The CDC has a "Zombie Preparedness" section on its website, where audiences can engage with real emergency preparedness education in the context of an entertaining and tongue-in-cheek theme.
The CDC is not encouraging anyone to prepare for a real zombie apocalypse.
As if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) didn’t have enough on its hands with the COVID-19 pandemic, it also offers guidance in the event of a zombie apocalypse. Many online users started sharing the guide in March 2021, but the CDC has actually had it on its website for a few years.
The guide begins with the disclaimer that this is a “tongue-in-cheek campaign,” but that the CDC found it useful as a platform to help audiences, especially students, learn about real disaster response and preparedness through creative means:
Wonder why zombies, zombie apocalypse, and zombie preparedness continue to live or walk dead on a CDC web site? As it turns out what first began as a tongue-in-cheek campaign to engage new audiences with preparedness messages has proven to be a very effective platform. We continue to reach and engage a wide variety of audiences on all hazards preparedness via “zombie preparedness”.
The page has lesson plans and activities for classrooms, a Zombie preparedness graphic novel, and more. In one blog post, CDC outlines what you need to do “before zombies … or hurricanes or pandemics for example, actually happen.” One of these things include gathering essential supplies:
- 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)
Given that the CDC does have a “Zombie Preparedness” guide it uses as an entertaining way to educate people on general emergency preparedness — but that the agency isn’t literally saying it thinks zombies are real — we rate this claim as “Mixture.”