Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

January 20, 2006

DHS launching readykids.gov

Filed under: Preparedness and Response — by Christian Beckner on January 20, 2006

This AP story today notes that DHS’s Ready campaign is finally developing a website for kids (located soon here):

After more than a year of delays, the Department of Homeland Security says it plans to launch a preparedness program next month aimed at alerting and preparing children for terror attacks and natural disasters.

The program, called Ready Kids, is scheduled to roll out with TV ads, school programs and other events.

“Ready Kids is a tool for parents and teachers to use to be able to speak to their students and children about how to be prepared for any type of disaster,” said DHS spokeswoman Joanna Gonzalez.

This runs the risk of becoming late night comedy fodder, but that shouldn’t obscure the fact that this is a wise and necessary investment in homeland security preparedness and citizen awareness. My only real worry is the secrecy in the development of the campaign:

Last year, Homeland Security officials refused to release proposals, drafts or any budget information about the Ready Kids campaign in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from The Associated Press. They said the program was still being developed.

There’s no real security rationale to keep this secret. And it seems like such a program would actually become stronger if developed in an open and collaborative manner with the broader education community.

Update (2/2): Here’s the link to the new site.

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