Connecticut Teens Get CPR Certified

Connecticut Teens Get CPR Certified

Children and Disasters newsletter header

July 2017


Pillowcase Preparedness in Pennsylvania

Emergency suppliesOn May 19, volunteers from the American Red Cross, United Way, and Victaulic—a global pipe manufacturing company headquartered in Easton, Pennsylvania—taught fifth graders at Easton’s Cheston Elementary School how to prepare for an emergency.

The event was part of the Pillowcase Project; an American Red Cross program sponsored by Disney to boost preparedness among youth who ranged in age between 8 and 11. The initiative aims to boost awareness and understanding of natural hazards. It also teaches safety, emotional coping skills, and personal preparedness.

During an instructor-led Pillowcase Project presentation, students ask questions and learn how to put together an emergency supply kit. The kids accept a pillowcase packed with essential items, and decorate their pillowcases to make them unique. Taking the pillowcases home helps students share what they have learned with their family and friends. According to the American Red Cross, 95 percent of Pillowcase Project students report feeling more prepared for disasters because of their participation.

Go here to learn more about resources for school preparedness activities from the American Red Cross.

West Virginia Volunteers Prep to Get Kids Disaster Ready

For the past 14 years, Jefferson County Homeland Security and Emergency Management (JCHSEM) has delivered Disaster Ready Kids, a preparedness-building curriculum available to local children in registered summer programs such as day care centers, camps, scout troops, and other youth groups. JCHSEM provides volunteers who present materials tailored to different age groups.

However, one thing is consistent, according to Brandon Vallee, public information officer for JCHSEM: “Kids are usually very excited to learn about disaster preparedness. [They] tend to be most curious about the scariest disasters and the ones they hear about most frequently in the news, but have not seen personally. Sometimes they even create their own scenarios—like dinosaurs coming out of volcanoes.” That may seem like nonsense, Vallee said, “but listening and talking is a way adults can alleviate kids’ fears and prepare children for genuine emergencies.”

To generate interest in the free program, each year JCHSEM sends out letters to all day cares, schools, and libraries in the county. Nearby Morgan County plans to mirror JCHSEM’s approach next year, learning best practices from its neighbor.

For more information, or to register for a Disaster Ready Kids session for your group, contact Vallee at bvallee.


Connecticut Teens Get CPR Certified

A student practices giving rescue breathsAhjeetha Skankar, a member of the FEMA’s Youth Preparedness Council (YPC) from Region 1, worked with a school nurse to teach fellow students at Brookfield High School in Connecticut how to perform CPR. Working with a textbook and getting hands-on practice, students ultimately achieved CPR and first aid certification.

Ahjeetha explained that she decided to bring a CPR and first aid course to her school because “teenagers make up 25 percent of our community in Brookfield. That’s a huge number of potential responders who can give aid during an emergency.”

Students also learned how to spot the signs of a stroke, how to use an AED, and how to administer an EpiPen. The course cost was $27 per student, which included all materials.

Ahjeetha publicized the course by posting signs around campus and getting permission to put registration information in the school’s daily email to students and staff. If you know a teen who may be interested in leading similar efforts, talk to them about applying for the YPC. Get more information here.


Join #PrepareAthonForSchools Twitter Chats July 27 and August 31

REMS TA Center Logo

Please join us for a national conversation hosted by Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools Technical Assistance Center (REMS TA Center). Each Twitter chat features stories, lessons learned, and key resources from states, localities, and additional Federal partners. Topics include:

  • July 27: Engaging Family and Community in Back to School Preparedness
  • August 31: National Preparedness Month Preview

Here is how you can participate:

Each Twitter chat will be held 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET. Please feel free to invite others to participate, too—this opportunity is open to all! Get started here.


Summer Safety Resources

Organization: National Weather Service
Audience: Youth, Educators, Parents
Topics: General preparedness, Weather
Description: This website has articles, infographics, presentations, and videos that educate adults and youth about how to stay safe during summer weather.

Summer Weather Camp List

Organization: National Weather Service
Audience: Youth, Educators
Topic: Weather
Description: This PDF lists all weather camps open to middle and high school students.



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