May 18, 2011
How do you educate the public about preparing for a disaster?
This question really stuck with me after seeing the tornado damage that devastated North Minneapolis on Sunday. A natural disaster can happen any time and, although it’s next to impossible to predict where and when the next one will hit, there are ways we can be prepared for emergencies.
Enter the undead.
In an attempt to reach a wider audience and garner interest in disaster preparedness, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention created a new campaign centered around how the public can stay safe during the zombie apocalypse. Readers get a detailed background on the history of zombies, learn about how to make their own disaster kit and are prompted to create an emergency plan, all under the guise of staving off brain-hungry zombies.
Coming on the back end of international, national and local disasters, the CDC is using a disaster theory with a huge cultural following to spread the message, and it’s working. A daunting task to get people excited about emergency preparedness, but tips for the zombie apocalypse seem to be fleshing out the campaign. The post reportedly had 10 times more traffic than the typical 1,000 views and, according to the website, there will be a video contest soon.
Granted, this does play in to the hype surrounding end-of-the-world scenarios, including 2012 and the most recent passing of the alleged rapture. But, I think it’s a smart way to get people talking and thinking about how to prepare for a disaster.
When I think about disaster preparedness talks, I’m instantly brought back to my fourth grade classroom where I’m most likely dozing off or writing a note to my friend, Becca. Making an emergency kit isn’t exhilarating, but making one for a zombie apocalypse… now that I can get on board with and take seriously.
So, protect your brains and get prepared. The zombies are coming.