There’s been a zombie outbreak in popular culture. Movies, books, and zombie apocalypse websites are all over the internet, perhaps inspired by the 2003 book by Max Brooks, The Zombie Survival Guide.
I attended a program management planning course recently. My team decided to design a bunker for the zombie apocalypse. Project Brainz (Be Ready and Informed Now for Zombies) was a heck of a lot more fun than just planning for your run of the mill earthquake or tsunami. For those of you who don’t know, zombies hunger for human flesh, brains are considered a delicacy. The fun factor may have influenced the decision by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to call one of their practice sessions a Zombie UFO Crash Disaster Full-Scale Exercise. It was scheduled for April 27th this year in Idaho. Although, apparently when David Lory VanDerBeek raised a stink (he is running for governor of Nevada in 2014), FEMA officials quickly removed it from their website. Calling FEMA on this zombie-themed exercise may also attract enough attention to get VanDerBeek elected.
FEMA wasn’t the first government agency to use zombies as their theme, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) began using it to promote disaster preparedness in 2011. The rationale by the CDC is that planning for a zombie outbreak will prepare you for most natural disasters and terrorist attacks. According to the CDC, this clever marketing scheme has been very successful at raising awareness and getting more people engaged in the emergency preparedness process.
Perhaps it’s time for us to consider a zombie campaign on the west coast. Even though we have repeated reminders here that we live on a fault line and that the BIG ONE (earthquake) is imminent, I suspect those with an emergency kit in their closets are in the minority.
Or is it already too late, as one blog has suggested, the zombie apocalypse may already be upon us.