Image by Ayoub Wardin via Pixabay / Futurism

Finally, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its official guidelines and recommendations for — you guessed it — a zombie apocalypse.

If it sounds like this perhaps isn't the best time to dedicate resources to a fictional crisis, well, we hear you. But public health experts told Yahoo News that they think it's a smart move on the CDC's part. Even if the central premise is almost certainly facetious, they suggest that encouraging people to plan in advance for potential disasters could go a long way in mitigating the next real public health emergency.

"I think it's great," University of Buffalo epidemiologist John Sellick told Yahoo. "As we've seen with coronavirus, disaster preparedness is crucial."

The CDC first published its zombie guidelines — which it makes clear are meant to be tongue-in-cheek — in 2011. And while the conceit isn't exactly grounded in reality, the advice is. Recommendations like stocking up on food, water, first aid supplies, and other essentials as well as creating a family emergency plan before disaster hits are all valuable recommendations, regardless of the specific reason you're planning ahead.

That way, when disaster hits, you might not have to find yourself standing in line just to try and buy a precious roll of toilet paper.

"2020 made something like that not seem so impossible anymore," natural disaster preparedness instructor Cheryl Nelson told Yahoo. "It creates the mindset, 'Well, gosh. If a global pandemic happened, what's next — zombies?! Maybe I should prepare.'"