As National Preparedness Month begins, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)  and the Ad Council have released new Ready Campaign Public Service Announcements (PSAs). The media spots will target Black and African-American communities as part of FEMA’s ongoing approach to advance accessibility and cultural competency in boosting the nation’s preparedness.

Black communities are on the frontlines of climate change and related extreme weather events. A report from the Environmental Protection Agency shows that socially vulnerable populations, including Black and African-American communities, may be more exposed to the highest impacts of climate change. 

Specifically, with global warming, Black and African-American individuals have a 10% higher risk of living in areas with the highest projected inland flooding damages compared to reference populations.

“Black and African-American communities often suffer disproportionate impacts from disasters. This is something that we must work to change and that starts with how we prepare,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne  Criswell. “Our 2022 Ready campaign speaks directly to the communities who need our help the most and who deserve equitable access to preparedness resources that protect people and property. By continuing to advance accessibility and cultural competency in our preparedness messaging, we can make sure that everyone is ready when disaster strikes.”

The Ready Campaign PSAs, entitled “A Lasting Legacy” will run nationwide in both Spanish and English, and are meant to help mitigate these discrepancies by encouraging Black communities to protect the lives they have built and the legacies they will leave behind through preparation and disaster readiness. These new PSAs build upon the work the FEMA is doing to advance equity and ensure everyone gets the help they need before, during and after disaster.

“Preparing for disaster is not just about protecting people and property, it’s about safeguarding the lives we’ve built and the legacy we will leave to our children and the generations to come,” said FEMA Deputy Administrator Erik Hooks. “With this campaign, FEMA reaffirms our commitment to equity and says loud and clear that every community deserves to be protected from hazards.”

FEMA’s Ready Campaign PSAs were developed pro bono by Creative Theory agency in coordination with the Ad Council and are available today in TV, radio, print, out of home and digital formats. Throughout the month, the Ready Campaign will emphasize unique aspects of preparedness, such as making a plan, building a kit and teaching communities how to engage their families on emergency preparedness.

“We all want to protect our families, whether that’s our grandparents or our grandchildren,” said Ad Council Chief Campaign Development Officer Michelle Hillman. “This latest creative work is grounded in the importance of family and reminds us that preparation can make sure that our loved ones endure whatever disasters life sends our way.”

This round of creative work for the Ready Campaign builds upon the annual month-long campaign activities to engage communities and promote the steps to prepare for disasters. Last year’s theme was “Prepare to Protect” and was designed to resonate with Latino communities. As a direct result of that campaign, the Listo.gov—the Spanish version of Ready.gov—had a 500% increase in visits to the “Make a Plan” page and a 400% increase in visits to the “Build a Kit” page.

This is the latest round of work in 19 years of educating the public about disaster and emergency preparedness. For more information and to get started on your emergency plan, visit ready.gov/plan or listo.gov/plan.

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