Developing and Implementing a Citizen Preparedness Plan


The Regional Catastrophic Planning Team (RCPT) of Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin (IL-IN-WI) wanted a multi-media citizen preparedness program they could implement and roll out in all three states.


The program needed to be based on proven best practices. It also needed to include evaluation tools.


The Hagerty team first sought out and evaluated best practices of tools and tactics used by other organizations in emergency preparedness. Based on that research, the team developed a multi-faceted campaign around the phrase ‘Gear Up. Get Ready!’ that included events, an array of paid media (digital billboards, television ads, radio ads, print ads), a revamped website, public relations, and some highly visible public/private partnerships. The campaign ran for three months (May-July) in English; select billboards, television, radio, and print ads also ran in Spanish.

The team expanded the Gear Up. Get Ready! website; they also developed a second Spanish-language website. Both websites were filled with downloadable campaign material (such as lists of what to include in an emergency car kit) and preparedness information for 15 different hazards. Both websites are also compliant with Section 508 for web accessibility standards.

The Hagerty team worked with stakeholders throughout the region to expand preparedness planning. They updated preparedness guides to include new guidance, documents, and links to external resources. Hagerty developed a Regional Citizen Preparedness Plan that included relevant information pertaining to mass care, evacuation, pets and more.


The campaign was a huge success across the 19 counties identified in the tristate area. More than 15.6 million people saw or heard the ads; more than thirty thousand households were reached through 61 outdoor events; nearly one hundred thousand people received a direct mail piece. The Hagerty team trained more than 260 emergency managers and volunteers, and provided a suite of additional preparedness materials (video, handouts, images, graphics) for the managers and volunteers to refer to when they are back in the field.