Zombie is a Creole word, representing an animated corpse brought back to life by mystical means. Zombie lore was imported to the United States from Haiti and was brought to Haiti from south central Africa in the days of colonial slave trade.
Medical science has suspected that the Hatian zombie is a product of drugs administered to the living, but the premise was not substantiated until the 1980s when Harvard anthropologist, biologist and ethnobotanist Dr. Wade Davis proposed the use of tetrodotoxin (pufferfish neurotoxin) and datura (toxic hallucinogen) to induce the deathlike trance of the zombie. Voodoo practicing bokors (sorcerers) are said to distill and administer the potions to the living, placing them into a deathlike trance. Victims of this condition are mistaken for being dead and are buried, only to be later reawakened by the bokors.
Zombies have been popularized in the rapidly growing horror fiction genre by George Romero’s 1968 film Night of the Living Dead and its succeeding franchise series of films. The movies make the assumption that solanum, a virus transmitted through bodily fluids, is responsible for the animation of the dead. The virus is most commonly transmitted through the zombie’s ravenous bite and is sufficient to infect and “turn” a living human.
The rise of the Zombie Apocalypse movies and literature has grown steadily since the original release of the Night of the Living Dead and created a following of fans who enact a zombie culture through public gatherings for “zombie walks” where fans of the genre make themselves up to mimic the undead and walk the streets in a semi-organized rally. The first zombie walk, billed as a parade at the time, took place in 2001 in Sacramento, California and has since — almost virally — propagated across the world. In July 2011 a walk measuring a record 8,000 zombies took place in Dublin, Ireland. Zombie walks have evolved into zombie pub crawls, zombie fests (festivals) and even a ZomBcon in Seattle, Washington, where the dead can come to life.
Much like the superhero, werewolf and vampire genres, the zombie surge is showing no indication of dying down and has become a powerful commercial venture across the world.
This summer Mission Briefing engaged in a project with NCR’s master make-up artist Rose Lynch to help round out the special zombie insert to the publication. At the end of the project Rose kindly agreed to sit down with us and answer a few questions about her world and why and how she applies the moulage. We are very grateful to Rose for her efforts for this somewhat frivolous project and for all the years she has supported our exercises across the region.
Mission Briefing: What was it like creating zombies for this edition of the Mission Briefing?
Rose Lynch: I had never created a zombie before, so I was a bit apprehensive about how they would turn out. We had a lot of fun experimenting with different looks and the zombies really got into the photo shoot.
MB: You have the reputation of being the premiere moulage specialist in the North Central Region. How did this come about? Was it ever a goal?
RL: I never expected to become so involved in moulaging. Over time it just evolved into a fun hobby for me. I now moulage for multiple first responder trainings, hospitals, schools, CERT exercises and even a training video for the U. S. Department of Commerce.
MB: You studied moulage under Haley Rich, who is credited with developing many of the application techniques used today. What was that like?
RL: Haley was a wonderful teacher. She was very patient and creative. Her homemade recipes for making injuries have saved the Region hundreds of dollars in supply purchases.
MB: How do you prepare for a moulage session? Is there something that you do to get the creative juices flowing?
RL: Occasionally I will Google images of injuries on the internet so I can get a feel for how specific wounds should look. The more realistic looking the injury, the more useful it is for first responders to train.
MB: If someone wants to get into the moulage business, what advice would you give them?
RL: Volunteer to assist with exercises in your area. CERT exercises are always a good time to practice moulage skills. In addition, there are instructional videos on the internet that can be very helpful.
MB: Other than the zombie session, what was the strangest moulage assignment you ever undertook?
RL: A local school district asked me to create injuries on students as a way to train their nursing staff. They requested that a couple of the students be suffering from food poisoning. I filled the kids mouths with instant oatmeal and instructed them to “vomit” when the nurses approached. That turned out to be very realistic and not necessarily appreciated by the nurses.
MB: What big projects do you have on the horizon?
RL: The North Central Region is conducting a very large multi-jurisdictinal exercise in September. There will be hundreds of casualties that will require moulage prior to the event at multiple locations around the Region.
If you’ve seen one zombie movie, you’ve seen them all. Inevitably, a bunch of people slip through the cascading doom and manage to hole up in some confined area (farmhouse, shopping mall, island, take your pick). Zombies manage to break into said confined area or survivors are forced to venture outside. Most of them die. A couple survive, which couple usually includes a hot girl.
But what if you could watch a zombie outbreak from a macro scale? Where would it hit first? Who would survive? We took these questions and more and, using current immigration, population density, climate, and agriculture data, came up with this infographic. Spoiler: avoid Southern California like the, well, plague!
About the Author: Marcus Varner writes articles and blogs for Classes and Careers and numerous other sites. He earned a BA in English and a MBA in Marketing from Brigham Young University. He loves trivia, especially regarding comics, movies, books, science, and history. The Zombie Epidemic Infographic first appeared in College Life and is reprinted with permission.
WATER: THE ABSOLUTE NECESSITY
Stocking water reserves should be a top priority. Drinking water in emergency situations should not be rationed. Therefore, it is critical to store adequate amounts of water for your household.
Two quarts of water/day/person for drinking.
Example: 2 quarts x 3 days x 5 person household = 30 quarts (about 8 gallons of water).
Individual needs vary, depending on age, physical condition, activity, diet, and climate. A normally active person needs at least two quarts of water daily just for drinking. Children, nursing mothers, and ill people need more. Very hot temperatures can double the amount of water needed.
One gallon of water/day/person for sanitary purposes and cooking.
Example: 1 gallon x 3 days x 5 person household = 15 gallons.
Because you will also need water for sanitary purposes and, possibly, for cooking, you should store at least one gallon of water per person per day.
FOOD: PREPARING AN EMERGENCY SUPPLY
If activity is reduced, healthy people can survive on half their usual food intake for an extended period or without any food for many days. Food, unlike water, may be rationed safely, except for children and pregnant women. You don’t need to go out and buy unfamiliar foods to prepare an emergency food supply. You can use the canned foods, dry mixes and other staples on your cupboard shelves. Canned foods do not require cooking, water or special preparation.
Food items that you might consider including in your disaster supply kit include:
Ready-to-eat meats (e.g., beef jerky, canned ham)
Canned fruits and vegetables
Canned or boxed juices
Foods for infants
Foods for persons on special diets (e.g., low sodium or gluten free)
FIRST AID KIT ESSENTIALS
First aid manual
Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
Assorted sizes of safety pins
Cleansing agents (isopropyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide)/soap/germicide
Latex gloves (2 pairs)
2-inch and 4-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6 each size)
Triangular bandages (3)
2-inch and 3-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls each)
Tongue depressor blades (2)
Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
It may be difficult to obtain prescription medications during a disaster because stores may be closed or supplies may be limited. Ask your physician or pharmacist about storing prescription medications. Be sure they are stored to meet instructions on the label and be mindful of expiration dates — be sure to keep your stored medication up to date. List prescription medications that you need to have on hand.
Extra pair of prescription glasses or contact lens.
Have the following nonprescription drugs in your disaster supply kit:
Aspirin and non aspirin pain reliever
Antacid (for stomach upset)
Syrup of ipecac (use to induce vomiting if advised by the poison control center)
TOOLS AND EMERGENCY SUPPLIES
It is important to assemble these items in a disaster supply kit in case you have to leave your home quickly. Even if you don’t have to leave your home, if you lose power it will be easier to have these item already assembled and in one place.
Tools and Other Items
A portable, battery-powered radio or television portable, battery-powered radio or television and extra batteries (also have a NOAA weather radio, if appropriate for your area)
Flashlight and extra batteries
Matches in a waterproof container (or waterproof matches)
Other tools (screwdriver, etc.)
Duct tape and scissors
Small canister, A-B-C-type fire extinguisher
Paper, pens, and pencils
Needles and thread
Battery-operated travel alarm clock
Manual can opener
Mess kits or paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils
Household liquid bleach to treat drinking water
Sugar, salt, pepper
Aluminum foil and plastic wrap
Re-sealing plastic bags
If food must be cooked, small cooking stove and a can of cooking fuel
Sanitation and Hygiene Items
Washcloth and towel
Towelettes, soap, hand sanitizer, liquid detergent
Tooth paste, toothbrushes, shampoo, deodorants, comb and brush, razor, shaving cream, lip balm, sunscreen, insect repellent, contact lens solutions, mirror, feminine supplies
Heavy-duty plastic garbage bags and ties—for personal sanitation uses—and toilet paper
Medium-sized plastic bucket with tight lid
Disinfectant and household chlorine bleach
Consider including a small shovel for digging a latrine
PET EMERGENCY SUPPLIES
Just as you do with your family’s emergency supply kit, think about your best friend’s basics for survival, particularly food, water and medication. A kit for your pet may be very similar to a kit for any other member of your family.
Food — at least three days of food for each pet in an airtight, waterproof container.
Water — at least three days of water for each pet in addition to water for your family.
Medicines and medical records — be aware of your pet’s medical needs!
First aid — cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape, scissors, antibiotic ointment, flea and tick prevention, latex gloves, rubbing alcohol.
Crate or pet carrier — be able to safely transport your pet and give them a place to sleep.
Collar with ID tag, harness or leash — have a second set of ownership and contact information, microchip registry and other important documents (vaccinations, breed registration)
Sanitation — does your pet use a litter box or need newspapers/liners, poop bags or towels?
Familiar items — favorite toys, treats or bedding can help reduce stress in your pet.
A picture of you and your pet — if you become separated, this is a great way to issue notification and an easy way to establish ownership.
Visit READYColorado at http://www.readycolorado.com/
There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for. Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That’s right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.
A Brief History of Zombies
We’ve all seen at least one movie about flesh-eating zombies taking over (my personal favorite is Resident Evil), but where do zombies come from and why do they love eating brains so much? The word zombie comes from Haitian and New Orleans voodoo origins. Although its meaning has changed slightly over the years, it refers to a human corpse mysteriously reanimated to serve the undead. Through ancient voodoo and folk-lore traditions, shows like the Walking Dead were born.
In movies, shows, and literature, zombies are often depicted as being created by an infectious virus, which is passed on via bites and contact with bodily fluids. Harvard psychiatrist Steven Schlozman wrote a (fictional) medical paper on the zombies presented in Night of the Living Dead and refers to the condition as Ataxic Neurodegenerative Satiety Deficiency Syndrome caused by an infectious agent. The Zombie Survival Guide identifies the cause of zombies as a virus called solanum. Other zombie origins shown in films include radiation from a destroyed NASA Venus probe (as in Night of the Living Dead), as well as mutations of existing conditions such as prions, mad-cow disease, measles and rabies.
The rise of zombies in pop culture has given credence to the idea that a zombie apocalypse could happen. In such a scenario zombies would take over entire countries, roaming city streets eating anything living that got in their way. The proliferation of this idea has led many people to wonder “How do I prepare for a zombie apocalypse?”
Well, we’re here to answer that question for you, and hopefully share a few tips about preparing for real emergencies too!
Better Safe than Sorry
So what do you need to do before zombies…or hurricanes or pandemics for example, actually happen? First of all, you should have an emergency kit in your house. This includes things like water, food, and other supplies to get you through the first couple of days before you can locate a zombie-free refugee camp (or in the event of a natural disaster, it will buy you some time until you are able to make your way to an evacuation shelter or utility lines are restored). Below are a few items you should include in your kit, for a full list visit the CDC Emergency page.
- Water (1 gallon per person per day)
- Food (stock up on non-perishable items that you eat regularly)
- Medications (this includes prescription and non-prescription meds)
- Tools and Supplies (utility knife, duct tape, battery powered radio, etc.)
- Sanitation and Hygiene (household bleach, soap, towels, etc.)
- Clothing and Bedding (a change of clothes for each family member and blankets)
- Important documents (copies of your driver’s license, passport, and birth certificate to name a few)
- First Aid supplies (although you’re a goner if a zombie bites you, you can use these supplies to treat basic cuts and lacerations that you might get during a tornado or hurricane)
Once you’ve made your emergency kit, you should sit down with your family and come up with an emergency plan. This includes where you would go and who you would call if zombies started appearing outside your door step. You can also implement this plan if there is a flood, earthquake, or other emergency.
1. Identify the types of emergencies that are possible in your area. Besides a zombie apocalypse, this may include floods, tornadoes, or earthquakes. If you are unsure contact your local Red Cross chapter for more information. Family members meeting by their mailbox. You should pick two meeting places, one close to your home and one farther away
2. Pick a meeting place for your family to regroup in case zombies invade your home…or your town evacuates because of a hurricane. Pick one place right outside your home for sudden emergencies and one place outside of your neighborhood in case you are unable to return home right away.
3. Identify your emergency contacts. Make a list of local contacts like the police, fire department, and your local zombie response team. Also identify an out-of-state contact that you can call during an emergency to let the rest of your family know you are ok.
4. Plan your evacuation route. When zombies are hungry they won’t stop until they get food (i.e., brains), which means you need to get out of town fast! Plan where you would go and multiple routes you would take ahead of time so that the flesh eaters don’t have a chance! This is also helpful when natural disasters strike and you have to take shelter fast.
Never Fear – CDC is Ready
If zombies did start roaming the streets, CDC would conduct an investigation much like any other disease outbreak. CDC would provide technical assistance to cities, states, or international partners dealing with a zombie infestation. This assistance might include consultation, lab testing and analysis, patient management and care, tracking of contacts, and infection control (including isolation and quarantine). It’s likely that an investigation of this scenario would seek to accomplish several goals: determine the cause of the illness, the source of the infection/virus/toxin, learn how it is transmitted and how readily it is spread, how to break the cycle of transmission and thus prevent further cases, and how patients can best be treated. Not only would scientists be working to identify the cause and cure of the zombie outbreak, but CDC and other federal agencies would send medical teams and first responders to help those in affected areas (I will be volunteering the young nameless disease detectives for the field work).
To learn more about what CDC does to prepare for and respond to emergencies of all kinds, visit: http://emergency.cdc.gov/cdc/orgs_progs.asp
To learn more about how you can prepare for and stay safe during an emergency visit: http://emergency.cdc.gov/
To download a graphic, like the one in the banner, that you can add to your social networking profile, blog, website or email signature visit: http://emergency.cdc.gov/socialmedia/zombies.asp
Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse was written by Rear Admiral Ali S. Khan, M.D. and first appeared in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention newsletter. It is reprinted with permission.
“How does this GPS thing work?” “You go geocaching? What is that?” These are common questions that members of O.M.E.G.A. have heard over the past year. Many of us have been geocaching for several years now and have experience with several different GPS units.
Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS units. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment.
In order to help others understand how to use a GPS to find geocaches or just to use it for navigation, we set up an outing for Easter weekend. A couple of O.M.E.G.A. members placed a series of temporary caches in Castlewood Canyon State Park on April 23 for a fun ‘Easter Egg’ hunt.
About a dozen people showed up for the hunt. It was a drizzly, brisk morning, but with the geocaches already hidden, everyone decided to head out and search anyway. As we left the parking lot, several returned to their cars for warmer clothing, batteries for the GPSs and other forgotten items. Soon enough, all were headed out and looking for the first set of coordinates. All but two went off in one direction. What kept those two back? They decided the coordinates in their GPS units lead them in a different direction. While they debated if they were right or not, since everyone else went another direction, the group headed back their way.
So, with everyone on the same path, we started out for the first set of coordinates. As with many geocachers, the idea of following a trail to get where you need to go is unheard of. “Why go that way, when I can go in a straight line?” No matter that there are trees, bushes, thorns, etc. in the way.
Several of the searchers took the time to program the GPS units and tried using the compass to help them find there way and others just recorded the numbers on paper and started walking to match what they were looking for with what the GPS unit was displaying. Once in the general location, they were told that with the many different brands of GPS units, they should look in a 15 to 20 foot radius for the actual coordinates. This is a lot harder than it may sound. They looked in trees, under bushes and behind rocks. It was one of the younger participants that finally located the camouflaged, duct-tape plastic Easter egg under a rock in a crevice. This treasure contained several smaller eggs with candy in them to help give them all a boost for the next phase of the hunt.
With a better understanding of what they were doing and a quick sugar fix, the group headed out for find number two. Many of them once again headed off the paved trail to follow the direct path of where they wanted to go. It took some time for everyone to realize that they were making more work for themselves then was necessary. The good news was that everyone was having fun and enjoying sharing stories while walking.
After a few hours, a total of five ‘caches’ had been found and everyone had prizes from the finds. Many of them now understood how to use their GPS units and others where ready to go shopping for one of their own. Everyone wanted to know if another event could be scheduled, and so the planning for a second GPS training began. It was agreed that Father’s Day would be a good time for some of them to request a GPS unit from family members and that soon after would be a good time to use them.
We planned another outing for July 2, this time to Devil’s Head Fire Lookout. There were a few real caches in this area and the plan was to hide six or seven more for everyone to find on the way up. This trip was not as successful for hunting as the previous one, but in the end, everyone had a good hike and lots of fun.
As the seekers started out behind the hider, they started looking for the location that appeared to be closest to them. This turned out to be a mistake that would send us searching all over the side of the mountain we were on. A few got discouraged and decided to head on up the trail to enjoy the hike and the beautiful day. The hider hiked back down to join us and locate the cache that could not be found.
It turned out that the first one that was closest to us on the GPS units was actually the second cache hidden, on the return of a switchback. And as always, the search had been off the obvious trail, so we had missed the first one all together. Another group headed on up the trail to join the first and a few stayed back with the hider to relocate the caches and pick them up.
It turned out that in the time it had taken the hider to get up the mountain and hide the geocaches, then turn around and come back and head up again, a couple of them were found by other hikers and removed. It was surprising to us how fast that could have happened. The party at the top of the hill went in search of one of the real caches and had a successful find, which made the trip that much more rewarding. The last group up asked a bystander climber to help get a geocache that was approximately 30 feet off the ground. The man was confused at first, but climbed up and passed the cache down to us to sign and then was kind enough to return it to its hiding place.
Once everyone had hiked to the top, snacked on some food and enjoyed the views, we headed back down. We were met by sprinkles of rain about midway down, but avoided the hard rain until after getting in the cars and driving away. Even with the trials and tribulations, O.M.E.G.A. was asked to plan another GPS outing. It turns out that everyone likes getting out and about, no matter the outcome of the geocaching adventure.
We hope to have another geocache seeking adventure towards the end of the summer. Stay tuned for details if you are interested in joining the fun.
Nothing like a deadline to get you motivated.
A few of our O.M.E.G.A. members decided they wanted to upgrade their amateur radio license to the General Class. George (WA9TCD) graciously agreed to lead the class with assistance from Donita (KCØSWX). Class and testing was scheduled to be complete by the end of June. This was a hard deadline as the testing pool in affect at the time was set to expire June 30th, 2011. Amateur radio question pools are refreshed every three years. The new question pool for the General Class had already been released and the old pool was scheduled to retire.
Classes for the General upgrade began in May and were held twice a week. We started out with four students. Due to the timing, we were having trouble finding the books for the class. Ham Radio Outlet (HRO) only had the study guides for the new testing pool. Even Amazon failed us. Sending out a query to hams we knew, we were able to scrounge up enough books for the class.
A couple students set their sights on testing June 11 and the other two for June 18. Sprinkled throughout the class were some various show and tell sessions where George brought in various equipment. Due to personal events, i.e. an out of state wedding (some people’s priorities – go figure), we did a couple weeks review about two-thirds of the way through the book. Upon completing the material in the book, we did another week of review. The two students who had contemplated taking the test on June 11, decided to take it with the others.
I am happy to say O.M.E.G.A. now has four new General Class amateur radio operators: KØKHA, KCØMHT, KDØEKY and WØJEN.
In addition to the General Class, O.M.E.G.A. also held a two day accelerated Technician Class session. The accelerated class was held at the request of the National Speleological Society (NSS) 2011 Convention Security Team. The NSS convention for 2011 was scheduled for a one week duration in Glenwood Springs, CO. The original plan for this event was to use FRS and business band radios. Due to the location and the anticipated number of participants, communications became a concern. There are a fair number of cavers in the area who already hold amateur radio license. It was decided that we would provide an opportunity for the cavers, and anyone else interested, to attend a learning session.
We had four confirmed students registered (I think I’m seeing a trend here):
1. One of the students actually already holds a technician class amateur license, but had not had an opportunity to talk on the radio waves yet. This class would provide a good refresher.
2. A few weeks or so before the class was scheduled, one of the registered students decided to take his test the same day we were to start class. As the testing site he chose was in the same building as our class, he was invited to come and in on the class after passing his test.
3. A couple days before the class, student #3 let me know he would not be able to attend class on Saturday, but would try to attend on Sunday.
We had two students who completed the class, one new and one refresher. We had one student test and pass his Technician level as well as his General level amateur license.
As of this writing, Eric (KCØOHM) and John (KDØPAA) are licensed amateur hams.
Congratulations to all on a job well done. We look forward to hearing you all on the radio waves. The O.M.E.G.A. Information Net is held weekly on Sundays at 7:00pm on 447.150 MHz with a PL tone of 107.2 Hz.
If you or someone you know are interested in getting a Technician Level amateur radio license, O.M.E.G.A. will be hosting another class starting September 1. Please contact kc0swx@OMEGAresponders.org for more information.