After having read the feedback forms, and looked through the text messaging transcripts, we can definitively declare our pilot event a success. There is much room for improvement, but we demonstrated that the model is viable and appealing to participants.

The event was held on May 20, in the Pepper/Olive neighborhood in Palo Alto. We had 31 players representing 17 households. This is approximately 42% of occupied households. An excellent turnout!

Everyone reported having learned something, around specific conventional preparedness measures (e.g., water resources) as well as around mental preparedness. Some of the takeaways were particularly encouraging:

  • “[I have a] better sense of available resources, including the people around us.”
  • “What to do in a disaster is about being in control of one’s emotions, sense of well being first.”
  • “Calming down is really important in really bad disaster moments.”

and, most affirming from the Creative Crisis Leadership perspective:

  • “[I] feel more positive and proactive after second simulation.”

We are working on a detailed analysis and report. In the meantime, here’s a taste of what happened.

 

Participants practiced duck, cover, and (sometimes) hold:
They recognized they have valuable resources at hand:
Identified main electric, gas and water shutoffs:
Were creative in getting to trapped family members, and solving problems related to water, food, and sanitation:

Looked out for each other:
And played at the BBQ:
Meanwhile, behind the scenes:

 

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