Department of Homeland Security Launches Citizen Preparedness Campaign

Feb. 21, 2003
The Department of Homeland Security, in partnership with The Advertising Council and the Sloan Foundation, launched an advertising campaign to educate citizens about preparing for and responding to potential future terrorist attacks.

The public service announcements offer practical suggestions to increase preparedness, including learning about serious threats, making emergency supply kits, creating a family communication plan and keeping emergency phone numbers near the phone. The government hopes the new campaign will reduce fears by providing individuals with specific actions they can take to protect themselves, their families and their communities in the wake of an attack, or another emergency situation., such as building an emergency supply kit. The kit should contain:

  • Three days worth of non-perishable food and water
  • Flashlights and a battery-powered radio, along with extra batteries for both
  • Blankets
  • A first aid kit and medicines
  • A manual can opener
  • At least a half of tank of gas in the family car
  • A list of emergency and contact numbers

Even if a community is not directly affected by an attack, lives and daily routines can be disrupted. People may need to shelter at home for a couple of days, and roads and stores may be closed. Electricity may be turned off, and water supplies might be interrupted.

A family communication plan should detail how everyone in the family should stay in touch should an event occur when family members are separated. Family members should know what the emergency plan is for different types of attacks. Every state, every community, every school and every workplace should have an emergency plan. The Department of Homeland Security suggests citizens find out what that plan is and who is in charge.

For further information, log onto or call 1-800-BE-READY.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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