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Organize before they rise!

CDC offers tips on how to prepare for a zombie apocalypse

By Kara Santos Published Mar 09, 2021 12:44 am

How prepared are you in the event of a zombie apocalypse? When the undead start to rise would you know what to do and where to go?

You’re in luck, because the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has put together an official zombie preparedness guide.

In an effort to promote general preparedness for all kinds of emergencies, the Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse guide uses zombie-inpspired scenarios to engage new audiences with preparedness messages. 

Aside from offering a brief breakdown of the history of zombies, the useful resources in their website include a list of supplies you need in an emergency kit, how to draft an emergency plan and general preparedness tips because it’s always “be better safe than sorry.” 

While CDC’s Zombie Preparedness guide has been available on its website for the past ten years, it recently went viral (pun intended) on social media amid claims that Nostradamus’ prediction of a zombie apocalypse would occur in 2021 and because of the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic.

The CDC’s decade-old “tongue-in-cheek campaign” suddenly resurfaced online due to a passage that the French philosopher allegedly wrote which read: “Few young people: half−dead to give a start. Dead through spite, he will cause the others to shine, And in an exalted place some great evils to occur: Sad concepts will come to harm each one, Temporal dignified, the Mass to succeed.”

To be clear, the CDC’s Zombie Preparedness campaign was originally created in 2011, one year after hit show The Walking Dead first aired “to help educators teach middle school-aged children the basics of emergency preparedness and response using a fun, fictitious scenario.”

The CDC’s blog cites pop culture's interest in zombies as their inspiration, including Resident Evil, Night of the Living Dead, and Max Brook’s Zombie Survival Guide as a basis for their useful resources for emergencies capitalizing on the public’s fascination with zombies.

One of the key messages of the CDC’s site stresses how essential it is to have an emergency kit in the house not just to prepare for a potential zombie outbreak, but in the event of typhoons and pandemics as well. 

This includes things like water, food, and other supplies to get you through the first couple of days before you can locate a zombie-free refugee camp (or in the event of a natural disaster, it will buy you some time until you are able to make your way to an evacuation shelter or utility lines are restored,” says the CDC.

Here are a few items that you should include in your emergency kit, according to the CDC:

  • Water (1 gallon per person per day)
  • Food (stock up on non-perishable items that you eat regularly)
  • Medications (this includes prescription and non-prescription meds)
  • Tools and Supplies (utility knife, duct tape, battery powered radio, etc.)
  • Sanitation and Hygiene (household bleach, soap, towels, etc.)
  • Clothing and Bedding (a change of clothes for each family member and blankets)
  • Important documents (copies of your driver’s license, passport, and birth certificate to name a few)
  • First Aid supplies (although you’re a goner if a zombie bites you, you can use these supplies to treat basic cuts and lacerations that you might get during a tornado or hurricane) 

The CDC also says it’s important to have an emergency plan in place to assess immediate dangers, designate a safe place to regroup, note emergency contacts and have a path of evacuation. 

The final part of the guide outlines just what the CDC will be doing in case a zombie outbreak actually happens.

While fans of Dawn of the Dead, World War Z  and Train to Busan may be eagerly awaiting doomsday scenarios seen in recent zombie films, the CDC stresses that it remains an “unlikely event” but they hope that the guide will get people thinking about what they would do in actual emergencies.

“You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency."

Head over to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website to read its official zombie apocalypse guide in full.

There’s a whole range of fun resources including the video above depicting a fictitious outbreak that teachers can use, suggested scavenger hunt activities, and even a zombie graphic novel that demonstrates the importance of being prepared in an entertaining way that people of all ages will enjoy. 

(Images from CDC and Dawn of the Dead/Universal Pictures)