By Dustin Hurst | Watchdog.org
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho – Emergency personnel in Moscow, Idaho, will soon receive training on how to respond to mass casualties caused by zombies and unidentified flying objects, better known as UFOs.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency will conduct the exercise on April 27. Officials expect at least 100 first responders will participate in the drill.
It’s not known if FEMA and the Moscow Fire Department will actually simulate a UFO attack or zombie invasion.
Leaders say the drill is common practice, but the theme for the April 27 drill is a playful to be sensitive to families of victims of recent mass shootings.
Here’s the rundown from the Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
Moscow Fire Chief Ed Button said he has no intentions of changing the UFO-zombie theme for an upcoming mass casualty training exercise deemed offensive and confusing by some national conspiracy theorists and a Nevada gubernatorial candidate, adding the motif was meant to be fun and less controversial than a realistic crisis.
The Moscow Volunteer Fire Department and rural fire district have put on such exercises in the past with the idea being to train its volunteers on how to respond to an emergency involving many injuries and casualties, Button said, but given the national climate, he wanted to steer clear of former themes like a mass school shooting.
The Boise Weekly notes that the drill caught the attention of Nevada gubernatorial candidate David Lorry Vanderbeek, a perennial candidate and conspiracy theorist.
“Do the leaders of our nation believe in UFOs and zombies really?” asked Vanderbeek. “If so, what is their proof? They must have proof in order to spend money on drills. If they have proof, they must provide it to the general public. What is the threat? How imminent is it?”
While the Moscow fire chief suggests the drill theme serves as a lighthearted diversion, FEMA itself seems to have a thing for zombie preparedness.
“Preparing for a zombie attack, or other fictional disasters, can provide useful tips to get prepared for a real disaster,” the agency wrote in a 2011 blog post.
The post, originally written by the Centers for Disease Control, shares tips for surviving an attack of the undead:
There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for. Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That’s right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.
The rise of zombies in pop culture has given credence to the idea that a zombie apocalypse could happen. In such a scenario zombies would take over entire countries, roaming city streets eating anything living that got in their way. The proliferation of this idea has led many people to wonder “How do I prepare for a zombie apocalypse?”
Well, we’re here to answer that question for you, and hopefully share a few tips about preparing for real emergencies too!
Moscow will certainly prove ready when the zombies come.
Contact: Dustin@Watchdog.org or @DustinHurst via Twitter.