updated 11/22/2004 6:35:20 PM ET 2004-11-22T23:35:20

The Homeland Security Department is reminding families to develop a contingency plan in case of a terrorist attack or other emergency with a new wave of public service announcements.

“The message is simple: Everyone should have a plan,” Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said Monday. “I hope these ads will encourage parents to take a little time to sit down and map out their family emergency plan today.”

The TV, radio, outdoor and Internet ads are part of the department’s ongoing “Ready” campaign — “Listo” in Spanish — which debuted in February 2003 as an effort to boost Americans’ basic preparedness for a catastrophic event, including natural disasters.

They ask individuals to do three things: get an emergency supply kit, make a family emergency plan and stay informed about different types of emergencies that could occur and the appropriate responses.

In the ads, children ask their parents: “How do we keep in touch with each other if the phones don’t work?” “If we can’t make it home, who will pick us up?” and “Shouldn’t we pick a place to meet?”

More information on emergency preparedness is available on the department’s Ready.gov and Listo.gov Web sites, and on a toll-free phone line, 1-800-BE READY (1-800-237-3239), available in English and Spanish.

The ads were developed in partnership with the Ad Council and created free of charge by the BBDO Worldwide advertising agency. They were unveiled at an event hosted by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association and the National Association of Broadcasters.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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