Are you ready for a zombie apocalypse (or any other emergency)?

Are you ready for a zombie apocalypse (or any other emergency)?

I cover a lot of important issues on the city beat, ranging from the questions surrounding backyard chickens to the personal hygiene of cab drivers. But folks, this may be my most serious blog post yet.

I have multiple sources, mostly on Twitter, telling me that the world will end tomorrow at the hands of a zombie apocalypse. Fortunately, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published advice on how to be prepared for a zombie apocalypse (or, maybe more practically, a number of emergencies or disasters).

Never is there a bad occasion to review your storm preparedness. Here are some excerpts from the CDC blog post:

So what do you need to do before zombies…or hurricanes or pandemics for example, actually happen? First of all, you should have an emergency kit in your house. This includes things like water, food, and other supplies to get you through the first couple of days before you can locate a zombie-free refugee camp (or in the event of a natural disaster, it will buy you some time until you are able to make your way to an evacuation shelter or utility lines are restored). Below are a few items 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)

Once you’ve made your emergency kit, you should sit down with your family and come up with an emergency plan. This includes where you would go and who you would call if zombies started appearing outside your door step. You can also implement this plan if there is a flood, earthquake, or other emergency.


  1. Identify the types of emergencies that are possible in your area. Besides a zombie apocalypse, this may include floods, tornadoes, or earthquakes. If you are unsure contact your local Red Cross chapter for more information.
  2. Pick a meeting place for your family to regroup in case zombies invade your home…or your town evacuates because of a hurricane. Pick one place right outside your home for sudden emergencies and one place outside of your neighborhood in case you are unable to return home right away.
  3. Identify your emergency contacts. Make a list of local contacts like the police, fire department, and your local zombie response team. Also identify an out-of-state contact that you can call during an emergency to let the rest of your family know you are ok.
  4. Plan your evacuation route. When zombies are hungry they won’t stop until they get food (i.e., brains), which means you need to get out of town fast! Plan where you would go and multiple routes you would take ahead of time so that the flesh eaters don’t have a chance! This is also helpful when natural disasters strike and you have to take shelter fast.

It seems that meeting somewhere like the mailbox outside your home might be more practical in an emergency, but where would you go if the zombie apocalypse hit Champaign-Urbana? A couple places have been suggested to me: the steam tunnels under the University of Illinois campus or the roof of 309 Green, for example.

Or, if you are preparing for a real emergency, it might be more practical spending some time identifying storm shelters near your home. Most emergency buildings, like fire and police stations, serve as storm shelters (and fortunately, the city council recently made a decision that would keep the police station doors unlocked 24 hours per day should the zombie apocalypse befall us late at night). The Champaign City Building has a pretty well fortified basement.

Are you prepared for a zombie apocalypse in Champaign-Urbana? Post your zombie-related suggestions below.

Tags (1):zombies

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Treece wrote on May 21, 2011 at 6:05 am

Read The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks that is my suggestion

elippitz wrote on May 23, 2011 at 11:05 am

Isn't cardio rule #1? You gotta outrun those zombies or you won't be taking shelter anywhere! And keep a baseball bat handy.

Patrick Wade wrote on May 23, 2011 at 12:05 pm
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You know, I feel like zombies aren't that fast. I think we'd be fine walking away from them at a casual pace.

Baseball bat is not a bad idea though -- remember: zombies aren't dead until you pop them in the head.

RussellG wrote on May 24, 2011 at 1:05 pm

The news gazette doesn't want anyone to be prepared for a zombie outbreak, so good luck to all you of! I tried!! I guess posting in an open thread is still going to have posts removed. The media is corrupt.