60% of U.S. Families Have No Disaster Plan, but This Ad Hopes to Change That

Deutsch N.Y. takes somber approach to FEMA campaign

In the case of a true disaster, how prepared will your family be? A bleak new PSA raises the question in ways that emergency managers hope will get Americans thinking.

Preparedness is the watchword in Deutsch New York's pro-bono campaign for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The effort, released through the Ad Council and timed to coincide with National Preparedness Month in September, encourages families to devise emergency plans before catastrophe strikes.

"The first step to preparing for disasters is simple, and it's free—talk to your family and make a plan," said FEMA administrator Craig Fulgate. The goal should be to determine a place to meet and a way to communicate if cell service is disrupted, he said.

The organization estimates that 60 percent of families have no contingencies in place, and fewer than 30 percent updated their supplies (bottled water, canned food, flashlights) in the past year.

The centerpiece of the multimedia campaign—which directs audiences to Ready.gov and Listo.gov for more information—is "Waiting," a minute-long commercial from Danish director Nicolai Fuglsig. Set in a relief shelter, the spot focuses on a mom and dad who can't find their son after a tragedy has struck their community.

Fuglsig takes a restrained approach that captures a mood of quiet yet intense desperation. Viewers get the message that waiting is among the hardest parts of such situations, and that taking steps in advance can help ease their fear and anxiety.


Deutsch, New York
Chief Creative Officer: Kerry Keenan
Executive Creative Director: Matt McKay
Copywriters: Nick Partyka, Jeff Vinick, Matt Moyer
Associate Creative Director, Art Director: Dan Read
Designer: J.C. Pagan
Director of Integrated Production: Joe Calabrese
Executive Producer: Crissy Cicco
Director of Integrated Workflow: Jeremy Gelade

Production Company: MJZ
Director: Nicolai Fuglsig
Director of Photography: Greig Fraser
Executive Producer: Emma Wilcockson
Producer: Betsy Oliver

Editing: Cosmo Street
Editor: Stephane Dumonceau
Assistant Editor: Joshua Berger
Executive Producer: Maura Woodward
Producer: Heather Richardson

Color Transfer: Company 3
Senior Colorist: Tom Poole
Producer: Dana Bloder
Conform: Method Studios
Online Editor: Jared Pollack
Producer: Christos Montzouros
Executive Producer: Cara Buckley

Sound Design Company: Stimmung
Sound Designer: Gus Kovin
Executive Producer: Ceinwyn Clark

Audio Post Company: Heard City
Engineers: Philip Loeb, Evan Mangiamele
Executive Producer: Gloria Pitagorsky
Assistant Producer: Katie Flynn

Shoot Location: Burbank, Calif.

Additional Deutsch Credits:
Chief Executive Officer, Deutsch, New York: Val DiFebo
Executive Vice President, Group Account Director: Talia Handler
Senior Vice President, Account Director: Paulette Stone
Account Director: Laura Schrager
Chief Strategic Officer: Brent Vartan
Global Planning Director: Ole Pedersen
Vice President, Planning Director: Anthony Mariello
Director of Broadcast Business: Kris Weiner
Group Director of Business Affairs: Maria Taris