A new American Red Cross app helps children between the ages of 7 and 11 learn emergency preparedness while playing a game as monster characters.
The free app, "Monster Guard: Prepare for Emergencies," is a game to teach children how to prevent emergencies, such as home fires, and what to do if severe weather or natural disasters occur.
Set in the 'Monster Guard Academy,' the young app user is a recruit who trains to prepare for disasters and practice what to do if one happens. Users can role-play as various monster characters, go through the initiation and engage in interactive training episodes for hazards such as tornados, floods and hurricanes. If a player completes all the episodes, he or she will graduate and become a member of the 'Monster Guard.'
"The Monster Guard App game is emergency preparedness disguised as fun," said Russ Paulsen, executive director of Community Preparedness and Resilience. "As children direct the monsters to identify fire hazards, locate a safe room in a house and select items needed for their emergency supplies kit, they are learning how to prepare for emergencies."
The best user experience is playing the game on a tablet, but it also works well on other mobile devices. Monster Guard runs on iOS 7 and 8 and Android OS 4x and up. People can go to redcross.org/monsterguard for information, and children should ask a parent or guardian for permission to download the app.
The Monster Guard App game is a complement to The Pillowcase Project, a free Red Cross youth preparedness initiative, for 8- to 11-year-olds, designed to increase children's awareness and understanding of natural hazards and reduce their fears. Participants learn safety and emotional coping skills, along with personal emergency preparedness skills. Information on The Pillowcase Project is available at redcross.org/prepare. The app and The Pillowcase Project are both sponsored by Disney.
The Red Cross offers a series of apps that give people instant access to expert guidance on what to do before, during and after emergencies and disasters. People have used these award-winning apps to save lives and help protect their pets and property. Localized weather alerts and warnings from the apps have allowed people to get themselves and their loved ones to a safe place before severe storms came through their area.
People can download the apps by searching for Red Cross in their mobile app store or by going to redcross.org/apps.