By SDCN Editor
Washington, D.C.–Ahead of what is projected to be another busy holiday travel period, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, and TSA Administrator David Pekoske joined together and distributed a new public service announcement (PSA), asking travelers to make a plan and be prepared before traveling.
The PSA was distributed at federalized airports nationwide to be shown on airport security checkpoint monitors. To further emphasize the importance of travel preparedness, TSA and FEMA also hosted a press conference at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, where they officially unveiled the PSA.
In the video, Secretary Mayorkas, and Administrators Criswell and Pekoske encourage travelers to make preparations before embarking on their travels, which include checking with their airport and airline, packing items they might need during an emergency, and ensuring their family’s safety while on vacation or traveling for work.
“The Department of Homeland Security works day in and day out to keep the American people safe, but we cannot do it alone,” said Secretary Mayorkas. “Everyone has a role to play when it comes to staying safe, especially when traveling. Natural disasters and emergencies could happen at any time, so it is important to be prepared.”
“We want people to be safe when they travel and be prepared for emergencies,” Administrator Criswell remarked. “I encourage you to visit Ready.gov to learn about how you can prepare yourself and your family. And remember to download the free FEMA app and get alerts and warnings for up to five locations in the United States. I also encourage you to share this important PSA with your family and friends.”
Preparedness is important for TSA as well. The agency screened 264 million passengers during the summer travel season, which was a record number of travelers for the period. At the same time, extreme weather events are increasing in frequency and severity nationwide.
“Transportation security might not immediately come to mind when you think of disaster preparedness, but travel readiness is an important part of being prepared,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “Our hope is that passengers who make their way through security screening see this PSA on an airport monitor, and are reminded about the importance of being prepared for their travel that day and future travel by ensuring they do not have any prohibited items in their carry-on bag. We also encourage travelers enroll in TSA PreCheck and arrive early for what we are projecting to be another busy holiday travel season.”
The PSA specifically outlines three easy steps everyone can take to be prepared before they travel:
1. Assess your needs. Whether you have to keep your medications cool or need help getting an assistive device, it’s important to consider what you’ll need in an emergency. Engage your support network. Enlist a trusted friend or neighbor to watch your home while you’re away.
2. Make a plan. From planning your travel route to understanding the risks you might face in the places you visit, it’s important to understand what you’ll need and what you’ll do if a disaster or emergency happens when you travel.
When travelers are packing their bags and any items they may need in their emergency kit, it is important they check the TSA.gov “What Can I Bring” tool. For other questions on items to bring, they may also reach out to AskTSA by texting TRAVEL or 275-872, tweeting @AskTSA on X, or sending a Facebook message to AskTSA.
This PSA is just one of the many initiatives FEMA, the Department of Homeland Security, and the entire Biden-Harris Administration are taking this National Preparedness Month to ensure people across the country are ready when disasters, man-made and natural, strike.
To learn more about National Preparedness Month and the steps you and your family can take to prepare, visit: https://www.ready.gov/september.