Extreme Event on the Road: LA Unified School District Emergency Managers Shake Things Up

Game participants make decisions about resources during the Prepare Phase of Extreme Event: Rock City

In June 2017, Extreme Event was on the road to the Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) Office of Emergency Services. LAUSD is the second largest school district in the United States, with 650,000 K-12 students and 80,000 employees. The district also has their own Emergency Operations Center that supports each of the 6 local districts during emergencies. Jill Barnes, Coordinator for the Office of Emergency Services, thought Extreme Event: Earthquake would be a great training tool for local district staff and other emergency managers in the LA area.   

Participants trade resources across a chasm created by the earthquake's aftershock

Koshland staff facilitated three games of Extreme Event: Earthquake: first for LAUSD local district emergency services staff, second for personnel who respond to the LAUSD Emergency Operations center during an emergency, and finally for local emergency managers. The third group included participants from the Department of Homeland Security, US Geological Survey, CA Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, CA Department of Social Services, LA County Office of Emergency Management, LA City Emergency Management Department, LA County Fire Department, City of Beverly Hills, City of Santa Monica, City of Culver City, LA City Recreation and Parks, My Safe: LA, LA City Department on Disability, LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and the American Red Cross. 

Participants work to gather the resources they need to solve their neighborhood’s challenge

When asked how she thought Extreme Event helped participants, Jill Barnes said, “The game helped them to see the importance of resources and relationships in a disaster and will help them to be more resilient as a school district.” For the second group, “The game was useful for them to see that the school district may not have all of the resources we need in a disaster and that conversely, we may have much to offer others during a disaster. Several mentioned taking lessons learned back to discuss with their departments.” 

Participants work together to prioritize resources during the "Emergency Aid" surprise challenge midway through the game

Jill informed Koshland staff that feedback from participants after the game has been extremely positive and several participants expressed how they might use Extreme Event in their department or agency. “I think that the game fills an essential niche for us in working towards a state of emergency readiness.”

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