Improving the Emergency Manager's Hurricane Evacuation Decision Making Through Serious Gaming
MASSACHUSETTS INST OF TECH LEXINGTON LEXINGTON United States
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Making an evacuation decision in response to a hurricane is a high-impact event that directly affects public safety on a large-scale. Despite being extremely critical events, the frequency of hurricanes is low, and as a result emergency managers are rarely afforded the opportunity to engage in the evacuation decision making process, real or simulated. Emergency managers are currently offered in-person courses or webinars to gain an introductory understanding of the meteorological and evacuation clearance time information and the associated tools available to make these critical decisions. Additionally, the offering of these training opportunities is infrequent, limited in capacity and the current training techniques, whether in-person or by webinar, do not allow emergency managers to practice critical decision making, or measure an emergency managers ability to learn the information correctly and then transfer it to an actual evacuation event. Through this work, a web-based, serious gaming approach was used to develop hurricane evacuation decision training for the emergency manager. This paper describes the iterative design approach to developing a training game and collect initial feedback from emergency managers on the prototype capability. Instructional goals were identified in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate as well as the Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA and the National Hurricane Center NHC, who jointly conduct the current hurricane evacuation decision training on an annual basis. The game platform was integrated with the recently re-designed hurricane evacuation decision support tool HVX and has the advantage of reaching many more state and local emergency managers without time or funds to attend the in-person training.
- Civil Defense
- Government and Political Science