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NextGen 2020

Niam Shah

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CEO, Master of Disaster

16, Berwyn

By Lisa Dukart

Photo By Tessa Marie Images.

According to federal government statistics, roughly 60 percent of us aren’t disaster ready. That’s where Niam Shah comes in. “A lot of people have no idea what they would do if they were in a natural disaster,” he says.

Following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the Shipley School student created the Master of Disaster board game, donating profits to Red Cross hurricane relief. “I’m all about learning, but I find that most people don’t love learning so they don’t remember the things that are important,” says Shah, who hopes his fun and competitive format helps the information stick.

Players are given fact sheets tailored to the six natural disasters frequently experienced in our country—earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and winter storms. The board’s map denotes the likelihood of a given disaster by region and the associated costs. “You have to buy protection for your [section of the] board,” says Shah. “Every time random disasters happen, you must figure out how you want to protect the United States.”

True to brand, Shah is all about helping others prepare—no matter what the situation. He’s also working with DECA and the Technology Student Association to develop an app that streamlines resources, recommendations and timelines for students applying to college.

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