Apocalypse & Armageddon

US CDC advice on zombie apocalypse is relevant again

If there is one lesson to be taught from horror movies, it is that you should always be prepared for a zombie outbreak, especially during a pandemic. 

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website has released guidance on preparing for a decade-old zombie apocalypse amid renewed paranoia over the coronavirus pandemic. 

Social media and Google traffic surged on Wednesday and Thursday after several news sites re-circulated the CDC advice, along with a “prophecy” of zombies allegedly attributed to Nostradamus, the 16th-century French astrologer. The prophecy mentions “half-dead” people and “great evil” leading to the end of the world. 

These messages quickly prompted people to make joking plans for the real World War Z, books and films in which zombies rise up against all the people of the world. 

There are no signs of a zombie apocalypse in the near future (yet). That said, the CDC advice is helpful with or without hordes of hungry corpses knocking on your door. 

According to the website, the CDC has been using the zombie theme to educate people about disaster preparedness for nearly a decade. They also periodically revise the plan, including updating the website on February 23 this year. 

“What initially started out as a derisive campaign to reach new audiences with readiness messages has proven to be a very effective platform,” the CDC says. 

The CDC’s campaign calls on everyone to create a zombie apocalypse kit consisting of all the supplies you might need in the event of a global disaster, a local outbreak of brain eaters, or something more mundane like an earthquake or a power outage. 

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Recommended supplies include food, water, tools, clothing, radio, personal hygiene and medicine, important documents, and first aid items. 

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“Although you’re dead if you get bitten by a zombie, you can use these supplies to treat major cuts and wounds that you can get from a tornado or hurricane,” the CDC said. 

The blog pages also recommend that you draw up an emergency plan with your loved ones so that everyone knows who to call and where to go “if zombies start popping up outside your doorstep.” 

“You can also implement this plan in the event of a flood, earthquake or other emergency.” 

The survival plan (and everything else) has become a popular messaging tool for many public health agencies over the past decade. British Columbia has run its own zombie survival campaign in the past, and the Canadian Red Cross has also adapted the CDC’s plan to suit its needs. 

There have been no zombie uprisings since the release of the first tips in 2011, although Denmark came close to the COVID-19 zombie mink crisis last year. 

Over the years, there have also been many natural disasters, proving that getting ready for them does not hurt, because you never know when a flood, an earthquake, or a carnivorous monster will blow up your door. 


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