Prepare for a zombie attack

Holly New

Are you prepared for a zombie attack?

According to ABC News, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been promoting a “zombie-preparedness” campaign since May 2011. While this idea may seem strange, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) gave the campaign a thumbs-up on its effectiveness Thursday.

What the CDC is trying to do is capture people’s attention and encourage them to prepare for a zombie attack as a way to prepare them for actual attacks, such as tornadoes and hurricanes. By associating tips, like storing food, with zombie invasions, the CDC thinks more people can become informed about what to do in cases of real emergency.

People apparently latch on to the idea of making a zombie attack kit, and the campaign for zombie-preparedness will be pressed more than ever, complete with posters, commercials and the CDC’s very own graphic novella.

“If you are generally well equipped to deal with a zombie apocalypse, you will be prepared for a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake or terrorist attack,” said Dr. Ali Khan, United States Assistant Surgeon General, on the CDC website.

It’s fine that the CDC wants to use something shiny, or in this case, dead, to distract us long enough to teach us a few things about disaster preparation, but it has gone too far. I like to think that youth culture and the government should remain in separate areas of our lives, but by colliding the two, the government has officially made zombies uncool.

Zombies have been a part of our culture for many years, from Night of the Living Dead to AMC’s Walking Dead. The craze over zombies is sure to eventually die, but the CDC is digging its grave. When an idea is pushed into the limelight repeatedly, it is easy to stop liking it (take Hannah Montana as an example). Whatever love I had for zombies will only be ruined by their constant relevance.

This isn’t the first time zombies have been used in safety ads. I refer you to the Illinois Department of Transportation’s 2012 campaign to remind drivers to wear their seat belts. Once again, the message is great: We should all be wearing our seat belts. However, I don’t know about you, but after the commercials, the posters and the radio ads, I didn’t want to listen to their good message anymore because it was the millionth time I had heard it.

And now I’m really sick of zombies.

As if posters weren’t enough, the government has decided to make October into Zombie Awareness Month. But if that sounds familiar, it’s because National Zombie Awareness Month is in May. Leave it to a government agency to miss the memo. But in the end, I think the question we’re all forgetting to ask is, “Will this be effective?” I suppose only time will tell.

Zombie attack guides will now be spreading to agencies throughout the United States. I am here to prepare you for a whole new epidemic: bad government advertising.