CERT ICS Game
by Scott Preston,
University of Washington Emergency Management
1-2 runner (or radio operators).
Children's building blocks, Lincoln Logs, large Lego's or something similar. Must be multi-colored (different blocks of red, blue, yellow, etc).
Notepad for runner notes or 2-way radios.
The purpose is to introduce the ICS student to the stress of command during a disaster. Universally, disasters have the following challenges to incident command:
1. Communication difficulties
2. Limited resources
3. The tyranny of time (the longer it takes to respond, the more difficult it is to respond)
4. The fog of disaster (little real-time knowledge of the situation)
To reproduce this, we will ask the team to build a specific structure in a particular way, using particular blocks within a given time frame. For example:
Build a 4 walled building that is 10 blocks long and 4 blocks high with blue blocks at each corner on the bottom and red at each corner on the top. You have 10 minutes.
Not all teams will be able to complete the task, as there are limited resources. To protect against hoarding (a reality, yes, but not the focus of this exercise) each team's logistics person may only take 2 blocks at a time and there can only be 1 logistics person.
If the exercise is too easy, change the block colors or building configuration mid-way through the exercise, at your discretion. Try to stress the team.
All communications from the instructors will be to the IC only. The IC will have to pass information to the team. The IC should be in another room, unable to view the building activity. All scenarios are 10 minutes unless otherwise stated by the instructor. Unless stated, the bases are hollow (as opposed to solid).
Whether or not teams can share info (as with a mutual aid agreement) or not (on their own) is up to you. I suggest prohibiting verbal instructions when using runners and memos.
Build a pyramid shape structure that has a solid base of 64 square blocks where all outside blocks are blue and all inside blocks are red. Make the pyramid 4 levels high with a cylinder standing on end on top.
Build a 4-walled structure that is 4 blocks long by 4 blocks wide and 3 blocks high, using red blocks for the bottom, blue blocks for the middle and yellow blocks for the top.
Build a three-walled open structure that is three blocks high, 6 blocks long and where every layer alternates red, yellow, blue, in that specific order.
Build a rectangular, 4 walled structure, with a solid base of blue blocks, but with sides 3 blocks high that have regular gaps between the blocks.
Build a 4 walled structure that is 8 blocks long, 4 blocks wide and 2 blocks high where every other block is red and stand vertically.
Build a 4-walled structure that is 6 blocks long, 6 blocks wide and 4 blocks high where every other block is blue and juts out horizontally from the walls.
Build a tower that is 10 blocks high, 9 blocks wide, with a solid base of red. The 5th level must be yellow and the top level must be blue with 2 cylinders on top.