At the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website, you’ll find a great deal of information about preparing for disasters such as bioterrorism, disease outbreaks, chemical and radiation emergencies, and natural disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires. Recently, they added “zombie apocalypse” to the list.
Before you laugh it off, ask yourself: how apathetic are you about safety preparedness? Do you listen to pre-take-off flight safety instructions by flight attendants? Are you ready to deal with a hurricane warning? What do you do in the event of a dirty bomb explosion? How would you handle an outbreak of flesh-eating zombies?
Know your enemy. There’s already a lot of information available about zombies. Just google it. What’s pertinent for emergency preparedness is how not to be zombified. Zombie infections, believed to be viral, are passed to healthy humans through bites and scratches. Therefore, you must plan to avoid contact with zombies.
The first step is to prepare an emergency kit: water, non-perishable foods, medications, useful tools, sanitation like towels and soap, change of clothes, blankets, important documents such as your passport, and first aid supplies. Be sure to include supplies for your pets. There’s a full list at the CDC Emergency Page.
Discuss emergency plans with your family for different kinds of disasters. For instance, a hurricane or zombie warning requires evacuation to a safer location until the threat has passed.
* Plan several different evacuation routes. After all, you don’t want to drive into the direction of an approaching zombie horde.
* Compile a list of local first-responders such as police or the local zombie response team in case you need help.
* Designate a meeting place for all family members to regroup in the event of a impending attack so you can evacuate together.
* If family members have to evacuate separately, designate an out-of-state contact so each family member can connect with each other via that contact.
* Don’t forget to plan for your pets! Zombies may not care much for cats but your cat needs you to take care of it!
If the zombies hit your location with little or no warning, seek a safe place and tune in to emergency radio or tv channels for instructions. Meanwhile, first responders in your community will be working with other government agencies, including the CDC, to deal with the situation. The CDC, for instance, will have a team investigating zombie outbreaks and assisting local authorities in containing the infestation.
Whether it’s hungry zombies, hurricanes, a deadly disease outbreak, or a dirty bomb, you need to have a plan to survive it. It doesn’t take much time to make some emergency plans and gather together supplies to deal with potential disaster. Hopefully you’ll never need it. But if that hurricane bears down, or the tornado warning sirens go off, or a zombie disguised as a mailman knocks on your door, you’ll be glad to have planned ahead to deal with it. Check out the CDC emergency preparedness website for lots of good advice.
Shireen Gonzaga is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about natural history. She is also a technical editor at an astronomical observatory where she works on documentation for astronomers. Shireen has many interests and hobbies related to the natural world. She lives in Cockeysville, Maryland.