If zombies descend on your neighborhood, will you be prepared to face the drooling ghouls or any other emergencies that might crop up?
That is the subject matter of a new exhibit coming to the Forest Preserve District’s Plum Creek Nature Center in Crete Township. “Don’t Be A Zombie! Be Prepared” runs through Sunday, November 28. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. Registration is not required for this free, all ages exhibit.
The recent COVID-19 pandemic proves that you never know what kind of calamity is just around the corner. This exhibit helps you think about the possibilities and what steps you can take to be better prepared for the next threat.
“Zombies are a great symbol to connect people to what emergency preparedness means,” said Kate Caldwell, a program coordinator for the Forest Preserve. “Zombies are a mystical representation of what an emergency is. They appear out of nowhere and catch you by surprise."
The exhibit, which entertains participants with cartoon zombies, includes a maze challenge that urges visitors to ask themselves, “Am I prepared?” The maze then reveals, in an interactive way, emergency preparedness concepts such as emergency shelter; getting babies, seniors and pets ready; having an emergency kit; warnings vs. watches; and types of disasters.
The Forest Preserve has scheduled a supplemental program to go along with the exhibit:
The zombie exhibit and the emergency preparedness challenge are fun ways to make sure you can mimic what animals do in nature when they are confronted by disasters, Caldwell said.
“If a hummingbird runs out of food, no problem! It stops eating and goes into torpor to conserve its food reserves. If a spider’s shelter falls apart, its emergency preparedness kit includes a silk-making machine inside of its body to make a new shelter. If a frog runs out of water, it moves underground and conserves the moisture that it already has in its body.”
Caldwell said people need to take cues from animals and have their own preparedness techniques and kits.
“The natural world is responding to emergencies all the time, but people don’t think about it as often," Caldwell said. "This exhibit helps you take action and be prepared.”
The exhibit was curated by the Purdue University College of Agriculture Exhibit Design Center and is brought to the Forest Preserve through funding provided by The Nature Foundation of Will County.
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