WASHINGTON — With rumors swirling in conspiratorial corners that the end of the world is nigh, the US government this week posted some online counsel on how to be prepared in case of a zombie apocalypse.

"There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for. Take a zombie apocalypse for example," said an official blog post by Assistant Surgeon General Ali Khan on the Centers for Disease Control website.

"You may laugh now, but when it happens you'll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you'll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency," says the blog.

The tongue-in-cheek post makes no reference to fervent allegations by some preachers that the world will end on Saturday May 21.

It does however point to numerous examples of "the rise of zombies in pop culture... (giving) credence to the idea that a zombie apocalypse could happen."

The blog points readers to emergency preparedness tips that the CDC has long advocated, such as having an emergency kit at one's home containing water, food and supplies "to get you through the first couple of days before you can locate a zombie-free refugee camp," it says.

"(Or in the event of a natural disaster, it will buy you some time until you are able to make your way to an evacuation shelter or utility lines are restored)."

Knowing an evacuation route, having a designated meeting place with family and a list of emergency contacts are also high on the list.

"If zombies did start roaming the streets, CDC would conduct an investigation much like any other disease outbreak," it promises.