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“What if a pandemic hit Maine? Who would respond? What would they do? Where would they get vital resources that likely would be in short supply? What if there wasn’t enough antidote to go around?” That’s not a teaser for a zombie book or movie (courtesy The Bangor Daily News). “These are just some of the questions that about 100 emergency responders from eight Maine counties grappled with Thursday during “Zombie Apocalypse,” a daylong preparedness exercise conducted by the Northeastern Maine Regional Resource Center at Spectacular Event Center.” That would be the same NMRRC that recently received a federal grant to purchase 1000 Armalite AR-10s, assorted HAZMAT gear and a new secure radio system. Just kidding. Or am I? In fact . . .

During the exercise, representatives from several hospitals and nursing homes, public safety and emergency management agencies, the Maine National Guard, amateur radio operators and the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention gathered to think about how they would respond to a worldwide outbreak of an infectious disease — in this case a “zombie” pandemic that originated in Jamaica and spread throughout the globe by bites from zombies.

Bang! There goes my holiday to Ochos Rios, man. As for the idea that this “simulation” was a light-hearted way to prepare for some other, less flesh-eating-by-the-undead-oriented infectious disease, I don’t think so. Check out the protocol . . .

Participants who were “bit” by zombies had stickers affixed to their name tags.

“If they don’t receive the anti-zombie drug, they progress to stage two and then on to the ‘undead’ stage,” [director of the Northeastern Maine Regional Resource Center Kathy] Knight said . . .

During the exercise, people responsible for the well-being of others in their communities also were thrown the occasional curveball, including stolen antidote, vigilantes and zombie infections among their own.

Knight said the idea was to get responders to “think outside the box. They need to figure out what they need, how they’re going to respond and how they are going to share their resources to respond to the disaster. They need to know who to go to outside their community to find the resources they don’t have, so it’s a different twist.”

No mention of guns, ammo or tactics. At least not that we know about. And one more thing:

The Zombie Apocalypse scenario was the idea of Jordan Buck of Brewer, a nurse who graduated from the University of Maine in May and now is employed at Eastern Maine Medical Center. Buck also is a science fiction buff who recently returned from a holiday in Jamaica. [Note: I added that last bit. Checking on it now.]

“I did my community rotation with Kathy Knight and she asked me what I wanted to work on and I told her I like the whole zombie thing and then she decided to use it for this,” Jordan said.

In the exercise, Jordan portrays the first person in the region to be bit by a zombie.

Zombie infiltration of an exercise on zombie response. What’s the bet that the Zombie Apocalypse starts happening for real once the incubation period is finished? Could Maine, sleepy old Maine, be ground zero for the undead to come? Ah-uh.

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  1. “… people responsible for the well-being of others in their communities also were thrown the occasional curveball, including stolen antidote, vigilantes …”

    “Vigilantes”. Isn’t that what the media calls armed citizens who are protecting themselves and their property from mobs and looters? As in the Korean shopkeeper “vigilantes and snipers” during the Rodney King riots in LA? So if you are protecting your home and family from looters, you are a vigilante?

  2. “people responsible for the well-being of others in their communities ”

    I thought the police weren’t responsible for our safety, only to uphold the law (lol).

    • Liberia has a long history of cannibalism, they think it makes you immune to bullets, check out the Vice Guide To Travel: Liberia.

  3. If the mayor of Portland Oregon, Sam Adams, becomes a zombie the healthy people we’ll need to protect from his attempts to bite them are the underage males.

  4. Can somebody please tell me what’s up with all this Zombie CRAP.

    I mean, come on people. The only “Zombies” I am noticing are the people foolish enough to pay money for the Zombie garbage being marketed to them.

    It’s totally ridiculous.

    • In this case, it really is a placeholder for “random infectious disease” but one that’s a little more fun to play with in your head than Hanta virus, West Nile, or Ebola. Using a real contagion might get people bogged down in the specifics, like “West Nile takes longer to incubate than that” or something, and not focus on the point of the exercise, which is to focus on the response to the outbreak. The point of these things is working out issues like “You have X doses of The Cure in Location Alpha, must be administered within T hours of exposure to be effective. Meanwhile, N cases of the disease of been reported over by the coast, 150 miles away. What’s the best way to distribute those doses to contain the outbreak?”

      In a simulation like this you can switch up the variables and get people thinking about what to do. And again, the point of using a fake disease is that people don’t get bogged down in the true details of a real world disease. And if you’re making up a disease, why not have some fun with it?

  5. I wasn’t there, and the zombie thing is getting a little old (except for Walking Dead, I love that show), but I am willing to look at it as just another disaster preparedness drill, and adding the zombie element may have made it more enjoyable (and thus educational) for some people who may have been groaning their way through a more mundane exercise. Also, the chaotic and semi-random nature of this type of situation encourages people to think on their feet, because checklists don’t always apply, in contrast to an “infectious illness outbreak” which has a fairly standardized set of responses.

    • It’s a blindingly harsh glimpse into utter stupidity. This is the greatest “contagion” in our society.

      People are stupid enough to buy this crap. They are the walking dead.

      ’nuff said.

      • You seem inversely fixated on the zombie thing. They needed a fake disease to work out pandemic response scenarios. They picked a zombie plague because they’ve been prominent in pop culture recently. Like Matt said, it’s a way to dress up an exercise that could get staid pretty quickly. Nobody actually believes there’s actually going to be a zombie plague. It’s just a stand-in for whatever other infectious disease might actually happen.

  6. It’s really genius when you think about it. Society gets conditioned to fear infectious disease, their fellow man, and desensitizing them to having to kill one another at a moment’s notice…the implications are incredible.

    The whole “zombie” scenario can be attributed to many things in a training point of view.
    1. Social unrest. Mindless mobs pillaging and killing with the abcense of enforcement. More likely in urban areas where the locals are disarmed and cocooned in their homes.
    2. CBR (Chemical, Bio, Radiological) An agent that can make agricultural and livestock foodstuffs contaminated, soil and all other surfaces having to be cleaned, thus triggering society to go into EMFH mode.
    3. Invasion. Our current government continues to spiral out of control, society finally has enough and revolts. In this destabilized environment other nations move in to pick up the pieces and seize control.

    There are countless scenarios that the elements of the zombie apocolypse can prepare us for in one simple package. The things taught here are; Be supplied, Be armed, Be mobile. I could lump it into “Be prepared”, but I was never a boy scout.

  7. For those of you with Netflix, dig a movie called Phase 7. Tis’ a great plague film set in Argentina.

  8. I live outside of Detroit. We’ve been having Zombie drills for about twenty years now. They can run fast, jump high, they have no fear, remorse, regard for human life. Most of them are armed too. Yup, lots of fun….still haven’t found that antidote yet….

  9. Don’t laugh too much at the “zombie” simulations. The rate of spread and death rate are nowhere NEAR as frightening as you would have with weaponized smallpox or something similar.

    In 2001, a war game hosted by the Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies simulated a smallpox epidemic starting in the center of the country (spread by international airline passengers who were probably 70-yr old Swedish grandmothers). It was called “Dark Winter”. From the website, in Backwoods Home magazine: “June 22-23, 2001, nearly three months before the attack that toppled New York’s World Trade towers, the United States conducted a major simulation of a terrorist smallpox attack against three American cities. It was named Dark Winter, and it lived up to its name. Within seven weeks, one million Americans were dead and the disease had spread to 25 states and 13 foreign countries. In the face of the out of control epidemic, panic had spread across America, interrupting vital services such as food deliveries to supermarkets, and our Government considered the possibility of a nuclear response, although against whom it was not clear.” International borders were closed. In many states the public health system was overwhelmed and care deteriorates. Civil liberties were suspended. Drug companies couldn’t make more vaccine for five weeks.

    As a side note, the last public smallpox vaccinations given in America were in 1972. Many of us OFWGs received several as we were growing up – I have had three, myself. One when I was entering kindergarten, one in grad school, and one when I went on active duty with the Army. These old vaccinations will provide me with a pretty high level of protection against smallpox. Especially compared to anyone who was born after 1972, and is, in a phrase, SOL during an epidemic.

    Remember when George Bush wanted to re-start smallpox vaccinations after 9/11/20001? And the Democrat Party Propaganda Ministry (liberal media) came unglued over the idea? Anyone want to bet their life on whether or not the USSR and the ChiComs have developed weaponized smallpox? And might make it available to Iran, North Korea or Venezuela? Don’t laugh at the infectious disease simulations, even if they are using zombies – you may become a test case.

  10. A delightful time had by all!!! Paid for by hard working taxpayers. A waste of money. Disaster preparedness is serious, and should be conducted as such.

  11. After reading a few of these posts, I’d have to agree that society is being conditioned for something. Mass anarchy perhaps. I’ve been reading of an impending recession worse than the one we’re just now coming out of….I can see people fighting over resources very easily. Were there some kind of terrorist attack that spread some kind of infectious whatever….I can also see people defending their state/town/neighborhood from any potentially infected refugees seeking escape. I pray it never comes to that.

  12. What is YOUR plan for facing a disaster?

    I’m stocking up on 308/7.62×51, 9mm, and 7.62×39. Running it all though the concentric tool too. Food, clothing, and survival items as well as the skills required to use them. JIC

    Obama’s administration is already asking Maine to prepare for receiving Ebola patients. I do not care what it is called, I do care about survival. TEOTWAWKI is minutes away. The doomsday clock may be focused on the wrong thing!

    My neighbors do not see a need to gather food stuffs and depend on grocery stores for hunkering down in place, and it frightens me. They wont be able to survive the apocalypse being created by Obama and his administration.


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