Flood Snakes & Ladders


The latest version of our interactive game Flood Snakes & Ladders is available now. 

Flood Snakes & Ladders

User Guide


Open the game in Chrome or Safari (64 bit computer) and find out what it is like to experience and recover from flooding from a child’s perspective…

The game focuses on the experiences of children and young people, using quotations and photographs from our Children, Young People and Flooding Project. It can be played either online (2-3 players) or ‘live’ in a workshop setting and gives participants a first-hand insight into the experience of flooding from a child’s point of view.

Flood Snakes & Ladders is also a versatile training tool that can be used in a variety of situations. For example:

  • With emergency planners – to highlight the issues that they might wish to think about when planning recovery
  • With policy makers – to help them experience how their policies are played out on the ground
  • With public and private sector practitioners involved in disaster recovery – for example, insurers, loss adjusters, damage management professionals, local government workers, teachers, health professionals – to highlight good and bad practice and stimulate debate on the best ways to manage recovery
  • With students – to help them explore the disaster recovery process, to illustrate the potential consequences of climate change and as the basis for exploring issues of flood preparedness and response
  • The game also makes an excellent ‘ice-breaker’ for courses dealing with a wide range of subjects – from hazard and disaster management to emergency planning and understanding the social impacts of climate change. While flooding is the case study used, the game shines a light on issues generic to disaster preparedness, experience and recovery

Downloadable resources for playing the game in a workshop setting:

drawing of family with text in speech bubbleFlood Snakes & Ladders was originally developed in 2009 by Lancaster University researchers from the Hull Floods Project. It was designed as a training tool for front-line workers to provide an insight into the difficulties that families encounter during the long-term recovery from a disaster.

The idea for the game came from one adult participant in the research who told us that recovering from a flood was ‘…a bit like a game of snakes & ladders – you think you’re making progress and then you have a massive setback and have to go back to square one!’ Based on this comment, we designed the game to simulate the ‘backwards and forwards’ nature of recovery.