Centers for Disease Control: Be Prepared for a Zombie Apocalypse

The New York Times heading certainly got my attention: “Zombies Upstage a Routine Public Health Bulletin.”  This is the Times, for goodness’ sakes, not the Onion. Here’s how the story begins:

Pity poor Tom Skinner, a top spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who has been valiantly trying to interest reporters in a new study in the agency’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report trumpeting “10 Great Public Health Achievements.” Unfortunately for Mr. Skinner, over at his agency’s public health blog, his colleagues were posting something that really got to the beating heart of morbidity and mortality: the first official C.D.C. instructions on coping with a zombie apocalypse.

Yes, that’s right. With a straight face, the normally staid health agency had posted a primer on how to prepare for an invasion of the brain-eating undead.

I checked out the Centers for Disease Control website and did, in fact, find the preparedness sheet promised by the Times. It includes such information as:

So what do you need to do before zombies…or hurricanes or pandemics for example, actually happen? First of all, you should have an emergency kit in your house. This includes things like water, food, and other supplies to get you through the first couple of days before you can locate a zombie-free refugee camp (or in the event of a natural disaster, it will buy you some time until you are able to make your way to an evacuation shelter or utility lines are restored). . . . .

Pick a meeting place for your family to regroup in case zombies invade your home…or your town evacuates because of a hurricane. Pick one place right outside your home for sudden emergencies and one place outside of your neighborhood in case you are unable to return home right away.

My appreciation for the Centers of Disease Control has grown today. Not only do they have a sense of humor, but also they’re helping me to get ready for a zombie apocalypse.

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  • Rev. Gail Fisher

    Hi Mark:  Hope you and family are doing well. I loved your CDC post; certainly gets our attention.  I just read your series “The End of the PC(USA) from a few years ago.  You were ahead of your time.  With the recent votes, I have decided to retire rather than look for a new call.  I have been in touch with Biblical, Christ-centered organizations that are trying to work within the system, but they have quite a challenge I think.  I am returning to CA and I’m looking into hospital chaplaincy.  God bless your ministry and influence in the wider church.
    Gail Fisher

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, Gail. God bless your service to him.

  •  This article last week made me smile. I have received so many notifications about it (go figure). Aside from the zombies angle, what I really love is the creativity of this piece as a marketing tool. The CDC got creative and as a result a pretty boring article “How to prepare for a natural disaster” went completely viral.

    I think people long to see that element of creativity and fun mixed into things.

  • Anonymous

    Yes. We tend not to think of government agencies and exercising this kind of creativity.