Climb the stairs to the second floor of a downtown parking garage in Eugene, Oregon and you're greeted with a sign you won't see in most communities: Close Gate in Case of Zombie Outbreak.
No one can say that Eugene isn't at the forefront of emergency preparedness. The local newspaper, The Register-Guard, hasn't reported any zombie sightings. Could city government know something, but not want to panic the local citizens?
The CDC's Office of Preparedness and Response even has a web page devoted to Zombie Preparedness. Are zombies one more thing that we have to worry about?
Anyone who has lived in or visited Eugene knows that the city is a unique place that still maintains a 1960's vibe. It's not unusual to see someone or something around town, shake your head, and say to yourself "Only in Eugene!"
The truth behind the sign is that preparing for natural disasters or terrorist attacks is pretty boring and it's hard to get people's attention, but preparing for a zombie apocalypse is kind of fun and exciting. People pay more attention and communicate about it. A Zombie Emergency Kit has a lot of the same things that a standard kit would.
Closing and locking the gate wouldn't buy you buy you much time in case of a true zombie attack. They could just walk up the garage's on ramp to attack you. Besides, there really aren't such things as zombies, are there?
Rick Obst is an Arizona native who moved to Eugene, Oregon in 2005 and fell in love with the verdant Pacific Northwest. He enjoys photography and discovering the many people, places, and events that make this part of the world so special.
To learn more about Eugene, Lane County, and western Oregon, visit 365 and More Things to do in Lane County, Oregon on Facebook. You'll see hundreds of pictures and links to discover the beauty and attractions of this special area.