An Extension Guidebook to Help Communities Plan for Drought Using Scenario Based Exercises
See proposal abstract
Principal Investigator: Deborah Bathke, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Co-Principal Investigator: Peter Tomlinson, Kanas State University; Hans Schmitz, Purdue University; Tonya Bernadt, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Droughts, with their prolonged absence of rain, can creep up on communities causing disastrous consequences to the economy, environment, and human health. Scenario-based exercises (e.g., workshops, tabletop exercises, and games) focused on drought offer an innovative way to bring people together to discuss drought planning and policy issues. Participants can collaborate with and learn from other community members, decision-makers, planners, and scientists. Rural communities, which often have limited fiscal resources and a lack of local government capacity may find these exercises especially beneficial as they create a framework for helping the community to draw up their unique resources, such as their self-reliant nature, strong sense of community, tightly connected family networks, and knowledge of and ties to natural resources, to build resilience to drought and increase sustainability. This project translates existing research on how drought scenario exercises have been used to help communities better prepare for drought into an interactive Extension Guide designed to help Extension specialists and others working in community development educate communities about drought and the importance of planning; illustrate the use of scenario exercises as an innovative way to engage community members in the planning process; provide guidance for selecting appropriate scenario exercises to help start the planning process; and explore case studies based on the experiences of other communities and organizations.