Red Cross teaching West Texans how to prepare for natural disasters

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 4:57 PM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - The American Red Cross of the Permian Basin is teaching students around west Texas how they can be prepared for a natural disaster.

It all starts with a pillowcase. A pillowcase can be filled with essential items that can keep you well-equipped in an emergency.

The Pillowcase Project started five years ago as a response to the tragedies people faced during Hurricane Katrina. It aims to help people identify the best ways to stay safe during an emergency.

“Our mission is to prevent and alleviate human suffering and so with the Pillowcase project that’s part of preventing suffering, so people can be prepared, but when we’re actually in the disaster we’re alleviating suffering from the people that have nowhere else to go,” said Tracy Austin, Executive Director of the American Red Cross of the Permian Basin.

Providing coping skills within the project brings a sense of appreciation to the Red Cross staff.

“It’s not only that they have some need to like to wear a shirt because they don’t understand what’s happening and for us to teach them how to be prepared for that, how to face it, is really rewarding,” said Jesus Castro, a Disaster Program Manager for the Red Cross.

After students learn about emergency preparedness from a Red Cross expert, they can pass it along to their friends and families.

“It’s like a seed in the family. The seed of preparedness, of awareness, of what is happening, what could happen in their communities, and how they can be prepared for that.”

You can learn more about the Pillowcase Project here.

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