By V. Squires, American Red Cross Volunteer

Pedro saves the day!

Six year-old Luke is in his bedroom when the smoke alarm sounds – BEEP-BEEP-BEEP! Thanks to the American Red Cross, Luke knows exactly what to do!

September is Disaster Preparedness Month and a perfect time to instruct children on how to prepare for and take action in the event of an emergency. The Red Cross Youth Preparedness Program has age-appropriate materials for kids of a variety of ages.

The NW Region provides in-person presentations with all materials free of charge, thanks to the generosity of our donors.

Five to seven year-olds will meet Pedro the penguin, the star of the Prepare with Pedro storybook series. In a 30-minute presentation, students hear a story and do hands-on activities as they learn how to prepare and safely respond to a house fire emergency.

Most presentations take place in school classrooms, yet Pedro has visited daycare facilities and Scout troops. A trained Red Cross volunteer instructor introduces Pedro to the kids, and each child receives a book with the story that was read during the presentation.

After the presentation, “Kids go home and talk to their grownups to create a household of prepared people,” says Hannah Christen, NW Region Preparedness Manager. Last year, 718 children attended a “Prepare with Pedro” presentation across the NW Region. Now, as many households may be prepared and take action when the smoke alarm sounds BEEP-BEEP-BEEP!

Invite Pedro into your community. Hannah and her team are gearing up for a new school year of introducing Pedro to kids. Scheduling for Fall 2022 is now open. To request a presentation, contact Hannah Christen at

You can also reach out to Hannah to learn more about volunteering as a Red Cross instructor with the Youth Preparedness Program. For more on our preparedness efforts across the Northwest Region, click here.

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