WASHINGTON -- "The zombies are coming!" the Homeland Security Department says.

Tongue firmly in cheek, the government urged citizens Thursday to prepare for a zombie apocalypse, part of a public health campaign to encourage better preparation for genuine disasters and emergencies. The theory: If you're prepared for a zombie attack, the same preparations will help during a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake or terrorist attack.


The Federal Emergency Management Agency hosted an online seminar for its Citizen Corps organization to help emergency planners better prepare their communities for disaster. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last year first launched a zombie apocalypse social media campaign for the same purposes.

Emergency planners were encouraged to use the threat of zombies – the flesh-hungry, walking dead – to encourage citizens to prepare for disasters. Organizers also noted the relative proximity to Halloween.

Among the government's recommendations were having an emergency evacuation plan and a change of clothes, plus keeping on hand fresh water, extra medications and emergency flashlights.

A few of the government's suggestions tracked closely with some of the 33 rules for dealing with zombies popularized in the 2009 movie "Zombieland," which included "always carry a change of underwear" and "when in doubt, know your way out."

EDITOR'S NOTE: The CDC, completely seriously, has denied the existence of zombies to The Huffington Post. Read that story here.

Related on HuffPost:

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  • Charles Baker

    While on drugs, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/21/charles-baker-got-naked-ate-flesh-of-jeffery-blake_n_1615800.html?utm_hp_ref=cannibalism" target="_hplink">Charles Baker, 26, of Palmetto, Florida,</a> allegedly got naked, barged into his girlfriend's house, bit a chunk out of a man's arm and ate it, then powered through several cop-deployed Taser probes before getting tackled and arrested.

  • Lowpel Davis

    After trying to steal a wig from the Sassy Beauty Supply Shop in New Haven, Conn., <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/08/lowpel-davis-bit-arm-wig-store-owner-spat-flesh-connecticut_n_1581176.html?utm_hp_ref=cannibalism" target="_hplink">Lowpel Davis bit the store owner's arm</a> so hard she took off a piece of his flesh, which she then spat in the man's face, according to cops.

  • Carl Jacquneaux

    Carl Jacquneaux (left) allegedly bit off a chunk of his victim's face while on the synthetic drug known on the street as "bath salts."

  • Rudy Eugene

    This undated booking photo, made available by the Miami-Dade Police Department, shows Rudy Eugene, 31, who was shot and killed by Miami-Dade police after he <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/30/new-face-eating-attack-video-miami-rudy-eugene-18-minutes_n_1555653.html" target="_hplink">refused to stop eating another man's face in Miami</a> on May 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Miami-Dade Police Dept.)

  • Luka Rocco Magnotta

    This undated photo, provided by the City of Montreal Police Service's media relations, shows Luka Rocco Magnotta, 29, who is <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/01/luka-rocco-magnotta-jun-lin-killed-dismembered-by-porn-actor_n_1562423.html?ref=crime" target="_hplink">suspected of homicide</a>. Montreal police said on May 30, 2012, that they had identified Magnotta as a suspect in a gruesome crime involving severed body parts discovered in packages mailed to Ottawa, Ontario, and in a garbage heap in Montreal.

  • Alexander Kinyua

    Alexander Kinyua, a 21-year-old Morgan State University student, allegedly <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/31/alexander-kinyua-kujoe-agyei-kodie-ate-brain-heart-roommate-maryland_n_1560149.html?ref=zombie-apocalypse" target="_hplink">admitted to killing his roommate</a>, Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie, and then eating his heart and portions of his brain. Kinyua has been charged with first-degree murder.

  • Mao Sugiyama

    It's not necessarily a crime to eat human flesh. Mao Sugiyama, a self-described "asexual" from Tokyo, had surgery to remove his genitals and then <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/24/asexual-mao-sugiyama-cooks-serves-own-genitals_n_1543307.html" target="_hplink">cooked and served them</a> to five lucky dinner guests at a swanky banquet in Japan.

  • Man Accused Of Eating Wife's Lips

    A former employee of a Swedish medical university is accused of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/01/man-eats-wifes-lips-karolinska-institutet-sweden_n_1562776.html?ref=zombie-apocalypse" target="_hplink">cutting off his wife's lips and eating them</a>. The unnamed man allegedly flew into a rage after he became suspicious that his much younger wife was having an affair. A source said the man ate the lips because "he didn't want the lips to be able to be sewn back on."

  • Jaime Vigil

    Vigil is accused of murdering an unidentified person and <a href="http://www.krqe.com/dpp/news/crime/murder-suspect-ate-part-of-mans-face" target="_hplink">eating part of their face.</a> He was arrested in November, 2012 and charged with an open count of murder.