Natural disaster safety and survival training is a critical function for the humanitarian Red Cross agency. They help to educate a population on proper disaster preparation & survival protocols that can make the difference between life and death when a natural disaster strikes.
Turkey has a long history of earthquakes which have affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of its civilians over the past few decades. However through the training and education offered by the Red Cross, locally known as the Red Crescent, chances of avoiding injury and death have improved.
Over 2015 – 2016 we worked closely with the Red Crescent in building an earthquake safety and survival virtual reality educational experience using room scale VR. The experience required the user to follow instructions to prepare a typical apartment for the advent of an earthquake, take proper cover during an earthquake and finally escape a building safely after an earthquake had concluded.
Several academic studies have found virtual reality to be a more effective tool in learning and retaining information over more traditional forms such as reading text or watching video as it requires the user to engage with the experience resulting in a long lasting memory of the experience being formed.
The Red Crescent project was first shown at the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit to other humanitarian agencies from around the world and over 2016 – 2017 is on an educational road show around Turkey in both schools and government bureaus with further projects in the pipeline scheduled to tackle other natural disaster training including floods and fire.