A Storm's Approach; Hurricane Shelter Training in a Digital AgeNew York City's Office of Emergency Management (OEM) originally ran hundreds of classroom based courses, where they brought together civil servants to learn how to run a Hurricane Shelter (HS). This approach was found to be costly, time consuming and lacked any sense of an impending disaster and need for emergency response. In partnership with the City of New York University School of Professional studies, Gronstedt Group and Daden Limited, the OEM wanted to create a simulation that overcame these issues, providing users with a more immersive and realistic approach at a lower cost. The HS simulation was built in the virtual world Second Life (SL). Virtual worlds are a genre of online communities that often take the form of a computer-based simulated environments, through which users can interact with one another and use or create objects. Using this technology allowed managers to apply their knowledge in both classroom and remote learning environments. The shelter simulation is operational 24/7, guiding users through a 4 1/2 hour narrative from start to finish. This paper will describe the rationale for the project, the technical approach taken - particularly the use of a web based authoring tool to create and manage the immersive simulation, and the results from operational use.
Boyarsky, Andrew (City Univ. of New York NY, United States)
Burden, David (Daden Ltd. United Kingdom)
Gronstedt, Anders (Gronstedt Group, Inc. United States)
Jinman, Andrew (Daden Ltd. United Kingdom)
August 27, 2013
March 1, 2012
Publication: Selected Papers Presented at MODSIM World 2011 Conference and Expo