Serious games in FEMA Regional Response Coordination Center training and exercises
Brawley, Randy S.
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This thesis describes how the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency could use a serious game to improve performance, feedback, and engagement in Regional Response Coordination Center training and exercises. Despite the publicly acknowledged deficiencies of FEMA’s response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, more than half the positions FEMA identified for Hurricane Sandy in 2012 were filled by unqualified personnel. While training and exercises are but elements of the problem, they are essential to the solution. In particular, one weakness of traditional training and exercises is they do not sufficiently stress decision makers. An ever-increasing body of research exists demonstrating how serious games provide positive skill transfer and evoke similar reactions as real-world disasters. This paper presents a game design document and prototype for a Regional Response Coordination Center serious game called 72-Hours. The game is intended to stress individual players and teams as they attempt to stabilize a disaster within the 72-hour goal set by the Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator.
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