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