Destruction left behind by Hurricane Sandy. (250410)
Destruction left behind by Hurricane Sandy Credit: Rockaway Youth Task Force

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has again teamed with the Ad Council for a public service announcement to kick off National Preparedness Month.

With its new “Ready Campaign,” FEMA specifically targets African American communities with messages that encourages advanced preparedness for storms and all natural disasters.

“Preparing for disaster is not just about protecting people and property, it’s about safeguarding the lives we’ve built and the legacy we will leave to our children and the generations to come,” FEMA Deputy Administrator Erik Hooks told the NNPA’s Let It Be Known live morning news show.

“With this campaign, FEMA reaffirms our commitment to equity and says loud and clear that every community deserves to be protected from hazards.”

Hooks and others kicked off the campaign at Howard University, speaking with students in an ongoing series highlighting the urgency of preparedness.

“Black communities are on the frontlines of climate change and related extreme weather events,” Hooks stated.

He referenced a report from the Environmental Protection Agency which revealed that socially vulnerable populations, including Black and African American communities, may be more exposed to the highest impacts of climate change.

Specifically, with global warming, Black and African American individuals have a 10% higher risk of living in areas with the highest projected inland flooding damages compared to reference populations, the report concluded.

“Black and African American communities often suffer disproportionate impacts from disasters. This is something that we must work to change and that starts with how we prepare,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell.

“Our 2022 Ready campaign speaks directly to the communities who need our help the most and who deserve equitable access to preparedness resources that protect people and property,” Criswell remarked.

“By continuing to advance accessibility and cultural competency in our preparedness messaging, we can make sure that everyone is ready when disaster strikes.”

According to a news release, the Ready Campaign PSAs, titled “A Lasting Legacy,” will run nationwide in both Spanish and English, and are meant to help mitigate these discrepancies by encouraging Black communities to protect the lives they have built and the legacies they will leave behind through preparation and disaster readiness.

“We all want to protect our families, whether that’s our grandparents or our grandchildren,” said Ad Council Chief Campaign Development Officer Michelle Hillman.

“This latest creative work is grounded in the importance of family and reminds us that preparation can make sure that our loved ones endure whatever disasters life sends our way.”

For more information and tips on preparing an emergency plan, visit or

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