NYC Emergency Management and Ad Council Remind Families to “Communicate When It Counts” in New Creative

A majority of New Yorkers (62%) feel prepared for an emergency, but only 34 percent of New Yorkers report having a plan for how to find family members and reunite following an emergency. In an effort to encourage families to create a plan for these unexpected events, the New York City Emergency Management Department and the Ad Council kicked off National Preparedness Month with a new public service announcement (PSA).

“It’s so important that New Yorkers feel confident that they can appropriately handle a disaster – before it happens. It’s our mission to help protect families by encouraging them to think through every possible outcome so they can take the appropriate steps before, during, and after an emergency. This campaign shows New Yorkers how easy it is to make a plan and have a much-needed discussion about family preparedness,” said Deanne Criswell, New York City Emergency Management Commissioner.

Building on the success of previous campaigns, this new creative titled “Communicate When It Counts” encourages New Yorkers to talk with their families and develop an emergency plan before disasters such as flooding, power outages and hurricanes strike. Created pro bono by advertising agency Oberland, the creative recognizes that while families don’t always want to talk about every day mishaps, having a conversation about emergency preparedness can save lives.

“New Yorkers are busy, and they’re often too focused on other responsibilities to take the time to plan ahead for the unforeseen disaster events that develop in our lives. This campaign encourages preparedness by highlighting how advanced planning can begin with just talking with your family,” said Bill Oberlander, Co-Founder & Executive Creative Director at Oberland.

New York City Emergency Management is hosting the following events throughout September to help New Yorkers get prepared:

    • September 4: National Preparedness Month Kick off
      10 am – 2 pm
      Brooklyn Borough Hall
    • September 5: Protecting One Another: Pet and Service Animal Preparedness Fair
      11 am – 3 pm
      Union Square
    • September 12: Senior ReadyFest
      11 am – 1 pm
      Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
      101-41 91st Street, Queens
    • September 15: Kids Preparedness at the Bronx Zoo with Ready Girl
      10 am – 3 pm
      2300 Southern Blvd, The Bronx, NY 10460
      *admission to the museum is needed to enter.
    • September 28: Family Preparedness Day at the Staten Island Children’s Museum
      12 pm – 5 pm
      1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island
      *admission to the museum is free

“Every New Yorker should feel confident and comfortable with how to plan ahead for a disaster. Since its launch in 2009, the Ready New York campaign has empowered New Yorkers to take steps to prepare ahead for when disaster strikes,” said Chief Campaign Development Officer, Michelle Hillman. “This new creative informs New Yorkers that there is no better way to plan ahead for a disaster than to talk to your family about creating a plan.”

The new creative will have English and Spanish TV spots, outdoor and digital banners. The campaign is also being supported by Post Studios, the in-house creative agency at the New York Post, as well as Five Tier, the Connected Media™ platform that takes the guesswork out of marketing.

“During National Preparedness Month, we want to raise everyone’s awareness and get them to take action by encouraging everyone to make an emergency plan with their family. A key focus for us this year is on helping kids be prepared. Talking with your family about what to do in a disaster will help kids feel prepared, not scared,” said Thomas Von Essen, Regional Administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“As we saw after disasters like Hurricane Sandy, sound planning can save lives and speed up the recovery after catastrophes strike. This important initiative encourages families throughout our city to develop a disaster plan and I’m pleased by its rollout. With the intensification of climate change and additional flooding, emergency preparedness should be a priority at the city, state and federal levels, and I’ll continue working with my colleagues to help New Yorkers and all Americans prepare for disasters,” said Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY).

“The Red Cross is proud to stand alongside our NYC partners to help ready our neighbors. Preparation is the best protection against the dangers of any emergency that could impact our lives. It’s critical that families and individuals make time to build an emergency kit, create an evacuation plan, and make themselves aware of the different types of disasters, large or small, that could disrupt our communities,” said Susan Rounds, Interim CEO, American Red Cross in Greater NY.

NYC Emergency Management’s Latest ‘Prep Talk’ Podcast Series Discusses New Creative

Effective communication is the key to staying safe during an emergency. In the latest episode of ‘Prep Talk,’ Amy Gibson-Grant, vice president and group campaign director at the Ad Council, and Bill Oberlander, executive creative director and co-founder of Oberland, discuss the role creative marketing and advertising can have in raising public awareness and inspiring change. The guests also talk about their partnership with New York City Emergency Management and the new public service announcements, “Communicate When It Counts.” You can listen to the latest episode on SoundCloud and iTunes, Spreaker, and subscribe now to stay up-to-date on the latest episodes.

For more information visit, download the Ready NYC app, and follow New York City Emergency Management on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

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