Disaster Zone

Quote: Marketing Disaster Preparedness--What is working?

If only we knew what would motivate people to become prepared for a disaster.

by Eric Holdeman / September 29, 2013

“I know only half my marketing is working.  I just don’t know which half.”  Founder of Unilever  National Disaster Preparedness Month is almost over.  The question I have for you is, “Which of your activities that you used to promote disaster preparedness in your community worked to move the needle of readiness for disasters?”


My biggest concern is not what is working, but if “anything” is working!  How do we measure what works and what doesn’t?  Do the community fairs with disaster supplies and presentations help people who are not prepared become prepared or are they primarily attended by the people who are already doing something and looking for a new tip or two? 


The national surveys that seek input from the American people provide some peaks into disaster readiness, but I’m not sure they are the full measure of what is accurate in “ground truth” in our communities.


I do believe that we have to keep trying.  New tools like using the Internet, social media, infographs present old information in a new and perhaps relevant way.  Certainly the one fact I do know is that following a big disaster outside of the region I live in sparks interest from the people living where I do in becoming more prepared themselves.  Being ready to take advantage of those disaster “windows of opportunity” is something we need to have in our hip pocket.