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From CDC - Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse


Editor's Note: We wanted to share a blog post from our friends at the Centers for Disease Control.  Preparing for a zombie attack, or other fictional disasters, can provide useful tips to get prepared for a real disaster.  The following is an excerpt of the original blog post on the CDC Public Health Matters Blog May 16th, 2011 by Ali S. Khan.

There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for. Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That’s right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. 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.

The rise of zombies in pop culture has given credence to the idea that a zombie apocalypse could happen. In such a scenario zombies would take over entire countries, roaming city streets eating anything living that got in their way. The proliferation of this idea has led many people to wonder “How do I prepare for a zombie apocalypse?”

Well, we’re here to answer that question for you, and hopefully share a few tips about preparing for real emergencies too!

Better Safe than Sorry

So what do you need to do before zombies…or hurricanes or pandemics for example, actually happen? First of all, you should have an emergency kit in your house. 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). Below are a few items you should include in your kit, for a full list visit the CDC Emergency page.

  • 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)

Once you’ve made your emergency kit, you should sit down with your family and come up with an emergency plan. This includes where you would go and who you would call if zombies started appearing outside your door step. You can also implement this plan if there is a flood, earthquake, or other emergency.

  1. Identify the types of emergencies that are possible in your area. Besides a zombie apocalypse, this may include floods, tornadoes, or earthquakes. If you are unsure contact your local Red Cross chapter for more information. Family members meeting by their mailbox. You should pick two meeting places, one close to your home and one farther away
  2. Pick a meeting place for your family to regroup in case zombies invade your home…or your town evacuates because of a hurricane. Pick one place right outside your home for sudden emergencies and one place outside of your neighborhood in case you are unable to return home right away.
  3. Identify your emergency contacts. Make a list of local contacts like the police, fire department, and your local zombie response team. Also identify an out-of-state contact that you can call during an emergency to let the rest of your family know you are ok.
  4. Plan your evacuation route. When zombies are hungry they won’t stop until they get food (i.e., brains), which means you need to get out of town fast! Plan where you would go and multiple routes you would take ahead of time so that the flesh eaters don’t have a chance! This is also helpful when natural disasters strike and you have to take shelter fast.

Never Fear – CDC is Ready

If zombies did start roaming the streets, CDC would conduct an investigation much like any other disease outbreak. CDC would provide technical assistance to cities, states, or international partners dealing with a zombie infestation. This assistance might include consultation, lab testing and analysis, patient management and care, tracking of contacts, and infection control (including isolation and quarantine). It’s likely that an investigation of this scenario would seek to accomplish several goals: determine the cause of the illness, the source of the infection/virus/toxin, learn how it is transmitted and how readily it is spread, how to break the cycle of transmission and thus prevent further cases, and how patients can best be treated. Not only would scientists be working to identify the cause and cure of the zombie outbreak, but CDC and other federal agencies would send medical teams and first responders to help those in affected areas (I will be volunteering the young nameless disease detectives for the field work).

To learn more about what CDC does to prepare for and respond to emergencies of all kinds, visit:

To learn more about how you can prepare for and stay safe during an emergency visit:

To download a badge like the one above that you can add to your social networking profile, blog, website, or email signature visit:

Last Updated: 
07/10/2012 - 15:41


I seriously believe that the government has a scheme, and part if that is to make this all seem like a joke and they are trying to prepare us for an emergency. There will be some kind if emergency whether it is a zombie outbreak or the Cdc a.c. accidentally readout something that causes a severe and large outbreak of a deadly Contagious disease we are fools to not see right through that

" if a zombie boards a plane...", don't go to the DHS or TSA site, go to FAA :P

I absolutely love that this is on here. Not only is it funny, but also sensible. These tips are good for many other types of disasters. But it is good to know that fema does have a plan just in case it happens :)

It's 2016 and this already happen. Miami Dade county still has this problem for today 9/1/2016. This doesn't end hear. So many are infected and no one helps cause of ignorance. These comments are from idiots. This is a real thing folk hope you never have live through it. You all must be from up north or something we're they freeze. In tropical climate the undead roam till they fall apart in the street.

What about the most important things to have in your emergency kit ie guns and lots of ammo these are important in any emergency but somehow they are never mentioned.

How did I just now find this?!?! This is great!!!! I live in Oklahoma (tornado alley!) and I'm going to use this to help my kids get prepared! We're all zombie fans and the kids will get a laugh outta it along with a crash course in preparedness! Thank u! There might be ppl who think this was a waste of taxpayers money, but most think it's awesome! So thank u! Those who think this is a waste probably won't survive n e kind of disaster while they sit around and wait to be saved. Thank u CDC!!!! MissEmily P.S. Tell Dr. Jenner to keep researching! Maybe get some more "subjects" before the place self destructs. LoL Fans of a certain show will know what I'm talking about.

Are the Zombies in question of the "Walking Dead" variety? (Of which we've all had subliminal training to handle courtesy of AMC.) 0r are they the "Return of the Living Dead ?(In-which case ... we are screwed!) It is critical to public safety that this determination be made very early during an outbreak in order to save the lives of the living. We should remember that in the Movie it was stated quite clearly that the GOVERNMENT lied about being able to kill a zombie by simply destroying the brain. Best practice: If you shoot 'em in the head and they keep coming..... it's probably time to GET OUT OF DODGE!

This could actually happen, scientifically. If you want to learn more about it, you should do some research. It is actually really fascinating.

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