Last year, FacilityBlog highlighted a program from the ASSE that used the zombie theme in a game that promoted job safety for working teens. This year another organization, the CDC, is using zombies to highlight another important issue—disaster preparedness.
Devan Tucking-Strickler, Kansas Division of Emergency Management explains, “When we started the ‘Prepare for the Unexpected’ campaign, [we never thought] that zombies could bring so much attention to disaster preparedness…The Kansas Division of Emergency Management and other county Emergency Management offices used brain eating, decaying sci-fi monsters to get Kansas citizens thinking about disaster preparedness, and it worked! ‘If you’re prepared for zombies, then you’re prepared for anything,’ became our tagline.”
The CDC is taking the tongue in cheek approach to disaster preparedness in order to catch the attention of those who might not take the subject seriously otherwise. Tucking-Strickler explains, “When you walk up to a person and start talking about the undead they have all kinds of preparedness ideas, most involving food, water, and other life essentials which just so happen to be the same items that we recommend people put in their disaster kit. So, the old adage really holds true, if you’re prepared for zombies, then you’re prepared for anything.”
Carol Okupniak, RN, MSN, BC, Drexel University College of Nursing & Health Professions writes, “Last summer, Drexel staff interrupted class with news of an infectious outbreak in Philadelphia. Class members were escorted to the morgue to help identify the undead, who, when the bags were unzipped, became reanimated victims of the fictional neurodegenerative ataxic satiety deficiency syndrome. Unlike a typical classroom workshop using mannequins and actors portraying standardized patients, the students suddenly found themselves surrounded by-and tasked with helping-victims of a zombie attack. As the surprised group checked vital signs, some ‘patients’ began to rise, stumble about and groan ‘braaaaaaains,’ reaching for a candy imitation tucked under pillows. After 10 minutes of growing chaos, a voice over the intercom called the scenario to an end. The stunned participants filed out of the simulation room and headed to a debriefing session.”
And the Hawaii State Department of Health has even produced a video:
Considering the daily circumstances handled by this organization, most people would think the CDC might be a rather grim place to work. But clearly, the folks in charge of the Public Health Blog do not talk everything seriously. So if you want to find out how to prepare for a zombie apolcalypse, make sure you check out this part of the CDC’s site.