Illinois getting ready for disasters, including zombies

Walkiers in episode 5Photo by Gene Page/AMC
Walkiers in episode 5Photo by Gene Page/AMC /

The General Assembly of Illinois is using zombies to help people prepare for natural disasters. Why do zombies make such a great preparedness model?

A newly introduced bill in the Illinois General Assembly declared October the state’s official “Zombie Preparedness Month,” which happens to coincide with the traditional return of The Walking Dead as well as Halloween. The state also declared that people need to be more prepared for natural disasters, even if it’s a zombie apocalypse.

Here’s a snippet from HR0030: “Whereas, if the citizens of Illinois are prepared for zombies, than [sic] they are prepared for any natural disaster; while a Zombie Apocalypse may never happen, the preparation for such an event is the same as for any natural disaster.”

The general belief is that most people aren’t prepared for natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornados and floods. The Illinois General Assembly is using a zombie apocalypse to get people thinking about overall disaster preparedness. If you’re ready for zombies, you’re likely ready for anything.

But why do zombies make for such strong public service announcements about disasters? My thought is that we see more zombies around us than we do earthquakes, tornados and floods. Sure, these things happen all the time, but you only see them if you’re watching the news of if they affect your own community. Sadly, there are people who don’t pay attention to the news but they can tell you all about pop culture. Therefore, making disaster preparedness “relatable” using zombies is a good option to reach more people.

If you’re prepared for zombies, you’re prepared for anything. That means a first aid kit, several days’ worth of food and water, medicines, supplies for pets, matches, portable radios and batteries are a good start. Store them in a safe, dry place where they can be reached during emergencies. Also be sure to have an emergency kit in your car in case you get stuck on the road. (Just think of those traffic jams in The Walking Dead, or getting stuck in a blizzard on a mountain road—both scenarios require a well-prepared car)

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While some people might think that Illinois is spending important time talking about zombies rather than focusing on important issues, it’s important to remember that the zombies are just a metaphor, and at the heart of the matter is getting people ready for anything that can happen.