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.
This week, Hurricane Sandy and Halloween vied for our attention, brands got into heavy metal, and a famous former NYPD detective wants to make sure you know what you're dealing with in that Subway sandwich.
As Hurricane Sandy proves once again, people are notoriously reluctant to deal with natural catastrophes until they're literally on their doorstep. There's stark data behind this: 91 percent of Americans believe it's important to be prepared for emergencies, but only 58 percent of households have taken any steps at all to prepare.