Emergency Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse

Emergency Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse

“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.” -Quote from the CDC’s blog

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has creatively used the pop culture phenomenon of a “Zombie Apocalypse” to highlight the importance of preparing for a variety of emergencies/natural disasters. After all, if you’re prepared for a zombie invasion, you’re prepared for just about anything! We had decided to share this with you several weeks ago, tying the CDC’s Zombie Apocalypse theme to arrival of Halloween, and only wish we’d rolled it out a week earlier in light of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy. For those of you who have been affected by Sandy, you should note that many organizations are making special accommodations to help you.  Most banks and credit card companies are increasing credit limits, extending payments on loans, and refunding overdraft and other fees incurred during the storm.  The State of Virginia, meanwhile, is extending deadlines for expiring licenses, permits and other official documents, and has extended absentee voting hours to 8:00 PM on Thursday and Friday.

For those of us fortunate enough to be out of Sandy’s path, here are some tips for what to do to prepare for a zombie attack or a similar emergency:

1. Put together an emergency kit
Zombies notoriously congregate around sources of sustenance and the places humans go to for supplies.  You will need to stock up on these essentials to last you through the first several days until relief arrives and/or you are able to get to a safe location or evacuation center. Some of the items that should go in your kit include:
• Water (1 gallon per person per day)
• Food (build a supply of non-perishable items)
• Medications (stock up on over-the-counter items and/or get your prescription filled in advance)
• Tools and Supplies (matches, duct tape, batteries, utility knife, flashlight, etc.)
• Sanitation and Hygiene (soap, towels, small wash bowl)• Clothing and Bedding (change of clothes, blankets, sleeping bags)
• Important Documents (a copy of your driver’s license, passport, birth certificate)
• First Aid Supplies (band aids, medical tape, gauze, etc.)

2. Come up with an emergency plan
Zombies come in droves so it is essential to have a set plan BEFORE their arrival.  In the same way, once disaster strikes you should already have a plan in place for what you and your family will do.
• Identify the types of emergencies that could impact your area
• Pick a meeting place for your family to regroup right outside your home and one place outside your neighborhood in case you are not able to return home right away
• Identify your emergency contacts (local organizations, out-of-state contact who can let the rest of your family know you are okay)
• Plan your evacuation route (determine your safe location and plan out multiple routes to get there)

3. Contact the following organizations for more information.
For those of you already in the midst of Sandy’s path, below are resources for what to do and who can help:
Your local American Red Cross chapter
• Your state and local health departments
• Your local emergency management agency
• CDC Public Response Hotline
• CDC Website