The Centers for Disease Control did not accidentally release a Patient Zero into the population. However, it would not be a terrible idea to gather supplies as though they had, and the zombie apocalypse was under way. A just-in-case policy is best, and the supplies needed for a zombie invasion happen to also be what is needed during a hurricane or tornado. CDC realized that the recent obsession over The Walking Dead means America has studied up on how to be armed against zombie attacks and those supplies will help save lives.
The Zombie Apocalypse preparedness campaign describes how to create a household ready for zombies, which means it is also ready to handle any other emergency a family could face. “If you are generally well equipped to deal with a zombie apocalypse,” Assistant Surgeon General Ali Khan, MD said,“you will be prepared for a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake, or terrorist attack.” Khan is the director of the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, which is the office behind this campaign. It was a long shot, but worth the experimental leap of faith.
Dave Daigle, associate director of communication, was behind the Zombie Apocalypse preparedness campaign. After years of dull presentations that fell flat it was time for a change. The normal procedure was, before hurricane season hit in June, the CDC would release their statement saying the usual things they always did. Hurricane season was coming, be aware, be ready. And it might have stayed that way, except Catherine Jamal in the Office of Communications told Daigle that she had seen Twitter take an unusual turn after the Japanese nuclear reactor tragedy. Twitter users discussing the nuclear reactor were also discussing zombies.
A total of $87 was spent and it generated $3 million in free media coverage. It was quickly added to the top of list of the CDC’s more popular campaigns and includes zombie themed posters and educational material for the public. The CDC always wants the public safe, however The Walking Dead has helped American’s find a way to embrace preparedness as they arm themselves against zombie attacks. Of course, the reports of people eating each other in Florida may have helped, the “zombie” high on bath salts, did get a lot of people talking.
The campaign began in 2011 when The Walking Dead showed the protagonists searching out the CDC headquarters. In that universe, however, they were not prepared for the apocalypse to descend on them in such a rabid, flesh-eating manner, and nothing useful was left of the agency. The CDC of this world recently explained that the campaign had started tongue in cheek “to engage new audiences with preparedness” but in the end, the zombie theme, “ has proven to be a very effective platform.”
Zombie Pandemic, a graphic novella, is also part of the CDC’s plan to equip America. It is aimed at younger audiences, written like other book series popular with the teen demographic. The book also shows the readers, within the context of the story, what disaster preparedness looks like.
The CDC list of supplies that America should arm themselves with to help against zombie attacks is extensive, and has quite a few things The Walking Dead crew probably wish they had stocked up on. If followed, the instructions will prepare anyone for zombies, plus other mundane disasters. The list includes everything from water, food, and a battery-powered radio, to cash, copies of identification and important documents. First Aid supplies are also included with anti-bacterial ointment, bandages, and rubbing alcohol, but the CDC warns against getting hopes up. “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.”
By Whitney Hudson