The Pillowcase Project at IU Health White Memorial

The Pillowcase Project is a Red Cross community service project where our nurses go to public schools and teach fourth and fifth graders the importance of disaster preparedness. It stems from hurricane Katrina where several college students were evacuating and threw all their belongings into a pillowcase. It was determined that if a pillowcase was created that listed some of the needed items to grab it would be a great way for kids to understand what to get while preparing to evacuate for a disaster.

Through the Pillowcase Project, children learn how to prepare for emergencies, practice what they have learned and share their knowledge with family and friends so that when an emergency does occur, everyone knows what to do.

Tina Wheeldon, RN, IU Health White Memorial is the point of contact for The American Red Cross. She recently taught The Pillowcase Project class to a group of home-schooled children. The children got to decorate their pillowcases with markers provided by Red Cross.

The children learned about fire alarms, where they should be placed in the home, how often they should be checked, escape plans and where to meet in case of a fire. They are taught how to escape out of a home fire: they have less than two minutes to escape and must have two passages of escape in their plan. Each child received a book which helps them remember about their escape plans.

This group also learned how to recognize when tornadoes can occur and the safest place to take cover.

Everyone learns how to cope with disasters, by blowing out bad air and breathing in good air in with imagining the air is colored. Good air could be green for instance and bad air maybe gray.