Melania Trump and Karen Pence Visit Students to Discuss Importance of Emergency Preparation

October 31, 2019 Updated: October 31, 2019

Melania Trump and Karen Pence met with school students and military agencies in Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday to discuss the importance of emergency preparation.

The first and second ladies visited Lambs Elementary School, where fifth-graders were participating in the Red Cross Pillowcase Project.

First lady Melania Trump
First lady Melania Trump and Karen Pence arrive at Joint Base Charleston in North Charleston,S.C. on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019. They were greeted by South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and other dignitaries. (Grace Beahm Alford/The Post And Courier via AP)

Initiated after the devastating Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the project is designed specifically for children and aims to physically and mentally prepare them for emergency evacuations.

Melania and Karen spoke to the young students about the items they would pack and take with them should a natural disaster occur.

They also handed out Be Best flashlights for the kids to include in their pillowcase safety kit.

First lady Melania Trump
First lady Melania Trump, left, and Karen Pence, right, visit students at Lambs Elementary in North Charleston, S.C. on Oct. 30, 2019. (Grace Beahm Alford/The Post And Courier via AP)

Following the visit, Melania thanked the school for teaching students the importance of preparing for an emergency.

She said: “I applaud the Red Cross and Lambs Elementary for proactively teaching our youth important readiness skills so that they can be better equipped for emergency situations.”

Melania and Karen’s visit to South Carolina comes just weeks after the state found itself caught in the path of Hurricane Dorian, which caused widespread devastation when it formed in the Bahamas.

The first and second ladies later met with military officials and major emergency response teams at Joint Base Charleston, where they thanked them for their service.

They received briefings from the 841st Transportation Battalion, U.S. Coast Guard, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Emergency Operation Center staff about how they are equipped to respond to a disaster and the humanitarian recovery efforts that take place after.

Military officials also explained how they mobilize federal resources before and after natural disasters.

Melania Trump and Karen Pence
First Lady Melania Trump and Second Lady Karen Pence receive a vehicle capabilities briefing of an Emergency Operations Disposal Vehicle on Oct. 30, 2019, at Joint Base Charleston, S.C. (Andrea Hanks/White House)

Before leaving Joint Base Charleston and heading back to Washington, Melania addressed several hundred troops and their family members, thanking them for their incredible service to the country.

The first lady said: “Thank you to Joint Base Charleston and Lambs Elementary for the wonderful and warm welcome today.

“It was an honor to meet with so many members of our Armed Forces and to learn about the important and life-saving work happening on this base and within the community every day.”

Meanwhile, Second Lady Karen Pence told the crowd: “It was an honor to join the First Lady at Joint Base Charleston and learn the vital role service members there play in our nation’s emergency preparedness.”

She added: “I’m also grateful for Red Cross and the lessons they shared with students at Lambs Elementary School on how to best handle an emergency situation.”

The first lady’s visit to South Carolina comes just days after President Trump traveled to the state where he spoke for nearly an hour at the Second Step Presidential Justice Forum held at Columbia’s Benedict College.

President Trump praised the success of the First Step Act, a bill which he signed into law last December aimed at addressing the prison sentence disparities between black and white people charged with similar drug offences.

The bill has so far resulted in a reduced prison sentence for more than 1,600 federal inmates.

Trump also shared his admiration for the achievement of African American students at Historically black colleges and universities such as Columbia’s Benedict College.

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