Fred Durso

Zombies invade social media! NFPA Journal writer offers lessons from an effective emergency preparedness campaign

Blog Post created by Fred Durso Employee on Feb 3, 2014

While investigating social media use during emergencies for my NFPA Journal feature, "#AreYouPrepared?," my research kept pointing me to zombies. Yes, zombies--those ghoulish creatures that refuse to rest in peace and have successfully invaded all forms of popular culture in recent years. They've also managed to grab the attention of social media users.

Let me explain: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched a social media campaign in 2011 promoting emergency preparedness tactics helpful during a zombie takeover and other disasters. (NFPA has developed similar tips for emergencies.) Their philosophy was if you were prepared for the "dawn of the dead" (stellar zombie flick, by the way), you were prepared for tornadoes, fires, and other events. The CDC disseminated these tools and tips via its social media channels. What was the response? Check out the following video where I give an overview of the campaign:

 

 

For a recent example of social media's effectiveness, check out a recent Atlanta-Journal Constitution article on its use during the recent snow storm that sidelined Atlanta.

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