The American Red Cross: Teaching Students to Prepare for Emergencies

The American Red Cross trains more than 200 students at Central Cass on how to prepare for when a disaster strikes with a new program called the “Pillowcase Project”.

It wasn’t too long ago when disaster struck Casselton after a train derailed and exploded.

This is a program that the Red Cross is introducing all over the nation and even right here in the Red River Valley.

The American Red Cross pairs up with Disney to get the message of being prepared for an emergency to students across the country.

The Red Cross says for children, it is hard to comprehend disaster situations.

So students are learning about hazards, enhancing coping skills and to share their knowledge with others.

“I thought it was absolutely wonderful. It was very meaningful and they delivered it in a friendly way for my third grader and they were just in engaged the entire time. I thought it was perfect,” says third grade Central Cass teacher Sally Dumas.

The “Pillowcase Project,” is designed to bring awareness and how to prep for troubling times.

“The reality is at some point some child in this school is going to go through some sort of disaster where they’re either going to be evacuated, displaced or have their life change for a little while. If we can get them ready for that, that’s what we want to do,” says American Red Cross Communications Officer Brian Shawn.

The Red Cross is teaching students that it’s always better to be prepared, even if it means putting your essentials in a pillowcase.

Dumas adds, “If they come to a disaster, something you don’t want them to panic and be scared. If they’re prepared they’re going to do a lot better and be able to handle the situation.”

Third to fifth graders are decorating their pillowcases to their liking.

They pledge to fill their pillowcases with items that will help them survive for future disasters.

“I think they loved it. I think they’re going to be talking about it for a very long time,” says Dumas.

Shawn says they hope to expand the project and gain more awareness in the region.

If school districts are interested, they will make it happen.

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