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U.S. Launches Drive to Urge Emergency Plans

Associated Press
Tuesday, November 23, 2004; Page A02

The Department of Homeland Security is reminding families to develop a contingency plan in case of a terrorist attack or other emergency with a new wave of public service announcements.

"The message is simple: Everyone should have a plan," Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said yesterday. "I hope these ads will encourage parents to take a little time to sit down and map out their family emergency plan today."

The TV, radio, outdoor and Internet ads are part of the department's ongoing "Ready" campaign -- "Listo" in Spanish -- which debuted in February 2003 to increase Americans' basic preparedness for a catastrophic event, including natural disasters.

They ask people to do three things: Get an emergency supply kit, make a family emergency plan, and stay informed about types of emergencies that could occur and the appropriate responses.

In the ads, children ask their parents questions about emergency plans: "How do we keep in touch with each other if the phones don't work?" "If we can't make it home, who will pick us up?" "Shouldn't we pick a place to meet?"

More information on emergency preparedness is available on the department's Ready.gov and Listo.gov Web sites, and on a toll-free phone line, 800-BE READY (800-237-3239), in English and Spanish.

The ads were developed with the Ad Council and created free of charge by the advertising agency BBDO Worldwide. They were unveiled at an event hosted by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association and the National Association of Broadcasters.

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