PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Zombies are hot right now!

TV shows such as AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and the CW’s “iZombie” have loyal viewers. The movie “Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse” is now in theaters.

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So the sporting goods store REI has developed a zombie twist on one of the survival courses it teaches. “This course is called ‘Zombie Preparedness: How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse,'” said REI Instructor Todd McCormick.

McCormick is made up with zombie makeup, and illustrations and signs on the wall help set the mood.

Students sign up for a variety of reasons.

“We’re fans of ‘The Walking Dead,’ so why not!” said Rachel Burnell of Pennsbury Village.

“I just thought it was too interesting to miss,” said Georgia Underwood of Elliott.

“Why not? You never know what’s coming,” said Chris Stall from Naples, Florida.

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“What does it take to kill a zombie?” was one of the questions McCormick asked the class which gathered at the REI store in Settlers Ridge.

Just to be clear, students do realize a zombie invasion is a fictional threat, but they enjoy playing along.

Most of the class is actually rooted in reality and about surviving natural disasters.

McCormick explains to the class how being prepared and staying calm can make all the difference.

He also instructs the class on how to use items such as solar powered phone chargers, UV lights to purify water and meals where all you need to do is add water.

But in the extremely unlikely event of real life copying fiction, McCormick says the very same info will prove useful. “Yeah,” he said with a laugh. “If there is an actual zombie apocalypse, then yeah, you could use this information.”

REI has two more courses coming up: one at the Settlers Ridge REI on Tuesday, November 17 at 7 p.m., and one at the Pittsburgh REI in South Side Works on Wednesday, November 11 at 7 p.m.

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David Highfield