The CDC http://emergency.cdc.gov/socialmedia/zombies.asp and The Franklin County Department Emergency Management Agency http://www.franklincountyema.com/ held an excellent exercise in my town, and many towns, today. This was a fun way to introduce emergency preparedness to a large group of people all at once. People were encouraged to dress up like Zombies, and there were some really scary looking Zombies there! With all the Zombie movies, etc, out there right now, one of the CDC slogans is: If you’re ready for a Zombie apocalypse, then you’re ready for any emergency.
There was a large group of emergency personnel there: people trained by CDC personnel, local emergency first responders and lots of help from the Red Cross.
The concept of this valuable exercise was to help people know what to do in the case of an emergency where large populations need given medication for an epidemic, for instance. The people who came to the exercise were taught how this would be done, and the emergency personnel got to practice and work out any problems and questions that might come up. They were very well prepared!
If a situation like this arose, people would be told where to report to receive their medication, probably a broad spectrum antibiotic. People would come and be asked their name and whether they are allergic to any medications. Each family would be instructed to send one adult family member. That person could also receive medication for others, such as elderly neighbors who might not be able to come.
Each person would be given enough medication for those they represent, as well as instruction as to how to give the medication, including breaking it down for children.
I learned a lot from it personally, and I’m glad that I went. I also learned the procedure for my son, who is allergic to all “cillin” medications. They have provisions worked out for people with allergies.
CDC has excellent information available on several sites of theirs, and this one is very informative: http://blogs.cdc.gov/publichealthmatters/2011/05/preparedness-101-zombie-apocalypse/
The workers were great, helpful, and answered questions that I had. After I received my “medication”, which looked a lot like a small packet of M & M’s, they gave me a nice reusable bag with lots of important information in it.
Thanks to all the people who were involved in this important exercise! It’s good to know that there are plans in place for some huge emergency, and people who can be calm and know what to do.