September is National Preparedness Month, and REM4ed recommends checking your plan status in the Online Command to make sure that your school or business is prepared for potential natural or man made emergencies. However, the more interaction in preparedness planning, i.e. drills, exercises, post-discussions and consistent practice that takes place in the workforce, the better. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has been running its most successful and clever campaign since 2011. It prepares you for the impending doom of the Zombie Apocalypse. CDC Director, Dr. Ali Khan notes, “If you are generally well equipped to deal with a zombie apocalypse you will be prepared for a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake, or terrorist attack.” Giggles aside, the campaign is accompanied by useful preparedness guides and strategies, but above all: It makes preparedness fun! While practicing preparedness is a serious business, we can admit it needs a little spicing up from time to time. Safety and emergency meetings can be brought back to life, so to speak, by emergency exercises where your members of the staff are given a role in an emergency scenario. Examples can be found here.
Ensuring that school officials, students, business executives and our colleagues all know what to do in an emergency can also be made light by creating and giving a quiz based on preparedness training on crisis operations and procedures in case of the Zombie Apocalypse. Options may include in-case-of-intruder lockdown, early warning systems, emergency communications, quarantine, shelter-in-place protocol, and other crisis response exercises. Dressing up the principal or CEO as a zombie may also play a critical element to its success. Please note, while it’s being made light, taking the results seriously and noting areas that need work during your hotwash and how you will make changes in your preparedness training in your after action report, are key.
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! What do you do to keep your exercises fun? Email me a description, videos or photos of your fun exercise at firstname.lastname@example.org and it could be featured in the next newsletter or blog!