SPRINGFIELD – A new radio public awareness campaign set to hit the airwaves in Illinois will bring a humorous approach to the serious topic of pet emergency preparedness. Legendary radio personality Larry Lujack and his long-time radio associate Tommy Edwards, long known for their “Animal Stories” vignettes when working together on Chicago radio, have revived their roles as “Uncle Lar and Lil’ Tommy” in seven radio spots for the Illinois Emergency Management Agency’s (IEMA) statewide preparedness campaign.
“These radio spots are really fun and will help us catch the listener’s ear with our message about pet preparedness,” said IEMA Director Jonathon Monken. “Pets are an integral part of many families and shouldn’t be forgotten when developing a complete family preparedness plan.”
The newly produced 30 and 60 second “Animal Stories” spots highlight the importance of pet emergency preparedness and encourages people to visit the Ready Illinois website www.Ready.Illinois.gov) to learn more about pet preparedness. The new spots will begin airing soon on radio airwaves throughout Illinois as part of IEMA’s broadcast preparedness campaign, which is aired in cooperation with the Illinois Broadcasters Association (IBA) Public Education Partnership (PEP) program. The spots will air on more than 200 Illinois radio stations.
Lujack, a Chicago radio personality icon for more than four decades spanning back to the 1960s, has since been inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame, the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame and the Illinois Broadcasters Association’s Hall of Fame. He is now retired and lives in New Mexico. Edwards can still be heard frequently on the Chicago airwaves and serves as courtside announcer for the Chicago Bulls.
“The fact that I would come out of retirement and take time out of my busy schedule of ‘hangin’ out at the golf course waiting to die’ to help IEMA and the Illinois Broadcasters Association in their efforts to ensure the safety of our furry, feathered and finny friends is certainly indicative of what a compassionate and humanitarian guy I am,” said Lujack with a touch of his trademark sarcasm.
“It’s always a kick to work with Larry,” added Edwards. “We have such great chemistry and we agree this is something we wanted to do. Every family needs an emergency evacuation plan that includes important papers, food, water and all vital things they would need. And that includes the family pet and pet supplies. Some people just don’t think about it.”
IEMA’s partnership with the IBA’s PEP also features radio spots recorded by actress Marion Ross of TV’s “Happy Days” fame, as well as TV spots written and/or produced by Illinois high school and college students.
“There’s no doubt about it, emergency preparedness, including pet safety, is not a subject to be taken lightly,” said IBA President and CEO Dennis Lyle, who coordinated with Lujack and Edward on development of the radio spots. “But we’ve learned that sometimes taking a lighthearted approach to a subject as serious as disaster preparedness takes the ‘chill’ off the cold, hard fact that disaster preparedness is a modern-day reality that we all have to address.”
All of the preparedness radio and TV ads can be found on the Ready Illinois website (www.Ready.Illinois.gov).