In February of 2003 the United States Department of Homeland Security released Ready.gov, an emergency preparedness web resource for Americans, as a cornerstone of its multi-million dollar Ready Campaign. As of March 2006, Ready.gov has received more than 23 million unique visitors. Unfortunately, Ready.gov contains information that is both inaccurate and incomplete. The Department of Homeland Security has been alerted both publicly and privately of this problem. However, the modifications that have been made to the site over the past three years, including an update in July 2006, have not adequately addressed the errors.
A thorough analysis of Ready.gov by the Federation of American Scientists reveals that numerous shortcomings remain. We therefore developed ReallyReady.org, a emergency preparedness web resource with comprehensive and correct information.
The Federation of American Scientists hopes to achieve two purposes with ReallyReady.org:
- To provide clear and correct information to citizens interested in preparing themselves and their families for an emergency
- To persuade the Department of Homeland Security to take a serious look at Ready.gov and their policy on the accuracy of information and to make important changes that will help Americans to prepare for terrorist attacks or natural disasters.
We recommend that the Department of Homeland Security request the assistance of scientific, military, and emergency response experts to make crucial alterations to Ready.gov. Until FAS deems Ready.gov acceptable, we will ensure that the information on ReallyReady.org will remain updated, useful, and correct. We hope this site will demonstrate to the Department of Homeland Security that their multi-million dollar site can be useful and we hope they will update their site as quickly as possible.
ReallyReady.org could not have been created without the assistance of the RAND Corporation for their study on "Individual Preparedness and Response to Chemical, Radiological, Nuclear, and Biological Terrorist Attacks."