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Why the US Government Shutdown Could Cause the Zombie Apocalypse

02 Oct

Land of the Z, Home of the Brains

Z-Planning has always been a source of amusement to our governments.  They claim to take it as a bit of a joke, or issue tongue-in-cheek blogs on how to stay safe during the Zombie Apocalypse.  In all seriousness, though, the American government has many layers of protection that would usually ensure we remain zombie free.

Thanks to the government shutdown, these layers of protection are rapidly eroding.

Stage 1 – Monitoring

Health and Human Services (HHS)HHS Contingency PDF

The HHS is responsible for the bulk of duties that would otherwise normally prevent or derail a possible Zombie Apocalypse.  They monitor disease, health risks, abnormal events and a variety of other issues.  If Patient Zero were to show up, they would be the first to know.  Right now, the following subdivisions are sub-par in zombie prevention.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 

“CDC would be unable to support the annual seasonal influenza program, outbreak
detection and linking across state boundaries using genetic and molecular analysis, continuous updating of disease treatment and prevention recommendations (e.g., HIV, TB, STDs, hepatitis), and technical assistance, analysis, and support to state and local partners for infectious disease surveillance.”

They state there will be a

“…significantly reduced capacity to respond to outbreak investigations.”

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

“FDA will also have to cease safety activities such as routine establishment inspections, some compliance and enforcement activities, monitoring of imports … and the majority of the laboratory research necessary…”

…Meaning the Z-Bug could get into our food chain and nobody would really know.

National Park Service (NPC)NPC Contingency PDF

Deemed by most as non-essential, the national parks will be run by skeleton crew only.  The effect of this is that there will be huge swathes of the country completely unmonitored for abnormality.  If anything gets bitten, it’s tough luck.  They get to hang out in the nice thick woods and wait.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) – Website is down

NASA don’t even have a website to tell us who has gone home, so there’s not much to say about them…  They can’t monitor any meteors or extra-terrestrial objects that may bring pathogens to Earth.  They’re good for roughly diddly-squat right now.

In short, if the Z-Bug gets started anywhere, we won’t know until we start to see the effects really hit.

Stage 2 – Causation

We can see above that if Patient Zero were to happen during the shutdown, we would be none the wiser.  But why would the Z-Bug be more likely to happen at this time?

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)EPA Contingency PDF

The EPA are there to prevent or deal with dangers to human health caused by the environment;  that includes natural causes but also pollution, toxins and biological abnormalities.  The EPA will all but shut down completely.  They retain only 38 exempted personnel – that’s 1.83% of their usual 8,503 – none of whom are in the departments for environmental information, chemical safety, air and radiation or water.

District of ColombiaDC Shutdown Plan

While the mayor says he will keep all services running until the money runs out, their shutdown plan tells us that the rubbish collections will very quickly ramp down to zero, leaving all residents to take their own trash to the public facilities.  With reduced public sanitation, disease becomes a higher risk.  And the EPA aren’t dealing with airborne or water-borne risks.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – Department of Homeland Security Contingency PDF

The DHS will no longer be running the FEMA Risk-Mapping program, nor the chemical site security regulatory program.  Chemical exposure is a high risk in creating biological mutagens, and as the EPA aren’t looking out for chemical safety either, it’s not looking good.

They will also no longer be providing their E-Verify immigration program which would otherwise highlight potential carriers bringing pathogens in from other countries.

National Cemetery Administration (NCA)NCA Guide to Shutdown Impact

They make it clear they will still be offering healthcare to the living, however;

“Interments at National Cemeteries will be conducted on a reduced schedule.”

So there will be more cadavers just… hanging out.  That’s cool with you, right?

Stage 3 – Response

Under normal circumstances, even if the Z-Bug managed to get a foot in the door, you would expect the government to be prepared to stamp it out before it took hold.  Not today.

Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) – see HHS above

“ASPR would be unable to fund activities related to medical countermeasures
against chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and emerging threats, the Hospital Preparedness Program, and fully staff the National Disaster Medical
System.”

We had better hope they reach an agreement sometime soon, or Obamacare could end up dealing with more than it expected.

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Posted by on October 2, 2013 in How?, Why?

 

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