Marketing Ad Council

Fema, Facebook and the Ad Council come together for preparedness campaign


By Kyle O'Brien, Creative Works Editor

August 30, 2018 | 4 min read

September is National Preparedness Month, and the Ad Council has teamed up with The Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) and Facebook for an Emergency Preparedness campaign, encouraging families to take simple, but life-saving, steps to prepare themselves for emergencies.

National Preparedness Month

Ad Council, Fema and Facebook help people prepare for disasters

Facebook’s Creative Shop contributed creative services and ad space for a series of animated, sentimental videos featuring objects left behind after disasters. The artistry and story-telling serve a very real purpose, as each video packages a memorable preparedness tip for the viewer.

It can be heartbreaking when the news covers people sifting through the rubble or ashes of what used to be their homes after earthquakes, hurricanes, fires and floods. The animation brings those objects to life, like a doll saying her home wasn’t insured, a piggy bank who has lost his savings, or a photo album saying the photos are lost forever. All three state that there are things that others can do to avoid what happened to them.

While a high percentage of people are taking at least one action to prepare, only 46% take three actions, a release by Fema stated. The new campaign provides simple actions that can lead to life-saving, self-reliant and resilient results in times of unexpected emergencies.

“National Preparedness Month serves as a springboard for building a culture of preparedness,” said Fema administrator Brock Long. “Now is the time to expand our preparedness planning beyond having a communication plan, to include becoming financially ready for the unexpected costs associated with disasters. Make sure to have adequate insurance coverage, and learn a life-saving skill like CPR.”

The campaign encourages families to create and communicate an emergency plan, learn life-saving skills, check their insurance coverage and save for emergencies.

“These videos instill an emotional connection to the importance of preparedness by featuring sentimental objects left behind after disasters,” says Ad Council president and chief executive, Lisa Sherman. “Knowing what my family and I would do in a disaster gives me peace-of-mind, and I believe this campaign will equip families across America with the resources and encouragement to plan ahead.”

Ad agency Wordsworth and Booth created pro bono radio spots, print and out-of-home ads. The TV and digital component of the campaign will feature videos with disaster preparedness tips to run on broadcast TV and Facebook.

This round of creative work for the Ready Campaign follows 15 years of educating the American public about disaster and emergency preparedness. In that time, $1.6bn in donated media enabled the campaign to reach millions in the US, and encouraged more than 100 million visits to the campaign’s website ( by people taking proactive steps to prepare.

Each week of National Preparedness Month, the Ready Campaign will emphasize a unique aspect of preparedness, including: making and practicing your plan; checking your coverage, and saving for an emergency.

A National Day of Action is planned for September 15.

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