The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

When zombies attack: Quebec public security ministry to prepare for scenario

  • Print

If zombies do eventually rise from the dead and take their long-awaited revenge against humanity, Quebec's public security department plans to be ready.

Participants at an annual symposium on civil security next week will be discussing, among other topics, how they would handle a zombie attack in the province.

The zombies, of course, are purely hypothetical.

But a department spokesman says the exercise has a serious purpose: the living dead-themed drill is meant to simulate a real-life catastrophic event.

"When we're talking about zombies, we're talking about a training concept," says Denis Landry, director of disaster recovery with the Quebec civil security department.

Hypothetical zombie attacks are becoming a popular emergency preparedness teaching tool. Even the Centers for Disease Control in the United States has used the tactic. It has a graphic novel on its website dubbed, "Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic."

The idea behind the exercise is that if you're ready to fend off the flesh-eating undead, then you're probably ready for any other disaster that may strike.

"Just about every U.S. state has adopted this type of exercise, whether it be workshops or simulations," Landry said.

"It's essentially designed to prepare authorities for any kind of disaster, right up to pandemics."

Last May, British Columbia conducted a similar exercise, offering tips on how to prepare for and fend off a fake zombie apocalypse.

The B.C. government said at the time that it hoped the exercise would generate awareness of social media tools that could help the public in real emergencies.

Last September, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security held a similar exercise as part of a campaign to encourage better preparation for genuine disasters and emergencies.

But don't expect any fake blood or face-paint at the event in Laval, near Montreal. Landry says there won't actually be a ghoulish dramatization.

The event will consist of several hundred first responders, civil-security experts, firemen and municipal officials who are taking part in the three-day symposium.

The zombie workshop will take place over those three days, and will deal with three different phases: the emergency itself, the aftermath, and the recovery.

The decisions taken one day will fold into the next, Landry explained.

Participants will deal with a number of issues as part of the scenario: infections, infrastructure damage, death, housing issues, work absences and the resulting drop in tourism.

Landry says Quebec has had its fair share of real-world disasters, but the zombie exercise will force officials to think outside the box.

"The idea is for them not to get caught in a scenario they already know — for example, the annual flooding in the Monteregie (south of Montreal) or the 1996 Saguenay floods or the 1998 ice storm," Landry said.

"People who are used to working in these situations should discuss what to do and the planning as opposed to the focusing on the event."

A zombie attack, as unlikely as it is, apparently fits the bill.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Stephen Harper announces increased support for Canadian child protection agencies

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • Young goslings jostle for position to take a drink from a puddle in Brookside Cemetery Thursday morning- Day 23– June 14, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos


Are you concerned about the number of homicides so far this year?

View Results

Ads by Google