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Are You Prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse?

Posted At: October 3, 2012 2:00 p.m.
by Leighton Brown

Generating conversation and trying to get the message across creatively have recently been taken to new heights! When the Zombie Apocalypse strikes will you be prepared?

When I think of zombies, more specifically a zombie apocalypse, the first thoughts that come to mind are all my childhood nightmares coming back to life.

Recently, Rear Admiral Ali S. Khan, MD, MPH, posted a blog on the CDC’s website about various ways you can prepare for a zombie apocalypse. Dr. Khan’s professional career specifically revolves around bioterrorism, global health and emerging infectious diseases. By creatively writing this article Khan has generated more than 89,000 views.

According to Khan, “The word zombie comes from Haitian and New Orleans voodoo origins. . . . In movies, shows, and literature, zombies are commonly depicted as being created by an infectious virus, which is passed on via bites and contact with bodily fluids.” They are harmful and they are meant to destroy.

Now, an actual zombie apocalypse most likely won’t happen, but what I found interesting about Khan’s post was the message behind the intriguing news of the apocalypse. What the message implies to its readers is the importance of being prepared for natural disasters.

Currently, the zombies of flu and hurricane season in the Southeast are attacking us, and this year the West Nile virus has caused a major concern.

Based on the information given in the article, here is what you need to do in case “zombies” — hurricanes, tornadoes or infectious diseases — attack.

According to Kahn Make sure you have . . .

  • Water (1 gallon per person per day)
  • Food (stock up on non-perishable items that you eat regularly)
  • Medications (this includes prescription and non-prescription meds)
  • Tools and Supplies (utility knife, duct tape, battery powered radio, etc.)
  • Sanitation and Hygiene (household bleach, soap, towels, etc.)
  • Clothing and Bedding (a change of clothes for each family member and blankets)
  • Important documents (copies of your driver’s license, passport, and birth certificate to name a few)
  • 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 have gathered all the supplies needed to withstand a zombie apocalypse, identify a safe place to go. For residents in the Southeast, it may mean locating the nearest shelter or room without windows. For those where West Nile is most prevalent, keep anti-mosquito candles throughout the house and avoid being outside when it’s dusk.

What I specifically love about this message is the creativity Khan and the CDC have used to get this message across to their publics. Yes, we see such emergency-preparedness messages every year, and I can honestly say I tend to overlook them because I have heard the same thing since I was five years old. However, it’s always smart to be reminded as it seems huge national disasters are breaking out more and more every year.

Strategically incorporating this month’s Halloween theme by using zombies as his main focus, Khan engages his readers — especially “The Walking Dead” fans. Instantly intrigued by the title, I enjoyed this article beginning to end. I didn’t expect to get a lesson in what to do in case of a disaster. Like Khan and the CDC, more companies need to focus on finding creative ways to engage their publics.


  1. Post comment

    Leighton, this is a really good article. I enjoyed your perspective on the topic, and I too think that making sure you engage your readers is a vital necessity in providing awareness and prevention information. I wonder though, if this type of strategy might lead some readers to not take the message seriously. For example, the readers who don’t keep up with pop culture, like The Walking Dead, would not be as interested as those who do. But again, your article was well written and enjoyable to read.


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