Credit: Gene Page/AMC Photo: Walkers Surround the Tank on The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 10: “Inmates”

At any given moment the U.S. government could be involved in several high-level discussions with multiple countries, possible peace talks, the looming threat of terrorist attacks, and we don’t even want to know what else, but one surprising thing our government seems to have a handle on is a zombie apocalypse contingency plan. Yes, you read that right, although it’s not as ridiculous as it sounds.

Foreign Policy magazine reports, via, that the Defense Department maintains a disaster preparation document called "CONOP 8888,” a zombie survival plan designed to teach military commanders what to do in the event of a catastrophe.

Even though zombies are at the heart of the DoD’s example, the department calls it “fictional contingency planning guidance”. Still, in this fictional plan, military commanders are tasked with creating a blueprint to “preserve non-zombie humans from the threat posed by a zombie horde” and the task is meant to be taken seriously, even if the circumstances are something straight out of The Walking Dead.

The plan, referred to in all seriousness as “Counter-Zombie Dominance”, was written in April 2011 and the outlandish subject matter was actually meant to deter widespread panic.

“Planners ... realized that training examples for plans must accommodate the political fallout that occurs if the general public mistakenly believes that a fictional training scenario is actually a real plan," the plan's authors explained. “We elected to use a completely impossible scenario that could never be mistaken for a real plan.”

In other words, the United States’ zombie contingency plan is a serious training tool for commanders who intend to train with and learn from it, but ordinary citizens shouldn’t mistake it for a real disaster plan.

Are you shocked that a zombie contingency plan exists? Tell us your thoughts below!