Watch out for zombies! No, not hacked computers ... zombies

Hold the phones. Forget about the rapture. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says we need to prepare for a zombie apocalypse.

You read it correctly. The Health and Human Services Department's agency is reportedly experiencing a huge boost in website traffic following a May 16 official CDC Health Matters Blog posting by Assistant Surgeon General Ali Khan that seeks to help people prepare for any disaster, even possible zombie attacks.

The CDC zombie apocalypse blog post has had high visibility on Google News and Twitter, with the topic "Zombie Apocalypse," trending as one of the most popular on each of those services during periods on May 19.


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CDC publishes social media toolkit online


“There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for,” Khan wrote on the blog. “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.”

The blog post goes on to provide a brief history of zombies in film and literature, following by a list of items for a preparedness emergency kit that includes water, food, tools and supplies, medication and documents. There also are tips on emergency planning. 

Twitter comments have been fast and furious.

“A stroke of social media genius,” one person tweeted. “So the CDC posts zombie survival tips … And you thought I was crazy,” read another tweet.

The CDC recently published a social media dashboard and a toolkit for using social media online.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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Reader comments

Fri, May 20, 2011 still laughing

Brilliant! If they're this creative in May, I wonder what they'll come up with on April 1.

Fri, May 20, 2011 j

I'm ok with with zombies. It's the aliens (extra terrestrial type) that I need help in surviving. When can we expect a scenario for that?

Fri, May 20, 2011 KarlS Washington

I could use a link to the manual. I work in HQ intel and we went to their Dashboard but couldn't find it. We checked "Z for Zombie" and "A for Apocalypse - Zombie" but didn't find it. Do you have a list of suggested tools to put in the away bag? Is one sports manufacture better than Another? Do they have Agency kits and personal kits lists? Do we need to designate "Anti-Zombie" officers? Does it matter the country of origin of the zombie? Please reply this is urgent.

Fri, May 20, 2011 earth

I have noticed that art predicts the future. There tend to be zombie movies just before a certain political party wins an election (we want to eat your brains). This bodes ill for the US. Really, really ill.

Fri, May 20, 2011 RayW

Shows the state of American intelligence when you have to use a fictional story to do what appears (reading just this tongue-in-cheek article) to do the serious subject of emergency preparedness. Wonder how many folks treat the whole thing as a joke and how many are desperately seeking anti-zombie tools?

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