailer could simulate various emergencies, including a shaking room for a tornado or smoke for a fire.
Holden said the city-parish is already providing emergency education to thousands of children across the parish in schools and camps. The trailer will be available to be checked out by schools so children can have an interactive experience and learn what to do in the event of an emergency.