American College of Emergency Physicians Announces the Release of Disaster Hero
New Web-based Computer Game Helps Families Prepare for Catastrophic Disasters
The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) has 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 web site 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 are 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 web site, along with additional downloadable learning activities targeted to teachers and parents. For more information, go to www.disasterhero.com.
This program was supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 2008-GT-T8-K028, administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/FEMA. Points of view or opinions in this program are those of the author(s) and do not represent the position or policies of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/FEMA.
ACEP is the national medical specialty society representing emergency medicine. ACEP is committed to advancing emergency care through continuing education, research, and public education. Headquartered in Dallas, TX, ACEP has 53 chapters representing each state, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. A Government Services Chapter represents emergency physicians employed by military branches and other government agencies. www.acep.org