What can you learn from The Walking Dead?

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Since October is a time for focusing on emergency preparedness, why not have some fun studying the topic with one of the hottest zombie TV shows in two decades.   There’s a lot to learn from this show and it’s deeper than you might think.  The University of California – Irvine also thinks so.  They have designed an 8 week course around the show to explore the deeper complexities of dealing with prolonged emergencies.

As described on ScreenCrush, some of the topics under exploration are:

  • Maslow’s hierarchy of needs—is survival just about being alive?
  • Social order and structures—from the farm and the prison to Woodbury
  • Social identity, roles, and stereotyping—as shown through leaders like Rick and the Governor
  • The role of public health in society—from the CDC to local community organizations
  • The spread of infectious disease and population modeling—swarm!
  • The role of energy and momentum in damage control—how can you best protect yourself?
  • Nutrition in a post-apocalyptic world—are squirrels really good for you?
  • Managing stress in disaster situations—what’s the long-term effect of always sleeping with one eye open?

 

While most schools will not have to deal with managing throngs of people on a long-term basis, many of the topics above apply to our short-term management of situations.  Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is certainly one that we will deal with in a two to three day event.  Having something to take our students’ minds off the emergency can prove useful.  A simple card game can occupy us for hours without burning much needed calories.  Ensuring that everyone understands structure and establishing that authority can ensure the safety of everyone on your campus during an emergency.

So the next time, you sit down to watch an episode, take a deeper look at the underlying factors which are at play.

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