What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Disaster Hero is a free online game, developed in partnership with the US Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It was created to help teach kids what to do in the event of an emergency. It places emphasis on natural disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes. The educational content is the same as the information on FEMA's website; it is simply presented in a way that is more engaging and interesting to kids. They engage in various mini-games while taking quizzes about emergency preparedness. Players can choose their difficulty level, ranging from "Bronze" for kids in 1st to 3rd grade, to "Gold" for those in 7th and 8th grade.
What kids can learn
- set objectives
- work to achieve goals
- achieving goals
- handling stress
- moving beyond obstacles
- group projects
- meeting challenges together
Health & Fitness
- preventing sickness
Engagement, Approach, Support
Kids engage in a series of mini-games that are only loosely connected to the educational content. However, there are sleek graphics, a captivating hero character, and a motivation to accomplish all the activities.
Where this game excels is in providing kids with a sense of empowerment. If they complete the game, they will know the recommended steps for planning for, anticipating, and responding to a natural disaster.
Disaster Hero offers three different levels of difficulty, from the 1st grade through the 8th grade. Kids are encouraged throughout the experience until they can complete each activity.
What's it about?
DISASTER HERO puts players in the position of a \"hero\" that sets out to conquer all major natural disasters. Players complete a series of activities, each of which is connected to a specific type of disaster. For example, players are shown two versions of the same room and must find which room is missing the appropriate disaster preparedness items (e.g., an emergency kit, extra food for their pets, a list of emergency contact numbers). After players complete the activities for each disaster, they receive a certificate that they can print at home, recognizing them as a \"Disaster Hero.\"
Is it any good?
For some of the activities in Disaster Hero, there is a disconnect between the gameplay and the educational content. Some mini-games, for example, focus on speed and award players for getting through it as quickly as possible rather than studying the disaster preparedness tips. There is also a lot of unnecessary dialogue during the intermittent story scenes and dialogue. Rather than using this time to educate players about disaster preparedness, there is a lot of talk about the fictitious sci-fi world in which the game is set -- talk that is neither captivating nor pivotal to the gameplay or the overall message of the game.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about their emergency preparedness plans. What is your family's plan will be in case of a natural disaster?
What disasters are most likely where your family lives?
Have you ever been frightened before during a storm or other form of natural disaster? What can be done to help you from being frightened in the future?