Zombie Apocalypse, Pandemics, and Emergency Preparedness

October 24th, 2012

The concept of the zombie apocalypse has had a major impact on pop culture recently. Hollywood has capitalized on this idea, creating numerous popular movies and television shows about the eventual collapse of society due to an infectious agent that transforms people into undead corpses with a voracious appetite for human flesh. If you spend a few minutes searching on the internet, you will find a wealth of information available to help prepare for and survive a zombie apocalypse. Though most of us do not think a zombie apocalypse is possible, it’s not a bad idea to  incorporate the basic concept into your emergency preparedness plans.

In most scenarios, zombies are typically the end result of a pandemic which is an outbreak of an infectious disease that has spread throughout the human population of a country or even the entire world. While a zombie-producing infectious disease is not expected to ever occur, pandemics like influenza and tuberculosis have occurred in recent history with devastating effects and continue to pose a threat. For instance, the influenza pandemic of 1918 to 1919, known as the “Spanish Flu”, infected approximately one-third of the world’s population, killing 675,000 in the US alone and 50 million people worldwide. Nearly half of the total deaths were in the age group of 20 to 40 years. If another pandemic of the same magnitude and severity were to occur now, scientists estimate that 51 to 81 million people would die. While scientists would attempt to develop a vaccine, there is no guarantee that proper treatment will be available.

In the event of any type of pandemic, you will need to be completely self-reliant. To avoid getting sick, you will want to stay inside your home which will limit your access to supplies. A spreading disease that is infecting a large portion of the population will also halt production and supply of basic necessities. Basic utilities like water and electricity will probably not be available in this situation either. Being unprepared in a situation such as this could have serious, even life-threatening, consequences. Adopt emergency preparedness practices and start planning for a pandemic now. Below is a list of the basic essentials especially important for a pandemic. This list is based upon recommendations from CDC and FEMA.

  • Water is necessary for survival.  If possible, have a 2 week supply of at least one gallon per person per day. A water filter that allows you to create drinkable water from any source is also good to have as a back-up in case your water supplies run out.
  • Non-perishable food items like rice, pasta, crackers, and dried fruit. A 2 week supply is preferable.
  • Prescription drugs
  • Non-prescription drugs such as pain relievers, fever-reducers, cough and cold medicines, etc.
  • Vitamins
  • Thermometer
  • Hand soap and sanitizer
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Hand crank radio or battery-powered radio
  • Extra batteries
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • N95 dust mask for filtering contaminated air
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with charger, inverter, or solar charger
  • Emergency blanket
  • Copies of personal documents (birth certificates, passports, important medical information, insurance policies, etc.)

More emergency preparedness supplies and tips can be found on our previous blogs about emergency preparedness kits, emergency water storage, and emergency preparedness applications for your mobile phone.  A pandemic is a serious threat that could have devastating effects. Whether you are preparing for zombies, influenza, or other infectious disease, the basic supplies are very similar and will help you survive any situation.


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