Disaster Scenario Planning Workshop

Robin Low • 11 November 2016
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Open Scenario Planning

Short summary:

  • Disasters come in many form, and how communities respond and recover depends a lot on the communities themselves. An unprepared community can react negatively, constantly firefighting problems that crop up, whereas another community could be responding in an orderly manner, as everyone knows exactly what to do.
  • In emergency situations, regular training and guidelines may not work as people tend to panic and forget what to do, but if they are part of the community that help create solutions, everyone knows their role and what they can do for the community.
  • In many disasters, it is hard to be prepared to every situation, but communities themselves know their own strengths and problems, and can find ways to overcome some problems by opening up communication channels before the disaster, and finding ways to seek resources even before the disaster happens.
  • There are many possible disasters that may happen; terrorism, earthquake, volcanic eruption, floods, etc. Most of the time, planning is only handled by the respective disaster agency and the government, and the communities and society are largely excluded. Response is generally a kneejerk reaction for certain urgent need that happens, and there is always over-reaction and sometimes chaos.
  • Lessons from the Boston Marathon Bombing.
  • Similar workshops were run before the Boston Marathon and different departments worked on solutions and communicated issues and problems.
  • With stakeholders identified and solutions in place, when the disaster happened, everyone knew how to respond to the situation, and there was no panic, resulting in less casualties and effective containment of situation.

Lessons from the Boston Marathon Bombing

Similar workshops were run before the Boston Marathon and different departments worked on solutions and communicated issues and problems. With stakeholders identified and solutions in place, when the disaster happened, everyone knew how to respond to the situation, and there was no panic, resulting in less casualties and effective containment of situation.

Objective

  • To allow communities to think about disasters and how they can contribute and collaborate, before the disaster. Resilience is about proper response.
  • To allow communities to understand the roles of others in the disaster, so they can better understand the full picture of disaster relief.
  • To allow participants to build connections and map resources to aid in planning for a disaster.

Methodology

  • Formal presentation by an expert on information from their research with regards to the disaster.
  • Detailed information and research data on scenario presented to enable stakeholders to plan and make decisions.
  • Unconference Style workshop.
  • Community and stakeholders meetings to understand the needs, challenges, build trust and solutions together and validate assumptions, findings, strategy, planned activities and proposed solutions.

Event

Past Experiences

In the past few events, the experts shared their information and research, giving participants knowledge of the situation. Grouping the problems and defining other possible problems, existing solutions are also shared, and the participants shared the gaps they see with the current solutions and offer ideas on other possible solutions.  The form groups to create popular solutions (voting) and the groups move in a cafe style to cross pollinate ideas. Eventually, the groups will realize that all the solutions will converge to 1 or 2 solutions, and groups with existing projects can also combine, share resources and collaborate.

  1. Presentation by the expert and their background
  2. Detailed scenario described with data and research presented. 
    • Focused on immediate impact, economic impact, social impact, long term impact, etc.
  3. Introduction of Minihack
    • Explanation of process and purpose.
    • Who are you, which organization do you belong to and what topics are you interested in?
  4. Identification of Topics
    • Priorities and voting (Unconference style)
    • After understanding the facts, participants will list resulting potential problems.
    • Facilitator will have a list of topics prepared, but topics will be crowdsourced.
      • list all topics of interest, vote for topics to be discussed and focused.
      • combine similar topics together
      • Group high priority topics according to subject / fields to be discussed. 
      • List Topics and add to the board
  5. Selection of Priorities
    • Voting process on the interested mentioned.
    • Identify main priorities of the stakeholders.
  6. Socialization - Group Work
    • Participants divided into small groups to work on the priorities selected
    • Identify simple ideas that could be implemented immediately by the people to accomplish that interest.
    • Cafe Style mixing of groups to get more ideas.
  7. Presentation
    • Each group presents their solution to the problem identified.
    • Q&A and add on to the solution.
  8. Create connection, identify gaps, resources.
Brainstorming ideas and processes
Brainstorming ideas and processes

Outcomes

  • Solutions created by communities can be remembered by communities when disaster happens.
  • Enable different groups to find out what each other is doing and how efforts can be enhanced instead of duplicated.
  • Allow communities and groups to identify gaps of resources, and connect them to and provide communication channels to enable collaboration.
  • Communities educated on their options, enabled and empowered by knowledge on the disaster’s impact reduction for proper response.

Supporting Structures and Mechanisms provided by:

  • Partner local community organizations.
  • Larger social organizations.
  • Resilience Innovation Lab:
    • 1 strategy expert.
    • 1 unconference host.
    • Validated and tested open source tools and content.

 

 

 

 

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