CDC prepares US for zombie attack (and other disasters)


How can the CDC make public health campaigns sexier? One way: to release a top-ten list of the greatest achievements in public health, from triumphs over vaccine-preventable diseases to the boon in tobacco control programs.

The other: instead of releasing the dry, stale prose of a disaster preparedness fact sheet, build a website that tells people how to protect themselves from “zombies…or hurricanes or pandemics.”

The New York Times reported on the creative initiative by the CDC intended to get people’s attention, and get them ready for a disaster. And so far, it’s been doing quite well:

The blog post went up on Monday. “A typical post gets 1,000 hits,” Mr. Daigle said. “We got 10,000, then 30,000 on Tuesday, and then it crashed the server.”

Score one for the CDC on public engagement.

Photo via Flickr / aeviin

Brian Mossop is currently the Community Editor at Wired, where he works across the brand, both magazine and website, to build and maintain strong social communities. Brian received a BS in Electrical Engineering from Lafayette College, and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University in 2006. His postdoctoral work was in neuroscience at UCSF and Genentech.

Brian has written about science for Wired, Scientific American, Slate, Scientific American MIND, and elsewhere. He primarily cover topics on neuroscience, development, behavior change, and health.

Contact Brian at, on Twitter (@bmossop), or visit his personal website.