Hurricane Hits, Apocalypse Looms. Get a Go Bag!

Photo by Marnie Braddock

The American Red Cross has a message for you: you need to be ready for a disaster. The message is a timely one as Hurricane Sandy is continuing its march through Pennsylvania and New York.

To punctuate the point the Eastern Massachusetts chapter of the Red Cross launched a new site last week, The site plays on people’s fears of a full blown apocalypse on December 21 as predicted by the Mayan Calendar. No one knows what will happen on that day, but the Red Cross has a good guess: zombie apocalypse.

Of course, the good folks at the Red Cross in Boston are just messing with us. But disasters–both real and fictionalized–are good reminders to be prepared for anything. That means having a Go Bag–anything you might need for a three-day hiatus from home–ready to go.

What you put in your Go Bag will be different from what’s in mine (you won’t have my prized collection of Barry Manilow CDs). That’s why the Red Cross has launched the Zombie Apocalypse Go Bag Video Contest to pick the three best Go Bags.

It’s easy to enter. Before November 16th, make a two-minute video and upload it to YouTube with the hashtag #GoRedCross. Your video will be judged by a distinguished group of zombie survivalists, including the head of the Zombie Research Society. The top videos will win prizes. But all the entrants will be winners as they’ll be ready for the next hurricane–or worse! has several examples of Go Bag videos you can watch and learn from.

“Saving Zombies is meant to get everyone prepared for a disaster,” said Jarrett Barrios, CEO of the Red Cross in Eastern Massachusetts. “But it’s especially aimed at Millennials who prefer new to old media and are drawn to popular, interesting themes that are as entertaining as they are informative.”

This is especially true for Jarrett’s Red Cross chapter as Boston is home to many college students and young professionals.

“We asked ourselves how do we connect with the average 20 or 25 year-old in our area when the Red Cross has been largely defined by their parents and grandparents,” said Barrios. “We have to think differently to get young people prepared for disasters and to engage them in the mission and work of the Red Cross.”

“Saving Zombies is our effort to be modern, relevant –and, yes, entertaining–to a new generation of supporters,” he added.