FACT CHECK: No, The CDC And Department Of Defense Are Not Preparing For The Zombie Apocalypse

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A video shared on Facebook claims the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are preparing for the zombie apocalypse.



Verdict: False

The CDC and the Pentagon are not preparing for the zombie apocalypse. The claim is based on old documents meant as training scenarios.

Fact Check:

The Facebook video shows media reports about the Pentagon preparing for a zombie apocalypse and a CDC poster with a zombie on it. The narrator in the video says, “So the CDC made a poster that said ‘Get a Kit. Make a Plan. Be Prepared.’ And they have the creepy, grave-looking fingers staring out of the window. So the CDC puts out this Zombie Apocalypse Preparedness kit in the year 2011, and they also have numbered it 6023.”

The video implies that the CDC and the Pentagon are preparing for the zombie apocalypse. The claim, though, is based on old documents meant for training exercises and public awareness campaigns. The CDC’s zombie poster was part of a 2011 campaign to “promote preparedness for different emergencies and disasters,” according to the CDC website.

“CDC published “Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse” to the Public Health Matters blog in 2011. The post was an example of educational entertainment. It used a popular cultural reference to zombies to promote preparedness for different emergencies and disasters. The campaign is now retired,” reads the CDC’s explanation.

The Pentagon document was first reported on in 2014 by CNN, when the outlet obtained a copy of a document showing the Pentagon was using a zombie apocalypse scenario to train personnel with.

A Pentagon spokesperson told Check Your Fact in an email that it was a “fictional one-time scenario used in a training exercise a long time ago.” (RELATED: Did The Leaked Pentagon Documents Show Ukraine Suffered 71,000 Dead?)

“Several years ago, a routine training exercise was held to train responders and military personnel in how to deal with a disaster scenario. And instead of using real countries or potential real scenarios, the planners got the idea of using a f[i]ctional ‘zombie apocalypse’ as the disaster,” the spokesperson said. “So, the answer is no, we are not preparing for a zombie apocalypse. It was merely a fictional one-time scenario used in a training exercise a long time ago.”

The document, titled “CON PLAN 8888,” shows a “fictitious plan…created by junior military officers undergoing training,” according to the document’s first page.

“This fictitious plan was created by junior military officers undergoing training related to the Department of Defense’s Joint Operational Planning and Execution System (JOPES), the formalized process by which the Department conducts all contingency planning and execution. In an effort to learn the JOPES process, and to do so in a more interesting way, the students were assigned this completely fictitious scenario and directed to use JOPES to develop a written contingency plan,” reads the document.

This claim was also addressed by PolitiFact.

Check Your Fact reached out to the CDC for comment and will update this article if a response is provided.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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