Wellington's zombie apocalypse plan
Just in case earthquakes and tsunamis were not enough for us to be worrying about, Wellington City Council has put together a plan for how it would deal with a zombie apocalypse.
The tentatively titled Zombie Apocalypse Plan, otherwise known as ZAP, is apparently based on best overseas practice but also on repeated viewings of British comic movie Shaun of the Dead.
The good news is that Wellingtonians should survive, so long as we keep a cricket bat or golf club handy, according to one of Zap's authors, CitiOperations manager Mike Mendonca.
"The council can send the zombie flying squad, but we prefer residents to deal with the problem themselves in the first instance," he said.
The disposal of zombie corpses is also addressed in Zap. "Residents should place inert zombies and zombie parts in their rubbish bag – or they can be composted."
Council spokesman Richard MacLean added that a proven method to eliminate a zombie was to hurl a vinyl LP at its head so that it pierced the skull – as seen in Shaun of the Dead.
"If people live in apartments with limited storage space, then they may want to think about stocking up on CDs rather than LPs – CDs are apparently more effective at short range."
He and Mr Mendonca emphasised there was a serious side to Zap, which was based on the approach taken by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It recommended that Americans prepare for any natural disaster just as they would for an outbreak of "ravenous monsters" and compared the US hurricane season and possible pandemics to "flesh-eating zombies" from classic horror movies.
Americans clearly took the advice to heart: the CDC blogsite Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse crashed from the weight of traffic after it published ways to cope with such an emergency.
Britain has been forced to deal with the zombie threat after Leicester City Council was asked under a Freedom of Information Act request to explain its emergency plans to tackle one. Like the US and Wellington, it compared its response to a more natural disaster.
Mr MacLean said the council would not be able to hand out LPs and gardening gear, but people should keep water, clothes, sturdy shoes and non-perishable food in their emergency kits.
If a Wellington zombie infestation got too big, it could be handled nationally through the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act, which could lead to the shutting down of the central city.
"But our priority would possibly be to herd zombies to an easily contained area – like the waterfront or the stadium – that would allow the rest of the city to function as normally as possible."
The council was in the process of earthquake-strengthening routes out of the city such as Ngaio Gorge and Churchill Dr. "If the Ngauranga interchange is overwhelmed by a zombie infestation, for example, then these alternative routes would come into their own."
City councillor John Morrison said it was about time the council had a zombie policy. "We haven't had one before and look what happened. I'm surrounded by zombies on the council."
The Dominion Post