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Memorial University gets ready for ‘Zombie apocalypse’

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Presentation addresses emergency preparedness

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

By Jeff Pelletier
Special to The Telegram

Memorial University (MUN) hosted its first of two “Zombie Apocalypse Preparedness” sessions Thursday afternoon to address a variety of emergency situations in which preparedness is necessary.

Presented by the Office of the Chief Risk Officer, the presentation coincides with a number of public safety initiatives that take place throughout the month of May, such as National Emergency Preparedness Week, North American Occupational Health and Safety Week, and Police Week.

Despite the name, the presentation is not about preparing for an actual zombie apocalypse. Instead, the name is part of an overall theme to make the presentation fun and interesting to potential participants.

“Zombies are big in the media right now. We use that theme to grab people’s attention and put an entertaining spin on a topic that could be not quite as interesting,” said Holly Tobin, an emergency management analyst at MUN.

Some of the realistic potential emergency situations the presentation highlighted are power outages, natural disaster and contagious disease outbreaks.

“While zombies are fictional, the steps you would take to prepare for a zombie apocalypse are the same you would do for an emergency such as a hurricane or power outage." — Holly Tobin

“While zombies are fictional, the steps you would take to prepare for a zombie apocalypse are the same you would do for an emergency such as a hurricane or power outage,” Tobin said.

She says that in order to be prepared for an emergency, you need to know the risks in your area, have a plan and have a kit. In situations where you may not have access to water or electricity for a long time, your kit should contain items that will keep you hydrated, warm, well fed and with a source of light. Other recommended items are puzzles, kitchenware and emergency phone cards.

“By completing these steps you will be able to confidently respond to an emergency that may affect you at home or work,” Tobin said.

More than a dozen people – including MUN staff, students and faculty – attended Thursday’s presentation. The Office of the Chief Risk Officer has been hosting them for a few years, and is scheduled to host another Zombie Apocalypse Preparedness workshop on May 24. It will also host other safety preparedness presentations, including an active-intruder information session and an automated external defibrillator (AED) orientation.

“The presentation gives attendees valuable information on how to prepare for emergencies at work and at home with a focus on certain hazards,” Tobin said. “It may not always be zombies – but we strive to make it fun and engaging as well as educational for the staff, faculty and students at Memorial.”

Jeff.pelletier@thetelegram.com

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