Americans may have been laughing about preparedness when former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge told everyone to stockpile duct tape, but after a rough hurricane summer, citizens are taking emergency readiness to heart. One sign of that is the number of visitors to www.ready.gov, the Web site for the Department of Homeland Security’s consumer-awareness outreach. Traffic increased from a monthly average of 6.9 million to more than 17 million visitors in late summer.
More than 42,000 brochures were downloaded from the Web site, nearly five times the 2005 monthly average. Also, nearly 99,000 brochures were requested from the campaign’s toll-free phone line.