Homeland Security campaign targets Spanish speakers

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    By Lindsey Stimpson

    A new advertising campaign launched Monday, Dec. 8, by the Department of Homeland Security aims to educate and prepare Spanish speakers in the United States for terrorist attacks and other emergencies.

    The Department of Homeland Security partnered with the Advertising Council and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to launch Listo, a campaign that includes TV, radio, print, billboard and Internet advertisements.

    A team of designers from Evelacion, a high-profile marketing company, donated their work so the Listo campaign did not cost the federal government anything, according to Peggy Colon, president and chief executive of the Advertising Council, a private, non-profit organization.

    The Listo campaign of public service announcements is similar to the English version, the Ready campaign.

    The Spanish campaign parallels the English version in its recommendations to make a kit, make a plan and be informed. The ultimate goal of both campaigns seeks to publicize information about emergency preparedness.

    But, according to a Spanish press release from the Department of Homeland Security, Listo differs from the English campaign because of its use of “el Angel de la Guardia,” or guardian angel, a popular Spanish symbol they believe protects people from danger. Translated from Spanish, the press release says the campaign seeks to reduce fear, give hope and recommend specific actions to protect families and communities from terrorist attacks and other emergencies.

    With more than 35 million people, the Hispanic population is the fastest-growing minority group in the United States.

    “We have had great success with the English version of the campaign,” said Tom Ridge, secretary of Homeland Security. “[We] feel it is very important to get this critical message to the 37 million Hispanics in the U.S.”

    Tony Yapias, director of the State Office of Hispanic Affairs, said about 250,000 Hispanics live in Utah, constituting about 11 percent of the state”s population.

    “To the Hispanic community, the ”Angel de la Guardia” represents somebody watching over us, making us safe and protected,” Yapias said. “I think it”s a pretty smart way to bring trust to our community. We need to build more trust with the federal government.”

    “Even if your community is not directly affected by an attack, your life and daily routine could still be disrupted,” the Department of Homeland Security warns through the Listo and Ready campaigns.

    The ads recommend gathering at least enough food and water for three days as well as emergency supplies like flashlights and battery-operated radios. Other recommendations suggest families and communities develop a communication plan and a place to meet in the event of an emergency.

    The final recommendation of the campaigns advise people to be aware of the different types of potential attacks: biological, chemical, nuclear, radiation and explosions, and what to do in each situation.

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