It’s Zombie Preparedness Week in British Columbia

 
By Denis McClean

GENEVA, 18 May 2012 - The threat of zombie attacks has been largely overlooked in the annals of disaster risk management but that may be about to change thanks to a week-long campaign on disaster preparedness which finishes today in Canada.

The Canadian province, British Columbia, kicked off Zombie Preparedness Week on Monday with a post-zombie attack survivor's blog whose author vows to "stay cool, calm and collected. I'm prepared and will live to tell the tale."

The blogger is able to pull a battery-operated radio out of an emergency kit to keep monitoring the latest updates on zombie attacks and instructions from local government and emergency officials.... "So far, word is to stay put."

Worse is to come. The blogger has to beat off the undead invaders with a fire extinguisher before escaping in a car with at least half-a-tank of gasoline (the minimum recommended for an emergency escape from any type of hazard).

Apparently, it took three meetings for Justice Minister Shirley Bond to sign off on the playful campaign before accepting that it was a fun way to reach new audiences with potentially life-saving information in the event of a major disaster.

Visitors to the EmergencyInfoBC website are informed: "Earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, landslides, avalanches, interface fires, severe storms and hazardous material spills are some of the dangers that could threaten lives and cause extensive damage in British Columbia. And while the chance of zombies a-knockin' on your door is pretty slim, we do believe that if you're ready for zombies, you're ready for any disaster."

The public awareness campaign comes with a blog and six home-made videos and cost just $50. It has reached thousands of citizens through Twitter, Facebook and media coverage.

The zombie takeover of the world of disaster preparedness was first encouraged by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, USA, with a blog post mentioning a "zombie apocalypse" as a humorous way of getting Americans to prepare for last year's Atlantic hurricane season. It drove so much traffic that the CDC website crashed.

The campaign was so successful that CDC continues to reach and engage a wide variety of audiences on all hazards preparedness via Zombie Preparedness.

CDC Director and Assistant US Surgeon General,Dr. Ali Khan, notes: "If you are generally well equipped to deal with a zombie apocalypse you will be prepared for a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake, or terrorist attack."

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Zombie Preparedness Week video playlist from EmergencyInfoBC

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