The government is watching us -- that is The Blaze. Or, they're tracking certain key words on the Internet. Key words in this case: zombie, apocalypse and survivability. Yup, that's apparently what got the government's attention. Zombies.
A comment over the weekend on a Blaze article by "Leto" -- The Blaze username of Tom Deaderick -- turned the government's eye on his website.
The article was about a Haitian archaeological discovery that alluded to ancient zombies; skeletons were found with rocks in their mouths. Deaderick, wanting to let fellow Blaze readers know if they would be safe in the ever increasing likelihood of a zombie apocalypse, shared with us his zombie survivability map. See how your state ranks:
Within an hour the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was onto it. In fact, they looked at his site 11 times.
Happy to see that the government cared about its citizens' survival against the undead, Deaderick made a second comment, letting Blaze readers in on the news:
Low and behold, look who hoped onto the site next: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Defense, the Navy Network Information Center and 754th Electronic Systems Group, a company that according to the Air Force (via Public Intelligence) “provides responsive information systems to support more efficient and effective logistics, contracting and comm-computer capabilities Air Force wide.”
What does this attention mean? And how did they find it? Like I said, the government is watching The Blaze and/or tracking the words "zombie apocalypse" -- which may be as scary as a zombie apocalypse.
Deaderick says the fact the feds are looking at the map is a good thing. This way, they can make sure they haven't missed anything for their own planning of the impending zombie apocalypse -- or more likely a severely contagious disease.
"The more data you can collect, the more you get a perspective of what is most important [in certain situations]," Deaderick said. "The agencies [looking at the site] may be making sure they are exploring every possible piece of information."
Deaderick was surprised at the ease with which he was able to collect government information to create the map -- something he says could be alarming if the "bad guys" knew about it. When contacting the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services about entrance into the country and flights between states, the department why he wanted this information, he just said "for a marketing piece." This was apparently a good enough answer -- they didn't know it was a zombie marketing piece.
"Isolation is important for survival of a contagion," Deaderick said when The Blaze asked why he need this information. "You may think that Hawaii would be well off, but there are a decent amount of flights going in and out. They also don't have a lot of weapons and that's a negative in a survival situation."
You may be wondering: Why did Deaderick create a map ranking zombie apocalypse survivability in the first place? Why not? It's coming.
In fact, The Blaze reported in May that the CDC released a "guide" to surviving a zombie attack. The CDC noted that its blog post on zombie survival quickly became its most popular web page:
Thus, people are reading it and potentially taking away some valuable information. CDC spokesman Dave Daigle said, “The idea is we‘re reaching an audience or a segment we’d never reach with typical messages.”
Aside from providing a brief history of zombies, the post begs the question “So what do you need to do before zombies…or hurricanes or pandemics for example, actually happen?”
Deaderick was doing the same thing with his map. He created it to help engage his clients in risk planning. His Tennessee-based company, UPTIME database, helps clients find the best professional host database sever for their needs. Risk planning comes into play with the server's location -- the more natural disasters (or contagious zombie viruses), the more likely a server is to go down. The more stable an environment, the better the servers "uptime" and the better it is as an option to host your database.
He wrote on his company's website that he created this map because "a) zombies are more interesting than environmental disasters and b) creating a fact-based formula to project zombie survival is challenging."
"My biggest challenge is to get people to think out of the box in terms of disaster plans," Deaderick said explaining the fact that if a database server were in a location with a high propensity for natural disasters, he would help his client company that was in the market for a database server recognize this factor. "Talk about zombies and most of the our culture will be interested. I created the map to capitalize on this interest."
So, while we may never know what some of these major federal agencies gleaned Deaderick's zombie apocalypse survival map or how they'll use it, we're happy it's up there. Watch out New York!