- "Your #1 Source for Natural and Manmade Disaster Management"
- ―Agency Motto
- "Good Question. Where is CEDA? All I see are the zombies..."
CEDA (Civil Emergency and Defense Agency) is a fictional U.S. government organization in the Left 4 Dead universe and is based on the real-life federal emergency agency FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Since 1988, the Civil Emergency and Defense Agency has protected millions of Americans from terrifying consequences of natural and manmade disasters and is responsible for responding to disasters and assisting in the recovery. The most recent disaster they are assisting in, the Green Flu epidemic, has appeared to overwhelm them, as no non-Infected officials from the organization can be found. Only abandoned evacuation centers, advertisements and supplies, and some Infected CEDA operatives can be seen throughout the series.
- 1 Involvement with containing The Infection
- 2 Research
- 3 Suppression by the Military
- 4 Safety Posters and Advertisments
- 5 Notes
Involvement with containing The Infection
CEDA have been involved in responding to the Green Flu epidemic. They have created awareness campaigns alerting the public about the disease, tried to evacuate citizens from highly infected areas, and researched the disease. Once they realized how powerful and virulent the Infection was, CEDA field agents made use of hazmat suits and decided to provide the public with face masks while trying to evacuate them. Large-scale evacuations were called and required CEDA to bring in several Disease Emergency Assessment Dispatch trailers to help process people faster.
Throughout the campaigns, advertisements from CEDA can be seen advising citizens to wear face masks, wash their hands, and seal their windows and other openings with plastic sheeting and duct tape to prevent the spread of the Infection. At one point, CEDA began to inform the public on how to build safe rooms and where to seek shelter as well as "Safety Checklists," which instructed residents to barricade themselves in their basements and wait for help to arrive. The posters displayed in game can be seen in the CEDA gallery below. In Left 4 Dead 2, CEDA also uses Solar Portable Message Signs to help with the evacuation. Instead of placing evacuation notices on buildings (as seen in Left 4 Dead), these trailers can be seen near highways and roadways informing any Survivors to head to the location displayed on the digital sign.
CEDA was informing the public about the situation of the Infection, the spread of the virus, areas under quarantine, and ways of prevention of disease. The agency mainly used radio and television as the main media outlet source to inform the public. They mainly used emergency frequencies to update information to the public and the status of the evacuation centers in the areas. When approached by news crews and agencies, one of the CEDA teams in the South Atlantic Region (Region 3) in The Vannah were assigned to do a report (with Rochelle) and provide a statement and update on information. However, CEDA never told people how fast the Infection was spreading and how bad the situation was due to the mass panic and civil unrest it would provoke, so the report was never aired.
When the Infection was spreading out of control and the population started to find out the truth behind the Infection and how bad the situation was getting, everyone started to panic and began rioting, causing chaos in cities around the nation. CEDA hired a private security firm to help with local law enforcement and the agency to help maintain control. The security officers wore protective gear such as helmets, bulletproof padding, and used nightsticks instead of firearms (due to CEDA Emergency Management Policies) to help maintain control of the public. They helped keep crowds organized and under control at evacuation centers while stopping rioters from causing chaos until the Infection hit. With the officers dealing with hundreds and maybe thousands of civilians, it was difficult for them to tell who was infected and who wasn't; therefore, it was easy for the security officers to become infected.
When the Green Flu was noticed, CEDA first tried to contain the virus by containing the infected individuals from the public by keeping them in isolated buildings. However, this method was unsuccessful. With the Infection raging out of control and multiple victims becoming Infected, CEDA then had to take the next step of full town and city evacuations. CEDA also began setting up evacuation centers around major urban centers such as hospitals, arenas, or malls where people were advised to go and await further instruction. A CEDA representative would assess the evacuation centers and provide hourly updates over all radio frequencies of the current conditions; however, due to the severity of the epidemic, the infected individuals also made their way to those locations; many evacuation centers became overrun by the Infection in a matter of days.
With most of their outposts overrun and personnel infected, it is presumed that the organization has either ceased to exist or they have abandoned hopes of saving the population. The Survivors usually head for the nearest evacuation center in hope for help and to be transported out of the Infected area; however, by the time they arrive at the evacuation center, it has either been successfully evacuated or completely overrun by the Infected.
Here is a list of some of the evacuation centers:
Left 4 Dead
- Fairfield Municipal Park (Unconfirmed but assumed to be overrun) ― This may be CEDA's first outdoor evacuation center (other than Bienville Park). This site was created before CEDA began the panic of thinking the virus was airborne and enforce new security measures such as face masks and decontamination trailers.
- Hewlitt Recreation Center (Overrun) ― The recreation center was probably similar to a community center where CEDA set up another evac site. This was perhaps one of the first evacuation centers to be overrun with Infected. Similar to school evac sites, this was probably used as temporary shelter for citizens to take refuge.
- Brigham Junior High School (Overrun) ― A junior high school located in Fairfield, this was one of possibly several schools used as an evacuation center.
- Fairfield Civic Arena (Overrun) ― Fairfield's possible main evacuation center was the civic arena due to its large capacity capable of holding many citizens. However, due to its large number capability and the risk that CEDA wasn't able to screen everyone or didn't have time to screen everyone, Infected people had made their way to the site and easily able to overrun the evac site.
- Borden High School (Overrun) ― A local high school in the City of Fairfield. This was possibly one of the remaining evacuation centers in the entire city (other than Mercy Hospital). With the city overrun with Infected, survivors and refugees abandoned Fairfield and headed for the surrounding countryside, bringing the epidemic with them.
- Mercy Hospital (Overrun) ― Designated Evacuation Center #008, it is another one of the main evacuation sites in Fairfield and possibly the initial site of the original infected victim. Most citizens ended up here where doctors were still trying to discover and understand the virus while screening citizens, trying to separate the infected from the uninfected. CEDA used the hospital and its equipment and staff to help diagnose the virus; however, the hospital was overcome very quickly and CEDA quickly pulled out. Many in-game clues also suggest that Mercy Hospital might have been ground zero of the Infection.
- Riverside First Church (Overrun) ― With Fairfield being overrun, the military took over this CEDA outpost and set up a command center in the nearby town of Riverside to coordinate evacuations and protect the town's citizens. Remaining evacuees headed to Riverside in hopes of rescue and were probably stuck waiting at the church until given the okay to enter the town. By then, the Infection had passed on from Fairfield to the outer districts and towns, causing the infected to reach Riverside. The military quickly pulled out, deserting any of the survivors in Riverside, who soon also became Infected. One of the last remaining survivors of Riverside was probably the Church Guy who finally succumbed to the Infection.
- Metro International Airport (Quarantined, bombed by the military and then overrun) ― Travelers from around the state of Pennsylvania (which was already battling the epidemic by then) may have gotten infected and brought the virus to the city of Newburg, causing the continuous spread of the virus. CEDA quarantined the city's airport to keep the infected away from the uninfected population of Newburg; however, once again, they failed and the military ordered an immediate bombing of the airport. This method was ineffective because by the time they bombed the airport and the city, the entire city was already infested.
- Daughtery Farm (Assumed that CEDA was in control of it, then taken over by the military and finally was overrun) ― One of the evacuation centers near Allegheny National Forest was this farm. CEDA told nearby civilians to head to the farmhouse to be rescued; however, since the farm was in the middle of nowhere and a lack of CEDA and military gear and equipment, this evacuation site was easily overrun. Apparently, the city of Newburg or Metro International Airport is somewhat near this forest as a CEDA "Quarantine" poster was in the shed safe room informing people that the airport was quarantined. Thus it is possible that Newburg's infected citizens wandered into the forest, infecting any refugees present and finally overran the Farm.
- Atlanta (Unconfirmed but assumed to be overrun) ― One of the last standing evacuation center cities in the Northeast quadrant according to The Sacrifice, CEDA announced for civilians to make their way there. The military most likely aided in keeping the city secure and safe, but once again, as seen in The Hotel in Dead Center, CEDA failed yet again.
Left 4 Dead 2
- The Vannah Hotel (Successfully evacuated) ― CEDA screened the civilians coming into the hotel, then sent them inside to be evacuated, making them wait long periods before they were processed. The situation quickly began to descend into chaos the epidemic consumed Savannah, causing civilians and CEDA to retreat to the nearest evac station in Liberty Mall.
- Liberty Mall (Overrun) ― CEDA provided shelter to people in the mall while they screened people and evacuated them from the area. However, since malls could not be fully fortified and there were so many people, Infected quickly got inside and killed or Infected everyone.
- Rayford, Georgia (Overrun) ― In the setting for The Sacrifice and The Passing , CEDA may have had some involvement here as Infected CEDA workers can be seen as well as the captured Tank in the train car labeled "LIVE SPECIMEN" and "Property of the United States Army" on the door. In The Underground, some graffiti humorously says that CEDA has been supplying the town with toilet paper. It seems that Rayford preferred to survive the Infection on their own, as evidenced by the presence of M60's, supply lockers, lack of CEDA equipment, and the Fallen Survivors. However, there are several buses, probably used for evacuation, that have either been abandoned, or crashed, as some of them block the streets. It can thus be assumed that when Rayford failed to contain the virus and the infected began to overwhelm the armed citizens, the agency stepped in and began [unsuccessful] evacuation operations.
- Rayford Port (Overrun) ― Forced to allow CEDA to intervene, they set up a command area near the port as it best serves as a defensive perimeter. Due to the constant power outages and necessity of power to allow for an evacuation, CEDA most likely brought in a few gas-powered generators. They were used as floodlights and three were mainly used for the purpose of dropping and raising the bridge. However, once they got the generators in place, it seems to have alerted the Horde (similar in The Sacrifice) causing many Infected (and Tanks) to be drawn to the area; therefore, CEDA and any remaining survivors pulled out and headed for other still functional evacuation centers.
- Whispering Oaks Amusement Park (Successfully evacuated, closed and overrun) ― Park staff probably worked to shelter and entertain the civilians to help them maintain a healthy state of mind (as suggested by CEDA). The agency either had already set up shop or quickly decided to do so in an effort to evacuate civilians (as well as the Midnight Riders). To hold off Infected swarms, designated evacuation outposts were set up deep within the park near the entrance of The Peach Pit stadium, where the Midnight Riders were scheduled to perform. This evacuation site is actually marked off as "Closed"; therefore, the evacuation has been successful and CEDA sent out a chopper to check for remaining Survivors in case anyone was left behind.
- Bienville Park (CEDA once was in control of it, then it was taken over by the military and was overrun) ― With the infection spreading around New Orleans and evacuees quickly filling up the city's bus station, remaining refugees were stuck waiting in the nearby park. People were slowly let into the bus station evac center by the CEDA trailer, allowing the infected time to catch up to the remaining survivors. With infected individuals in the nearby area, panicked civilians fled the area and rioted towards the bus station in an attempt to escape.
- The Bus Station (CEDA once was in control of it, then it was taken over by the military and was overrun) ― It can be assumed that everything was fine until the Infection caught up to the evac station. With the infected numbers swelling into the thousands and New Orleans being slowly overun, the panicked civilians rioted in an attempt to get to freedom. Knowing that it would be impossible to take everyone and make sure the virus didn't spread, the military was forced to take action and shoot all civilians outside the gate.
- Veterans Memorial Bridge (Controlled by the military, maybe evacuated survivors, then bombed and overrun) ― Knowing that the situation was out of control, the military decided to evacuate anyone they could by quarantining an area between the uninfected and the Infected, only letting people through if it was confirmed they were not infected or didn't help anyone escape. Inevitably, the attempts to quarantine the area were quickly failing. The bridge was to be destroyed to slow the spread of the Infection, as the Infected cannot swim (stated in graffiti and reinforced by boats being acceptable "safe" evacuation vehicles). Just before the bridge was to be destroyed, the Survivors were cleared to attempt to get across the bridge and escape via the last helicopter out of the area. (It should be noted there is only a small CEDA outpost at the other side of the bridge).
Throughout the Left 4 Dead series, several different types of evacuation vehicles were used to evac refugees from high-risk areas of Infection (or hot zones) to areas that are much more secure and Infection-free. CEDA was able to commandeer vehicles and resources in order to help benefit the evacuation. Larger vehicles such as buses and trucks were used by CEDA to evacuate people due to the large capacity they can hold and wanting to keep people together; however, these methods of transport were also the slowest and can spread easier, which gave the advantage to the Infected and allowed the Infection to spread quicker. Also, CEDA stated on the medical timetable chart (seen in The Vannah) that two CEDA EVWS must accompany all transport vehicles (see poster below); this was most likely a safety precaution implemented by CEDA to keep track of all refugees and watch for signs of sickness and the infected (which turned out to be very little of help as every locale is overrun). Below are some of the transports seen throughout both Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2.
It's not apparent how much CEDA knows about the Infection, though it doesn't seem to be much. However, they definitely have done some research on it. They believed the Infection may be airborne (this assumption supported by a Doctor who states sometimes it is airborne, but sometimes not) and think the disease might come from livestock. Out of all the Special Infected, they appear to have extensive knowledge of the Boomer. They have been able to collect jars of Boomer bile and there is a research poster about the Boomer in Dead Center which includes camera footage of it exploding and photographs of a Boomer in captivity (as seen in the picture). There is little or no mention of other Special infected by CEDA; however, in The Sacrifice DLC, it was revealed that CEDA had in fact captured a live Tank specimen from Rayford, Georgia. In The Hotel, there is a pie chart that states the names of the Special Infected, but it is a little too blurry to be readable.
- "Give the infected a taste of their own medicine with this CEDA-developed gastrointestinal projectile. Any zombie you soak with this puke grenade will be swarmed by common infected."
- ―Left 4 Dead 2 item description
In Left 4 Dead 2, there is a new grenade item called a Bile bomb. It is a glass jar filled with Boomer bile collected as samples by CEDA (since it is dropped by the CEDA Worker Infected). When thrown, the jar breaks, releasing the bile. Unlike regular Boomer bile, it can attract Infected even if it does not cover a person and can even cause Infected to attack other Infected soaked in it. Survivors are also not affected by it. These abilities may mean CEDA used its research to modify the bile and used it to counterattack the infected.
CEDA most likely spent most of their time and efforts on researching the sickness in the general public since the majority of the population displays the most common symptoms of the Green Flu virus. Civilians that died due to the sickness or Infected that were shot by the military (to stop the spread of the disease) were zipped up in CEDA biohazard body bags and were transported and given to CEDA research areas/labs in an effort to gain more knowledge of the virus and possibly find a cure. However, due to the regular mutations of the sickness and the lack of time, as well as constant mobility and moving, they weren't able to pursue much research into it. They created very loose base conclusions on this research stating that "Clean Hands Save Lives" can help prevent Infection when, in fact, the doctor at Millhaven contradicted this prevention method as he stated that sometimes the virus randomly mutates into an airborne strain. Then CEDA decided that the virus was more like a flu, due to the similarity to influenza and how it was an airborne sickness (which is why they started the use of facial masks); however, further research revealed that the Infection was much more similar to rabies, especially in the aggressive, rabid demeanor of the Infected; therefore, people would comment on or rule out that it was no ordinary flu (as seen in graffiti on walls). CEDA was wrong and could not find any definite answers based on the research of the Common Infected based on the limited time they had thus far.
It appears that the military captured a live Tank and CEDA did a number of surgeries on it; whether or not they discovered anything of importance or did any other sort of research on this Tank is unknown. This Tank was kept alive and put into a biohazard train car and was escorted by the military while passing through the town of Rayford, Georgia; however, the train derailed perhaps due to a quick-striking wave of Infected or an obstruction on the train tracks.
Also, during The Port, the players must fight several Tanks, one of whom is different from the others because it has shackles around its wrists and a small eagle, globe and anchor tattoo on its chest. The shackles suggest that this is another captured Tank specimen that managed to escape, and the eagle, globe and anchor tattoo strongly indicates that it might have been a member of the U.S. Marine Corps before turning.
Suppression by the Military
Eventually, due to their failure to contain the Infection and the rapid spread of the virus, the U.S. military took over all CEDA operations. This presumably happened somewhere between the events of Dark Carnival (assumed day 22) and the events of The Parish (assumed day 24). Checkpoints and evacuation centers were taken over by the military who declared Martial Law and had authorization to use deadly force. Civilians were relieved when the military took over; however, the military used much more "aggressive" means of containing the Infection by fencing everyone up, separating groups, and finally shooting Infected civilians or potential carriers of the Infection. Also, CEDA-issued instructions on building a safe house stated that in accordance with CEDA Management Policies, no firearms or guns were permitted in safe rooms. However, when the military took over, they encouraged civilians to arm themselves. If you look closely at most of the military posters, they are from the USMC (United States Marine Corps), though some are only labeled "U.S. Military."
Safety Posters and Advertisments
Throughout the Left 4 Dead series, CEDA has manufactured various posters with safety tips and [unsuccessful] methods of preventing Infection as well as other forms of advertisements which indicated evacuation locations.
- CEDA appears to be based on the real-life FEMA, which has particular resonance in New Orleans, especially in its advice to cover windows with plastic sheeting and duct tape. The name may also be a play on the CDC, an organization involved in preventing infectious disease. The CEDA name and logo also resemble Civil Defense the Cold War-era origination that preceded FEMA.
- CEDA has their own duct tape as seen in many triage tents in Savannah. The tape is a bright yellow color and bears the CEDA logo and name repetitively.
- In Dead Center, the helicopter that is leaving the roof is similar to the one that evacuates the Survivors after the Bridge Finale in The Parish. This would suggest that CEDA was meant to organize civilians and rally them to certain evacuation points, where they would be taken by the military to strongpoints or viable evacuation sites. It may also suggest that CEDA didn't have the amount of equipment needed to evacuate a large amount of civilians, and needed military vehicles and helicopters before being superseded. Or, gameplay-wise, it would be easier to reuse the helicopter model in both campaigns
- The population is likely dissatisfied with CEDA's response to the epidemic. Graffiti through the campaigns say things such as "CEDA BLOWS" or "CEDA sucks."
- In Rochelle's official photo, several human CEDA workers are seen in hazmat suit in the background inspecting the area and taking samples. It seems that they aren't infected.
- Valve store has released new CEDA work shirts. One is a industrial work shirt and the other is a formal polo shirt They have also released a CEDA coffee mug , which bears the Agency's motto and are based on the ones found in-game.
- Large decontamination trailers can be seen parked around The Streets, and one in The Parish. Ironically, text on the side of these trailers labels them as the "Disease Emergency Assessment Dispatch," or D.E.A.D., as a reference to the games themselves, Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2.
- Throughout, when examining the makeshift medical tents and posts, all of the fluid pouches alongside the beds are branded Cure Blood but have the word CONTAMINATED stamped over it. In addition, all of the pouches that were stamped have the words facing the opposite direction of the beds. It is possible that CEDA were either testing Infected blood on patients without their consent (or awareness) or labeling them as contaminated to avoid the pouches from being reused.
- In Team Fortress 2, one of the random bot names is "CEDA".
- When killing an Infected CEDA scientist with a firearm the player can hear the suit un-pressurize as if being punctured for the first time. This supports the theory that the scientists were infected before they had the suit on.
- Infected CEDA scientists were meant to be added in the campaign "The Parish", but they were replaced by security officers from a private security firm hired by CEDA to assist in crowd control.