Undead Threat: Zombie Scenario to Be Used as Training Tool at Counter-Terrorism Summit

Security firm to hold zombie crisis scenario – Military Times.

Forget the H1N1 pandemic. Could a future crisis arise from an outbreak of viruses that destroy brain cells and render people violently catatonic, like zombies?

The far-fetched scenario of a government grappling a zombielike threat — think movies like “Night of the Living Dead” or, more comically, “Zombieland” — has captured the attention and imagination of Brad Barker, president of the security firm HALO Corp.

Next month, his outfit will incorporate — no kidding — zombies into a disaster-crisis scenario at the company’s annual Counter-Terrorism Summit in San Diego, a five-day event providing hands-on training, realistic demonstrations, lectures and classes geared to more than 1,000 military personnel, law enforcement officials, medical experts, and state and federal government workers.

Source: Military Times

Could leveraging the recent fascination of the public with all things zombie pay off in a real.emergency? The HALO Corporation, a company that specializes in security and disaster response training use the zombie apocalypse scenario as a training demonstration during their annual HALO Counterterrorism Summit held Oct. 29-Nov. 2, 2012.

Appropriately staged on October 31st, this “Strategic Operations Demonstration” will use the zombies to simulate the very real possibility of a pandemic emergency as an educational tool for military and medical authorities. This is an interesting approach, but it is not new. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response recently published a several guides on emergency preparedness that banks on the zombie theme: http://www.cdc.gov/phpr/zombies

It is interesting to see multiple examples of authorities using zombies as an instructional tool to engage the public and emergency responders, though the true value of this tactic will not be identifiable until we are actually in an emergency pandemic. If that situation ever arises, perhaps we should be glad our first responders trained on hordes of bloodthirsty, crazed savages in addition to sluggish, bed-ridden flu victims. They may have to contend with both, as the potential savagery of a panicked general population in a crisis remains a troubling question.

  2 comments for “Undead Threat: Zombie Scenario to Be Used as Training Tool at Counter-Terrorism Summit

  1. Tony Shreck
    September 18, 2012 at 9:26 AM

    The tinfoil hat side of my personality thinks they’re preparing and desensitizing “first responders” to respond by double-tapping pissed-off civilians in the event of civil unrest.

    The non tinfoil hat side says: Hey, I have to *pay* to play zombie paintball!

    Yeah, both sides are a little cynical…

  2. Meg
    September 18, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    Agree, Tony. There are definitely a few ways of looking at this. Without knowing the specifics of the training exercise, it is hard to say whether or not we as civilians should be worried. I think the fact that another org is jumping on the zombie apocalypse bandwagon is fascinating, however.Especially because they are affiliated with the federal government. At least this effort and the that of the CDC seems constructive (emergency preparedness, crisis response). On the surface.

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