Hiefnar said space limited who could attend. She hopes to return to do a presentation for the boys of the target age range in the near future.
The Pillowcase Project was one of several projects the local Red Cross has completed in the past week.
“The Pillowcase Project, presented by the American Red Cross of Southeast Tennessee and sponsored by The Walt Disney Company, is designed to be an age appropriate and engaging way to educate children about the importance of disaster preparedness in a fun and constructive way. Following presentations each student receives a pillowcase, activity book and crayons to start their own personalized disaster kit and preparedness plan,” according to a press release.
Students were reminded of the importance of testing smoke alarms once a month and having a plan in case of a fire.
Tim Hooker and Shauna Hiefnar of the Red Cross told students their families need to have a plan of where near the house to meet if there is a fire.
“You want to have somewhere safe to go to, because you don’t want to back in your house,” Hiefnar said.
“It might be a tree in your front yard,” Hooker said.
He said the important part was for everyone to know where to meet. He emphasized it was important to get to the meeting place and then call 911.
“We can replace things, but we can not replace you.”
Students asked questions throughout the presentation and then completed activities to enforce what they had learned.
Some of the students said they had been in house fires or close calls in the past.
Candles, matches, lighters, space heaters, exposed wiring and stoves can all contribute to the start of a house fire. Students were reminded to crawl when there is smoke.
Jamie Lewis of the Red Cross detailed the information that would be needed by a 911 dispatcher if a student were to make a call, such as what the emergency is and where they are.
Students were encouraged to sign and follow this pledge, “I pledge to be prepared for emergencies by learning how emergencies happen, practicing how to stay safe and sharing what I’ve learned at home and with my friends.”
Each student was given a Disney-themed pillowcase.