--> Gill Blog: This disaster brought to you by the letter T and the color Blue.

Gill Blog

Friday, January 21, 2005

This disaster brought to you by the letter T and the color Blue.

FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, an agency of the Department of Homeland Security that created the color-coded Security Advisory System for adults, helps kids understand disasters.
Welcome to FEMA for Kids! I'm Herman, the spokescrab for the site. This site teaches you how to be prepared for disasters and prevent disaster damage. You can also learn what causes disasters, play games, read stories and become a Disaster Action Kid.

Hey kids! Play the Tsunami Game. [archived here]

After we posted this note, the game was taken down by FEMA amid criticism and press coverage that worried the game appears to trivialize the effects of tsunamis. According to one press report:
The game, which debuted on FEMA's kids' Web site in 1998, asked players to guide a car, a starfish, a surfboard and other beach objects back to their proper places after they were scattered by a tsunami. Winners were linked to a cartoon dancing frog.

"A tsunami has just hit FEMA Beach and has rearranged a few things," the game directed. "Please put the 9 objects back where they belong to see the cyber-prize!"

FEMA spokeswoman Lea Anne McBride said the game was first scrubbed from the award-winning kids' site immediately after the Dec. 26 tsunami. But the agency later restored it after hearing complaints from teachers and educators who missed it, she said. It was being removed for good Friday because of "the current environment," she said.

"We thought that was the appropriate thing to do," McBride said.

Actually, it was because they realized that the game was the inappropriate thing to have done by FEMA.


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