Emergency Preparedness for Houstonians a Top Priority as Ready Houston Texas Campaign Launches

Ad Council’s Houston Leadership Committee Coordinates

Collaborative Media Support on Behalf of Local Ready Effort

HOUSTON, June 6, 2008 – With less than half of all American households prepared for an emergency, local authorities will launch Ready Houston Texas, an emergency preparedness campaign with the help of Mayor Bill White, Judge Ed Emmett, Judge Robert E. Herbert, Judge Alan B. Sadler and Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff at Houston TranStar on June 6.

Utilizing the Ad Council’s national Ready campaign creative localized for the Ready Houston Texas effort, new PSAs – launched in partnership with the City of Houston and regional emergency management offices – seek to encourage more Houston-area families to prepare for emergencies.   The campaign is being supported by area-wide media and the Ad Council’s Houston Leadership Committee, made up of local advertising and media executives.  The Ad Council is the country’s leading producer of public service advertisements (PSAs).

A media “roadblock” of Ready Houston Texas Emergency Preparedness PSAs – in English and Spanish – will drive viewers and listeners to a new website, www.readyhoustontx.gov, beginning on June 6.  The roadblock will simultaneously utilize television, radio, print, outdoor and online advertising via banners and streaming video – thanks to Houston-area media executives who have donated ad units through July 4. 

Once at the readyhoustontx.gov site, visitors will learn how to get ready for all kinds of emergencies, and how best to respond. 

“The lack of households prepared for any emergency remains a serious problem in our region,” explains Sondra Hawkins, Managing Director of the Ad Council’s Southwestern Regional office.  “On behalf of the Ad Council and our local Houston Leadership Committee, we are grateful to all of the media outlets in our community that will be donating their valuable inventory for this effort.  Just by following a few simple steps, Houstonians can greatly improve their chances to cope with an emergency.”

Despite the success of the national Ready Campaign since its launch in 2003, a national survey conducted by the Ad Council last August found that only 54% of Americans are primed for emergencies, though that number is increasing annually.

The Ready Houston Texas campaign intends to drive awareness for three simple yet fundamental steps to get families prepared for the unexpected by 1.) Stocking an

emergency supply kit, 2.) Making a family emergency plan, and 3.) Keeping informed about different emergencies that can occur, and how to respond appropriately.

“It seems like a simple idea, but an emergency readiness campaign can go a long way toward getting Houstonians ready to save lives,” says Melissa Stevens, president of independent advertising agency FKM-Houston and a member of the Ad Council’s Houston Leadership Committee, made up of regional media and advertising executives.  “FKM has created crisis management programs for several clients so that they can continue to operate effectively and safely during an emergency.  The Ad Council campaign gives us the opportunity to help encourage families and individuals to get ready for emergencies.”

The www.readyhoustontx.gov site will go live June 6 when the campaign is announced with Mayor White and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, whose “Ready” campaign is the foundation of this local Houston effort.

The Advertising Council

The Ad Council (www.adcouncil.org) is a private, non-profit organization that marshals talent from the advertising and communications industries, the facilities of the media, and the resources of the business and non-profit communities to produce, distribute and promote public service campaigns on behalf of non-profit organizations and government agencies in issue areas such as improving the quality of life for children, preventive health, education, community well-being, environmental preservation and strengthening families.

The Houston Leadership Committee of the Ad Council is made up of executives from CBS Radio-Houston, KPRC-TV, KXLN-TV / KFTH-TV, Lopez Negrete Communications and FKM.  Other markets with Ad Council Leadership Committees include Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Detroit, Atlanta, Miami, Tampa, Washington D.C., Boston, Philadelphia and Dallas. Issues addressed through localized strategies in these markets have included emergency preparedness, childhood obesity prevention, foreclosure prevention and high school dropout prevention.

For more information, please contact Ellyn Fisher at (212)984-1964.

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Mark Klein
(713) 862-5100
Author: Mark Klein
Phone: (713) 862-5100
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