American Red Cross Pillowcase Project Helps South Carolina Children Prepare for Emergencies

Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, affecting millions of people. Many children were traumatized by their memories of the storm’s fury so the American Red Cross developed a program using something as simple as a pillowcase to help these children feel safer and more prepared for a disaster.

The Pillowcase Project is a free interactive preparedness program designed for youth ages 8 to 11 and offered by Red Cross chapters to youth in schools, after-school programs, and at other sites and events. In South Carolina more than 5,000 students have learned the best ways to stay safe, how to handle stressful situations, and what tools they can use at home to prepare for emergencies.


Children learn how to create their own emergency supply kit by packing essential items in a pillowcase which is easy to carry in an emergency. They can decorate and personalize their pillowcase and each child receives a “My Preparedness Workbook” and a certificate of completion at the end of their training.

Through the Pillowcase Project, children in grades three through five learn how weather hazards occur, how to get ready for and to cope with emergencies. They also learn how to develop a way to contact household members in an emergency situation, how to develop fire escape plans and emergency contact cards and how important it is to share what they learn with members of their household so everyone can be prepared..  

The curriculum meets many of the Common Core State Standards for grades 3-5.  For more information about The Pillowcase Project and how your school, after-school program or community group can participate, contact your local Red Cross.

Comments