DHS' READY KIDS CAMPAIGN JOINS SESAME WORKSHOP IN LAUNCHING NEW GUIDE FOR PARENTS OF YOUNG CHILDREN ON EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

WASHINGTON – Today the Department of Homeland Security’s Ready Kids Campaign announced with Sesame Workshop a new tool on emergency preparedness for parents of young children called “Let’s Get Ready!” This guide aims to get families planning together for emergencies through simple activities and games that focus on talking to young children about the people, places and things that will keep the family safe during an emergency.

“Emergencies can happen at any time with little or no warning and, as we’ve seen with recent natural disasters, personal and family preparedness are critically important,” said Erin Streeter, Director of the Ready Campaign. “‘Let’s Get Ready!’ gives parents the tools they need to talk to their young children in a very kid-friendly and non-threatening way and instill in them important information to help them deal with the unexpected.”

Specifically, the guide offers tips from Sesame Street’s Grover and Rosita on how families can prepare their children for an emergency in age-appropriate ways such as:

• Everyone, including young children, can play a role in planning for the unexpected.

• Creating an emergency kit and plan that the entire family practices and shares is important.

• Helping children learn personal information such as a phone number, their full names and the full names of their parents or caregivers, is helpful in case of any emergency.

This announcement comes during National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the Ready Campaign. This nationwide effort aims to empower and engage Americans to have an emergency supply kit; make an emergency plan; and be informed about the risks in their area and the appropriate responses. During National Preparedness Month, the Ready Campaign is featuring guest bloggers on their personal preparedness stories. To mark the launch of this new joint effort with Sesame Workshop, Meryl Chertoff writes on the valuable lessons for our children. To see this entry, visit www.ready.gov and click on NPM Blog.

Launched in February 2006 in partnership with the Ad Council, Ready Kids is a tool to help parents and teachers educate children about emergencies and how they can help their families prepare. Ready Kids includes a family-friendly Web site (www.ready.gov/kids) and in-school materials developed by Scholastic Inc. There is also a Spanish language version of Ready Kids called Listo Niños (www.listo.gov/ninos).

For more information on “Let’s Get Ready!” visit www.ready.gov/sesame. For information in Spanish visit www.listo.gov/sesame. Individuals can also call 1-800-BE-READY or 1-888-SE-LISTO for more emergency preparedness information.

February 2008 marked the Ready Campaign's fifth year at the Department of Homeland Security. Launched in 2003 in partnership with The Advertising Council, Ready is designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies, including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks. It has proven to be one of the most successful campaigns in Ad Council’s more than 65-year history. Since its launch, the campaign has generated more than $756.5 million in donated media support. Individuals interested in more information about family, business and community preparedness can visit www.ready.gov.

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