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OEM Press Release

Thursday, September 1, 2011


More than 150 New York City Businesses Pledge to be Partners in Preparedness by Taking Steps to Prepare Employees for Emergencies

New Readiness Challenge Tool Unveiled to Assist New Yorkers in Making Emergency Plans

Ad Council Partnership has Generated More Than $11 Million in Donated Media

Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Commissioner Joseph F. Bruno, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate, and Ad Council president and CEO Peggy Conlon kicked off National Preparedness Month today by announcing that more than 150 New York City businesses have signed up for OEM’s new Partners in Preparedness program, and have pledged to take at least five steps to prepare their employees for emergencies during September. At the announcement in Times Square, OEM and the Ad Council also unveiled new emergency preparedness public service advertisements (PSAs) and an interactive Readiness Challenge tool that helps users develop an emergency plan.

“It’s not every week New York City sees an earthquake and a hurricane, but our recent experiences with both serve as great reminders of why it is so important to prepare for emergencies,” said Commissioner Bruno. “We are here today with some of our Partners in Preparedness, who have already committed to preparing their employees for all types of emergencies. Additionally, our Citizen Corps Council partners are at locations across the five boroughs today to teach New Yorkers about how to make a plan, get a kit, and be informed.”

 “This year we recognize that September marks the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “If anything, the earthquake and hurricane that struck the east coast this past week are important reminders that disasters can happen anytime, anywhere. By doing what we can to ensure that our communities, and our nation, are prepared to respond and recover from all types of disasters and hazards, we honor the memory of those who were lost 10 years ago and during more recent disasters. Visit today to take simple steps to prepare you and your family for emergencies.”

“It is a privilege to have support from OEM Commissioner Joseph F. Bruno and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate as we launch the next phase of this campaign,” said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “This localized effort is a critical part of our emergency preparedness efforts and I am confident that these PSAs will resonate with New Yorkers and encourage them to take precautionary steps.

OEM’s new Partners in Preparedness program challenges businesses, notforprofit, faith-based, and government organizations to prepare their employees, and volunteers, for emergencies by completing at least five preparedness activities during September. In return, participating organizations will receive an official Partners in Preparedness seal to display on their website and on printed materials. OEM will also recognize participating agencies on its web and social media sites. More than 150 organizations representing over 500,000 employees have already committed their support as Partners in Preparedness.

To be recognized as a Partner in Preparedness, organizations must complete at least five suggested preparedness activities. Examples include:

  • Encouraging co-workers and volunteers to register for Notify NYC, the City’s free real-time emergency notification system.
  • Distributing and testing an emergency contact plan.
  • Distributing OEM’s weekly preparedness messages via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • Hosting a preparedness display.
  • Conducting a fire drill.
  • Distributing Ready New York guides and Emergency Reference Cards to staff.
  • Scheduling a workfromhome day or other method to test business continuity.
  • Scheduling a blood drive or CPR training.

Organizations are also encouraged to create and implement their own preparedness activities. To become a Partner in Preparedness visit

In celebration of National Preparedness Month, the City and the Ad Council also unveiled new print and radio PSAs designed to encourage all New Yorkers to prepare for emergencies and launched a new interactive Readiness Challenge tool that helps users create an emergency plan.

The PSAs mirror OEM’s Ready New York preparedness education campaign and focus on three key preparedness steps: 1) get an emergency supply kit, 2) make a family emergency plan, and 3) be informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses. Since its launch in September 2009, media outlets have donated more than $11 million in media support.

The new radio, web banners and outdoor PSAs were designed pro bono by ad agency Cramer-Krasselt and are available in both English and Spanish. The PSAs focus on the idea that you are your family’s first responder and it is up to you to make a plan for you and your family. 

The Readiness Challenge online tool puts users in a real-life emergency situation and challenges them to make quick decisions. In addition to demonstrating the importance of being prepared, the Readiness Challenge ties in Ready New York: My Meeting Place Facebook application and other OEM resources to help users develop their emergency plans. 

 “We wanted to capture what it feels like to experience an emergency situation in order to motivate people and shake them out of their complacency —without having to resort to heavy-handed depictions or scare-tactics,” said Anne Bologna, General Manager, Cramer-Krasselt/New York. “Instead, we wanted to focus on the same thing each person would focus on in an emergency: family. The idea is to show how to protect and enable families should they ever face this situation.”

In addition to today’s event in Times Square, volunteers from the New York City Citizen Corps Council are stationed at five sites around the city today to distribute literature and remind their fellow New Yorkers about the importance of preparing for emergencies. Locations include:

  • Brooklyn: MetroTech Center
  • Bronx: The Hub (149th Street and 3rd Avenue)
  • Manhattan: Times Square (in front of NASDAQ)
  • Queens: Flushing Library (Main Street and Kissena Boulevard)
  • Staten Island: Staten Island Ferry Terminal

Another event highlight this National Preparedness Month is the 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance, which encourages New Yorkers to support charitable causes, perform good deeds, or engage in other volunteer activities in observance of the anniversary of the September 11 attacks. New York Cares will be offering more than 1,000 volunteer opportunities for New Yorkers on September 11, including a project with OEM to assemble and distribute Go Bags with emergency supplies.

Later today, OEM will also ring the closing bell at the NASDAQ.

National Preparedness Month is a month-long, nationwide campaign, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, to promote emergency preparedness and encourage volunteerism. Each September, the New York City Citizen Corps Council organizes National Preparedness Month activities throughout the city by bringing together disaster relief and other volunteer organizations to distribute information at fairs, host demonstrations, and lead preparedness presentations.

For more information on the Ready New York campaign, visit or the Spanish-language website or call 311.


Chris Gilbride (OEM) (718) 422-4888
FEMA Newsdesk (202) 646-3272
Lisa Cullen (Ad Council) (202) 331-5052

View photos from the press conference on Facebook