The American Red Cross has released an app aimed at children aged 7 to 11 that hopes to teach them how to prepare for emergencies through an engaging game.
The app, Monster Guard: Prepare for Emergencies, teaches children how to prevent accidents like home fires and how to stay safe during severe weather and natural disasters.
The game is set in the 'Monster Guard Academy', with the child controlling a new recruit who trains to deal with disasters. Users role-play as various monster characters, go through an initiation exercise and engage in interactive training episodes for hazards such as tornadoes, floods and hurricanes. If a child completes every episode, they graduate and become a fully fledged 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 for the Red Cross. "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 app runs on iOS and Android, and is a complement to the Red Cross' youth preparedness initiative The Pillowcase Project, which aims to increase children's awareness and understanding of natural hazards, reduce their fears and give them the practical and emotion skills to cope with emergencies. Both the app and The Pillowcase Project are sponsored by Disney.