Merimbula Public packs pillowcases to prepare children for an emergency

By Australian Red Cross and Melanie Leach, of Merimbula News Weekly
Picture credit: Merimbula News Weekly, Fairfax

Students of Merimbula Public School have learned how to prepare for an emergency and shared the precious items they'd pack and take with them in the event of a disaster.

Australian Red Cross emergency services volunteers visited the school this term to deliver a program known as the Pillowcase Project - a classroom exercise designed to help children be agents for emergency preparation within their families and communities.

The Pillowcase Project was inspired by US college students who used pillowcases to carry personal items during an evacuation ahead of Hurricane Katrina's landfall in 2005.

Supported by the Global Disaster Preparedness Center and Disney, the idea was developed by Red Cross to arm children with the knowledge and resources to plan for an emergency and to act should the worst happen.

At Merimbula Public School Year 3 and 4 pupils were given the opportunity to discuss what could happen in an emergency situation and what they can do to stay calm.

Picture credit: Merimbula News Weekly, Fairfax
Picture credit: Merimbula News Weekly, Fairfax

They were then split into groups where they discussed what they as a group would pack in their emergency pillowcase.

Showing incredible maturity, one group identified that personal medication would need to be among their list of priority items to take.

The program ended with students decorating a pillowcase with personal reminders of the items they would pack in an emergency.

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