Emergency managers and community members play the extreme event game

Emergency Managers bring the Extreme Event Game to the Community

Emergency Managers from the Fairfax County, Virginia Office of Emergency Management (OEM) are playing the Extreme Event Game to build disaster resilience in their community.

An OEM representative describes the game this way: “In the Extreme Event game, participants are walked through the cycle of making decisions based upon available resources. Once they have decided upon their resources, the disaster happens. There are three scenarios to choose from, which include flooding, hurricanes, and earthquakes. The scenario you are seeing in this video (below) is the hurricane. Throughout the entire response phase, jurisdictions have to solve problems and be prepared for “smaller disasters” to occur within their jurisdiction. These smaller events simulate the fight for resources and how the resources can be extremely limited.”

The OEM representative continues: “In the end, participants are asked: ‘How did you fix your problem?’ and ‘Was it good for the community as a whole?’ This game is a great way to find the dynamic needed to respond and recover from disasters. It also really focuses on human interactions and the difference between altruism and self-service. Ultimately, this game culminates by teaching participants that for Emergency Management and the community to be resilient from disasters, there needs to be an effort to include the community in planning efforts and keep them informed. If that line of communication or that inclusivity dissolves, we leave ourselves vulnerable for the next disaster.”

If you live near Fairfax County, VA and are interested in playing the game with  your group/organization, reach out to oem-outreach@fairfaxcounty.gov or follow @ReadyFairfax on social media.

If you live anywhere else, find out how easy it is to bring the Extreme Event Game to your community on this website. You can do-it-yourself and download the game materials free, rent the game materials for mailing costs, or LabX can bring the game and a trained facilitator to you! Take a look at the quick game demo below.