Sheriff's Office wants you to be prepared for a zombie apocalypse

30-second-long videos use humor to convey the message of emergency preparedness

mfountain@thetribunenews.comJune 23, 2014 

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office is attempting a poke at residents’ funny bones in order to promote safety tips and emergency services.

Through a series of eight highly produced, 30-second-long public service announcements, the Sheriff’s Office’s Task Force on Public Safety is suggesting tips to keep residents safe in the event of a county emergency.

With impending disasters such as “tri-tip tornadoes” to “cat and dog rainstorms,” and a spoof featuring a family’s teleportation evacuation plan, the commercials use humor to promote serious services such as the Reverse 911 call list and directions on what to do during a sounding of the county’s early warning siren system.

In one commercial, a young girl makes sure to pack graham crackers and chocolate in her family’s emergency evacuation kit ahead of a looming “marshmallow monsoon.”

“We thought if we made them humorous, we could better attract people’s attention,” said Sheriff’s Office Spokesman Tony Cipolla.

The commercials were paid for by Pacific Gas & Electric Co., whose $75,000 donation to the Sheriff’s Advisory Council in January 2013 established the Task Force on Public Safety, and produced by San Luis Obispo-based Verdin marketing.

The task force was created in response to a 2011 civil grand jury report that found that San Luis Obispo County officials could improve communication with the public on what to do in the event of an emergency.

The public safety announcements are airing on local television stations and can also be viewed on the Sheriff’s Office’s YouTube channel, http://goo.gl/er7LCO.

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