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New computer game helps families prepare for disasters

The most common natural disasters are used to teach preparedness steps

By ACEP

IRVING, Texas —  The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) today announced the release of Disaster Hero, a game designed to teach families how to prepare for all types of hazards or emergencies. The game was developed as part of a grant administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency.

In the game, the player takes the role of a "Disaster Hero" contestant in a high-tech game show, competing against a computer opponent to prove his or her disaster knowledge and preparedness skills for a chance to be named the next "Disaster Hero!"

"Preparing your family in advance is the best protection in an emergency," said Dr. Andy Sama , president of ACEP. "This game is a unique and entertaining approach to teachings families to have an active role in home disaster planning."

The web-based game is geared to multiple audiences, including children, teens, parents, caregivers, and teachers to focus on what to do before, during, and after a disaster.  It and the associated website emphasize having an emergency plan, getting an emergency kit and being informed.  Players are encouraged to learn about the types of disasters that can occur in their geographic region or state.

The most common natural disasters — earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes — are used to teach the preparedness steps and to help users know how to prepare and what to do during and after an event.

The game includes a variety of different genres, tailored to the specific type of educational content to be conveyed. For example, arcade and puzzle gameplay is used to teach how to prepare for a possible natural disaster and how to stay safe afterwards, e.g., determining escape routes and meeting places, avoiding common hazards, or shutting off utilities.

Hidden object gameplay is used to teach what items belong in an emergency supply kit, e.g., batteries, flashlight, canned food. Along the way, players will be quizzed on the information presented through gameplay.

The dashing Dante Shields is the original Disaster Hero, founder of the Disaster Arena that recruits the best prospects to lead the next generation of the Disaster Hero Squad. Points, trophies, and achievements are earned throughout the experience and displayed on the Disaster Hero website, along with additional downloadable learning activities targeted to teachers and parents.




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