Last month I had the opportunity to write about some of the disaster preparedness checklists that are provided by different government agencies, and how woefully unprepared these checklists would leave you in a real disaster. While researching that article, I happened to stumble upon the CDC’s zombie preparedness page.
Yes, you read that correctly. The CDC has dedicated time and tax dollars to preparing you for the zombie apocalypse. Of course, they don’t actually believe that a zombie apocalypse will occur. This is more of a PR stunt, but half serious at the same time. The only thing I can compare it to, is when some parents try to come off as “hip and cool” to a younger generation, but wind up making an ass of themselves in the process.
The CDC is basically trying to make disaster preparedness exciting to a generation that is obsessed with the zombie apocalypse genre. They’ve even gone so far as to create a short comic book about zombies, which they littered with the same preparedness advice that they would give you to survive a hurricane. As you can imagine, it’s both painful to read and hilarious at the same time. Let’s take a look shall we?
The CDC’s descent into stupidity begins with the story of an unnamed protagonist, living with his dog and girlfriend. We’ll just call him “zombie meat” or Zim for short (that’s called foreshadowing folks). After hearing about a mysterious epidemic on the news, he decides to go online to investigate the matter
He proceeds to stock up on the CDC’s recommended survival items, including canned foods, flashlights, a first aid kit, etc. Despite learning that this is a zombie virus, he doesn’t consider arming himself in any way. Even after the news finally drops their pretenses and starts calling them zombies, he’s still treating this situation like a run-of-the-mill disaster.
Zim even gets attacked by his zombified neighbor and it still catches him off guard, despite the fact that his neighbor is displaying all of the symptoms that the news warned him about.
After repelling the attack as nonviolently as possible, Zim and his girlfriend decide to follow the government’s advice, and hunker down in the basement. Zim still hasn’t armed himself in any way, even as he watches his neighborhood get overrun with zombies. At this point, an actual zombie movie would make a better survival guide.
Part 2 of this story begins with a clever bit of foreshadowing for anyone who follows the CDC’s instructions.
And then takes us to the CDC’s headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, where they are busy making an effective vaccine for the virus. Apparently, the answer to this crisis was the flu vaccine all along.
Supposedly it only takes the CDC a week to cook up a cure for a disease that no one has ever seen before. That’s awfully suspicious considering the fact that it took the scientific community over a year to concoct a vaccine for the Ebola virus. I can only conclude that the CDC had a cure all along, and is only putting it into production after the virus has swept the country. Was this zombie outbreak some kind of false flag operation? Just like in the movies, the government is always the most likely source of a zombie pandemic. Also, it looks like the CDC still thinks that the average American likes to watch CNN.
Now the story takes us back to Zim and his girlfriend, who are running out of food because the CDC’s preparedness checklist only asks you to stock up on a three day supply of food and water. The news tells them that designated safe zones are being established, where the vaccines will soon be delivered to. The couple seems to forget what happens to government safe zones in every single zombie movie ever made, and they start making preparations to leave their home.
After gathering what little supplies they have left, they make a mad dash for their car, and take off as they’re swarmed by zombies. Their car runs out of fuel just before they reach the safe zone, because the CDC’s checklist also makes no mention of stockpiling fuel. They make it to the gates of the safe zone before the soldiers lock it up for the night, and are relieved to hear that a shipment of vaccines is on its way.
But as the shipment arrives, all hell breaks loose.
The zombies breach their defenses, because apparently the soldiers won’t kill their fellow citizens (All of you in the armed forces, take note. I’m assuming this is what happens when you don’t follow orders). As they pour into the building our protagonist, Zim, is finally given a real name. His girlfriend calls him Todd, but it’s too late. He is now zombie food.
Fortunately, it turns out that this was all just a really bad dream. Todd wakes up, and his girlfriend scolds him for watching too many scary movies, but he’s not out of the woods yet. The news informs him that a storm is coming. Motivated by the horrific dream that revealed how the advice of the media and the CDC would kill him and his loved ones, Todd decides to put together a real emergency kit and a solid plan for surviving a natural disaster. We can only hope that he learned his lesson, and that his future preps will include a few weapons, a good evacuation plan, and perhaps more than three days of food and water.
And that concludes this cautionary tale of what happens when you let the government tell you how to prepare for a disaster. I know that the CDC was just trying to make something silly and lighthearted with this story, but it sure doesn’t inspire a whole lot of confidence. They basically wrote a comic book about how the government would fail to keep your loved ones safe during a disaster. Still, I’m glad they provided me with an excellent how-to guide for what not to do when the world ends.