Westlake Ace Hardware in Lenexa, Kansas has launched a rather brilliant tongue-in-cheek section on their website called the Zombie Preparedness Center. Recommended zombie-proofing includes fortified fencing to prevent wandering stragglers, which can lead to trampled gardens, unpleasant smells of rotting flesh and unexpected undead visitors in your home. Many traditional tools used for routine home maintenance, such as cordless drills, chainsaws, hammers and nail guns, can also offer valuable protection against zombies.
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Last summer Drexel staff interrupted class with news of an infectious outbreak in Philadelphia. Since last year we have staged a variety of disasters in our lab – from building implosions, to house fires with multiple casualties, to victims of IEDs. Comments listed below are posted by individuals not associated with CDC, unless otherwise stated.
Comment All comments posted become a part of the public domain, and users are responsible for their comments. Tongue firmly in cheek, the government urged citizens Thursday to prepare for a zombie apocalypse, part of a public health campaign to encourage better preparation for genuine disasters and emergencies.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency hosted an online seminar for its Citizen Corps organization to help emergency planners better prepare their communities for disaster.
Among the government’s recommendations were having an emergency evacuation plan and a change of clothes, plus keeping on hand fresh water, extra medications and emergency flashlights. We’ve all seen at least one movie about flesh-eating zombies taking over (my personal favorite is Resident Evil), but where do zombies come from and why do they love eating brains so much? In movies, shows, and literature, zombies are often depicted as being created by an infectious virus, which is passed on via bites and contact with bodily fluids.
The rise of zombies in pop culture has given credence to the idea that a zombie apocalypse could happen.
Well, we’re here to answer that question for you, and hopefully share a few tips about preparing for real emergencies too!
So what do you need to do before zombies…or hurricanes or pandemics for example, actually happen? Once you’ve made your emergency kit, you should sit down with your family and come up with an emergency plan. If zombies did start roaming the streets, CDC would conduct an investigation much like any other disease outbreak.
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It provides shopping tips and advice on a variety of zombie-related topics (for humans, as well as zombies), including rot prevention and employment opportunities for the undead. Westlake also has the supplies to handle zombie-related home maintenance needs, including lawn re-seeding, cleaners and detergents and window and screen repairs.
Class members were escorted to the morgue to help identify the undead, who when the bags were unzipped, became reanimated, victims of the fictional neurodegenerative ataxic satiety deficiency syndrome. After ten minutes of growing chaos, a voice over the intercom called the scenario to an end.
We learned that no matter what the disaster, the preparation is the same – get a kit, make a plan, be prepared. The CDC might also want to think about exploiting this zombie craze even further to get people (especially young students) interested in biological sciences such as basic microbiology.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last year first launched a zombie apocalypse social media campaign for the same purposes. Harvard psychiatrist Steven Schlozman wrote a (fictional) medical paper on the zombies presented in Night of the Living Dead and refers to the condition as Ataxic Neurodegenerative Satiety Deficiency Syndrome caused by an infectious agent. In such a scenario zombies would take over entire countries, roaming city streets eating anything living that got in their way. This includes where you would go and who you would call if zombies started appearing outside your door step. Pick a meeting place for your family to regroup in case zombies invade your home…or your town evacuates because of a hurricane. CDC would provide technical assistance to cities, states, or international partners dealing with a zombie infestation. The CDC Foundation, a non-profit partner of CDC is offering Zombie Task Force t-shirts (click on the picture to find out more). They were awarded Zombie Friendly Business Certification by pro-zombie organization, Zombies Unite. Is there a way to help prolong the deterioration of my bones and joints?” (of course). Westlake also offers in-store services for window and screen repair for those who are less inclined to tackle the job themselves.
The stunned participants filed out of the simulation room and headed to a debriefing session.
We would like to thank the CDC for provoking us to create a simulated disaster unlike any other.
You could post an article on how, for instance, when the zombie apocalypse comes (perhaps next week?), the CDC would study tissue samples to isolate the NASDS-causing pathogen and decode its DNA sequence. Although its meaning has changed slightly over the years, it refers to a human corpse mysteriously reanimated to serve the undead.

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 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.
Make a list of local contacts like the police, fire department, and your local zombie response team. 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!
This assistance might include consultation, lab testing and analysis, patient management and care, tracking of contacts, and infection control (including isolation and quarantine). Residents should check windows and screens for cracks and tears, and consider door alarms, which are noisy deterrents and great for early warning of zombie intrusions. Our zombies, healthcare professionals, and especially our simulation staff, came away from the experience with newfound knowledge, which we will never forget. You could then elaborate on the process of developing and deploying treatments to such pathogens. 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.
Other zombie origins shown in films include radiation from a destroyed NASA Venus probe (as in Night of the Living Dead), as well as mutations of existing conditions such as prions, mad-cow disease, measles and rabies.
Below are a few items you should include in your kit, for a full list visit the CDC Emergency page. 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. Plan where you would go and multiple routes you would take ahead of time so that the flesh eaters don’t have a chance! We are prepared and we hope to inspire many more healthcare professionals for years to come. That could get people interested in the ways the CDC actually fights epidemics (in addition to zombies).
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).

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