Angela Natividad's Live & Uncensored!

21 May 2011

Government Tips for Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse

As America regains composure following another failed Rapture, Asst. Surgeon General Ali Khan arrives at an epiphany: the only way to get enough people to listen to reason is to wrap it in a big beaming package of insane.

I give you the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Safety Guidelines for a Zombie Apocalypse.

"So what do you need to do before zombies…or hurricanes or pandemics for example, actually happen?", Khan begins after giving a weirdly detailed explanation of the significance of zombies. "First of all, you should have an emergency kit in your house."

He describes in bullets what such a kit should contain, then asks you to assess disasters that could occur in your area ("Besides a zombie apocalypse, this may include floods, tornadoes, or earthquakes"), identify possible evacuation routes, and set up two accessible meeting places for family members if connectivity wanes.

Those seeking combat tips for zombie hordes will be disappointed.* Khan justifies this omission with a wink, the kind parents share when sending a kid to bed before Santa's visit: this guide is only meant "to get you through the first couple of days before you can locate a zombie-free refugee camp."

The idea is to get people to learn basic skills for surviving a natural disaster, which could happen to any of us anytime, but which is so remote from our daily lives that we're not gonna blow thirty seconds of Twitter time to practice our stop, drop and roll.

Sly government work that speaks to a generation whose biggest corporate influence provides search options in Pirate, and whose comp sci students get Web kudos for Rickrolling in university essays.

I'm not saying Americans are stupid -- we aren't. People often refuse to ingest information they know they should know because they have more pressing concerns. If you can "trick" us into learning by way of entertainment,** it goes down easier for everybody, and we're even grateful for it. (Consider the popularity of Conjunction Junction!)

This is universal. Someone once told me that the Japanese personify police forces with doe-eyed cartoon animals in their PSAs to ingratiate them to the people. I have yet to confirm that this is true. (If you can, do.)

The gleaming takeaway: Don't be a dick, just get people. That shouldn't be hard; you're a person, too. You may have to break with tradition, or be silly, or slightly too candid than is comfortable. It puts you on the line, sure, but real people do that every day. It also makes users feel okay about respecting you, listening to you, buying what you're selling.

I hope -- oh, I hope! -- they make TV ads for this. (They probably won't, as the guidelines are just one single post by one guy, but pinning my dreams on spinoff ads seems somewhat more reasonable than pinning them on, oh, other things.)


*For this, I recommend watching Zombieland. If your attention span doesn't permit a feature flick, that's okay, they've also disseminated zombie combat training videos on YouTube.

**It's only fair to add that some feel this approach isn't just entertainment, and a zombie apocalypse is as likely as any other kind.

No comments: