Posted at 12:26 PM ET, 05/19/2011

CDC prepares for Zombie Apocalypse: tips on how to survive


(Astrid Riecken/The Washington Post)

It’s been Zombie Awareness month in May, but the impending Rapture distracted us from our duty in informing the public on what they should do in the event that zombies attack.

Thankfully, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, yes the government-run CDC, has stepped up to remind us all: we need to prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse:

Prepared for a #zombie apocalypse? If so, ur prepared for any emergency. Learn how: CDC PH Matters blog http://t.co/8DwUCVd (working link)less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply

The CDC has decided that if you’re prepared for a Zombie Apocalypse, you’re prepared for any emergency. Assistant Surgeon General Ali Khan wrote a blog that includes a series of badges and recommendations on what to do in case flesh-eating zombies take over the world. The steps are pretty simple: prepare an emergency kit, make a plan for evacuation routes and family meeting spots, and be prepared by following CDC alerts on Twitter.


While I highly admire the CDC for its attention-getting strategy to encourage people to prepare for emergencies, I worry it may not go far enough in preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse. Take for instance, the suggestions for an emergency kit. The CDC recommends helpful products such as water, food, and medication, but no actual samurai swords to beat back hordes of hungry brain-eaters.

Fearing this might not be enough to defend yourself against corpses risen from the grave, I turned to the one person I knew who has spent years preparing herself for the coming undead: The Bloggess, a.k.a. Jenny Lawson. The Texas mom once wrote:

“Yes, I know some people will say that zombies are so 2009 and that I should move on but I’m sorry but cholera was so 1892 but I’m still pretty concerned about that too.  Plus, cholera won’t eat your face off and also those who don’t remember history are doomed to repeat it.  Except that the zombie apocalypse  hasn’t even happened yet so we don’t even have past evidence to go on.”

I asked Lawson, who is currently finishing up her first book, some questions about zombies:

1. When did you realize that zombies should be feared?

Pretty much the first moment I realized that there were zombies.  I don't think anyone becomes aware of walking undead intent on eating your grey matter and suddenly realizes zombies should be snuggled or turned into pets.  Or if they do think that they soon realize their mistake.

2. What do you do to protect your house and child?

We have a large collection of swords available because they don't need ammunition.  Swords are the key to surviving a sustained zombie apocalypse. Also we have a lot of interior rooms with no windows.  This comes in handy for tornadoes as well.  Zombies and tornadoes have a surprising amount in common.

3. What are the best fighting techniques in fending of zombies?

I'm a big fan of riot guns for the first wave and then samurai swords for stragglers.  But I assume I'll end up shooting myself accidentally and becoming a zombie myself so technically I'm not that concerned.

4. Are there any cures once a person becomes a zombie?

Beheading.

5. Where do you want to be during a zombie apocalypse?

I don't think it really matters where you are since there are going to be dead people everywhere so I guess I'd say Seattle.  I've always wanted to see Seattle.

6. Are zombies more frightening than other monsters? If so, why?

Zombies are totally more frightening than other monsters because they're us.  No one wants to have to behead your own uncle.  Unless he was a real a-hole.  Then it might be sort of therapeutic.

7. Do you fear anything more than zombies?

Sure.  Giant squid, nuclear war, waking up to find I've gone back in time and have to go through high school again.

By  |  12:26 PM ET, 05/19/2011

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