Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Students Prepare for Disasters through The Pillowcase Project

As part of National Preparedness Month this September, the American Red Cross and Disney renewed their commitment to help teach disaster preparedness to children and families through the Pillowcase Project initiative. The Pillowcase Project will expand across the country while continuing to support in-school and after-school curriculum to help 3rd to 5th grade students learn how to prepare for and cope with emergencies.

The Pillowcase Project curriculum is structured by three core principles: Learn, Practice and Share. Students will learn about hazards, how to prepare for emergencies, enhance coping skills, practice what they have learned and share their knowledge with friends and family. The program emphasizes the importance of developing an emergency communications plan, fire evacuation plan and emergency contact cards.

The program also teaches students how to create their own emergency supply kits by packing essential items in a pillowcase for easy transport during an emergency. Students will have the opportunity to decorate and personalize their pillowcases during the presentation, and are encouraged to take them home to create a kit.

Created in New Orleans, The Pillowcase Project was inspired by the story of local university students carrying their belongings in pillowcases during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Through the program, the Red Cross aims to incorporate preparedness education into elementary school and after-school curriculums nationwide. The program is sponsored by Disney.

“Kids are at a much higher risk of being hurt in a home fire or other disaster,” said Russ Paulsen, executive director, Community Preparedness Programs for American Red Cross. “The Pillowcase Project helps them learn to prepare and protect themselves from emergencies in a fun way.”

For more information about The Pillowcase Project, visit rdcrss.org/1zJ67e6.

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