The federal government’s guide to surviving the zombie apocalypse

Joint CDC/FEMA program aims to teach preparedness through fear of the walking dead

Written by Curtis Waltman
Edited by JPat Brown

Back in 2011 the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) came up with a brilliant idea to inspire people to make emergency kits and plans for a disaster scenario: a zombie survival guide.

The joint CDC/FEMA collaboration aimed to piggyback on the public’s longstanding fascination with the undead and came complete with a zombie apocalypse guide, a graphic novella, promotional posters, even t-shirts.

“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,” reads the project’s introduction. The guide itself is actually very useful, mainly focusing on what supplies a person should stockpile, and how to come up with an effective emergency evacuation plan should the need arise.

“You can also implement this plan if there is a flood, earthquake, or other disaster,” the CDC helpfully notes, just so you don’t you start having too much fun with the whole zombie thing.

While the ending to the graphic novel is a little disappointing, it is an amusingly PG-rated look at what a zombie apocalypse would look like. There are wild car rides through corpse-ridden streets, soldiers getting overrun, and a look at what the CDC offices might look like when handed a zombie plague to deal with.

The CDC’s explanation for the zombie virus is also pretty amazing. According to them, some of the most knowledgeable disease experts anywhere in the world, the zombie pandemic will begin from a “highly mutated form of the flu.”

Don’t forget your flu shot this winter I guess?

To find out more about what led to their decision to create this and how much this all cost, we filed requests to the CDC and FEMA for their development documents. We’ll be sure to fill you in if the CDC’s planning for any future zombie pandemics.

Read the full novella embedded below:


Image via CDC.gov