Disaster planning is always a very touchy subject. It is virtually impossible to properly account for every type of disaster that can possibly happen. In Australia, bushfires have become a very real problem in the past decade or so. As a result, the local government will not use VR technology to show the outcome of worst-case bushfire scenarios. Whether or not this will benefit disaster planning in the future, remains to be seen, though.
Using VR to aid With Disaster Planning
Contrary to what people would expect, this new initiative comes from fire authorities across Victoria, Australia. They know first-hand how bushfires can wreak havoc upon buildings, forests, et cetera. Without proper disaster planning, such incidents will only become more difficult to control in the future. Using virtual reality to put people in worst-case bushfire scenarios is bound to send a wake-up call in one way or another.
This particular VR program shows how fatal consequences can occur when acting too late as a bushfire breaks out. The consequences of doing so are often underestimated until people come face-to-face with the cold reality. It is absolutely necessary to educate the masses on these problems and take the appropriate course of action moving forward. Over the next few weeks, the Victorian Government will take this VR program to other regions and improve upon it in the process.
When users are confronted with an approaching fire in VR, they have a tough decision to make. Either they evacuate, stay behind, or seek shelter. All three options are valid, depending on the situation. However, they will also be subjugated to the consequences of said decision. This all includes rapidly advancing flames, plumes of smoke, and the uncanny roar of a bushfire. One thing is evident: this VR experience is as in-your-face a sit can possibly be.
Educating the masses on the dangers of bushfires is nothing but commendable. Most people struggle to make a proper decision when events like these happen in real life. Putting people through a similar process in VR just makes a lot of sense. Anyone who has a VR headset can go through the program at their own home, which is a nice touch. We can only hope this effort will help people make better and smarter decisions in the future. Whether or not that will be the case, remains to be seen.
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