October 31, 2017

Intro: In 2011, the US CDC created a blog post on “Zombie Apocalypse preparedness”. This tongue-in-cheek blog was initially meant to capitalize on the resurging popularity of zombie-related movies and television programs and create an awareness for general disaster preparedness and mitigation. Since 2011, the US CDC has maintained its “zombie” awareness page and campaign, adding to it each year in an effort to reach the masses and educate about all types of preparedness. WorldAware would like to take this opportunity on Halloween (All Hallows Eve) to present questions and answers on why preparation for a zombie apocalypse may save your life!

What is a zombie and why should I care?

A zombie is a creature, once considered deceased that has been re-animated but not brought back to life. A zombie can ambulate but lacks general purpose or direction except to seek food (preferably human tissue). It can only be “killed” by destruction of the cranium (head), other injuries will only slow it down. You should care because understanding your risk will help you prepare for, mitigate, and become situationally aware for many catastrophes, not just zombies. The skill and knowledge you can gain in understanding risk of any type, can enhance your confidence and ability to face adversity.

If a zombie apocalypse was declared what should I do?

If hordes of roaming zombies descend upon your community, you should plan on sheltering in a secured location until live and healthy authorities can give the all clear. The ability to successfully shelter in place depends on your level of preparedness for all events. If you have enough nonperishable food and clean water to supply each member of your party for at least three days, you are on a good path towards survival. Also plan on not having power, internet or phone service, and consider this in any back up plans.

What essential items should be in my “shelter-in-place” kit?

At least one gallon of water, per person, per day is recommended. Nonperishables that require minimal preparation or water to reconstitute is also helpful. Make sure you have a can opener that doesn’t require electricity. Personal medications should be kept on hand – having “extras” for a few weeks or month and rotating the stock with what you use regularly to prevent expiration is also a consideration. A multipurpose tool or sturdy knife and screwdrivers are useful items. Duct tape can be used for many purposes, from fixing broken items to sealing windows. Extra batteries for radios, flashlights, and other items should be on hand. Household bleach can be used to decontaminate surfaces and water when used properly. First aid supplies are very important. Other items such as important papers or documents and comfort items (clean clothes and linens) should also be secured in a “Go bag” or central location.

How will I know everyone is safe if zombies invade?

Careful planning and communicating the plan is essential to ensure people are accounted for. Whether it’s zombies, a fire, or other disaster, having a specific place to meet, contact information that is current, and someone who is accountable for determining presence (or absence) of those in a party is essential to help emergency personnel find those that might be missing. As first responders may be busy fighting off the undead, having a clear accountability of your social unit will help ensure that their resources are not unnecessarily taxed by looking for someone who might be in the wrong meeting place.

How can I be certain I am prepared for zombies?

Have a plan! Exercise your plan regularly. Communicate any changes to the plan thoroughly. Review best practices for all disasters and implement them. And most of all, educate yourself to your risk and seek assistance in planning when needed!

For more information about zombies and preparedness, visit CDC.