Title:
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS GAME
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention is directed to an educational game to teach emergency preparedness to a plurality of players. The game comprises a game board containing a series of spaces on which each player can land. The spaces include a first plurality of spaces instructing a player to acquire a playing card, a second plurality of spaces instructing a player to acquire funds for use in an emergency and a third plurality of spaces of a simulated emergency. A set of playing cards is also present, each card having a depiction of a resource which can be utilized in one or more emergencies. The game also includes a fund of play money, a number of playing pieces to provide each player with an individual playing piece, and a means for randomly determining a number of spaces on the game board to be moved by each player in turn for each player to land on a space on the board.



Inventors:
Normand, Alain (Brampton, CA)
Application Number:
11/426933
Publication Date:
12/28/2006
Filing Date:
06/27/2006
Assignee:
The Corporation of the City of Brampton
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F3/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MENDIRATTA, VISHU K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DENNISON ASSOCIATES (TORONTO, ON, CA)
Claims:
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

1. A method of playing an educational game to teach emergency preparedness for a plurality of players comprising the steps of: providing a game board containing a series of spaces on which each player can land, the spaces including a first plurality of spaces instructing a player to acquire a playing card, a second plurality of spaces instructing a player to acquire funds for use in an emergency and a third plurality of spaces of a simulated emergency providing a fund of play money, providing a set of playing cards each having a depiction of a resource which can be utilized in one or more emergencies, a fund of play money, a plurality of playing pieces and a means for randomly determining a number of spaces on the game board to be moved by each player in turn for each player to land on a space on the board, a player landing on one of the first plurality of spaces receiving funds of play money corresponding to the value of the space, a player landing on one of the second plurality of spaces acquiring one of the playing cards in accordance with the instructions on the space, and a player landing on one of the third plurality of spaces being required to pay the funds determined for the value of the emergency or utilizing one of the playing cards specific for the emergency to either reduce or eliminate the cost of the emergency.

2. An educational game to teach emergency preparedness to a plurality of players the game comprising: a game board containing a series of spaces on which each player can land, the spaces including a first plurality of spaces instructing a player to acquire a playing card, a second plurality of spaces instructing a player to acquire funds for use in an emergency and a third plurality of spaces of a simulated emergency providing a fund of play money, a set of playing cards each having a depiction of a resource which can be utilized in one or more emergencies, a plurality of game pieces to provide each player with an individual game piece, and a means for randomly determining a number of spaces on the game board to be moved by each player in turn for each player to land on a space on the board.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to board games and in particular to a new useful and educational board game based on preparing for emergencies.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Emergency situations can be catastrophic causing many difficulties. Such emergency situations can arise from naturally occurring events such as extreme weather conditions of storms including hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding from excessive rainfall, etc. Emergencies can also be human caused from accidents such as train derailments, airplane crashes or can even arise from deliberate activities such as terrorism. In order to alleviate the potential damages associated with emergencies, it is necessary for personnel responsible for handling emergency situations to be properly trained such that they can react quickly and accurately to any situation which can arise. One commonly employed training method for emergency preparedness is to run mock exercises where various types of emergencies are simulated in order to train personnel to react appropriately to these emergency situations. At the completion of such exercises, there is generally a discussion so that the persons taking part in the exercise can more properly understand the reactions to emergency situations and the potential outcomes of those reactions.

While mock exercises are common for education and training in a number of areas, there are drawbacks to such training exercises. The cost and effort involved in conducting these exercises can be significant, requiring many months of planning and involving a significant number of personnel from a number of different departments. In addition, for the general public, it is difficult to provide exercises to educate them on emergency preparedness. In a number of different areas, other education and training tools have been proposed and employed such as computer simulations and even board games.

There have been a number of examples of board games utilized for various educational purposes. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,805,351 describes a lawsuit board game useful as a teaching aid to describe legal disputes and their resolutions. Similarly, U.S. Pat. No. 6,786,486 describes a fishing board game for entertaining and educating novice fishermen.

It would therefore be useful to develop a board game which could be utilized as an educational tool for training for emergency preparedness.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to an educational game to teach emergency preparedness to a plurality of players. The game comprises a game board containing a series of spaces on which each player can land. The spaces include a first plurality of spaces instructing a player to acquire a playing card, a second plurality of spaces instructing a player to acquire funds for use in an emergency and a third plurality of spaces of a simulated emergency. A set of playing cards is also present, each card having a depiction of a resource which can be utilized in one or more emergencies. The game also includes a fund of play money, a number of playing pieces to provide each player with an individual playing piece, and a means for randomly determining a number of spaces on the game board to be moved by each player in turn for each player to land on a space on the board.

In an aspect of the invention there is provided a method of playing an educational game to teach emergency preparedness for a plurality of players. The method of playing the game comprises the steps of first providing a game board containing a series of spaces on which each player can land. The spaces include a first plurality of spaces instructing a player to acquire a playing card, a second plurality of spaces instructing a player to acquire funds for use in an emergency and a third plurality of spaces of a simulated emergency. A plurality of playing pieces and a fund of play money are provided. A set of playing cards is also provided each having a depiction of a resource which can be utilized in one or more emergencies. A means for randomly determining a number of spaces on the game board to be moved by each player in turn for each player to land on a space on the board is also provided. The player uses the means for randomly determining the number of spaces for him to move his playing piece and then follows the instructions on the space.

A player landing on one of the first plurality of spaces receives funds corresponding to the value of the space. A player landing on one of the second plurality of spaces acquires one of the playing cards in accordance with the instructions on the space. A player landing on one of the third plurality of spaces is required to pay the funds determined for the value of the emergency or utilizing one of the playing cards specific for the emergency to either reduce or eliminate the cost of the emergency. If the player does not have sufficient funds to cover the cost of the emergency, they are bankrupt and leave the game. The game continues until only one player has funds remaining.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A preferred embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in the attached drawing in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of emergency preparedness game of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

A preferred embodiment of a board game of the present invention is illustrated in the figure. The board game consists of a game board 12, a plurality of types of playing cards, preferably planning cards 14, prevention cards 16, and preparedness cards 18, game pieces 20 and a means for randomly determining a number of spaces on the game board to be moved such as one or more die 22. The game board 12 has a start area which in the preferred embodiment is labeled as START 24 and a number of spaces on which a player may land depending on the roll of the die 22. The spaces are labeled either as various emergencies 26 or various reward spaces 28 and 30 where a player may pick one of the three types of cards 28 or will obtain funding 30 from a funding agency. While in the embodiment illustrated in the figure, the path of the player around the board 12 is along a circular path, other paths such as a square or spiral may also be utilized.

The game of the present invention also includes a fund of play money in various denominations preferably fake bills of $100, $200, $500 and $1,000.

The players, preferably from 2 to 4 players, each select a different color game piece to use as their individual place holder for the game. A selected amount of play money, for example $3,000, is initially provided to each of the players from a fund of money by a player selected to be the bank. Preferably, each of the players is also given one card from each of the categories of cards to start the game. The players in the game will then roll the die and the player with the highest number on the die starts the game. The player rolls the die and moves his game piece a number of spaces on the board in a clockwise direction according to the number displayed on the die. The player carries out the instructions associated with the space on the board on which his piece has landed and then the next player in turn will roll the die and move his game piece carrying out the instructions on the space on which the his game piece has landed.

A first series of spaces 28 on the board randomly distributed around the board contain a card symbol, either a preparedness card, prevention card or planning card. When the player lands on one of these spaces, he selects the card from the top of the pile of the respective cards and retains the card for future use.

A second series of spaces 30 randomly distributed about the board permit the player to accumulate further funds from the bank. These spaces may include the start space, government grant space or various other types of means to obtain funds such as disaster relief fund, insurance refund, industry support, etc.

The game also includes a third series of spaces 26 randomly situated about the board. Each of the third series of spaces designate a particular type of emergency such as chemical spill, thunderstorm, power outage, snowstorm, epidemic, fire, heat wave, tornado, flood, earthquake, nuclear spill, etc. Each of these emergencies is allocated a dollar value associated with the cost of the emergency. Thus, for example, emergencies such as chemical spill, thunderstorm, and power outages are allocated a dollar value of $400 while snowstorm, epidemic, fire and heat wave are valued at $800 and tornado, flood, earthquake and nuclear spill are valued at $1,200. The dollar value associated with the particular emergency is preferably selected to reflect the extent of the emergency and the resources which would normally be required to deal with such an emergency. While the emergency spaces of the various values may be randomly distributed around the entire board, it is preferred if emergencies of a similar dollar value are grouped together in a particular region of the boar. Thus, for example, the first series of emergency spaces on the board are those with the dollar value of $400 followed by the series of emergencies with the dollar value of $800 and finally the series of emergencies with the dollar value of $1,200.

The playing cards 14, 16 and 18 are utilized to reduce or eliminate the amount of money required to be spent for a particular emergency.

The highest level of playing cards is the prevention cards 16 as these cards may be utilized to eliminate the emergency. Examples of such prevention cards 16 are a vaccine card for use in epidemics, a tie down card for use in tornadoes or earthquakes, a map card for use in lost emergencies, a pump card for use in floods, a generator card for use in storms, power outages, earthquakes and tornadoes, a checklist card for use in any emergency, an extinguisher card for use in fire, a fan card for use in a heat wave, an anti-bacterial soap card for use in epidemics and floods, nuclear placard for use in spills and nuclear spills, an evacuation card for use in nuclear spills and a shade card for use in heat wave. As can be appreciated, some of the cards are for use in a single type of emergency while other cards are useful in more than one type of emergency. The prevention cards 16 teach the player the types of resources or actions which can be implemented prior to an emergency to eliminate the effects of the emergency or perhaps even to prevent the emergency from taking place.

A second series of cards are the planning cards 14. In the embodiment of the game of the present invention, planning cards 14 can be utilized to reduce in half the cost of the emergency. Examples of such planning cards 14 may be out-of-town contact card for use in any emergency, a safe room card for use in a tornado or earthquake, an insurance card for use in any emergency, a shelter in place plan card for use in spills and nuclear spills, a do not use phone card for use in a thunderstorm, a do not use TV card for use in a thunderstorm or power outage, a phone card for use in any emergency, a medicine card for use in epidemics, an evacuation plan card for use in fire, a lock card for use in any emergency and a checklist card for use in fire. These cards 14 teach the player of the game some of the advance planning that can reduce the effects of an emergency situation. Once again the cards 14 may be for use in a single emergency or in more than one or all types of emergencies.

The third category of cards is preparedness cards 18 which also will reduce the cost of an emergency by half. Examples for such cards 18 include flashlight card for use in power outage, storms, tornadoes and earthquakes, whistle card for use in lost, tornadoes, earthquakes, power outages, battery card for use in any emergency, a radio card for use in any emergency, windowproofing card for use in spills and nuclear spills, water card for use in floods and heat waves, a smoke detector card for use in fire, an anti-bacterial soap card for use in floods, an iodine card for use in nuclear spills, a survival kit card for use in any emergency, flares card for use in snowstorms or lost situations, food cans card for use in floods, power outages, storms and tornadoes and blanket card for use in storms, power outages, floods and lost.

These preparedness cards 18 help teach the user of the game some of the resources which should be on hand in order to prepare for an emergency situation that may arise. Similar to the other types of cards 14 and 16 the card 18 may be for use in a single type of emergency or in more than one or all emergencies.

The following is an exemplary list of the spaces on the game board in their preferred sequence.

  • Start—where the player may receive $1,000 if landing on the space
  • Chemical spill emergency $400 value
  • Pick one preparedness card
  • Thunderstorm emergency $400 value
  • Pick one planning card
  • Industry support receive $1,000
  • Pick one prevention card
  • Power outage emergency $400
  • Pick one preparedness card
  • Lost emergency $400
  • Social Services grant to receive $1,000
  • Snowstorm emergency $800
  • Pick one planning card
  • Epidemic emergency $800
  • Pick one prevention card
  • Insurance refund receive $1,000
  • Pick one preparedness card
  • Pick one planning card
  • Fire emergency $800
  • Heat wave emergency $800
  • Provincial grant receive $1,000
  • Pick one prevention card
  • Tornado emergency $1,200
  • Pick one preparedness card
  • Disaster relief fund receive $1,000
  • Pick one planning card
  • Flood emergency $1,200
  • Pick one prevention card
  • Earthquake emergency $1,200
  • Nuclear spill emergency $1,200

As noted above, to start the game, a selected amount of play money, for example, as provided to each of the players, each of the players then places his playing piece on the start space and the players roll the die to determine who will start the game. The player with the highest number on the die starts the game by rolling the die and moving his game piece a number of spaces on the board in a clockwise direction in accordance with the number displayed on the die. The player carries out the instructions associated with the space on the board on which his piece has landed. If the player has landed on one of the first plurality of spaces namely, a reward space, then the player receives the funds corresponding to the value printed on the reward space. If the player lands on one of the second plurality of spaces namely, the current acquisition spaces then the player acquires one of the playing cards in accordance with the instructions on the space. The card is retained by the player to use at a future time. If the player lands on one of the third plurality of spaces namely, one of the emergency spaces, the player may deal with the emergency by either paying the amount printed on the space or handing in one of the cards that has a direct link to the emergency. The card returns to the bottom of the respective pile of cards and only one card can be used for each emergency. If the card being returned is a prevention card, then the prevention card cancels the cost of the emergency. If the card being returned is a planning or preparedness card, then these cards reduce the cost of the emergency by one-half and the player is required to pay the balance of the funds to the bank. If the player has more than one card useable for a particular emergency, he can select which of those cards he will use. If the player, for example, has a card that is useable only for the specific emergency as well as the card which is useable for more than one emergency, then he will likely use the card which is useable only in that specific emergency and save the other card for either one of the other emergencies, or for the next time he may land on that emergency space. Each player then takes their turn to continue the game.

If a player landing on an emergency space has no money or no valid card or has insufficient money to pay the cost of the emergency, then the player declares bankruptcy and is out of the game. The other players continue playing until only one player remains in the game. When a player stops on a space to acquire a card and there are no cards left from the designated pile corresponding to that space, then a card may be taken from one of the other piles. If there are no cards remaining, then the game may end. The game ends when there is only one player remaining or there are no more emergency cards available. If more than one player remains in the game, the players with cards hand them in to the bank in exchange for money, planning cards and preparedness cards are worth $400 each and prevention cards are worth $800. The player with the most money at the end is the winner of the game.

In order to improve the teaching aspects of the game of the present invention, a variation would be to require the player to explain how they would reduce the cost of a particular emergency with the planning, prevention or preparedness item described on the card. The other players in the game will decide whether the explanation is a valid one. If the explanation is not valid, then the player would forfeit the use of the card and would be required to pay the full funds for the emergency. In this way, the players of the game are required to give thought to how they will prepare and handle emergencies.

The game of the present invention allows for rapid inexpensive education and training of persons to enable them to respond to emergency situations such that they will have some knowledge of the appropriate reaction or the resources needed to handle a particular emergency. The game is of particular use for the general public and will provide the players with a strong foundation of knowledge for preparing for emergency situations. In this way, the potential effects of such emergency situations may be reduced.

Although various preferred embodiments of the present invention have been described herein in detail, it would be appreciated by those skilled in the art that variations may be made thereto without departing from the spirit of the invention or the scope of the appended claims.