"Crisis in Valleyton" Simulation

Crisis in Valleyton


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  • 8 roles
  • Role sheets included
  • Teams of 2 - 4 students per role (recommended)

Length of Simulation:

  • Flexible; Set by instructor

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As a dam threatens to burst near the fictional town of Valleyton, Arizona, local, state, and national government actors must work together to avoid disaster. Crisis leadership skills are put to the test as participants in this simulation must quickly develop a plan of action and consider short and long term implications of their decisions.

The combination of actors in this domestic U.S. simulation provides an opportunity for students to experience the challenges of effective coordination and planning between four levels of government during a crisis.

Students play the roles of: local citizen groups; state, county, and municipal government actors; and representatives of U.S. federal agencies (FEMA, USDA, EPA). A scenario is provided along with a private role sheet to give students additional information about their assigned role's positions and interests. This simulation includes an opportunity for students to develop, debate, and vote on a specific plan of action to address the issues in the scenario. At the conclusion of the exercise, their decisions will determine the outcome of the crisis via a decision-making reporting tool. Appropriate for courses in crisis leadership, U.S. environmental politics, and state and local governments, among others. This crisis exercise can run in as little as two hours.

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Technical Requirements

ICONSnet is optimized for display and use on desktop and laptop computers. Participants will need one or more Internet-connected computers or devices, and recent Web browser software. Recommended Web browsers include recent versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, or Internet Explorer (version 10 or above).

Note: Users of Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser are encouraged to upgrade to the most recent version of Internet Explorer (currently IE 11), available on the Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 operating systems. Users of older Microsoft operating systems, e.g., Windows XP, are encouraged to use recent versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Opera.

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