It has just been revealed that a controversial new training program has been issued to take place next month in San Diego, California. The security firm HALO Corp. will have its annual Counter-Terrorism Summit – a five-day event with hands-on training, intensive courses and lectures, and realistic demonstrations. In attendance will be military and medical personnel, federal government workers, and law enforcement officials. In other words, this is serious business. America is making sure that they are prepared for what HALO Corp. president Brad Barker has called the “Zombie Apocalypse.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has officially stated that zombies do not exist, but the HALO training did not gather 1,000 trained professionals just to waste time and have a laugh. At the end of October, HALO will use a 44-acre resort, and turn it into a realistic setting in which people will be playing the roles of zombies as a novel training exercise.
This part of the event is a bit tongue-in-check (which, by the way, is a sexual gesture for zombies, so watch out), but a zombie-like virus outbreak could indeed be a valuable training exercise – not to mention a good way to keep the lesson memorable for all participating.
It was only a few weeks ago when the Department of Homeland Security announced “The zombies are coming!” This was to try to get communities to take measures to promote public health seriously. The idea was that preparing for such an incident would improve preparation for other disasters such as pandemics and terrorist attacks, as well as natural disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes.
The CDC even produced a 35-paged graphic novel called “Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic,” to highlight the lessons they want the public to learn. The whole book is available for free on Google Books, or you can download it in PDF form, also for free. It’s nice that the whole thing is in colour, and it was made to be not just educational, but also entertaining.
The Huffington Post says this about the Zombie Apocalypse portion of the summit:
Visitors will learn to deal with a worldwide pandemic, where people become crazy, violent and fearful. Zombies will roam the summit grounds in San Diego, Calif. harassing troops and first-aid teams that will be participating.
Navy Times gives its advice in their “Zombie Deployment Guide,” which is a collection of insight from “experts” who have dealt with the topic as extensively as possible:
“When zombies are hungry, they won’t stop until they get food, which means you need to get out of town fast,” Khan wrote in his nationwide alert. “Plan where you would go and multiple routes you would take ahead of time so that the flesh eaters don’t have a chance.” Meanwhile, military planning is well underway — some of it serious, some if it humorous, and some of it not quite one or the other.
As you can imagine, this may just be the kind of thing that gets through to people – civilians and military alike. If people can relate to something in their own popular culture, then perhaps they’ll be more likely to listen, and in turn, more likely to implement appropriate preventative measures. If this is a success, it could have serious (and potentially creepy) ramifications for the future of disaster preparation protocols.
But it’s time for the “real” controversy to be brought up.The American-based zombie activist group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Zombies(PETZ) are worrying about the rights of the undead. From an earlier statement, they said:
Healthy, energetic zombies are being shot on a daily basis during military firearms training exercises. This cruel practice can cause bleeding, swelling, scarring, collapsed lungs, and even (re)-death.
Necroanthropoism (racism towards the undead) has been raging for centuries, and this may only make things worse. With that in mind, PETZ has generously set up a program for charitable people like yourself to adopt a zombie, because they deserve better. After what they’ve been through, the last thing they need is more misery.
To put it more succinctly: If only more living people would show their humanity to the undead, more dead people would suffer less after becoming zombies for life.
After all, zombies
are were people too.