While some of us have been preparing for a zombie apocalypse for years, it seems the U.S. Government has finally decided to get on the bandwagon. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently posted a blog entry entitled "Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse". The posting looks like it might become the most popular in the history of the blog and the CDC says it's no joke. And why not? After all, when we look at the subject of survival and emergency preparedness through the lens of a zombie apocalypse, what we are actually doing is looking at what has happened and what might happen in a very real natural or man made disaster.
Regardless who produces the scenario, a zombie apocalypse always grows exponentially. Zombies spread their contagion either through violent contact or by creating more corpses who soon become the shambling dead. Either way, the zombie epidemic spreads the same way a pandemic does. In real life, as in zombie movies, the contagion is often downplayed until emergency responders and the people most likely to be able to stop the disaster are simply overwhelmed. And like a pandemic, those who pay attention to what's going on and prepare accordingly before the event reaches the critical point are the most likely to survive.
In every zombie apocalypse scenario, zombie hordes quickly overwhelm all types of emergency responders and violent civil unrest follows. Personal security quickly becomes priority number one and survivors find themselves scrambling to get weapons and find defensive positions. This scenario is not so different from the violent looting seen in the aftermath of disasters like Hurricane Katrina or the L.A. riots of '92. When law enforcement becomes overwhelmed, your safety is in your own hands. In any disaster, you face the very real possibility of surviving the disaster only to be forced to fight off human predators in order to survive the aftermath.
Ironically, this most important of needs goes completely unmentioned in the CDC's blog entry. In what appears to be an effort to be politically correct, the CDC never mentions firearms, training with firearms or protecting yourself from hostile humans (live or dead) in any way. In fact, their advice does not get far beyond the old mantra of "get a kit - make a plan - be prepared". While this is not bad advice, this mindset comes up short in the harsh and bloody world of a planet overrun by zombies. Maybe they should change their slogan to "get a gun - get trained - be prepared to kill zombies".
Regardless, it is refreshing to see the CDC putting as much effort into disaster preparedness as they are. It can be argued that few disaster scenarios are as totally cataclysmic as hordes of flesh eating zombies running amok. So, when surviving disaster is the goal, is it really that crazy to prepare for zombies causing the fall of society as we know it? I would say emphatically "No." After all, if you can survive a zombie apocalypse, you can survive anything.