Indiana Daily Student

Zombie safety seminar teaches emergency preparedness

A Zombie-themed emergency preparedness presentation was led by John Summerlot on Tuesday evening at Read residence hall to prepare students for emergency situations.
A Zombie-themed emergency preparedness presentation was led by John Summerlot on Tuesday evening at Read residence hall to prepare students for emergency situations.

Food and water. Batteries and charging cables. Toilet paper and hygiene products.

All are resources needed to survive a zombie apocalypse, emergency management coordinator John Summerlot of IU Emergency Management and Continuity told residents and staff at the new Hoosier Den in Read Center on Tuesday evening.

It was all a part of a zombie-themed emergency preparedness seminar put on by Summerlot to help teach preparedness for other disasters like severe weather, pandemics and massive power outages.

In an idea first initiated by the Centers for Disease Control, Summerlot said people are more open to discussing preparation for a zombie apocalypse than they are to discussing a pandemic because people often say, “This will never happen to me.”

In his position, Summerlot makes building-level plans for different types of emergencies, including fire safety, earthquakes and active shooters. He was approached about a year ago with questions about planning for a zombie 
apocalypse.

“Well, I’m sure we’ve got a plan for that. A to Z, active shooter to zombie apocalypse, we’ve got a plan for everything,” Summerlot 
responded at the time.

Summerlot developed IUEMC’s own zombie apocalypse emergency management plan, reading books, government reports and various websites to stay in the know of zombie happenings.

Going through his personal survival kit, which contains a hand-crank powered radio, flashlight, cell phone charger and more, Summerlot’s red backpack of zombie survival essentials mirrored what would be needed for a 24-hour emergency preparedness kit.

“Having a cell phone is a key piece to have,” Summerlot said. “You’re going to want to get those IU-Notify messages, you know, if zombies have been spotted 
somewhere near the Auditorium.”

Summerlot said he has fully embraced his role on the zombie outbreak response team. His boss gave him a zombie calendar for Christmas. His laptop sports a zombie apocalypse sticker. He has even created a zombie template for fun within the IU-Notify alert 
templates.

In his presentation, Summerlot incorporated as much of IU’s zombie culture as possible by referencing materials from a book by an IU professor, a short film by an IU student and even a song called “Zombie Lover,” performed by Elmo Taylor, a band of IU Police Department officers.

Junior Brandon Newson, a resident assistant in Read Hall, said he took away practical lessons from the seminar.

“You watch a lot of zombie movies and stuff, and they are all about we have to have weapons and you have to have X, Y and Z, and a lot of that stuff I would not already have with me.” Newson said. “So I feel like if you want a real kit, you need to have prepared that already.”

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