Prep your pillowcase with the Red Cross
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina stuck a blow to the U.S. Gulf Coast. While residents had a few days to evacuate and prepare, many did not anticipate the sheer amount of devastation in the hours and days that followed. Searching for a quick way to gather belongings, many university students grabbed their pillowcases and threw what they could inside.
Inspired by these quick-thinking students, the American Red Cross launched the Pillowcase Project in 2013. Designed for third through fifth graders, participants learn what to do in an emergency, as well as disaster preparedness and prevention. For three years, the pilot program reached more than 445,000 students before becoming implemented at all Red Cross centers stateside and overseas.
The interactive program is designed to empower students to take action in the event of an emergency or natural disaster. Volunteers teach children the science of possible hazards in the local community. Students are then given pillowcases to decorate and use as their own emergency supply kits.
For tech savvy children, the Red Cross designed and launched the mobile app, Monster Guard: Prepare for Emergencies. Users play as different monsters and earn points by identifying hazards, safe spaces and what actions to take in an emergency. This app can be downloaded in the App Store or Google Play. For more information, visit redcross.org.