Homeland Security Dept. Debuts Terror Prep Campaign

WASHINGTON The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Ad Council launched a public service campaign today to help Americans prepare for a terrorist attack.

The campaign, done pro bono by The Martin Agency, Richmond, includes six 30-second psa’s and print ads featuring Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, Office of Emergency Management staff, New York City firefighters and Port Authority police officers. In the psa’s, Ridge and others tell Americans to take simple steps like “store water and nonperishable foods for at least three days” or “have a good communications plan for your family.” The tagline “We can be afraid, or we can be ready” closes some of the psas.

Ad Council president and CEO Peggy Conlon said she has already received more than $40 million in donated time from media outlets. “The campaign has a two-pronged goal — to educate people that there are things they can do to ensure they will come through a terrorist attack safely, and to motivate them to go out and do that,” Conlon said. “The campaign is very clear cut and to the point. It is not alarmist.”

The campaign is expected to run for the next 12 months after which new creative will be released.