May 18, 2011 at 1:29 PM ET
It looks like the serious folks at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found a whole new way to make disaster preparedness sexy: Cue the zombies.
The quirky post by Dave Daigle, a longtime CDC spokesman, has drawn 23,000 hits since Monday, the highest-ever for a CDC blog, he said. For a while, it even crashed the site. More important, it was tagged as a Top Tweet by the folks at Twitter, an honor that seemed to delight Daigle, a 52-year-old father of four.
“I’ve never been accused of being hip,” said Daigle, the associate director for communications at the Public Health Preparedness and Response Center at CDC.
Daigle, one of several authors for the blog, said he was searching for a way to raise awareness about the need to prepare for the worst, particularly in the wake of recent tornados and on the eve of hurricane season.
“Essentially the kits and many of the messages are the same,” said Daigle. “We have had a hard time engaging people.”
It’s not yet clear whether the threat of zombies will compel people to stockpile food, hoard water and put together disaster kits, as the agency suggests. But if this PR strategy works, Daigle says we can expect more crazy antics from those jokesters at the CDC.