Louisville Chapter Celebrates Youth Preparedness Week

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The American Red Cross celebrated its Youth Preparedness Week during the week of January 20th through the 24th. During that week members and volunteers of the American Red Cross worked to educate youth and their families on how to be prepared in a variety of disasters. The goal of Youth Preparedness Week is to “to raise awareness of disaster risk and build resiliency among young people”. Members of the Red Cross Club at the Louisville Chapter participated in this awesome preparedness week by presenting the Pillowcase Project to 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade students at Coleridge-Taylor Elementary School. The American Red Cross with the support of LG&E created the Pillowcase Project. It was started based on the idea that items a family will need during a disaster can be put in a pre-packed pillowcase and will be easily accessible in the event of an emergency. The Club introduced the students to Sammy the Pillowcase and played fun games with the students that helped them to learn about the types of disasters. During the presentation the students even got to learn disaster dances such as the Ice Storm and Tornado in which they spun around in fast circles and then suddenly froze when the instructor shouted ICE STORM!! Along with teaching the students about disasters the Club instructors encouraged the students to create a disaster plan with their families at home and to select a meeting spot in case they ever have to evacuate the house. When the members of the Club were done presenting they gave each student a pillowcase with a glow stick, activity book, crayons, a Pillowcase Project brochure, and first aid kit; but those items were just a start. They also told the students to go home and put more materials in their pillowcase, decorate it and practice a disaster plan and meeting spot with their family. They suggested items such as a stuffed animal that could serve as a comfort for the scared kids if there were a disaster, non-perishable foods, and a battery powered radio so they could stay informed. Disasters are often unexpected and can be very frightening for those involved, but with presentations such as the Pillowcase Project kids and their families will know how to be prepared before a disaster happens!

Blog written by: Jocelyn Porter, Vice President of the Chapter Club Council, Louisville Chapter, KY.

Based on the Pillowcase Projects developed and designed by New Orleans, LA,  Mississippi, and Louisville, KY, the Red Cross National Headquarters has developed a national Pillowcase Project curriculum that is being pilot tested in 59 Red Cross regions.  

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