FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 4, 2013
OEM, FEMA KICK OFF 10TH ANNUAL NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH
National Preparedness Ad Focusing on Families and Children will be Localized for NYC
Survey Shows that 6 out of 10 American Households Do Not Have a Family Emergency plan
September 4, 2013 — NYC Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Commissioner Joseph F. Bruno and Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate today kicked off National Preparedness Month in New York City. 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 (CCC) 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. In addition, a national ad campaign that focuses on educating families and their children on preparing for an emergency — which was created pro bono for the Ad Council by Deutsch, Inc. with input from NYC OEM — will be localized for New York City and installed on various bus shelters throughout the city. Radio and TV public service announcements also will be running in the New York City area. At the Staten Island Children’s Museum, the Commissioner was joined by FEMA Region 2 Acting Administrator MaryAnn Tierney, Ad Council CEO Peggy Conlon, Staten Island Children’s Museum Executive Director Dina R. Rosenthal, and Staten Island Port Richmond Community Emergency Response Team Chief John Tidona.
"It is the mission of the New York City Office of Emergency Management to ensure that all of the city’s residents and their families have the information and the tools they need to prepare themselves before an emergency occurs," said Commissioner Bruno. "On top of putting together a Go Bag and emergency supply kit, it is critical that families discuss their emergency plans together, and to think through the necessary steps to take during and after an emergency. I would like to thank Craig Fugate and Peggy Conlon for their efforts and dedication in creating these new ads, which will serve to further spur discussion about family preparedness."
"FEMA is pleased to be working again with the City of New York as we mark the tenth annual National Preparedness Month and launch these new, localized preparedness public service announcements," said Craig Fugate, Administrator of the FEMA. "Educating and engaging youth is an integral step in preparing the nation for all hazards. Youth have a unique ability to influence their friends and families to be more resilient, and children can play an important role in disaster preparedness, before, during and after a crisis."
More than 1,000 children attended the National Preparedness Kickoff event at the Staten Island Children’s Museum. OEM sponsored the free admission day. The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, FDNY, NYPD, U.S. Coast Guard, Staten Island University Hospital, and the Staten Island Community Emergency Response Team participated in the event. Target, Inc. sponsored a "Make Your Own Go Bag" station, where children learned about the items they should include in their Go Bag. Each child received the Go Bag that they made.
In addition to today's Staten Island Children’s Museum event, more than 175 volunteers from the New York City Citizen Corps Council are stationed at four other sites around the city today to distribute literature and remind their fellow New Yorkers of the importance of preparing for emergencies. Volunteers will hand out literature from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Additional locations include:
- Bronx: Fordham Plaza (across the street from Metro North station)
- Brooklyn: Borough Hall at Columbus Park
- Queens: Jamaica Center (Parsons Blvd and Archer Ave)
- Manhattan: Adam Clayton Powell Building, 125th St.
The localized National Preparedness Month ads were created pro bono by New York-based advertising agency Deutsch Inc. The TV, radio, outdoor, print, and digital PSAs take a humorous approach to emphasize the importance for parents to involve their children in the preparedness process. Through these PSAs, families are provided preparedness conversation starters including: who to call as your out-of-state emergency contact, where to meet if everyone is separated, and what to pack as part of your emergency supply kit. The PSAs direct New Yorkers to search "Ready Kids" at www.nyc.gov, where parents can find age-appropriate tools and resources to make preparedness a year-round family activity. Residents can also call 311 and ask for "Ready Kids." The PSAs can be viewed on OEM’s YouTube page here: http://www.youtube.com/nycoem.
In a survey conducted by the Ad Council, 60 percent of Americans reported that they did not have a family emergency plan. The Ad Council's survey also found that although 73 percent of Americans strongly agree that taking some simple steps to prepare could help protect them and their family in the event of a disaster, only 19 percent of respondents believe they are "very prepared" for a disaster.
"Our research has shown that parents need to prioritize family discussions about potential emergencies. These conversations are critical and can have a drastic impact on your family’s safety in the event of a disaster," said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. "The Ready Kids campaign gives parents the tools needed to communicate and plan for emergencies in an age-appropriate manner."
In honor of National Preparedness Month, OEM rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, August 23. It also launched a new social media channel on Instagram, @nycoem. For more information on the Ready New York campaign, visit www.nyc.gov/readyny, the Spanish-language website www.nyc.gov/listony or call 311.
How to Stay in Touch with OEM
The Office of Emergency Management communicates directly with the public through a variety of tools, including Notify NYC. This is just one way the City of New York communicates urgent information to city residents. In addition to sending e-mails, text messages, and phone calls, the emergency notification office has the ability to activate NYC's Emergency Alert System (EAS), which sends information immediately via television and radio. Residents can also visit Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the agency's website, www.nyc.gov/oem for more information. The public can sign up for Notify NYC by calling 311 or going to www.NYC.gov/notifynyc.
Christopher Miller/ Nancy Greco (OEM) (718) 422-4888
Twitter: @NotifyNYC (emergency notifications)
@nycoem (emergency preparedness info)