1. The CDC zombies return with a new comic book
19 Oct 2011, USA TODAY, By Elizabeth Weise,
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wants your family to prepare for a Zombie Pandemic.
The project took about a month and a half to draw and a few weeks more to put together the script.
Coming off the tremendous success of its controversial
Zombie Preparedness blog posting in May, the CDC
health preparedness and response team has now produced an appropriately gruesome online graphic novel that tells the story of a couple struggling to survive a zombie pandemic.
Before you think this is just a Halloween spoof, the CDC
undertook the original blog and now the graphic novel for a worthy cause: to help Americans think about how to prepare for emergencies.
The comic book went live on the CDC’s website on Friday, with no fanfare. It has already been a hit at New York’s ComicCon, a gathering of fans and creators of comic books, graphic novels, games, and other media.
There, Ali Khan, director of the CDC’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, passed out
copies and spoke on a panel titled “Zombie Summit: How to Survive the Inevitable Zombie Apocalypse.” “They went like hot cakes,” David Daigle of the preparedness office says.
_The comic begins with a couple, Todd and Julie, watching a news story about a strange virus that causes slow movement, slurred speech and violent tendencies. The newscaster says the CDC recommends the public avoid those with symptoms, gather emergency supplies and make an evacuation plan.
_Todd checks the CDC’s website where he finds information about the new zombie virus and a list of items he’ll need for an emergency-preparedness kit. Just then, an infected zombie neighbor shows up at
the door and tries to attack him.
_The scene shifts to the CDC, where scientists are working around the clock to create a vaccine. In a cameo appearance, the CDC’s Khan barks, “No, tell CNN I’ll call them back later…” into a phone as a Dr. Greene calls the Strategic National Stockpile to prepare to release its supplies of medicine.
_Todd and Julie make it to a shelter, where trucks of vaccine arrive just as a horde of the undead crash through the doors. To find out more, and download the comic in pdf. go to www.cdc.gov/phpr/zombies_novella.htm#
This isn’t the CDC’s usual M.O., Daigle acknowledges.In May, Daigle and CDC health communication specialists Margaret Silver and Catherine Jamal were writing their annual Emergency Preparedness blog item with Kahn. The somewhat-dry piece urged Americans to get ready for disaster by putting together supplies such as water, food, flashlights, extra medications, first aid materials and batteries.
The trouble was, although millions of Americas are affected by emergencies each year, few read the CDC’s advice. “Typically, we’ll do a blog and it will get 1,000 to 3,000 looks,” Silver says. So they pondered the matter and realized that while preparing for emergencies was dull, dull, dull, and
zombies were hot, hot, hot.
The result was the CDC’s breakthrough “Social Media: Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse” blog, a tongue-in-cheek discussion of how to prepare for a zombie apocalypse that coincidentally led readers through steps necessary to create an emergency kit and prepare their families.
It was posted May 16. “Then we waited two days to see if anyone got fired,” Daigle says. When they weren’t, they began tweeting and posting about it on Facebook.
That’s when the apocalypse really did hit, in a wave of interest so strong it crashed the CDC’s blog server. “By Friday, we were trending worldwide on Twitter and the phone was ringing off the hook,” Silver says. The page got more than 3 million views and 500 comments. “Most of our blogs get maybe five,” she says.
There was some gnashing of teeth by pundits who said the CDC was wasting the public’s money. but Daigle points out that the total cost to the taxpayer was just $87, to buy a stock photo as an illustration. “We got an estimate for the blog that it’s worth $3.4 million in marketing value.”
That’s a lot of Americans ready for the next zombie invasion, or tornado, for that matter.”Our heads were spinning. There were T-shirts, book offers, we had calls and e-mails,” Daigle says. With their creative juices flowing and the number of natural disasters this year climbing, he and Silver started to
think how they could get more people thinking ahead.
At the end of the ‘comic’, the CD provides a list of recommended supplies you should have, ready for use, incase of an emergecy.
[That list follows:]
2. CDC: ALL HAZARDS EMERGENCY KIT
Assemble the following items to create a kit for your home, office, school, or vehicle:
• Water—one gallon per person, per day
• Food—nonperishable, easy-to-prepare items (minimum 3 day supply)
• Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
• Extra batteries [for flashlights, cell phone, iPod or iPphone, Kindle, etc.-Mr Larry]
• First aid kit (whistle, antibiotic ointment, bandages, face masks, gloves and reference book)
• Medications (7 day supply and medicinal dispensers if necessary)
• Multipurpose supplies (wrench, pliers, plastic sheet, duct tape, scissors, matches)
• Sanitation/personal hygiene items and bleach
• Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
• Cell phone with charger
• Family Disaster Plan (family and emergency contact information)
• Extra cash
• Emergency blanket, extra clothes, sleeping bag (1 for each person)
• Map(s) of the area
Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit.
Suggested items to help meet additional needs are:
• Specific medical supplies (hearing aids/extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
• Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
• Games and activities for children
• Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
• Two-way radios
• Extra set of car keys and house keys
For more information visit: www.cdc.gov/phpr