DHS and AdCouncil Launch New 'Ready' Public Service Announcements

Targeted toward families, PSAs advise citizens on how to prepare for emergencies


The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Ad Council unveiled new "Ready" campaign public service advertisements (PSAs) today. The PSAs are designed to encourage people to develop a family emergency plan in case of a terrorist attack or other emergency. The new PSAs, which feature children questioning parents about what to do during an emergency, are the second series of advertisements for the "Ready" campaign.

"The message is simple: `Everyone should have a plan,'" said Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. "The 'Ready' campaign is another way in which we are galvanizing public preparedness efforts along with our partners in cities and community organizations across the country."

Secretary Ridge unveiled the new "Ready" PSAs at an event at the National Press Club hosted by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), two organizations that have pledged their continued support for the campaign. The event also featured remarks by American Red Cross President and CEO Marsha Johnson Evans, who discussed the importance of emergency preparedness and the joint efforts of Homeland Security and the Red Cross in promoting this issue.

"I hope these ads will encourage parents to take a little time to sit down and map out their family emergency plan today, so they're prepared for a terrorist attack, natural disaster or any emergency in the future," said Ridge.

The "Ready" campaign, launched in February 2003 by Homeland Security and the Ad Council, is designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to potential terrorist attacks and other emergencies. The goal of the campaign is to get citizens involved and, ultimately, to increase the level of basic preparedness across the nation. "Ready" and its Spanish language version "Listo" ask individuals to do three key things: get an emergency supply kit, make a family emergency plan, and be informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses.

The new version of the PSAs unveiled today, which were created pro bono by BBDO Worldwide, are aimed at parents and speak particularly about the value of a family emergency plan. The television advertisements feature children asking such questions as, "How do we keep in touch with each other if the phones don't work?" "If we can't make it home, who'll pick us up?" and "Shouldn't we pick a place to meet?" Homeland Security advises that by simply taking a little time to create a family emergency plan, parents can help uncover the answers to these critically important questions. In addition to the television advertisements, there are also new "Ready" campaign radio, print, outdoor and internet PSAs.