Those seeking to look into their own emergency preparedness once again have the month of September to brush up on how ready they are, as this year’s “30 Days 30 Ways” challenge kicked off Sept. 1.
Each day throughout September the challenge asks participants to respond to a month’s worth of prompts on how ready they are for when disaster strikes. Coinciding with National Preparedness Month, Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency (CRESA) returns with the event for its 12th year.
CRESA Emergency Management Coordinator for Public Information, Education and Outreach Eric Frank mentioned in a video announcing the first challenge that for the past two years, a number of groups involved with organizing the challenge have been involved with the COVID-19 pandemic response. Though those experiences played into some of the creation of this year’s challenge, this year’s theme follows in a similar vein as the National Preparedness Month’s own theme of “Prepare to Protect.”
“This year, we want you to not only take the challenge personally, we want you to challenge the community around you,” Frank said, adding that can include participant’s families, their neighborhoods, or their town or city.
As to what participants can expect, past challenges involved questions related to when to call 911 and what items to keep around the home in the event of an emergency, to foraging and bartering when disaster strikes. Each challenge has a “level up” portion for those taking part to go further on specific questions.
The first day’s challenge asked “who are the experts” when it came to media information. With the amount of information sometimes feeling like a firehose, Frank noted the tendency for media spin, including leaning on conspiracy theories and dubious “subject matter experts.”
“Even when it comes to emergency information, there can be ‘noise’ everywhere,” Frank said. The base challenge asked how participants go through the “media noise” to find accurate, well-rounded information, and how they find information on official emergency notices. The “level up” for the first day asked for participants’ tips and tricks on their strategies for finding accurate information.
Points are awarded based on creativity and how relative they are to the task, with winners receiving Amazon gift cards in October, CRESA stated. Participants are also encouraged to recruit “allies” in their efforts, which will rack up more points for each ally who completes a task.
Since the first challenge in 2010, participants from 44 states and 38 countries have completed more than 60,000 tasks, a release from CRESA stated. Participants can complete as many tasks as they want, and will have opportunities to catch up on prior days’ tasks to build up their score.
“CRESA’s primary goal is for people to do one simple thing to help them be better prepared for emergencies,” the release stated. “By engaging with others about emergency preparedness on social media, players have an opportunity to connect with individuals who may not otherwise think about being ready for disasters.”