Students Learn to Prepare for Natural Disasters

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It's been almost 10 years since Hurricane Katrina devestated the Gulf Coast, from Texas to Florida.

The most damage occurred in Louisiana, where levees failed and hundreds were killed.

We all remember the images of the families trapped on roofs, begging for help as floodwaters surrounded their homes.

The American Red Cross was on the front lines trying to help as many people as possible. And today, they are using that tragedy to teach children a very important lesson.

"Build a kit, make a plan and stay informed, and that is what we want to drive home for the students," said Myshia Aban with Gold Country Red Cross.

In Northern California, fires and floods are always a threat. Sometimes, we only have minutes to evacuate.

"So if it's an active evacuation -- five minutes," she said.

When Hurricane Katrina hit, many families left with only what they could fit into a pillowcase. That sparked the largest Pillowcase Project.

So far, the Red Cross has given out 3,600 Disney inspired pillowcases in our area -- giving kids a fun way to build a kit and prepare.

The goal is to teach every student from third to fifth grade how to evacuate in less than five minutes.

"Bottled water, maybe a whistle if you were to get separated from your parents or your guardians, non-perishable food items, canned food, a can opener -- things like that," Aban said.

The idea is to start the conversation in school and then continue it at home with parents, getting everyone to prepare a kit.

Written on the pillowcases were items that should go inside. The students were also asked to color other items they would like to include, items that will bring them comfort.