Development of Web-Based Tabletop Emergency Earthquake Exercise System
Bojia Zhou*1, Gang Sun*1, Xiaoyong Zhang*1, Jianhua Xu*1, Junyan Lai*1, Xiaoxia Du*1, Masafumi Hosokawa*2, Haruo Hayashi*3, Reo Kimura*4, and Yukihisa Sakurada*3
*1National Earthquake Response Support Service
No.1 Yuquan West Street, Shijingshan District, Beijing City, China
*2Earthquake and Natural Disaster Laboratory, National Research Institute of Fire and Disaster, Tokyo, Japan
*3Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
*4School of Human Science and Environment, Hyogo University, Hyogo, Japan
Emergency management personnel must handle many jobs in response to a large earthquake — and this means they must be trained properly. Training is done many ways. In undergoing training, emergency management personnel build their abilities in making appropriate decisions. Traditional emergency management exercises had participants analyze and discuss their duties based more on the printed word than on computer use. Such exercises cannot provide more true disaster background information. These exercises process cannot be recorded in computer database for later review. One strategy for enhancing the immersive exercise experience is using virtual reality simulation technology to build Web-based exercises in emergency earthquake management. In this paper, we present an empirical study on how emergency earthquake exercises are used to design and conduct emergency exercises in JICA-designed emergency earthquake and rescue exchanges between China and Japan. We detail how exercises were designed and done, highlighting immersive aspects. All exercises involved the analysis of computer recordings of each exercise, statements from participants and observations by teachers during exercises. Results indicate that participants can immerse themselves in computer-centered exercises and imagine what it is like to actually be handling that emergency. We found these exercises to be effective in developing participants’ abilities to operate in disaster management and suitable for application to emergency earthquake response exercises on all levels of government in China.
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