Throughout the year, states across the country organize disaster preparedness campaigns to educate residents about best practices before, during, and after a natural disaster. Gulf states try to get citizens ready for hurricane season; northeastern states prep their residents for severe winter storms; west coast folks talk up preparation for wildfires and earthquakes; and the Midwest plans for tornadoes. Etc.
Nothing wrong with these efforts, but perhaps a new angle could get a little more attention.
In a bold stroke, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has recently declared that October is “Zombie Preparedness Month in Kansas.” The idea is to find a creative approach to grabbing residents’ attention: preparing for the zombie apocalypse is not just for ‘preppers’ any more. Which means that zombie video game buffs and ‘Walking Dead’ enthusiasts can now apply their survival skills to real life preparation!
State and local authorities hope this initiative will encourage people to actually think about disasters and get them to translate from a flesh eating attack to making it through a tornado strike.
But there’s one major problem with this campaign, as any real prepper could tell the governor. While the proclamation calls for Kansas residents to have a three-day stockpile of emergency supplies, real zombie fanatics know that a zombie apocalypse would not be a short term disaster. ‘Preppers’ want to be ready for years of isolation and anarchy, while most weather-related disaster plans call for just a few short days of ‘surviving’ on their own.
Still, a few days’ survival is better than none, and this campaign has the advantage of appealing to a younger demographic than traditional campaigns would.
An idea like this is too good not to steal and we hope that other states pick up on it as well. And why stop with zombies? With Halloween just a few weeks away, preparing for monsters of all sorts is certainly warranted!
The good news is that everyone, regardless of their disaster risk, has the opportunity to register for emergency notifications at www.usnear.org to receive up-to-date local alerts.