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Red Cross begins new disaster education program for children

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Amarillo, TX - The American Red Cross in Amarillo is starting a new program to help children prepare for disasters.

The Red Cross plans to educate 3,000 children across the Panhandle about preparing and dealing with disasters through the Pillowcase Project.

Volunteers will go to area schools to teach third through fifth grade students about making a disaster plan in the event of a home fire or a tornado. Children will be given pillowcases that have tips for dealing with disasters and they can fill them with things they might need, such as an emergency kit, water or a favorite stuffed animal for comfort.

"The goal is to really educate kids at a young age to start thinking about disasters, preparing for disasters and how to cope with those disasters so that it follows them for a lifetime as they move into adulthood and they are responsible for their family," said Red Cross Executive Director Steve Pair.

A Red Cross executive was inspired to create the project during Hurricane Katrina because she saw many children carrying around their belongings in a pillowcase. Last year, the Walt Disney Company funded the project through a million-dollar donation.

The Red Cross hopes to start the Pillowcase Project in area schools by the end of March.

Madison Alewel - NewsChannel 10

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