WASHINGTON - "The zombies are coming!" the Homeland Security Department says.
Tongue firmly in cheek, the government urged citizens Thursday to prepare for a zombie apocalypse, part of a public health campaign to encourage better preparation for genuine disasters and emergencies. The theory: If you're prepared for a zombie attack, the same preparations will help during a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake or terrorist attack.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency hosted an online seminar for its Citizen Corps organization to help emergency planners better prepare their communities for disaster. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last year first launched a zombie apocalypse social media campaign for the same purposes.
Emergency planners were encouraged to use the threat of zombies — the flesh-hungry, walking dead — to encourage citizens to prepare for disasters. Organizers also noted the relative proximity to Halloween.
Among the government's recommendations were having an emergency evacuation plan and a change of clothes, plus keeping on hand fresh water, extra medications and emergency flashlights.
A few of the government's suggestions tracked closely with some of the 33 rules for dealing with zombies popularized in the 2009 movie "Zombieland," which included "always carry a change of underwear" and "when in doubt, know your way out."
Centres for Disease Control and Prevention: http://blogs.cdc.gov/publichealthmatters/2011/05/preparedness-101-zombie-apocalypse
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