Former Presidents Urge Americans to Prepare for Emergencies

Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton are urging Americans to take steps to better prepare themselves, their families and businesses for emergencies.

The former presidents recorded two thirty-second public service advertisements (PSAs) from New Orleans for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Ready Campaign. Ready is a national public service advertising campaign, produced by The Advertising Council that is designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies. Slack Barshinger worked pro bono to develop the PSAs, which will begin airing nationally on May 22.

“We are honored to have former Presidents Bush and Clinton help us raise awareness about the important steps individuals and businesses should take to prepare for all types of emergencies,” said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. “We hope these ads will encourage all Americans to get an emergency supply kit, make a family emergency plan and be informed about the potential threats that could occur in their hometowns.”

In both PSAs, the presidents remind Americans that events like hurricanes can be devastating, but there are steps individuals and businesses can take to limit the effects of emergencies. The presidents state that a little advance planning can help keep individuals, families and businesses safe. The PSAs encourage viewers to visit the Ready Web site,, for resources that can help them be ready.

One of the PSAs is geared toward owners and managers of small and medium- sized businesses and stresses the importance of business emergency preparedness planning. The PSA explains that preparing now will not only help their business get up and running after an emergency, but help their community recover as well. The presidents urge business owners to visit for free tools to help create an affordable emergency preparedness plan.

“We are proud to partner with the presidents to develop these PSAs to empower and educate all Americans to prepare for emergencies,” said Peggy Conlon, President and CEO, The Advertising Council. “The presidents immediately took steps to provide relief and rebuilding resources following last year’s hurricanes. They have joined together again to share this important preparedness message and help prevent future devastation by encouraging all Americans to prepare.”

The presidents’ PSAs are the latest ads for Homeland Security’s Ready Campaign, one of the most successful campaigns in Ad Council history, having received more than $532 million in media donations. As of March 2006, has received more than 1.9 billion hits and 23 million unique visitors; 800-BE-READY has received over 256,000 calls; and more than 5.5 million Ready materials have been requested or downloaded from the Web site. To view these new PSAs, which will be distributed to television stations nationwide this week via FastChannel, visit the Ready Web site at or the Ad Council Web site at (Link leaves federal government Web site).

Source: Homeland Security

Release Date: 05/23/06 00:00:00
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010
Ellyn Fisher, Ad Council, 212-984-1964
May 23, 2006

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