Homeland Security and The Ad Council Launch New Ready Campaign Public Service Advertisements

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For Immediate ReleaseOffice of the Press SecretaryContact: 202-282-8010November 22, 2004

Fact Sheet: ReadyCampaign

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

The message is simple: Everyone should have a plan, said HomelandSecurity Secretary Tom Ridge. The Ready campaign is another way in which weare galvanizing public preparedness efforts along with our partners in citiesand community organizations across the country.

Secretary Ridge unveiled the new Ready PSAs at an event at the National PressClub hosted by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA)and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), two organizations that havepledged their continued support for the campaign. The event also featuredremarks by American Red Cross President and CEO, Marsha Johnson Evans, whodiscussed the importance of emergency preparedness and the joint efforts ofHomeland Security and the Red Cross in promoting this issue.

I hope these ads will encourage parents to take a little time to sit downand map out their family emergency plan today, so theyre prepared for aterrorist attack, natural disaster or any emergency in the future, saidRidge.

The Ready campaign, launched in February 2003 by Homeland Security and the AdCouncil, is designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respondto potential terrorist attacks and other emergencies. The goal of the campaignis to get citizens involved and, ultimately, to increase the level of basicpreparedness across the nation. Ready and its Spanish language version Listo askindividuals to do three key things: get an emergency supply kit, make a familyemergency plan, and be informed about the different types of emergencies thatcould occur and their appropriate responses.

The new version of the PSAs unveiled today, which were created pro bono byBBDO Worldwide, are aimed at parents and speak particularly about the value of afamily emergency plan. The television advertisements feature children askingsuch questions as, How do we keep in touch with each other if the phonesdont work? If we cant make it home, wholl pick us up? andShouldnt we pick a place to meet? Homeland Security advises that bysimply taking a little time to create a family emergency plan, parents can helpuncover the answers to these critically important questions. In addition to thetelevision advertisements, there are also new Ready campaign radio, print,outdoor and internet PSAs.

The Department of Homeland Security is working to prepare all Americans,including families, seniors, business owners, educators, children and singlepeople, said Ridge. The version of the campaign that we unveiled today isaimed towards families.

The Ad Council has declared Ready one of the most successful campaignlaunches in its 62-year history. Since its launch, more than 210 million peoplehave seen or read about Ready; its website (www.Ready.gov) has received over 1.8billion hits; and the campaign has received more than $310 million in donatedmedia support.

While it is too early to effectively gauge the long term effects of thecampaign on public preparedness, thus far there are indications of progress. A survey conducted by the Ad Council in early September 2004 found that58% of Americans have taken at least one step to prepare for emergencies.  Thenumber of individuals taking specific preparedness steps has also increased:

  • 36% now have an emergency supply kit, an increase of 10% since the start of the campaign
  • 24% now have made a family emergency plan, an increase of 9 %
  • 16% have sought more information about what to do in an emergency, an increase of 11% since the start of the campaign

The new public service announcements combined with Ready Business and thefuture launch of Ready Kids are directed at engaging more Americans on emergencypreparedness.

One of the Department of Homeland Securitys key priorities is helpingcommunities become better prepared to protect against or respond to a terroristattack or major disaster. The Ready campaign, along with over 1,400 CitizenCorps Councils, helps engage citizens to prepare for emergencies. These programsare a critical part of a better prepared America.

The Ready campaign is a national public service advertising campaign producedby the Ad Council in partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.Ready is designed to educate and empower American citizens to prepare for andrespond to potential terrorist attacks and other emergencies. Citizensinterested in receiving a "Get Ready Now" brochure may call1-800-BE-READY or visit www.Ready.gov formore information.