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University of Alaska Fairbanks

How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse (and Other Emergencies)

University of Alaska Fairbanks via edX


Would you survive the zombie apocalypse? This engaging, self-paced, personal preparedness online course teaches you how to recognize pending crises and disasters, develop the skills to successfully prepare for and manage emergency situations using preparedness theory and frameworks.

Particularly in today’s world, it’s important to know what to do in the face of pandemics, extreme weather, wildfires, and other crises such as natural disasters. In the United States, organizations from Homeland Security, American Red Cross, and FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) to local emergency response services, including first responders and emergency responders, are valuable resources for crisis and incident management, it is still important to know what you can do on an individual level to prepare for different types of emergencies.

By the end of this preparedness course, learners will:

  • Develop their own personal preparedness plan for use in case of emergencies, natural disasters, and other crises.
  • Test their skills and knowledge by surviving zombie apocalypse scenarios in a gamified environment.
  • Learn how to prepare their home and their family members for the zombie apocalypse & other disasters
  • Learn when to move, escape or defend.
  • Have the chance to put their preparedness skills to the test & try to survive in two disaster simulations
  • Gather the materials they need to create an emergency kit and an evacuation plan.

Key features of the course:

  • A focus on practical skills that can be applied to competency in real-world survivalist situations.
  • Fundamental survival skills for various emergency and survival situations, from urban disasters to wilderness survival scenarios.
  • Each module has a disaster plan challenge: you may be required to take a picture of your food stockpile or create your own candles in the event of a power outage!
  • By the end of the course you will have created an emergency preparedness plan


Module 1: Course Introduction & Why Do We Prepare?

  • Explain the importance of emergency planning and preparation.

  • Create a functioning emergency communications plan.

Module 2: Water

  • Explain the critical nature of water in a survival situation

  • Identify different ways to locate drinkable water

  • Describe how to filter and purify water for drinking

  • Review means for storing the appropriate amount of water for a survival situation

Module 3: Food

  • Evaluate the importance of food storage in disaster preparedness

  • Analyze the potential risks and challenges associated with obtaining food during a disaster

  • Calculate the daily caloric requirements of each family member to ensure adequate food supplies are stored for short and long-term use

  • Create a checklist of non-perishable food items with for a disaster stockpile

  • Identify the different methods of food preservation, including canning, root cellaring, dehydration, freezing, and curing/smoking, and explain the basic principles and considerations of each method

Module 4: Hygiene and Sanitation

  • Identify which items and how many you need

  • Explain the different methods for cleaning and disinfecting laundry

  • Describe alternatives to showering/bathing and toilets

  • List the various strategies for waste disposal and pest control

Module 5: Medical & First Aid

  • Recognize why first aid is critical every day, and particularly in disasters

  • List the components frequently associated with a disaster first aid kit

  • Explain the use of disaster first aid kit supplies

Module 6: Residential Security

  • Conduct a home security audit to identify vulnerabilities and create a plan to fortify your home against potential threats

  • Understand the steps for the protection of self and others within a residential setting using layers of protection

  • Identify strategies for hiding valuables in case your home is ever breached

Module 7: Personal Security

  • Understand the circumstances where force might be used for self defense

  • Describe what to do after you have defended your self

  • Recognize the advantages and disadvantages of various lethal and less-lethal weapons

Module 8: Heating & Cooling

  • Identify alternate sources of heating and cooling.

  • Explain the dangers associated with different heating and cooling sources.

Module 9: Cooking & Hot Water

  • List fuel options that are capable of being used indoors.

  • Explain the dangers associated with the operation of emergency cooking techniques.

Module 10: Lighting

  • Identify the various lighting options available to you

  • Explain the safety concerns associated with the variety of lighting options available

Module 11: Communications

  • Create a communication plan that will work for you and those you care about

  • Discuss the dynamics of communication in an emergency

Module 12: Fuel & Fuel Storage

  • Identify characteristics of a given location that afford greater levels of comfort in a crisis

  • Understand the considerations associated with deciding to shelter-in-place or to consider "bugging out."

  • Identifying common practices associated with sheltering-in-place or evacuating a location

Taught by

Sean McGee


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