SPRINGFIELD – Students at Illinois colleges and universities have an opportunity to play an important role in the state’s efforts to increase public awareness of the earthquake risk in the state. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and the Illinois Broadcasters Association (IBA) today launched the “Ready Illinois College Challenge,” which encourages college students to create and produce a 30-second TV spot promoting earthquake awareness and the state’s Ready Illinois website.
“College students can bring an exciting, fresh approach to our campaign to increase personal preparedness,” said IEMA Interim Director Joe Klinger. “The winning TV spot will help us increase awareness of the very real earthquake risk in Illinois and hopefully encourage people to be better prepared for disasters.”
Student teams or individual college students interested in participating in the contest must secure a faculty sponsor, who must register the team or student by Oct. 15 on the Ready Illinois website (www.Ready.Illinois.gov). Participants then have until Dec. 1 to create and produce a broadcast-quality 30-second TV spot.
The winning spot will be selected in January, and the winning student or team will receive the $8,000 prize provided by the IBA. In addition, the academic unit of the winning team’s faculty sponsor will receive a $2,000 prize from the IBA.
The TV spot will be aired on nearly 30 TV stations throughout Illinois as part of IEMA’s preparedness broadcast campaign. The campaign is a result of a partnership between the IEMA, IBA and the Illinois Terrorism Task Force (ITTF) and is funded through federal homeland security grants awarded to the state by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
“The competition provides a win-win scenario for all involved. One talented team will share $8,000 and have a terrific addition to their resume portfolio, while their college receives $2,000. And Illinois' citizens will have yet another important reminder via the broadcast airwaves of the importance of disaster preparedness through the finished TV spot,” said IBA President and CEO Dennis Lyle.
In 2009, IEMA and the IBA announced the winner of a similar contest for high school students. “The Ready Illinois High School Challenge” winning TV spot is now part of the state’s broadcast preparedness campaign.
More information about the “Ready Illinois College Challenge” as well as information about earthquake risk and preparedness steps is available at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.