Joe Allen didn’t need to bring in the pink elephants.
As he launched our tabletop exercise, preparing to guide a group of campus employees through a fictional crisis scenario, Joe presented the ground rules: “Even if I describe pink elephants rampaging across your campus, don’t object to the scenario. Accept my story as plausible and focus on the unfolding of procedures and judgments. What we’re working on is your level of emergency response.”
Several minutes later, though, no one would raise a doubt about the scenario given to us by Joe, an emergency operations planner visiting from Margolis Healy. The story featured a student threatening on social media to carry out a mass shooting on our campus.