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Campaign readies B.C. for Zombie apocalypse

Tyler Mane as Michael Myers in Rob Zombie's H2.


The B.C. government's emergency information team is offering advice on how to survive an undead apocalypse.

The tips include: Always keep at least half a tank of gas in your vehicle, plan an evacuation route, and keep an emergency kit with first-aid supplies – even though you're a goner if a zombie bites you.

Justice Minister Shirley Bond signed off on the Zombie Awareness Week campaign, with some hesitation. Never having watched a zombie movie, she said Monday it took three meetings to convince her that the unusual media campaign would reach a segment of the population that tends to tune out public service announcements.

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Starting on Monday morning, Emergency Info B.C. began tweeting links to a post-zombie attack survival blog, with a small disclaimer noting that actually, there is no need to panic because the zombies haven't really attacked yet.

The blog takes the reader from the initial outbreak – starting with an apparent flu outbreak that quickly turns nasty – to the blogger's narrow escape from a home invasion. "I can see a silhouette now. Looks unnatural – limbs at all the wrong angles. ... I'm well prepared, but battling enraged cannibals – that's a stretch."

The blogger beats the undead invaders back with a fire extinguisher before escaping in the car which, thankfully, was kept well-fuelled.

Ms. Bond said the whole point is, if you are ready for zombies, you are ready for anything that living in British Columbia might throw at you – tsunamis, earthquakes, fires or flooding.

"I must admit we spent a long time talking about, is it appropriate, is it relevant, should we use these kinds of techniques," she said in an interview. By mid-afternoon, staff had charted 54 re-tweets, with an estimated reach of more than 30,000 people.

Ms. Bond may have missed the fuss, but zombies are rather more popular than politicians these days, featured in current novels, movies and a television series.

Julianne McCaffrey, the communications manager who put together the package, said the campaign was a stretch for her too – she used to write speeches for former premier Gordon Campbell and "we never talked about zombies."

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But in her new role, she said she's happy to use whatever it takes to get people to prepare for an emergency. "Whether zombies are appearing at your doorstep, or you are planning for an earthquake, the safety message is the same."

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About the Author
B.C. politics reporter

Based in the press gallery of the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, Justine has followed the ups and downs of B.C. premiers since 1988. She has also worked as a business reporter and on Parliament Hill covering national politics. More

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