Original URL: http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/1208HomelandSpanish08-ON.html

Homeland security chief launches ad campaign targeting Hispanics
Associated Press
Dec. 8, 2003 11:00 AM

MIAMI - Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge launched an advertising campaign Monday to educate Spanish speakers on how to prepare for terrorist attacks and other emergencies.

The "Listo" - or "ready" - campaign includes TV, radio, print, billboard and Internet advertisements in Spanish encouraging people to prepare emergency kits with three days' worth of food and water, develop a family communication plan and stay informed.

There are more than 35 million Hispanics in the United States, representing the nation's fastest-growing minority group.

"It is essential that everyone gets the message, because with terrorism there are often no second chances," Ridge said.

A similar campaign in English hit media outlets earlier this year. Ridge said the Listo campaign is not simply a translation. Its designers chose what they said was a potent cultural symbol in Hispanic communities - a guardian angel - to get across the message.

Peggy Conlon, president and chief executive of The Advertising Council, a private, nonprofit group that helped with the campaign, said designers donated their work, so Listo has not cost anything.

Officials said the frequency of hurricanes in Florida, as well as the state's large Hispanic population, made it an appropriate place to launch the campaign.

"Regardless of whether you are preparing for the forces of nature or the forces of evil, readiness just makes sense," Ridge said.