Zombie Preparedness for Educators: Emergency Kits 101

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This lesson can be done individually or in pairs. Give the students 2-3 minutes to create a list of items that they think they would need in an emergency situation. If zombies, or real emergencies, are headed your way, it is important to be prepared.

Have the students stand up with their individual lists. Start the following narrative, and ask the students to sit down if the item mentioned in the story is not on their list. The last person standing is the most prepared in the event of an emergency.

Emergency Scenario:

You and a friend are in the middle of a zombie invasion. There is no time to head to the store, so you are going to have to make do with what you have already put in your emergency kit.

  1. The zombies are starting to shuffle. They have overrun the facilities management outpost and the city water has been compromised. It’s time to make use of your bottled water supply.
  2. After hearing that the zombies are coming in from the west, you want to check on your other friends and family Pull out your emergency contacts and your cell phone.
  3. The zombies have been attempting to tear down the power lines. The lights have flickered a few times before finally shutting Now you are without electricity. This means the refrigerator and microwave are out. Do you have non-perishable food on hand to make dinner?
  4. It’s starting to get dark and you stumble over furniture looking for a flashlight. Do you have one?
  5. All of that stumbling caused you to scrape your knee on the coffee table. Pull out your first aid kit to bandage that
  6. It’s dark out and you’ve camped out in the basement, the most secure part of the Do you have a blanket or sleeping bag to keep you warm?
  7. While trying to sleep, you hear loud noises and start to You try to turn on your radio for the latest updates.
  8. Why is the radio not working? That’s right, it needs batteries. If you don’t have any, you can use the ones from your flashlight… but ONLY if you have a candle with matches. You still need a light
  9. According to the radio report, the mayor has ordered an You quickly gather your supplies and make your way to the car. Don’t forget that the electricity is out and you need cash on hand to make any purchases.
  10. Wait, did the mayor say that Main Street is closed and to head east towards Franklin? Which road should you use? Pull out your map to navigate to safety.

Who survived? Who did not? What was the most common item that knocked teams out of the running?

Background and Concepts



  • What was the importance of each item on the list?
  • What wasn’t in the story that you have on your lists? (pet supplies? medication?) Discuss what would disappear first (1-3 days), next (3-14 days), and longer (14+ days). What are the common disasters in your area? FEMA’s U.S. Map of Common Disastersexternal icon
  • What emergencies do you prepare for at school?  Does your school have an emergency plan? Have you practiced for an emergency?
  • What are some disasters or emergencies that you can you think of? How could citizens have been prepared?

Get a Kit

Items recommended for emergency kits:

  • Medications (7day supply) and medical items
    • Multipurpose tool (swiss army knife)
    • Sanitation and personal hygiene items (soap, toilet paper, towel)
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
    • Family and emergency contact information
    • Manual can opener
    • Two-way radio
    • Extra set of car keys and house keys
    • Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
    • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
    • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)

Supplemental items:

  • Whistle
  • N95 or surgical masks
  • Matches
  • Rain gear
  • Towels
  • Work gloves
  • Tools/supplies for securing your home

Make a Plan

  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Household liquid bleach
  • Entertainment items

Learn about your community’s emergency plans, warning signals, evacuation routes, and locations of emergency shelters. Does your school have an emergency plan? What is it?

  1. Identify the types of emergencies that are possible in your area.
  2. Pick a meeting place for your family to regroup in case zombies invade your home, or your town evacuates because of a hurricane or wildfire.One place right outside the home for sudden emergencies, and one place outside of your neighborhood in case you are not able to return home right away.
  3. Identify your emergency contacts. This includes the phone numbers of all of the members of your family, the local police and fire department, your local zombie response team, and an out-of-state contact that all family members can use to touch base with in an emergency.
  4. Plan your evacuation route. When zombies are hungry they won’t stop until they get food, which means you need to get out of town fast. Plan where you would go and think of multiple routes you could take so that the undead don’t have a chance. This is also helpful when natural disasters strike and you have to take shelter quickly.

Be Informed

How do you know when a threat is imminent? Check with your local emergency management agency and find out if they have a phone, text, or social media alert system.

  • The FCC broadcasts the Emergency Alert Systemexternal icon (EAS) on the radio or television
  • Check NOAA Weather Radioexternal icon alerts
  • Listen for outdoor warning sirens or horns
  • News media sources (radio, television and cable)
  • Residential route alerting (messages announced to neighborhoods from vehicles equipped with public address systems)
  • Social Media (twitter, facebook) like @CDCemergency on Twitter.

Watches and Warnings

  • Tornado Watch – Tornadoes are possible. Stay tuned to the radio or television news.
  • Tornado Warning – A tornado has been sighted. Take shelter immediately.
  • Flood Watch or Flashflood Watch – Flooding may happen soon. Stay tuned to the radio or television news for more information.
  • Flood Warning – You may be asked to leave the area. A flood may be happening or will be very soon.
  • Flashflood Warning – A flashflood is happening. Get to high ground right away.
  • Hurricane Warning – If told to evacuate, get to the main evacuation route immediately and go to the previously arranged safe place (at the home of friends or family further inland); or seek shelter at an inland motel or in specified community shelters.
  • Wildfires – If not told to evacuate, monitor the conditions and get ready to evacuate; if told to evacuate, or if you are in danger, evacuate immediately.
Page last reviewed: October 8, 2020, 04:40 PM