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Why Is Kansas Preparing for a Zombie Apocalypse?

Kansas' governor is preparing to sign a proclamation declaring October to be "Zombie Preparedness Month." But unless he knows something we don't, there have been no reports of zombie activity in the Midwest.

But this hasn't deterred Kansas' Division of Emergency Management from craving brains publicity for its newest initiative. "If you're prepared for zombies, you're prepared for anything," rings the theme of Zombie Preparedness Month. State emergency officials hope that this will prepare Kansas residents from the more likely event of tornadoes, severe storms, and fires.

So how exactly did zombies get involved?

Blame the CDC...

Zombie preparedness wasn't originally cooked up by emergency-minded Kansas officials, it was the braaaaaaaaains-child of Dave Daigle, associate director for communications at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2011, Daigle told The Washington Post that a random tweet about zombies following the Japanese nuclear crisis snowballed into a viral campaign about zombie preparedness.

The campaign was hailed as a massive social media success, and since then the CDC has embraced the power of zombies to get its message across. The CDC even commissioned a comic book (they call it a "novella" *snort*) which chronicles a young man's zombie nightmare and how proper emergency preparedness saw him through it. The message: Be prepared for disasters with proper training and an emergency kit.

The federal agency has even gone so far as to blog about the popular zombie show "The Walking Dead," in which the CDC is ironically of very little help.

Kansas Follows Suit

Perhaps after seeing how successful the CDC's Zombie Preparedness campaign was, Kansas has also chosen to use zombies to engage its residents -- but not by engineering them in a top-secret lab and releasing them strategically at night (don't be silly).

In addition to proclaiming October as Zombie Preparedness Month, the Division of Emergency Management will also be orchestrating a "zombie fun run/lurch" and giving away disaster-on-the-go packs on October 25 at the Crestview Shelter House in Topeka. Devan Tucking said in a statement that it's "a fun and low-stress way to get families involved."

Kansas isn't the first state to integrate zombies into state safety policy; the Florida "Zombie Apocalypse" bill would have concealed carry laws suspended in an emergency.

The governor is scheduled to sign the zombie proclamation on Friday at 11 a.m. Better stock up on zombie kits before they sell out!

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