Date: May 16, 2011
Source: CDC (PDF)
Abstract: CDC has a fun new way of teaching about emergency preparedness. Our new graphic novel, "Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic" demonstrates the importance of being prepared in an entertaining way that people of all ages will enjoy. Readers follow Todd, Julie, and their dog Max as a strange new disease begins spreading, turning ordinary people into zombies. Stick around to the end for a surprising twist that will drive home the importance of being prepared for any emergency. Included in the novel is a Preparedness Checklist so that readers can get their family, workplace, or school ready before disaster strikes. Click on the image below to view the novella. A transcript can be found by clicking on the “accessible text” PDF. To order your own copy of the novella click here. (CDC, 2011).
Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse
Date: May 16, 2011
Abstract: 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.
A Brief History of Zombies
We’ve all seen at least one movie about flesh-eating zombies taking over (my personal favorite isResident Evil), but where do zombies come from and why do they love eating brains so much? The word zombie comes from Haitian and New Orleans voodoo origins. Although its meaning has changed slightly over the years, it refers to a human corpse mysteriously reanimated to serve the undead. Through ancient voodoo and folk-lore traditions, shows like the Walking Dead were born.
In movies, shows, and literature, zombies are often depicted as being created by an infectious virus, which is passed on via bites and contact with bodily fluids. Harvard psychiatrist Steven Schlozman wrote a (fictional) medical paper on the zombies presented in Night of the Living Dead and refers to the condition as Ataxic Neurodegenerative Satiety Deficiency Syndrome caused by an infectious agent. The Zombie Survival Guide identifies the cause of zombies as a virus called solanum. Other zombie origins shown in films include radiation from a destroyed NASA Venus probe (as in Night of the Living Dead), as well as mutations of existing conditions such as prions, mad-cow disease, measles and rabies.
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 realemergencies 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.
1. Water (1 gallon per person per day)
2. Food (stock up on non-perishable items that you eat regularly)
3. Medications (this includes prescription and non-prescription meds)
4. Tools and Supplies (utility knife, duct tape, battery powered radio, etc.)
5. Sanitation and Hygiene (household bleach, soap, towels, etc.)
6. Clothing and Bedding (a change of clothes for each family member and blankets)
7. Important documents (copies of your driver’s license, passport, and birth certificate to name a few)
8. 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
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.
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
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:http://emergency.cdc.gov/cdc/orgs_progs.asp
To learn more about how you can prepare
for and stay safe during an emergency visit:http://emergency.cdc.gov/
Join the CDC Zombie
Task Force! The CDC
non-profit partner of CDC is offering Zombie Task Force t-shirts (click on
the picture to find out more). Proceeds go to benefit disaster relief
efforts and other important health programs. Get yours before they’re gone…
Have you begun preparing for a zombie apocalypse? Or maybe you have been preparing for a more realistic threat like hurricanes or the next flu season? Tell us about what you are doing to prepare! Enter our video contest here: http://prepare.challenge.gov (CDC, 2011).
Title: CDC And FEMA Agree To Role On Zombie Attacks
Date: September 12, 2011
Abstract: After months of debate, FEMA czar Roger Wheeler and the head of the CDC, Jason Fisher, have settled their long running feud on each organizations role regarding zombie attacks.
Since January, both organizations have been the target of public and media scrutiny. The lack of response by both during the Pleasant PA zombie invasion fueled a public outcry for each government agency to have a plan in the event of more attacks.
The overwhelming issue facing FEMA was the stipulation in its charter that requires the agency provide special assistance and technical help for all zombie related massacres. This includes on site access to experts that specialize in the field of zombie containment and extermination. According to Mr. Wheeler, this would not be possible since his agency only recently received funding for its zombie research division. Mr. Wheeler has suggested, unsuccessfully, that the Department of Homeland Security form a new agency for such occurrences.
Due to its recently slashed budget, it was impractical for Homeland Security to establish this undertaking. Instead, it will seek $100MM from the federal government to form a zombie task force which seems destined to be named 'Zombie Hawk'.
In the interim, FEMA has agreed to be responsible for all pre-disaster migration programs in the case of zombie invasions. This represents a significant change in posture for the agency. Previously, Mr. Wheeler insisted FEMA did not have the manpower or monetary commitment from the federal government to take on such assignments, particularly in the case of cross region zombie attacks.
Speculation is federal pressure eventually persuaded Mr. Wheeler to alter his position on the matter.
Additionally, FEMA will continue to work on the ground assisting local authorities in all aspects of maintaining order.
Under this agreement the CDC also makes a significant concession. Instead of an infected area needing to be under 'complete control' and all zombies exterminated, the area must only be considered 'contained' upon the CDC sending personnel. Previously, Mr. Fisher argued he would not allow any CDC team member to enter a zombie zone until every zombie was extinguished. While popular within the CDC, public and media pressure was intense.
"This is without a question, a compromise on the part of the CDC," said Mr. Fisher. "We understand the public concern and will continue to respond to all emergencies. We would like to reiterate that our research concludes the zombie attacks we have seen thus far are limited in nature. We do not foresee a growing possibility of a pandemic. We ask the media outlets not add to this outrageous speculation."
However, not everyone agrees with Mr. Fisher's assessment. California House Rep. Max Walkers is calling for an independent investigation on the zombie issue. Additionally, he hopes the President will sign a bill setting aside $1 trillion for zombie research and military intervention in the case of attacks. Mr. Walkers has come under fire for this proposal (Yahoo, 2011).
Title: CDC Warns Public To Prepare For 'Zombie Apocalypse'
Date: May 18, 2012
Source: Fox News
Abstract: Are you prepared for the impending zombie invasion?
That's the question posed by the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention in a Monday blog posting gruesomely titled, "Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse." And while it's no joke, CDC officials say it's all about emergency preparation.
"There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for," the posting reads. "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 post, written by Assistant Surgeon General Ali Khan, instructs readers how to prepare for "flesh-eating zombies" much like how they appeared in Hollywood hits like "Night of the Living Dead" and video games like Resident Evil. Perhaps surprisingly, the same steps you'd take in preparation for an onslaught of ravenous monsters are similar to those suggested in advance of a hurricane or pandemic.
"First of all, you should have an emergency kit in your house," the posting continues. "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)."
Other items to be stashed in such a kit include medications, duct tape, a battery-powered radio, clothes, copies of important documents and first aid supplies.
"Once you've made your emergency kit, you should sit down with your family and come up with an emergency plan," the posting continues. "This includes where you would go and who you would call if zombies started appearing outside your doorstep. You can also implement this plan if there is a flood, earthquake or other emergency."
The idea behind the campaign stemmed from concerns of radiation fears following the earthquake and tsunami that rocked Japan in March. CDC spokesman Dave Daigle told FoxNews.com that someone had asked CDC officials if zombies would be a concern due to radiation fears in Japan and traffic spiked following that mention.
"It's kind of a tongue-in-cheek campaign," Daigle said Wednesday. "We were talking about hurricane preparedness and someone bemoaned that we kept putting out the same messages."
While metrics for the post are not yet available, Daigle said it has become the most popular CDC blog entry in just two days.
"People are so tuned into zombies," he said. "People are
really dialed in on zombies. The idea is we're reaching an audience or a
segment we'd never reach with typical messages" (Fox News, 2012).
Title: Zombie Apocalypse: CDC Denies Existence Of Zombies Despite Cannibal
Date: June 1, 2012
Source: Huffington Post
Abstract: The horrific face-eating arrest in Miami and several other seemingly subhuman acts has many people wondering what's behind this flesh-munching wave of terror.
A zombie apocalypse, however, is not what we should be worried about, at least according to the federal government.
Over the years the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a couple of tongue-in-cheek "zombie warnings," which really are just disaster-preparedness stunts. But on Thursday, the agency made it official: Zombies don't exist.
"CDC does not know of a virus or condition that would reanimate the dead (or one that would present zombie-like symptoms)," wrote agency spokesman David Daigle in an email to The Huffington Post.
Nevertheless, recent incidents in which humans reportedly ate human flesh have the Internet in a firestorm, with "zombie apocalypse" being Google's third most popular search term by Friday morning.
The zombie craze seemed to start with an attack in Miami on Saturday, when Rudy Eugene, 31, was killed by cops while in the process of eating almost the entirety of a homeless man's face off. The victim, Ronald Poppo, miraculously survived, but doctors are having a hard time figuring out how to put his face back together.
ZOM-BIE: n. also ZOM-BIES pl. 1. An animated corpse that feeds on living human flesh. 2. A voodoo spell that raises the dead. 3. A Voodoo snake god. 4. One who moves or acts in a daze "like a zombie." [a word of West African origin] - Max Brooks, "The Zombie Survival Guide"
Then, on Tuesday, 21-year-old Alexander Kinyua of Maryland allegedly admitted to dismembering his roommate and then eating his heart and brain.
Cops in Canada are also searching for a low-budget porn actor who allegedly killed a young man with an ice pick, dismembered the body and then raped and ate flesh from the corpse. Luka Rocco Magnotta is being hunted after he allegedly mailed some of the body parts to Ottawa. He's also accused of killing cats on video and posting the footage online.
Gawker fingered a "mysterious rash" breakout at a high school in Hollywood and other parts of Florida -- which hazmat and disease control teams still can't explain -- as further proof that zombies are taking over.
Zombie-like characteristics have been confirmed in the animal kingdom, just not in humans. A newfound fungus in a Brazilian rain forest -- called Ophiocordyceps camponoti-balzani -- is known to infect an ant, take over its brain so as to move the body to a good location for growth, and then kill the insect.
Yet Daigle dismissed "fictional viruses" like Ataxic Neurodegenrative Satiety Deficiency Syndrome, noting that other triggers have been alleged to cause zombie-like symptoms.
"Films have included radiation as well as mutations of existing conditions such as prions, mad-cow disease, measles, and rabies," he said.
But recently, some have found truth stranger than fiction.
"Action must be taken now before an outbreak!" an anonymous reader told The Huffington Post. "Zombies may be subdued by destroying the brain or removing the head. It is now your responsibility to prevent the apocalypse" (Huffington Post, 2012).Title: Feds VS. Zombies: CDC Officially Denies 'Zombie Apocalypse'
Date: June 2, 2012
Source: Russia Today
Abstract: The US Center for Disease Control has been forced to address the American public in the wake of internet rumors of a possible ‘zombie apocalypse”.
It’s hard to say which is more ‘out there’: that people believe there might be a virus that reanimates dead people, or that a federal agency actually weighed in on the issue in earnest.
The CDC has previously run a few tongue-in-cheek campaigns about zombies, using the popular theme to get the public prepared for “anything”. As the agency’s director says, “if you are generally well equipped to deal with a zombie apocalypse, you will be prepared for a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake, or terrorist attack".
But it’s now found itself in an unusual spot: having to treat the matter seriously. CDC spokesman David Daigle said the agency “does not know of a virus or condition that would reanimate the dead (or one that would present zombie-like symptoms)”.
But it’s not reassuring the masses. Zombie conspiracies are bouncing around the Internet, becoming the third most-popular search term on Google – all after a number of unrelated, yet disturbing, incidents.
A man in Miami attacked and ate the face of his victim. The victim survived, but doctors are having a hard time piecing his face together. Then, an engineering student in Maryland allegedly stabbed a man to death and then ate his heart and brain. In Canada, police are on the hunt for a porn actor who reportedly slaughtered, dismembered, sexually-violated the body and then ate his victim.
The cause for this cannibalistic outbreak is unclear – some blame drugs, others cite psychological issues. One woman even claimed it was all because of a voodoo curse. But the human fascination with the undead is not new; it’s one of the reasons the CDC used them for an awareness campaign in the first place.
And even though they deny the existence of zombies, a kit list on their website provides readers with information about everything they may need in case a zombie does come around.
So, in case you’re feeling panicky, remember: non-perishable food, medications, a utility knife, sanitation supplies, clothing, personal documents and one gallon of water per day should keep the undead away (Russia Today, 2012).
Title: The CDC Knew The Zombie Pandemic Was Coming?
Date: June 7, 2012
Abstract: Have you had your “WTF” moment of the day? Well here it is. A comic published by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) in 2011 centers around a “zombie pandemic” that takes place specifically in the South-East of the United States. (Check out the comic on the CDC’s official website). The South-East is where we can find Miami, the city in which recent cases of “zombie-like attacks” took place in the past week. A third case just recently occurred in Miami. (BeforeItsNews, 2012).
Title: No, Really: Govt Warns Of 'Zombie Apocalypse’
Date: September 6, 2012
Abstract: "The zombies are coming!" the Homeland Security Department says.
Tongue firmly in cheek, the government urged citizens Thursday to prepare for a zombie apocalypse, part of a public health campaign to encourage better preparation for genuine disasters and emergencies. The theory: If you're prepared for a zombie attack, the same preparations will help during a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake or terrorist attack.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency hosted an online seminar for its Citizen Corps organization to help emergency planners better prepare their communities for disaster. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last year first launched a zombie apocalypse social media campaign for the same purposes.
Emergency planners were encouraged to use the threat of zombies - the flesh-hungry, walking dead - to encourage citizens to prepare for disasters. Organizers also noted the relative proximity to Halloween.
Among the government's recommendations were having an emergency evacuation plan and a change of clothes, plus keeping on hand fresh water, extra medications and emergency flashlights.A few of the government's suggestions tracked closely with some of the 33 rules for dealing with zombies popularized in the 2009 movie "Zombieland," which included "always carry a change of underwear" and "when in doubt, know your way out" (AP, 2012).
Title: Zombie Alert Issued By Homeland Security
Date: September 7, 2012
Source: NY Daily News
Abstract: If zombies take over, the government wants you to be prepared.
The Homeland Security Department warned citizens on Thursday that the “zombies are coming,” and urged them to be ready for a walking-dead apocalypse, The Associated Press reported.
The zombie “warning” is part of a public health campaign calling for citizens to be ready for disaster — to know to stock up on food, batteries and water, and to keep extra changes of clothes and medication on hand.
Of course, those same preparations will also come in handy in case of a hurricane, earthquake, pandemic or terrorist attack, and that’s the idea behind the campaign.
In an online seminar, emergency planners were told to use zombies to get their point across that emergency preparation — for anything — is important.
The Centers for Disease Control used the same tactic last year with its zombie apocalypse social media campaign. The agency posted a blog post with detailed recommendations of how to survive a zombie attack.
A CDC spokesperson explained at the time that the campaign was introduced to get Americans interested in its annual campaign for hurricane preparedness.
“I worry we try the same thing every year and I didn’t know how many people we were actually engaging,” Dave Daigle of the CDC told The Los Angeles Times. “Let’s face it — preparedness and public health are not exactly sexy topics.”In a statement, the CDC later confirmed it does not know of any zombie-like virus or condition (NY Daily News, 2012).
Title: Zombie Apocalypse Is A Real Threat
Date: September 10, 2012
Source: Fox Charlotte
Abstract: Homeland Security reported that zombies are a real threat and preparations should be made.
This news came Thursday as a part of a public health campaign to prepare people for natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and terror attacks. Homeland Security says if people are prepared for a zombie apocalypse then they will be prepared for other emergency situations.
Homeland Security recommends everyone to have an emergency bag and an escape plan ready to go in their home in case of an emergency like the zombie apocalypse. The bag should have supplies like clothes, flashlights, medicine, bottled water, and non perishable food.
Last year there was a similar campaign ran by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through social media with a similar purpose and threats of zombies as a way of informing the public.Some of the recommendations used came from the 2009 movie "Zombieland" (Fox Charlotte, 2012).