SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the launch of a radio campaign designed to increase public awareness of the state’s Ready Illinois website and encourage more people to be better prepared for disasters. The campaign, a partnership between the Illinois Terrorism Task Force (ITTF) and the Illinois Broadcasters Association (IBA), features three radio spots that will air more than 11,000 times on 220 radio stations statewide over the next seven months.
“We never know when disaster may strike, but we can take steps now to ensure we’re ready to keep ourselves and our families safe whenever an emergency occurs,” said Gov. Blagojevich. “The Ready Illinois website provides a wealth of information to help people before, during and after a disaster. This radio campaign will get the personal preparedness message out to millions of people throughout Illinois and remind them of this helpful preparedness resource.”
The radio campaign, which begins this week, is the first phase of a preparedness campaign that will also feature TV preparedness spots. The radio spots include two 30-second spots in English and one 30-second Spanish spot. The humorous spots highlight the importance of having a family preparedness plan and home disaster kit, and direct listeners to the Ready Illinois website for more information.
“Thanks to the dynamics of our Public Education Partnership (PEP) program, the Illinois Broadcasters Association was able to help secure some of the brightest and most creative minds in the business to work on this campaign,” said Dennis Lyle, President and CEO of the association. “Utilizing humor to educate listeners about a very serious subject is a tested formula in the advertising world. Our statewide members understand the importance of the message behind this campaign as it speaks to each and every one of their listeners, regardless of the media market size.”
The $250,000 radio and TV preparedness campaign is being funded by the ITTF through homeland security grants to the state from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The TV spots are expected to begin airing later this summer.
The Ready Illinois website (www.Ready.Illinois.gov
) offers comprehensive information on steps people can take before emergencies happen, what to do once a disaster has occurred, and tips for recovery after the event. In addition, during large-scale emergencies, current information about the situation can be posted on the site to help keep people updated on the event. The site was launched by the Blagojevich administration in September 2007.
“Following the April 18 earthquake in southern Illinois, thousands of people turned to the Ready Illinois website for up-to-date information about what had happened,” said Andrew Velasquez III, director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA). “Fortunately, the earthquake didn’t disrupt many lives. But it’s just another reminder that we need to be prepared for all types of disasters, and we hope these radio spots spur people to get prepared.”
Information about the April earthquake, along with background on earthquakes and tips for staying safe during earthquakes, was placed on the Ready Illinois website shortly after the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Springfield activated in the early morning hours of April 18. The information was updated immediately as new information became available.