The NewsDemon Blog

CDC Zombie Guide Takes Down Website

By Daniel Li May 19th, 2011

A Centers for Disease Control blog post mentioning a “zombie apocalypse” as a lighthearted way to get Americans to read about preparing for the hurricane season drove so much traffic that it crashed the website, the center said on Thursday.

The CDC has decided that if you’re prepared for a Zombie Apocalypse, you’re prepared for any emergency. Assistant Surgeon General Ali Khan wrote a blog that includes a series of badges and recommendations on what to do in case flesh-eating zombies take over the world. The steps are pretty simple: prepare an emergency kit, make a plan for evacuation routes and family meeting spots, and be prepared by following CDC alerts on Twitter and expectedly, USENET.

Turns out the steps you would take to prepare for a zombie apocalypse are remarkably similar to the steps you should take to prepare for any disaster. You’ll need food, water, medicine, blankets and other stuff to help you survive until you can get to an evacuation shelter (or a zombie free zone).

Here is a list of items you should include in an emergency kit, according to the Zombie Apocalypse article:

• 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.)

The surge of traffic from the post took out their whole blog. And it’s still down this morning! (It’s since been cross-posted here on a different area of the CDC site.) Now, the power of the web to destroy the will of servers is well documented. But this is actually somewhat sobering. It makes you wonder if the CDC would be ready for a real outbreak or if their server would melt the moment they posted the life-saving solutions for surviving the next ferret-flu attack. Luckily, if an apocalyptic situation does occur today (or more likely, on Saturday), the main CDC site is still available.

The most traffic on record had been a post that saw around 10,000 visits. By the end of Wednesday, with servers down, the page had 60,000. By Thursday, it was a trending topic on Twitter and shared around many USENET newsgroups.

The CDC has some experience with zombies, if only in fiction. Its Atlanta headquarters was blown up during an episode of AMC’s hit zombie show “The Walking Dead.”