Thursday, May 19, 2011

Zombie Apocalypse: CDC's Tongue-in-Cheek Disaster Preparedness Advice Post

"CDC Warns Public to Prepare for 'Zombie Apocalypse' "
Joshua Rhett Miller, FoxNews.com (May 18, 2011)

"Are you prepared for the impending zombie invasion?

"That's the question posed by the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention in a Monday blog posting gruesomely titled, 'Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse.' And while it's no joke, CDC officials say it's all about emergency preparation.

" 'There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for,' the posting reads. 'Take a zombie apocalypse for example. 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, and hey, maybe you'll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.'

"The post, written by Assistant Surgeon General Ali Khan, instructs readers how to prepare for 'flesh-eating zombies' much like how they appeared in Hollywood hits like 'Night of the Living Dead' and video games like Resident Evil. Perhaps surprisingly, the same steps you'd take in preparation for an onslaught of ravenous monsters are similar to those suggested in advance of a hurricane or pandemic...."

First of all, the CDC hasn't gone bonkers. And this doesn't have anything to do with radioactive Nazi zombies from Japan invading the west coast. Actually, it does, sort of - but I'll get back to that.

The post (emergency.cdc.gov/socialmedia/zombies_blog.asp, or maybe it's blogs.cdc.gov/publichealthmatters/2011/05/preparedness-101-zombie-apocalypse/) is titled "Social Media: Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse," and is - quite clearly, in the Lemming's opinion - written with tongue firmly in cheek. The reader will (or should) pick up on that in the second, third, fourth, or fifth paragraphs.

Seriously, folks: the CDC isn't trying to scare Americans into believing that there's a zombie invasion heading our way. In the Lemming's opinion, of course.

Back to the FoxNews.com article, with background on how that post got started.

"...The idea behind the campaign stemmed from concerns of radiation fears following the earthquake and tsunami that rocked Japan in March. CDC spokesman Dave Daigle told FoxNews.com that someone had asked CDC officials if zombies would be a concern due to radiation fears in Japan and traffic spiked following that mention.

" 'It's kind of a tongue-in-cheek campaign,' Daigle said Wednesday. 'We were talking about hurricane preparedness and someone bemoaned that we kept putting out the same messages.'..."

So, how's the 'zombie' post doing?

"...While metrics for the post are not yet available, Daigle said it has become the most popular CDC blog entry in just two days...."

And now, the Lemming's giving that post a little more publicity.

There's pretty good advice in the CDC 'zombie' post. Turns out, being prepared for a zombie invasion is pretty much like being prepared for a hurricane, tornado, blizzard, or pretty much any other large-scale problem.

The Lemming likes this approach, because it's such a refreshing change from the dry-as-dust advice - sometimes written in bureaucratese - that infested government publications once upon a time.

Finally: no, zombies aren't expected on the west coast; neither is Godzilla.

Not-completely-unrelated1 posts:
1 They're all in this blog, anyway.

2 comments:

Brigid said...

LOL! One of the first things I thought of when I started to read this is "someone at the CDC's been playing way too many video games."

It is a great way to get attention, though.

Brian Gill said...

Brigid,

Indeed!

The post was offline, briefly, yesterday: possibly in response to the increased traffic; possibly while an excessively-serious manager or executive realized that humor gets people's attention; or maybe something else.

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