While the walking dead aren’t quite roaming the streets in search of raw flesh to consume (yet), federal politicians engaged in a brief conversation about zombies and how they relate to emergency preparedness in the House of Commons yesterday, and OurWindsor.ca spoke with Staff Sgt. Dodd of the Windsor Police about zombie preparedness in Windsor.
NDP MP Pat Martin saluted the work of the Centers for Disease Control and the Province of Quebec for putting in place emergency measures which dealt with a zombie outbreak and invasion. “Zombies don’t recognize borders and [a zombie outbreak in the US] could easily turn into a continent-wide pandemic if it’s not contained.”
Asked if he was “working with his American counterparts to develop an international zombie strategy so that a zombie invasion does not turn into a zombie apocalypse” the Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird gave a jovial response.
“I am dead-icated to ensuring that this never happens. I want to say categorically to this member and through him to all Canadians, that under the leadership of this Prime Minister, Canada will never become a safe haven for zombies ever,” he deadpanned.
Closer to home, Staff Sgt. Dodd of the Windsor Police Services explained that while “a zombie outbreak is not something that is specifically listed in the [City of Windsor Emergency Response Plan]” the city does have a broad strategy to deal with emergencies.
“We have the capabilities to deal with any type of large scale ability in this area,” said Dodd, “while we have not specifically practiced or reviewed anything of that nature, we do have capabilities to deal with large scale [events of civil unrest].”
Police, fire and EMS are part of the municipal first responder community, and they collectively deal with major events, incidents and/or emergencies.
“We work closely and we regularly practice and review our capabilities to work with [first responders] to make sure we have a coordinated response to any emergency,” stated Dodd, “That coordinated response ranges from ensuring that our communications between agencies are interoperable, [and] ensuring that our command and control capabilities are coordinated.”
Should a zombie outbreak occur in the US and the walking dead attempt to cross the border, Dodd explained that the police have the authority to block and close roads and highways as required. “That’s something that would be done to deal with any emergency depending on the circumstances.”
“The training exercise of a simulated zombie apocalypse … has proven in a lot of jurisdictions to be a very useful public awareness and public education tool,” stated Dodd, “It leverages the power of social media to get the message [of emergency preparedness] out to the public [and] while it may be a tongue-and-cheek simulation or preparedness exercise, what it does is it tests the real capacity of first responders.”
Jonathon Liedtke is the Features & Opinion Editor for the University of Windsor Lance Campus/Community Newspaper and a reporter for ourWindsor.ca. As a founding member and current Co-Chair of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Committee, he is committed to representing, connecting, engaging with and advocating for local youth. He is also a member of Windsor’s “Punk with Horns” band The Nefidovs, and as such, is committed to enhancing and sustaining the arts community.