Hard facts

Zombies have become a popular subject amongst the media, authors and the movie industry. This is great for making people aware of the zombie threat; however, like anything else touched by these forms of mass media, there are a lot of misconceptions and exaggerations that can lead to death in real life crisis situations.

It is not our aim to deter you from watching sweet zombie films or reading zombie books, it’s fun but do not base your survival on them and stick to the hard facts. 

  1. Don’t panic.
  2. Get away from the zombies. Most of the time, you can move faster than they can.
  3. Get your survival kit or gather food, water, an emergency radio, flashlights and weapons, and retreat to a secure location.
  4. If possible, retreat to a military base, shopping mall, general retail store or other location where you’ll have easy access to food and supplies.
  5. Stay away from densely populated areas, where the infestation is likely to be heaviest.
  6. Barricade all entrances and stay put at all costs.
  7. Don’t get surrounded or backed into a corner or other enclosed space such as an elevator, a bathroom or a cellar.
  8. Remember that anyone bitten or killed by a zombie will become a threat to you and your party.
  9. Wait patiently for rescue and make long-term preparations for your survival.

Also, avoid common mistakes like:

  • Sheltering in a vehicle to which you do not have the keys.
  • Leaving blades, cudgels or other basic weapons out for zombies to find.
  • Teaching zombies how to use firearms.
  • Giving your only weapon to anyone who is hysterical.
  • Retreating to a basement or cellar without taking supplies with you.
  • Getting into an elevator in a building infested with zombies.
  • Letting personal feelings and arguments get in the way of survival.

From CDC

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). Below are a few items you should include in your kit, for a full list visit the CDC Emergency page.

Once you’ve made your emergency kit, you should sit down with your family and come up with an emergency plan. This includes where you would go and who you would call if zombies started appearing outside your door step. You can also implement this plan if there is a flood, earthquake, or other emergency.

  1. Identify the types of emergencies that are possible in your area. Besides a zombie apocalypse, this may include floods, tornadoes, or earthquakes. If you are unsure contact your local Red Cross chapter for more information.
  2. 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.
  3. Identify your emergency contacts. Make a list of local contacts like the police, fire department, and your local zombie response team. Also identify an out-of-state contact that you can call during an emergency to let the rest of your family know you are ok.
  4. Plan your evacuation route. When zombies are hungry they won’t stop until they get food (i.e., brains), which means you need to get out of town fast! Plan where you would go and multiple routes you would take ahead of time so that the flesh eaters don’t have a chance! This is also helpful when natural disasters strike and you have to take shelter fast.

If zombies did start roaming the streets, CDC would conduct an investigation much like any other disease outbreak. CDC would provide technical assistance to cities, states, or international partners dealing with a zombie infestation. This assistance might include consultation, lab testing and analysis, patient management and care, tracking of contacts, and infection control (including isolation and quarantine). It’s likely that an investigation of this scenario would seek to accomplish several goals: determine the cause of the illness, the source of the infection/virus/toxin, learn how it is transmitted and how readily it is spread, how to break the cycle of transmission and thus prevent further cases, and how patients can best be treated. Not only would scientists be working to identify the cause and cure of the zombie outbreak, but CDC and other federal agencies would send medical teams and first responders to help those in affected areas (I will be volunteering the young nameless disease detectives for the field work).

To learn more about what CDC does to prepare for and respond to emergencies of all kinds, visit: http://emergency.cdc.gov/cdc/orgs_progs.asp

To learn more about how you can prepare for and stay safe during an emergency visit: http://emergency.cdc.gov/