On February 9, 2017, the Illinois General Assembly declared that October 2017 will be “Zombie Preparedness Month.” Two Republicans and a Democrat introduced this bi-partisan HR0030 resolution.

Is This a Joke? No.

In May 2011 the Center for Disease Control (CDC) blogged about “Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse.” This government agency didn’t go rogue and release information to the public about a real zombie attack or concern. Rather, the CDC realized that preparing for zombies will also prepare you for other disasters.

“We were talking about hurricane preparedness and someone bemoaned that we kept putting out the same messages.” CDC spokesman Dave Daigle explained to FoxNews.com

Are They Serious? Yes.

In the resolution, it states “Over 60% of Americans are not practicing or preparing for natural disasters, and only 39% have developed an emergency plan…” Those statistics comes directly from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

According to studies, people don’t use logic as much as emotions when dealing with risk. People don’t like to think about bad things happening sometime in the future. They will when it is an immediate threat. However, that is usually when you have a run on supplies. Everyone begins to panic because they are all reacting at once.

In a Chicago Tribune article, Rep. Grant Wehrli said, “It’s not when things go well that we need a plan, it’s when things go off the rails.”

Why Zombies?

If this article was about earthquakes or tornadoes, would you have read this far?

Zombies have people’s attention. It is something that evokes on an emotional level. It doesn’t matter if you believe this is a possible threat or not. Either way, it encourages you to prepare. The same things you would need to survive zombies is what you would need for any other natural disaster.

“Citizens should have supplies on hand, which may include, water, food, medications, tools, electronics, sanitation and hygiene, clothing and bedding, important documents, and first aid…” – IL Resolution HR0030

Here is what the CDC suggests you should include in your kit, for a full list visit the CDC Emergency page.

  • Water (1 gallon per person per day)
  • Food (stock up on non-perishable items that you eat regularly)
  • Medications (this includes prescription and non-prescription meds)
  • Tools and Supplies (utility knife, duct tape, battery powered radio, etc.)
  • Sanitation and Hygiene (household bleach, soap, towels, etc.)
  • Clothing and Bedding (a change of clothes for each family member and blankets)
  • Important documents (copies of your driver’s license, passport, and birth certificate to name a few)
  • First Aid supplies (although you’re a goner if a zombie bites you, you can use these supplies to treat basic cuts and lacerations that you might get during a tornado or hurricane)

Don’t Worry

No one will tell the flood or the hurricane you were thinking about zombies the whole time. The most important part is to have a kit and a plan.

There are tons of websites that will help you put a kit and/or plan together. In addition to the CDC and FEMA websites referenced above, I personally am a big fan of San Francisco’s Emergency Preparedness website: SF72.org. Also, you can take online classes on disaster prep for free from FEMA and earn college credits: The Emergency Management Institute

Government and Zombies Together At Last

Thanks to the CDC and the Illinois Representatives, awareness is reaching a whole new demographic. While the downside might be some snickering and laughter at the idea, the upside is more people are prepared to handle whatever might come at them.

To paraphrase Jake Blues of The Blues Brothers, “Illinois zombies. I hate Illinois zombies.”

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