It’s been a strange, strange summer in Massachusetts this year. In June, a tornado hit Springfield, leaving behind severe damage and 4 dead. Last week, we felt shocks of the earthquake centered in Virginia. AND NOW, we are about to be hit by Hurricane Irene in what local weather-casters are calling the first hurricane to hit the area since Hurricane Bob in 1991. So what’s next? A Biblical plague like locusts? Or maybe…
We first ran this article in May, but it’s advice on how to be ready for natural disasters is suddenly pertinent again.
Who says the government doesn’t have a sense of humor? When it came time to come up with an idea for their annual campaign to raise awareness about the upcoming hurricane season, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) associate director of communications Dave Daigle and his team got an idea from a tweet the CDC had recently received. It asked about zombies during the Japan nuclear crisis- and it seemed to generate a lot of buzz! Thus the idea of Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse was born. After all, as the slogan for their campaign says:
The post by Ali S. Khan, which was on the CDC Public Health Matters Blog on May 16th, certainly seems to be getting a lot of attention. Normally, the CDC might get around 3,000 page views a week, but after word got out about the blog entry, the CDC Emergency’s Twitter feed went from 12,000 to 1.2 million followers. The volume to their blog site crashed several times because of the increase in traffic.
So what does the government suggest you need to do should the threat of zombies…or hurricanes or pandemics, actually happen?
First- have an emergency kit in your house and/or car. 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). Below are a few items you should include in your kit, for a full list visit the CDC Emergency page:
Once you’ve made your emergency kit, sit down with your family and come up with an emergency plan. This includes where you would go and who you would call if zombies started appearing outside your door step. You can also implement this plan if there is a flood, earthquake, or other emergency.
Although we’re not in a flood plane, our house is surrounded by very tall, older trees. I’m glad we had them pruned and some cut down earlier in the summer, so it’s less likely that one will fall on our house. I’ve gotten together the bottled water, flashlights and batteries and got a fresh tank of propane for the gas grill (so we could still boil water and cook food if we are without electricity). I’ll make sure all of our electrical devices (like cell phones, laptop computers, etc) are fully charged and we have full tanks of gas in our cars. Then we’ll just sit and wait, ready for hurricanes, zombies or anything else that comes our way. If we get locusts, we can always just eat them like Angelina Jolie and her kids.
It might be a good time to read the Max Brooks’ book, World War Z, which is being made into a movie starring Brad Pitt and Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston.