On February 9, 2017, the Illinois General Assembly declared that October 2017 will be "Zombie Preparedness Month." Two Republican politicians and a Democrat introduced this as House Resolution HR0030.
Is This a Joke? Nope
In May 2011, the government agency Center for Disease Control (CDC) blogged about "Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse." The CDC didn't go rogue and release information to the public about a real zombie attack or concern. Rather, it realized that preparing for zombies will also prepare you for other disasters. CDC spokesman David Daigle explained to Fox News:
"We were talking about hurricane preparedness and someone bemoaned that we kept putting out the same messages."
Are They Serious? Yes
In the resolution, it states that "over 60% of Americans are not practicing or preparing for natural disasters, and only 39% have developed an emergency plan." Those statistics comes directly from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
According to studies, people don't use logic as much as emotion when dealing with risk. We don't like to think about bad things happening sometime in the future, although we will when it is an immediate threat. However, that is usually when you have a run on supplies. Everyone begins to panic because they are all reacting at once.
"It's not when things go well that we need a plan. It's when things go off the rails."
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So Why Zombies?
If this article was about earthquakes or tornadoes, would you have read this far?
Zombies get people's attention. They are something that evokes on an emotional level. It doesn't matter if you believe this is a possible threat or not. Either way, the thought of #zombies encourages you to prepare. The same things you would need to survive zombies is what you would need for any other natural disaster. This from the IL Resolution HR0030:
Citizens should have supplies on hand, which may include, water, food, medications, tools, electronics, sanitation and hygiene, clothing and bedding, important documents, and first aid.
Here is what the CDC suggests you should include in your kit, for a full list visit the CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response page.
- Water (1 gallon per person per day)
- Food (stock up on nonperishable items that you eat regularly)
- Medications (this includes prescription and nonprescription 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)
- 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)
No one will tell the flood or the hurricane you were thinking about zombies the whole time. The most important part is to have a kit and a plan.
There are tons of websites that will help you put a kit and/or plan together. In addition to the CDC and FEMA websites referenced above, I'm a big fan of San Francisco's Emergency Preparedness website, SF72.org. Also, you can take online classes on disaster prep for free from FEMA and earn college credits: The Emergency Management Institute.
Government And Zombies, Together At Last
Thanks to the CDC and the Illinois Representatives, awareness is reaching a whole new demographic. Even if a handful of people are better prepared because of zombies, it's well worth it. While the downside might be some snickering and laughter at the idea, the upside is more people are prepared to handle whatever might come at them.
To paraphrase the Blues Brothers: "Illinois zombies. I hate Illinois zombies."
For more information on how to survive a zombie apocalypse, check out the below video from National Geographic.
Are you ready to survive the zombie apocalypse if it happened tomorrow?
[Main image courtesy of Pixabay]