Preparing for a zombie apocalypse? The CDC weighs in

Zombies take over Hollywood Boulevard in a 2009 zombie walk. Would you be ready if they came to your neighborhood?
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Preparing for disasters has always been part of the mission of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from hurricanes to flu pandemics.

It was only a matter of time, then, before they decided to weigh in on another calamity of great concern to the public: the zombie apocalypse.

“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,” Dr. Ali S. Khan, an assistant surgeon general with the CDC and head of its office of Public Health Preparedness, wrote on the CDC’s Public Health Matters blog.


Khan himself is a big fan of Resident Evil, but from shows like AMC’s “Walking Dead” to spoofs like “Shaun of the Dead,” zombies have been lurching into the spotlight in recent years. Could writing about zombies get people more involved in emergency preparedness?

As it turns out, it might, because the steps you’d take in the event of a total zombie takeover are remarkably akin to those you’d need to do to prepare for an epidemic or an earthquake.

For example, family members should set up an emergency plan, picking two meeting spots (one close to home and one farther away). They should make an emergency kit, including water, important documents, medication, clothing and first aid supplies — because, Khan writes, “although you’re a goner if a zombie bites you, you can use these supplies to treat basic cuts and lacerations that you might get during a tornado or hurricane.”

And if you’re less of a zombie flick aficionado and more into radiation scares, chemical catastophes or high-octane explosions, the CDC has emergency information of all genres to suit your tastes.

Follow me on Twitter @LAT_aminakhan.