Editor's note: Kelly Wallace is CNN's digital correspondent and editor-at-large covering family, career and life. She's a mom of two girls and lives in Manhattan. Read her other columns and follow her reports at CNN Parents and on Twitter.
(CNN) -- My mother-in-law and I talk about nearly everything. But when I mentioned to her recently that I was working on a story about emergency preparedness, I realized that's one thing we've never discussed -- even though she lives nearby and would certainly factor into our family plan.
"If a disaster strikes, where would we meet?" we asked each other. "Who would we call? What would we take with us?"
A new national advertising campaign shared with CNN exclusively ahead of its official launch Wednesday aims to get families like my own at least talking about what we'd do in the face of a natural disaster or other emergency.
"This is a pretty fearful topic for a lot of parents," said Priscilla Natkins, executive vice president and director of client services for the Ad Council, the private nonprofit group spearheading the campaign along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.