Kids to get emergency preparedness training

American Red Cross brings Katrina-inspired Pillowcase Project to Northeast PA

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— The American Red Cross Northeast Pennsylvania Region will present The Pillowcase Project, part of a Disney-sponsored, nationwide pilot program that teaches kids to be prepared for disaster.

Red Cross volunteers will present The Pillowcase Project in one-hour classroom sessions in elementary schools, after-school programs, and clubs throughout the Northeast region.

The program emphasizes the importance of developing plans for emergency communications and fire evacuation. Students will learn about hazards, preparing for emergencies, and coping skills. They will practice what they learn with family and friends.

Students will each receive a workbook and certificate of completion. They will also have the opportunity to decorate and personalize their own pillowcase, which are pre-printed with Disney characters and suggested items to include in the kit, such as toothpaste, flashlight, blanket, and radio.

The Pillowcase Project was originally created in New Orleans, inspired by local university students carrying their belongings in pillowcases in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The Northeast Region is one of 60 Red Cross regions piloting the program this year, with the goal of expanding the program to 96 regions by the end of 2015.

“We are thrilled to bring The Pillowcase Project to local schools and after-school programs," said Peter Brown, Regional CEO. "The program gives students the opportunity to learn about the science behind various hazards and the importance of preparedness in a fun and interactive way. The hands-on activities will also help to build confidence so that kids are prepared to take action during an emergency.”

For more information contact Gail Toscano at 570-476-3896 or

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