Don't Be A Dinosaur
Extreme Weather Prepardness Campaign

Don't Be a Dinosaur is a youth outreach campaign for Toronto's Community Resilience to Extreme Weather (CREW), which promotes household readiness for extreme weather.

CREW is a non-profit organization founded in response to the growing concern of extreme weather after the 2013 Toronto ice storm. Implemented at a grassroots level, this organization aims to spread its message and purvey information about their cause through the promotion of community engagement.

One of the core ideas emphasized by CREW is that members of a community all have a role to play. It is through strengthening the existing family and community ties, that people can work together to prepare for extreme weather.

"When disaster strikes, the first responders are not trained emergency personnel but rather residents and neighbours"
— Perrow, Charles. (2007). The Next Catastrophe
Information ≠ Communication

Though information is out there on how to make a Go Bag and 72 hour kits, not many Canadians are prepared for extreme weather events or know what to do.

With this in mind, we devised a campaign which engages a specific demographic with the capacity to spread information throughout a community. Focusing on how to communicate the message clearly and effect real action, Don't Be a Dinosaur is a lighthearted campaign that addresses the importance of preparedness to kids in order to extend to their parents, greater family, and neighbours.

Commmunicating to Kids

Don't Be a Dinosaur seeks to capture children's inherent sense of concern for the well being of people and empower them to help those around them to become prepared. Through the lens of dinosaurs, which playfully humanize the ideas of massive floods, earthquakes, power outages, and snow storms, the campaign is able to focus on what can be done while alluding to the seriousness of the consequences of being unprepared.

How To Deliver The Message

Don't Be a Dinosaur is a versatile campaign which can be applied across many mediums. Aside from standard digital and print advertisements, the campaign has three core applications.

POSTER (20×30)

Identified through research, the dinosaurs on the poster feature the 4 core responses to extreme weather:

  • — nervous uncertainty
  • — surprised anxiety
  • — panicked breakdown
  • — sceptical neglect

Home to the entire campaign, the website provides an engaging source for all aspects of the campaign, including further expansion for games and activities for kids.

Colouring Booklet

CREW, as a community organization, has the opportunity to integrate their campaign into community programming and schools. Focusing on elementary school ages, the booklet guides kids through activity pages which teach them the core messages and explain how to get prepared.


Though centred on Toronto, Don't Be a Dinosaur has the ability to scale to a national campaign. To spread across preparedness Canada's, information has been made available in both French and English across all forms of communication.

Capturing the Essence of a Colouring Book

Developing the aesthetic for the campaign proved challenging. With the concept of a colouring book, it was important to capture a style which was child-like but not childish. After many revisions and feedback, the finial elements of crumpled paper and vectoring just outside the lines proved an accessible and versatile expression of the campaign.

Through the various methods of communication, Don't Be a Dinosaur as a campaign aims to help Toronto's Community Resilience to Extreme Weather organization communicate their message through challenging their grassroots ideology. As our future, kids have the potential to connect with the message and spread its teaching to their parents and family. Using approachable and informative communication techniques, the initiative aims to promote household readiness for extreme weather.

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