By Devan Tucking-Strickler, Kansas Division of Emergency Management
When people hear “Kansas,” many think of a yellow brick road, ruby slippers, and a cute little dog named Toto. I’ve never met anyone that heard “Kansas” and thought of zombies… until a year ago. That’s when we started the “Prepare for the Unexpected” campaign. Who would have thought that zombies could bring so much attention to disaster preparedness?! Throughout October 2011 the Kansas Division of Emergency Management and other county Emergency Management offices used brain-eating, decaying sci-fi monsters to get Kansas citizens thinking about disaster preparedness, and it worked!
“If you’re prepared for zombies, then you’re prepared for anything,” became our tagline. We got the attention of young and old alike through outreach at the Kansas State Fair and other events throughout the state. We offered contests for all ages and used social media to promote preparedness. The month ended with Zombie Preparedness Day in the capital city of Topeka where we celebrated with a safety fair, demonstrations, and a zombie walk.
What makes zombies the perfect preparedness mascot? When you walk up to a person and start talking about the undead they have all kinds of preparedness ideas, most involving food, water, and other life essentials which just so happen to be the same items that we recommend people put in their disaster kit. So, the old adage really holds true, if you’re prepared for zombies, then you’re prepared for anything.
For more information on this Campaign, please contact Sharon Watson at firstname.lastname@example.org