Stuffed animals help students prepare for disasters

Stuffed animals help students prepare for disasters
Image credit: Flickr (CC) / Christiaan Triebert

Disaster drills can be tedious. The Patrick Elementary School in Gold Hill, Oregon though has added stuffed animals to the mix to help students prepare.

Students brought their own stuffed animals to participate in the drill. Students learned how to register their animals, brought them food and water and even checked on them through the day.

The American Red Cross and Emergency Crews for Jackson and Josephine County partnered up with the city and the school to have the event. Organizers said they’ve been planning this event for the past two years.

The main goal is to help teach kids what to do in a emergency situation and how to make sure their pets are safe. They hope it will teach students and parents what to do in a real-life emergency like a flood, earthquake or wildfire.

“If it is safe and you have time. We’d love if you could evacuate with your pets,” said Josephine County Emergency Manager Jenny Hall.

The drill was also used to help local emergency response teams test their evacuation methods and management. The school is the designated shelter for the community in case of any number of emergencies.

“Having this experience will just build a community of concerned citizens with an increased awareness and these children will never forget this day. It was a lot of fun, something different and it certainly beats the classroom on a nice day like today,” Gayle Lewis with Jacksonville’s CERT, said.