Zombie dressed
The Department of Homeland Security jokingly issued a warning to people in the path of a disaster to prepare as though there's a zombie apocalypse on the horizon. The warning comes in the wake of the cannibal attacks earlier this summer and Hurricane Isaac. Reuters

The federal government is warning Americans of an imminent zombie apocalypse. The Homeland Security Department is taking advantage of the "zombie" attacks that have dominated the news cycle to urge citizens to prepare for hurricanes and other upcoming natural disasters, according to the Huffington Post.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has made it clear they're joking about the zombie apocalypse part, but they're by no means taking the steps for safety and disaster prevention lightly. The idea is that if someone is ready to fend off a zombie onslaught, they'll probably be ready to take on a hurricane, earthquake, pandemic or terrorist attack.

While many people at risk of those issues will laugh off the situation, this method of warning people about disasters might be a way to get people to pay attention in situations when they otherwise wouldn't.

People all over the country will remember when, after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005, news broke that many people in the most dire need of help chose not to leave the city, ignoring repeated warnings about the severity of the storm.

"I didn't even watch a minute of the coverage, featuring the crowded interstates, the storm's predicted path, the rush to close down the city, and the footage of the Superdome shelter of last resort that would soon make news worldwide," wrote a Salon columnist about the 2005 storm.

The CDC's decision to warn of zombies is meant to shake those people out of their doldrums. It's not rare in the event of a storm to watch news broadcasts with people claiming their not intimidated by a storm that could destroy their home.

Word of a so-called zombie apocalypse spread earlier this summer after multiple cannibalistic murders, with one man being shot after the police found him gorging on a homeless man's face. Later in the summer, Michael Daniel of Texas ate his family's 40-pound dog.

The government's decision to warn citizens of encroaching zombies comes after residents were slow to uproot in order to avoid Hurricane Isaac. According to the New York Times the decision to not inconvenience one's self proved to be an issue for many along the Gulf.

"I didn't really anticipate this," said one person in the thick of the storm. "There's a lot more water than I would have thought."

That's exactly what this "zombie apocalypse" is trying to avoid.