The world becomes overrun by zombies; flesh-eating hordes of the undead. Would you be prepared?
The tongue-in-cheek question was posed in March by the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, not as a way to scare the living come Halloween, but to raise awareness of how unprepared residents can be for dire emergencies during natural disasters.
Now, budding filmmakers have until Oct. 11 to submit 60-second videos showing their own survival kits and strategies against zombies, hurricanes, snow storms or any number of disasters.
The contest, hosted by the CDC, has certain stipulations, however. Videos must not contain profanity, violence or weapons, explicit content, or personal attacks on people or organizations, according to the accompanying Web site Challenge.gov. Only videos that do not contain obscene, hateful, offensive or slanderous material will be considered. The winner will be announced at noon EST on Oct. 28.
In March, the zombie campaign raced through social media so fast the CDC computer servers crashed.
Apparently I hit a chord with my readers this May when I posted Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse, wrote Ali S. Kahn, assistant surgeon general on Wednesday. The initial response was overwhelming, with people of all ages and all walks of life writing and calling to say how much they enjoyed reading the blog and how they were getting prepared for any emergency, whether it be hurricanes, floods, or yes even a zombie apocalypse. The response hasn't slowed down and that has made me wonder what it is about zombies that is so intriguing?
To find out, Kahn interviewed Max Brooks, former writer for Saturday Night Live and author of several zombie survival guides including World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, that will star Brad Pitt in the theater release expected December 2012.
I grew up in Southern California and disaster preparedness was drilled into everyday life, Brooks told Kahn in the interview. We had earthquake drills, earthquake kits, earthquake plans both at home and at school. Living in L.A. we also had to prepare for the occasional forest fire, flash flood, rolling blackout and Rodney King riot.
The great thing about the undead is that a zombie survival kit doesn't need anything 'zombie specific', Brooks added.
The subject of preparedness will also get the zombie treatment on Oct. 25 when the History Channel airs its documentary Zombies: A Living History. The show's tagline includes ...Because if you're prepared for zombies, you're prepared for anything.
Though CDC's campaign doesn't condones violence, the first comment about the campaign came in a post from Donovan Young. I might suggest adding a baseball bat, preferably aluminum, to your emergency kit as well, he wrote. It doesn't require ammunition and can be highly effective at clearing a path through hordes of zombies whilst trying to make good your escape.