Friday, March 10, 2006

Advertising An Attack?

Today, I saw a billboard ad that stated "If an emergency happens, is your family ready?". My first impression was that the Feds were attempting to promote emergency preparedness on a household level ... probably stemming from lessons learned with recent natural disasters. And I agree, every family should have some sort of an emergency plan. But a closer look at the sign prompted more questions. On the lower right corner of the advertisement was the seal of the Department of Homeland Security, and on the lower left was the Ad Council. The Ad Council is responsible for many public service ads that promote safety and public awareness, so having their logo on the sign didn't surprise me at all ... but the Department of Homeland Security emblem did. If the intent was to remind the public that emergencies can and do happen to ordinary people, and to suggest that families prepare some kind of survival kit, the billboard would have been sponsored by FEMA. After all, FEMA is the one responsible for emergency management on a federal level, not DHS. Why does DHS care if my family and I are ready for anything? I thought their job was to take a proactive approach and prevent a catastrophe from happening in the first place. So, what are they trying to tell me? I guess I'll be sure to include duct tape and plastic sheeting in my survival kit.


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