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Press Releases

Homeland Security and National Night Out Join Forces to Prepare Communities Nationwide

U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010
For Immediate Release
July 8, 2005

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security today announced its participation in the National Association of Town Watch 22nd annual National Night Out (NNO) event, scheduled for August 2, 2005. Materials and information from the Department’s Ready campaign will be distributed to the public at NNO events across the nation. Officials from the National Association of Town Watch expect to reach more than 34 million people in over 10,000 communities in this effort toward safer, more unified and better prepared communities.

"We are pleased to join the National Association of Town Watch by providing emergency preparedness information at National Night Out events across the country," said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. "National Night Out's efforts to create safe and prepared communities go hand in hand with the mission of the Ready campaign, to educate and empower American families and businesses to prepare for and respond to emergencies."

NNO brings together citizens, police and fire personnel, neighborhood organizations, local officials, civic groups and businesses to promote community partnerships that create safe and vibrant neighborhoods. Between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. on August 2, 2005, communities across the country will host events including: block parties, parades, traditional "lights on" and front porch vigils, neighborhood visits by local law enforcement agencies, flashlight walks, safety fairs, poster and essay contests, and neighborhood meetings.

"This is a marvelous partnership that will go a long way in helping to build safer, more prepared communities," said National Association of Town Watch Executive Director Matt Peskin. "National Night Out coordinators across America are anxious to help spread the Ready campaign’s important messages."

During this year's NNO, communities across America will be distributing brochures and other information from Homeland Security’s Ready campaign. Ready and its Spanish language version, Listo, ask people to do three key things: get an emergency supply kit; make a family emergency plan; and be informed about different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses.

The Ready campaign is a national public service advertising campaign produced by the Ad Council in partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Ready is designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to potential terrorist attacks and other emergencies. The campaign works closely with Citizen Corps, Homeland Security's community based program that localizes the Ready message and strengthens the connection between citizens and emergency responders through training, exercises, and volunteer programs. Individuals interested in receiving a "Get Ready Now" brochure may call 1-800-BE-READY or visit for more information. To get involved in preparing your community, contact your local Citizen Corps Council or visit

The National Association of Town Watch (NATW) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development and promotion of organized, law enforcement-affiliated crime and drug prevention programs. Members include:  Neighborhood, Crime, Community, Town and Block Watch Groups; law enforcement agencies; state and regional crime prevention associations; and a variety of businesses, civic groups and concerned individuals working to make their communities safer places in which to live and work. NATW's annual "National Night Out" (NNO) program, which is held on the first Tuesday each August, has been extraordinarily successful in promoting involvement in crime and drug prevention activities, strengthening police-community relations, and encouraging neighborhood camaraderie as part of the fight for safer streets. Since 1984, "National Night Out — America's Night Out Against Crime" has grown to involve over 34 million people from more than 10,000 communities. For more information, please visit