“Pillow Case Initiative” teaches kids about disaster safety

“Pillow Case Initiative” teaches kids about disaster safety

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Due to the recent flooding and fires in our area that have left several children displaced from their homes, organizers of the "Pillow Case Program" say teaching kids about safety is just as important as ever.

The American Red Cross and Disney have partnered up to make learning about safety a little more fun for kids. The program was launched after Hurricane Katrina when a Red Cross director noticed kids coming into shelters with their belongings in their pillow cases.

Now the program is being taught all over the country, and helps kids always have emergency items they can grab at a moment's notice. "We give them a pillow case to color for themselves, to take home, and they can put anything they want in it. Now we usually show them what we have in ours, which are a radio, a flashlight.

A lot of times parents take care of that part." says Pam O'Day. O'Day is one of the Red Cross instructors and says kids have been extremely receptive to the new program. She says by giving theit own pillow case that is uniquely their own. It helps them understand what to do when faced with an emergency situation.

The children are encouraged to put essential items in the case like bandages, or toothbrushes, but are also told to bring their favorite toys as well. "They have control of what goes in there. They can take any toys they want. Or not, and they can take food, snacks, whatever. It's theirs. It belongs to them. They control it." said O'Day.

The kids are taught about what to do when there is a flood, a hurricane, or even a tornado. However, they are also told NOT to worry about grabbing their pillow case when there is a fire, and that the most important thing to do is get out of the house as quickly as possible.
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