Emergency-Preparedness-ToolsThe greatest dangers during any emergency are panic and misinformation. According to Red Cross, most casualties result due to lack of adequate directions. The Small Business Administration (SBA) and U.S Chamber of Commerce have initiated programs to encourage businesses to incorporate digital signage as a deterrent to needless injuries and fatalities.

Digital Signage in Emergencies

If you run a business with constant traffic, you need to invest in this versatile communication tool. In the simplest form, digital signage is all about providing real-time content to your customers and in this case, when there is an emergency.

SBA argues that your business must have an emergency preparedness plan to deal with issues ranging from tornadoes, health pandemics, floods, earthquakes and acts of terrorism among others. With digital signage, you have a flexible tool to:

  • Display pre-programmed messages from your disaster preparedness plan. These can include evacuation routes, fire assembly point locations and other emergency exits depending on the type of danger.
  • Provide alert messages to customers: If there is a tornado watch, you owe your customers a duty to make them aware of the apparent danger. You can also offer RSS feeds from news channels or government authorities. In fact, the best digital menu boards now come armed with Mass Alert Notification technology that enables you push messages to all your displays.
  • Provide crucial information to the visually impaired: You need to appreciate that those watching might have hearing problems, hence the need to have a digital signage system that optimizes visuals and graphics.
  • Ease of use: If digital signage will be for use across a large institution such as a college, it must be easy to understand. What’s more, it should not require sign-up processes to receive messages during emergencies as this defeats the whole purpose of timely warning.
  • Versatility: Any emergency preparedness tool must be able to work with all sorts of emergencies from crowd problems, traffic control, violence issues, natural disasters and any other hazards. If you are in business, it should also enable you to offer routine communication including advertising and infotainment in order to let people know it exists.
  • Visual quality: Digital signage pegs on the power of visuals and as such, you should invest in signage that really captivates the eye in order to hold the attention of people during an emergency.
  • Easy integration: During emergencies, your digital signage system should allow for third-party systems to post Common Alerting Protocol to your dashboard. It will then be easy to communicate through public address, text messaging if you have a contacts list among others.

During emergencies, it takes the action of only one panicked person to exacerbate the situation. By communicating and informing customers or other people on what to do, they will behave rationally thus avoiding stampedes or other behaviors that can make the situation worse.

It is advisable whether you are in business or running an institution, to ensure that you are prepared. This can be done through partnering with a digital signage company to create content aimed at countering different emergencies.

These experts will also offer solutions on technical aspects of the software you will be using as the content manager. Do not take risks - as it is better to be prepared than sorry.

Author Bio. Chris Graham is an emergency preparedness manager who has worked in the industry for years. Currently, he writes and consults on the importance of using the best digital menu boards for disaster planning.