safety cruise

American Red Cross Vista Workers Zackery Plunkett and Desiree Fleming teach Reservoir Manor residents about earthquakes. Plunkett and Fleming will be part of the team demonstrating at the Kids' Safety Cruise next Friday.

Valorie Eversole
Shelbyville Daily Union

Tornadoes, lightning storms, earthquakes, flash flooding, fires ... do your kids know what to do in these emergency events?

The American Red Cross will hold its second annual Kids’ Safety Cruise Friday, August 11, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Shelby Christian Church, 200 N. Hickory, in Shelbyville.

“The programs are entirely taught by Red Cross volunteers and our two Vista workers,” said Glenda Plunkett, manager for Shelby-Moultrie Service Center of the Illinois Chapter of the American Red Cross.

In addition to the safety program, the American Red Cross Babysitting Course will be offered.

The all-day course will teach young adults at least 11 years old about child growth and development, safety, diaper changing, toy selection, first aid and critical emergency action skills used in babysitting. Participants will become ARC-certified babysitters.

The babysitting course cost is $15.

The safety cruise is for kids ages 5 to 15. Among the things demonstrated is fire safety with the fire department’s smokehouse.

“I’m excited to be partnering with the fire department on this,” Plunkett said.

Other demonstrations include earthquakes, tornadoes, lightning and flash flooding.

“We’re emphasizing earthquakes. We’re overdue for one sitting on the New Madrid fault,” Vista worker Zackery Plunkett. “It’s been 211 years since the last one.”

Each of the learning activities will be set up with demonstrations and games.

“We don’t want to stand there and lecture the whole time,” said Desiree Fleming, Vista worker. “We want it to be fun. We want them to know how to be prepared.”

Volunteers will also be using mascots such as Scrubby Bear to teach about hand washing and good hygiene and Longfellow’s Whale Tales to teach about water safety.

There will also be a Great Dane and live raccoon to help children learn about pet safety and a Blackfoot Native American to teach them about life on the prairie.

“It’s a hands-on practical education in a non-threatening way,” Glenda Plunkett said.

Children must be pre-registered by calling the American Red Cross office at 774-4122 or 827-4403 by Wednesday, August 9.

“We had at least 100 children registered last year,” Plunkett said. She added that at least 20 need to be registered for the program to run this year.

The programs are free. Children must bring a sack lunch.

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