Syfy's Sharknado, a film about sharks inside tornados attacking Los Angeles, is this summer's (or maybe just this week's) surprise cult hit. Since airing last night, it has gone on to become a Snakes On A Plane-like meme, with even Mia Farrow and Philip Roth tuning in.
Now, the Tara Reid/Ian Ziering/John Heard/shark opus is also being used by social media-savvy bureaucrats to spread real-life disaster relief tips. Whether or not a great white shark is swimming in your living room, their advice is worth listening to.
On Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tweeted:
Meanwhile, Mother Jones' Asawin Suebsaeng asked National Weather Service spokesperson Chris Vaccaro about how best to prepare for a real life sharknado:
Sharknado seems to fulfill Syfy's description as a media destination for imagination-based entertainment [...] As with any waterspout or tornado, the best advice is to be in an interior part of the lowest floor of a sturdy building—and not outside, whether sharks are raining down or not.
Sharknado is just the latest gimmicky entry point used to educate the public about disaster relief and scientific education. After Animal Planet aired a documentary claiming that mermaids are real, the National Ocean Service issued a document saying that mermaids aren't real. (Gee, thanks!) The Centers for Disease Control also issued a masterful guide to surviving a zombie apocalypse, as did the University of Florida Gainesville.
Sure, this stuff is silly, but it might prove useful some day. Now, can someone tell us what to do in the event of a zombie-mermaid-sharknado?