About Disaster Game


The Disaster Game is a thinking tool used to help organizations (and now individuals and families) prepare for disaster. With it, you create unique and highly detailed disaster event scenarios that engage and challenge exercise participants. These scenarios can be used to test your organization’s business continuity plans or to help build awareness about business continuity and the need for emergency preparedness.

What does The Disaster Game bring to the table?

We have all taken part in recovery exercises that are of the “something has happened to your building, what do you do?” variety. Sometimes a specific scenario is written to fit a particular exercise, but even then the exercise follows a set path to a set ending. The Disaster Game is not your typical table top exercise. With The Disaster Game, each exercise is unique, the realism is greatly increased, and the unexpected waits at every turn. It is also flexible enough to accommodate multiple plan types – Response (Incident Management), Resumption (Process Recovery), Relocation (Workgroup Recovery), and Recovery (Systems Recovery), and scalable to allow for the testing of multiple plans and plan types simultaneously.

How does The Disaster Game work?

The Disaster Game begins with an initial event, featuring multiple, plausible event types, locations, days of the week, times of day, and levels of development. To the initial scenario are added one or more event variables, for variety, and additional event developments, for depth. Each event is scalable to fit the scope of your exercise.

How do I make the most of The Disaster Game experience?

The purpose of an exercise is NOT to pass. The purpose is to identify weaknesses or gaps in your plans that can be corrected and to engage and educate the participants so that they are prepared when a real event happens. As such, Rule #1 should always be - “If it’s not in the plan, it does NOT exist.” Rule #2: Each event component should evoke a response from the participants – ask yourself and the participants - “What is the impact (if any) of this event or development?”, “What resources does the plan provide to respond to this event or development?”, “What should we change or add to the plan so that we are prepared if this happens to us?”, and (most importantly) free association – “What other thoughts does this event or development spark?” Rule #3: Document EVERYTHING!

Click here to view a PowerPoint demonstration scenario build

About Disaster Game LLC

Bill Ashland, CBCP, is the President of Disaster Game LLC, an innovative provider of tools and services that elevate business continuity readiness. He is the creator of The Disaster Game, a thinking tool used to create unique and highly detailed disaster event scenarios that engage and challenge exercise participants. Prior to launching Disaster Game LLC, Bill led the business recovery side of the Business Continuity program at TD Banknorth from 2001 through 2007.