Zombies march on Delaware County, Ohio

Residents of Delaware County in Ohio are being told to prepare themselves for a temporary zombie invasion, as emergency response organisations stage a mock attack to encourage awareness of how to react in the face of more likely emergencies.

Volunteers dressed as zombies are due to march on the Ohio Wesleyan University in an exercise designed to train emergency responders in disaster response, hazardous materials handling and decontamination techniques.

Organising fake 'disasters' in order to train responders is in no way new, but groups often struggle to find an adequate number of people willing to volunteer their time to be 'acid spill victim seven' or 'burn victim four', following simulated industrial accidents.

By latching on to the ever-popular zombie theme - and at a terribly appropriate time of year - the groups organising the event have seen a far greater take-up: over 225 volunteers in total will be dressed as zombies and their 'infected' victims.

The event coincides with the ending of Zombie Preparedness Month in Kansas, with the state's Division of Emergency Management teaching its citizens proper emergency response and planning by using a similar method.

Speaking to press, spokesperson for the health district Jesse Carter claimed that organisations around the nation are watching the experiment with interest. "They want to see what lessons we learn, and they like the idea of getting out the zombie preparedness message The other message that we're trying to convey is: come be a zombie."