FRIDAY OCTOBER 16, 2020: PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO – Disaster is a laboratory for innovation. In the aftermath of any disaster, societies mobilize to answer the immediate challenge and find ways to transform the crisis into advances that will build resilience in the future. The global pandemic is such a challenge. It has caused organizations and individuals across all walks of life to rapidly adapt to a world that has embraced technology thereby innovating the way we engage stakeholders and build awareness on key social issues.
With this consideration, the Digicel Foundation has increased awareness of its disaster preparedness capacity building efforts by incorporating Augmented Reality (AR) to help the public get serious about disaster preparedness and emergency management. As part of a month-long campaign, the Foundation distributed AR stickers to customers visiting Digicel outlets at: Trincity, Westmall and its C3 Experience stores. The activity was done to culminate with and commemorate International Disaster Risk Reduction Day, which was observed on October 13, 2020.
The AR stickers once viewed using Startl Augmented Reality App, takes the user into a virtual world with Captain K, the neighbourhood leatherback turtle, who is always preparing for a disaster. The live demo is a big hit with children and adults alike and gives a snapshot of what’s in store when using the Masters of Prep game.
Over the past five years, the Foundation, through its Preparing You programme, has been on a mission to prepare persons with special needs and their caretakers for disasters and emergency evacuation. Under this premise, the Foundation was thrilled to do its part this year and join the UN General Assembly in promoting ‘a global culture of risk awareness and disaster reduction.’ The international day comes on the heels of the recent launch of the Foundation’s Virtual Reality (VR) game, Masters of Prep.
The Masters of Prep interactive game was developed with the intention of utilizing technology to engage children in a safe space. The app allows persons with special needs to enter an animated room, where they can participate in a school or home hazard hunt.
‘Masters of Prep’ has six selections for the hazard hunt: adverse weather alert, hurricane alert, earthquake, fire, emergency kit preparation and an evacuation drill.
The Masters of Prep App is available FREE for download from the Google PlayStore. The app is part of the wider Preparing You Programme which is being done in collaboration with the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management, Red Cross and Trinidad and Tobago Fire Services. Preparing You is currently being funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) LAB.