In the 16th century, the French astrologer Nostradamus predicted that there would be a zombie apocalypse in the year 2021. And now that is Really 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wants to make sure you’re prepared … just in case.
The CDC recently updated the zombie preparedness section on its website; yes, this is one thing. While the section isn’t new, it was originally released in 2011, it’s an interesting moment given that it’s been updated amid a global pandemic that happens in the year of a predicted zombie apocalypse.
The CDC makes it clear online that this is a joke, albeit with a serious message about the importance of disaster preparedness. “I wonder why zombies, zombie apocalypse, and zombie prep continue to live or walk dead on a CDC website.” it reads on the landing page. “Apparently what started as an ironic campaign to attract new audiences with preparedness messages has proven to be a very effective platform. We continue to reach out and engage a wide variety of audiences in preparing for all dangers through ‘preparedness zombie ‘”.
The CDC offers lesson plans for teachers on preparing for the zombie apocalypse, a downloadable poster that reads, “Get a kit. Make a plan. Be prepared,” along with a zombie’s face, and general information on preparing for disasters.
In a related but not zombie section on readiness, the CDC talks about the importance of having certain tools in the home, such as food, water, and medical supplies that last at least 72 hours, backup power sources, medical records, and a supply of prescription medicine emergency.
But the CDC also links the zombie tips to a blog post that lists exactly what you need to keep stashed at home, in the event of a zombie apocalypse, which could also help in the event of other disasters. In addition to one gallon of water per person per day, the CDC recommends having first aid supplies on hand, noting, “Although you will be lost if bitten by a zombie, you can use these supplies to treat basic cuts and lacerations that you might sustain during a tornado. or a hurricane. “
The CDC did not respond to Yahoo Life’s request for comment.
Disaster preparedness experts and medics seem to think the campaign is pretty smart.
“I think it’s great,” John Sellick, a professor at the Jacobs College of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, tells Yahoo Life. “As we have seen with the coronavirus, disaster preparedness is crucial.”
Cheryl Nelson, a FEMA Certified Natural Disaster Preparedness Instructor, founder of Prepare with Cher, agrees. “I think this is brilliant,” he tells Yahoo Life. “It definitely grabs attention and makes prep fun. The more creative ways we can get the prep message across, the better.”
The CDC is simply “trying to make disaster preparedness relate to different populations,” Mitchel A. Rosen, associate professor in the Department of Urban and Global Public Health at the Rutgers School of Public Health, tells Yahoo Life. And, he says, framing the theme around a zombie apocalypse “makes it fun to learn about disaster preparedness.”
Lee Clarke, a sociology professor at Rutgers, New Jersey State University, tells Yahoo Life that while zombie preparation may seem “trivial, trivial, and fun on the surface,” he notes that “all the messages are there. “. “They just substitute ‘zombie’ for ‘flood’ or ‘hurricane,'” he says. “Zombies are more interesting and attract people.”
While the packaging is quirky, Sellick notes that the underlying message – being prepared for the unexpected – is important and incredibly relevant right now. “Bottled water, flour, sanitizer spray, toilet paper … a year ago, it didn’t matter how much money you had. You couldn’t get certain things,” he says. “Having a reservation at home might have helped some of us get ahead. Clearly, most of us didn’t have adequate supplies of things.”
Many people have joked about the occurrence of a zombie apocalypse, but “2020 made something like this not seem so impossible anymore,” says Nelson, adding: “Create the mentality: ‘Well, God. If a global pandemic happened, what go on? Zombies ?! Maybe I should get ready. ‘”
Although the zombie apocalypse is unlikely Really Nelson says families should consider their own disaster preparedness plan. “Did you ever think that a global pandemic would occur in our lifetime? Wouldn’t you have liked to have a disaster preparedness kit with items like hand sanitizer, wipes, masks, and the much-needed toilet paper when the pandemic hit?” she says. “Take some time and prepare now. If you don’t want to prepare for yourself, prepare for your loved ones. Do it for them. They will be grateful that you did.”
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