College police teaches safety through cartoons

By The Associated Press | Posted - Sep. 23, 2014 at 10:30 a.m.



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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Police Department has made a series of nine cartoons and posted them on YouTube to remind students about what do in emergencies.

Each video in the "Really Obvious Preparedness Facts" series is about a minute long. Combined, they have 2,200 views. The department's emergency preparedness coordinator, Mark Robertson, told the Lincoln Journal Star (http://bit.ly/1riBzew ) that he thought the animations would resonate more with college students than a man in his 50s with gray hair on camera would.

"It's always cheaper to avoid disaster than it is to recover from disaster," Robertson said.

He narrates each cartoon and tells students what to do in a fire or tornado, how and where to lock their bikes and what to do when it's hot at a football game. His character is dressed in a neon orange vest.

Robertson said he tries to add humor similar to the animated show "South Park" to increase the likelihood of the videos being shared on social media websites. In one video, his character is sucked into a tornado at the end, and in another, he hides from a hipster zombie.

In the video about fire, the series lives up to its name.

"When there's a fire in your building, leave," it said.

Robertson said some emergency preparedness officials might raise a few eyebrows about the unconventional approach, but that he's seeing attitudes change about the series.

"We're marketing preparedness," he said. "Reaching people in a way that's entertaining is the way to go."

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com

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The Associated Press

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