LIVINGSTON — The city's top emergency officials gathered in Staten Island Wednesday to unveil a new ad campaign urging New Yorkers to develop plans to survive a disaster — as part of the 10th annual National Emergency Preparedness Month begins.
The city’s Office of Emergency Management and FEMA were on hand at the Children’s Museum at Snug Harbor Cultural Center to kick off the month long campaign that promotes emergency preparedness and encourage resident to volunteer during crises.
And with the peak section of hurricane season approaching, emergency officials said the message was more important than ever.
“I think people are taking this much more seriously [after Hurricane Sandy],” said OEM Commissioner Joseph Bruno. “I expect much more adherence than we’d ever had.”
They also unveiled the Ad Council’s new print and television ads aimed to get parents to sit down and talk with their children to develop a plan during emergencies.
The ads show families in a range of doomed emergency planning — with some of them packing dead batteries and others failing to inform the rest of their family about their plan. Bruno said the ads are designed to convince New Yorkers that they can't just wing it.
“We did use edginess, it’s typical New York,” Bruno said. “I think it kind of makes the point that it’s really foolish to think if you’ve done nothing you’ve got a plan.”
FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said a first step for many people would be to sit down and talk about what they should do during an emergency, and where to meet, especially if telephones go out.
“When you don’t have the plan ahead of time, it’s kind of hard to make it up after it occurred,” Fugate said.
“I always tell people start with your family communication plans,” he said.
Fugate said that the fastest responders during times of crisis are neighbors. He urged people to volunteer with Community Emergency Response Teams or to make sure to check on their neighbors when their own families are safe.
Throughout the month, the city also plans to hold demonstrations, lead presentations and distribute information at fairs, OEM said.