The Pillowcase Program
The Pillowcase Program was originally inspired by events during Hurricane Katrina in the US. While evacuating campus, students of a local University used pillowcases to carry their cherished and basic possessions. After hearing this, Red Cross staff developed the concept of using a pillowcase as an emergency kit. The program quickly grew into a preparedness education program that has since become known as the Pillowcase Program. Its success in the US prompted an international expansion of the program, supported by the Global Disaster Preparedness Center and The Walt Disney Company.
Delivered by Red Cross volunteers and staff, the workshop encourages children to be active participants in their own emergency preparedness. The content is non-hazard specific and includes activities to highlight the importance of being prepared and how to prepare both psychologically and practically for an emergency.
Aimed at students in Years 3 and 4 (ages 8-10), the one hour workshop involves engaging discussions and interactive activities to help students:
Each student is then given a pillowcase to decorate and take home, to start their own personal emergency kit.