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September is National Preparedness Month

Release date: 
September 1, 2016
Release Number: 
HQ 16-060

As part of the national Ready Campaign, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Ad Council invite families to create emergency plans with new online videos and PSAs

WASHINGTON As people increasingly seek information through their mobile devices, FEMA and the Ready Campaign are tapping into social media and other new ways to gain attention and help everyone to be prepared before emergencies occur.

The Ready Campaign and the Ad Council are releasing social media resources to reach individuals where they are and encourage families to take time to talk about their emergency preparedness -- what to do, where to go and who to contact in the event of a disaster or emergency.

“Disasters don’t always occur when we are together with our family and friends, and so it is important to take a few minutes now to plan what you will do in the event you are separated,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.  “It only takes a few minutes to talk through the greatest risks that can affect where you live, work or go to school.  But by having that conversation or making a plan, families will have more confidence and be better prepared when the next event happens.”

Building on the success of the recent public service announcement (PSA) campaign, “Don’t Wait. Communicate.” the new videos and social media content encourage families to have a conversation and develop an emergency communication plan before a disaster occurs.

The new campaign materials include English and Spanish radio, outdoor, and digital public service announcements, including cinemagraphs and display banners. In addition, this year’s digital advertisements allow for geographic, hazard-specific PSAs to relevant markets, including Washington, D.C., New York City, Illinois, Los Angeles, and American Samoa.

Created pro bono by Chicago-based advertising agency Schafer Condon Carter (SCC), the PSAs illustrate the importance of having a family plan in the event of an emergency by showing real emergency moments and asking the question, “When is the right time to prepare?” 

David Selby, President and Managing Partner of SCC said, "'Don't Wait. Communicate.' has already proven to be a powerful call to action, and we look forward to expanding its impact in helping even more Americans take the necessary steps to prepare themselves and their families for disasters." 

Other social media products have been developed by working with Facebook and Tastemade, including six online videos designed to leverage the popularity of the online recipe video trend.

Lisa Sherman, Ad Council president and CEO shares, “Communicating early to prepare for a disaster is vital—and it’s also easy to do. Our partners have done a great job creating new PSAs and videos that will help extend this important message to new channels and platforms. By partnering with Facebook, we’ve created compelling, shareable videos that leverage online video trends to reach our target in a unique way.”

As part of an ongoing collaboration with state, local, and territorial emergency management partners, localized radio PSAs will be available for 36 states, cities, and territories. The PSAs drive audiences to their local emergency management or organization’s website for resources and information pertinent to their area.

Managed and sponsored by the Ready Campaign, National Preparedness Month is designed to raise awareness and encourage Americans to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, schools, workplace, organizations, businesses, and places of worship. National Preparedness Month is an opportunity to share emergency preparedness information and host activities across the country to help Americans understand what it truly means to be ready.

Throughout National Preparedness Month, FEMA encourages everyone to install and become more familiar with the FEMA App.  The App allows users to receive weather alerts for up to 5 different areas, offers an emergency preparedness checklist, and provides safety tips for numerous emergency situations.  The App also lists open shelters and gives users the ability to upload disaster photos from roads, parks and other public areas to help emergency managers.

Since its launch in 2003, the Ready Campaign has received nearly $1.2 billion in donated media. The campaign has helped generate more than 97 million unique visitors to to learn how to be better prepared.

For more information visit, download the FEMA app here, or follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter.


FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards.

Follow FEMA online at,, and  Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at

The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

The Ad Council

The Ad Council is a private, non-profit organization with a rich history of marshaling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns, visit //, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or view our PSAs on YouTube.


Last Updated: 
September 1, 2016 - 12:16