ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WWJ) – Is it the Walking Dead? No, it’ll just look like it.
A “zombie apocalypse” exercise set for today is designed to make students at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health contemplate likely scenarios in disasters and the appropriate response.
The exercise is modeled after a scenario that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention uses, which includes students dressed up like Zombies! Epidemiology professor Dr. Eden Wells says “using zombie preparedness” is “becoming a fun way to educate the public and train public health practitioners.”
In addition to students, the Michigan Department of Community Health is participating in the event.
The exercise, which will include some students dressed as zombies, is modeled after a curriculum designed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Using zombie preparedness as representative of any hazard, or ‘all-hazards preparedness’ is becoming a fun way to educate the public and train public health practitioners,” Wells said.
The exercise is designed to make students contemplate likely scenarios in disasters and the appropriate response. They are asked to think about community partner organizations and the role each group would play, what to tell the public and when, how to respond if essential services like utilities are lost, what contingency plans should be in place for the elderly and handicapped, and even how to manage the family pets.
“The graduate students have spent the semester learning about the evolving role of public health in community disaster management and response, and developing knowledge of epidemiology principles and methods for community assessments and public health disaster management,” Wells said. “Now they get to put that learning into practice—and have some fun along the way.”