Gamifying preparedness for children

I recently went on a binge and ordered a bunch of materials from FEMA via Ready.gov. I plan to distribute the printed materials to loved ones, family, and neighbors. I’m also making moves toward my own CERT certification and I’m simultaneously refreshing First Aid training, so, I view these materials as a refresher to my own preparedness.

Among these materials, I ordered Ready 2 Help – a card game geared toward developing skills in younger ones when facing a crisis or disaster.

Of course, since this is geared toward children, they’re not going to be presented with the sort of gruesome, SHTF stuff that you or I might consider, but this will get that essential part of the brain thinking. And thinking is an important skill! I’ll spare you anything seeming like a hard sell and will just push on with the images so you can decide for yourself. Links after the break.

Ready 2 Help Playing Card Deck


Players are presented with an EMERGENCY scenario.4

Each player responds by throwing appropriate skill cards at the scenario. There are 5 types of skills cards (4 shown here). Each is color coded to help players learn what skills are appropriate to the scenario.


Game play also includes Wild Cards and Work Together Cards to enhance game play and build cooperation.3

Oh, and there are a lot of EMERGENCY (scenario) cards.9

FEMA also produces a companion book to the card game.


You can find Ready 2 Help on Ready.gov’s order page:





  • Comments (3)

    • 3

      Skills cards are “STAY SAFE”, “GET HELP”, “GIVE INFO”, “GIVE CARE”, and “STAY CALM” and each has instructions/advice.


      STAY SAFE:

      • Look for danger
      • If you are in danger, get to a safe place

      GET HELP:

      • Call 911 and follow instructions.
      • Ask someone you trust to help you.

      GIVE INFO:

      • Describe the emergency
      • If you are at home, give the 911 operator your address
      • If you are not at home, give the address or a landmark

      GIVE CARE:

      • Follow instructions from helpers or responders
      • Use comforting words and actions while you wait for help to arrive.

      STAY CALM:

      • Take a deep breath before reacting
      • Continue taking deep breaths throughout the emergency
      • 1

        Good morning Matt,

        Ref at “GIVE CARE”, appreciated reading “helpers or …”

        We have a small group seeking to use the word “helpers” instead of “spontaneous volunteer”. This is the official term in Emergency Support Function number 17.

        Last year the USCG did not appreciate the Cajun Navy sending volunteers to New Bern, North Carolina to help with water rescues.

    • 2

      My seven and ten year olds might have fun with that. Have you played a round of the game yet? How does it hold up for adults?