Safe Haven Game
The game is played with two or more small groups (ideally, between 3-5 people per group). Each group picks a Situation Card which describes a typhoon-and-storm-surge scenario for a town. Each scenario provides a typhoon track and velocity, along with a storm surge warning. The group then takes the information given and deliberates over what the information means and what evacuation actions to recommend (including selecting a suitable evacuation center).
The game is timed, and the groups raise their hand when they are finished. Each group brings their work to the front and explains their analysis. Winners are deteremined in order of speed of completion of the task, and prizes are given to all. During their explanation, the moderators play the role of community leaders and asks questions meant to simulate things one might hear from members of the public.
The groups are each given a large map of an area, showing elevation contours and locations of local schools that might be used as evacuation centers. They are given colored crayons to draw on the map with.
A sample Situation Card is shown in below, with questions the group is to respond to.
You are the designated local disaster risk reduction officer, charged with planning of pre-typhoon evacuation. You receive the following information from the national weather office:
Each group then presents their work and explains the decisions they made in front of the rest of the workshop participants. The moderator takes the role of a local community leader who is skeptical over the proposed plan and asks a number of questions such as the ones shown below.
"So this is another typhoon. How is your plan different? We will proceed like we normally do."
"What do you mean by a storm surge?"
"Nobody will go to the evacuation center. Everyone knows it is crowded and unsafe. Mothers will not bring their newborn babies there."
"Safer if each resident instead stays home and strengthens the doors, windows, fastens the roof."
Photo courtesy of IFRC and BDRCS
After all the groups have reported, the moderators lead the participants through a reflection exercise. There are two parts to the reflection. The first is showing a large print-out of the geohazard map for the town, which shows that one school location is shown as being outside the hazard zone. The question the moderator poses is: the national disaster risk management agency says to use the official hazard map, which shows that one of the evacuation sites you rejected can be used. What do you do? What do you say?
The moderators then lead a discussion around what everyone learned in the tutorial game and how both can be improved.
The final part involves the participants filling out a post-exercise survey. This is to be compared with a pre-event survey previously filled out by the participants.