Red Cross Monster Guard App uses Gaming to Teach Children about Disasters
Free gaming app can help save children’s lives
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 1, 2015 — A newly released version of the American Red Cross Monster Guard App: Prepare for Emergencies can help save lives through gaming. Children between the ages of 7 and 11 role play as different monster characters and earn points while learning how to be safe in home fires, hurricanes, floods and other disasters.
“We know that kids are at higher risk from disasters than grown-ups,” said Russ Paulsen, executive director of Community Preparedness and Resilience for the Red Cross. “This game empowers children with information on being safe and teaches coping skills – but in a fun way.”
Set in the ‘Monster Guard Academy,’ children earn points as they direct the characters to identify hazards, locate a safe room in the house, and select items for their emergency supplies kit. They can earn gold, silver or bronze medals based on the number of points they score and star multipliers located throughout the episodes allow them to bump their scores even higher. If a player completes all the episodes, he or she will graduate and become a member of the ‘Monster Guard.’
Available for tablets and other mobile devices, the new version of the app runs on iOS 7 and above. The previous version runs on Android OS 4x and up. People can text ‘MONSTER’ to 90999 and receive a direct link to download the app or go toredcross.org/monsterguard. Children should ask a parent or guardian for permission to download the app.
Youth Preparedness Initiative
Monster Guard is a complement to The Pillowcase Project, a free Red Cross youth preparedness program 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 Monster Guard App and The Pillowcase Project are both sponsored by Disney.
The app and The Pillowcase Project are also key components of the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign to reduce deaths and injuries from home fires by as much as 25 percent over the next five years. The campaign focuses on increasing the use of smoke alarms in neighborhoods with high numbers of home fires and encouraging everyone to practice their fire escape plans.