WASHINGTON: The Office of Homeland Security (OHS) debuted the Ready Campaign last week, its first long-term public-education initiative "to build a more prepared nation."
The expansive effort aims to arm the public with the information necessary to guard against a terrorist assault. Its centerpiece is a website, www.ready.gov, supported by PSAs, a toll-free number, billboards, Yellow Pages inserts, and a brochure available through the US Postal Service.
The OHS leveraged many partnerships in order to get the word out at minimal taxpayer cost. The Ad Council, the Sloan Foundation, the USPS, the Salvation Army, the Yellow Pages, and the National Association of Broadcasters are all helping drive traffic to the website. TV and radio stations are also expected to donate millions of dollars in free ad time.
The drive has been in the works for a year, and will run indefinitely.
Its debut comes days after the OHS was widely criticized for sending mixed messages after raising the US' alert level to orange - a situation officials wrote off as coincidence.