In times of emergency digital signage can be a lifesaver as large format displays are excellent at communicating information and to broadcast vital alerts and instructions. Real-time updates, emergency service information, muster point directions and contact numbers can all be displayed. But its important to have a clear emergency communications plan, distinct for each signage environment.
Define the emergency
For example, many schools, colleges and university campuses have in place a digital signage emergency broadcast system. This can instruct people what type of emergency is in progress: from full evacuation; to a lock-down; to an invacuation. Digital signage and displays located in manufacturing environments and research centres can instruct people to either evacuate a particular area; or invacuate themselves if there’s been a chemical spillage or leak.
Know the drill
Not everyone on campus, or the shoppers in the centre, will know what to do in an emergency. While they may hear an alarm sound, signage can give more detailed instructions. More importantly, though, is informing management, lecturers, teachers, shop workers and shopping centre security of each individual procedure your emergency system can broadcast. It’s important these people know what to look out for, especially if updating information is being communicated by signage.
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Know how to raise the alarm
Ensure there’s a team of people responsible and trained for triggering an emergency broadcast plan, and the agreed information to broadcast in which type of emergency. Some college campuses in the United States, allow emergency services access to their communications channels to broadcast updates and information directly to those affected.
Target your broadcasts
In an emergency digital signage that you intend to use for your broadcast needs to be visible. That means targeting those displays placed in high traffic places. There’s no point broadcasting to an empty meeting room, but targeting muster points and foyers is vital.
Create an emergency design
Targeting also goes for the design of the emergency content. Keep all calls to action simple, and in very high point type. Use bold colours – red for danger and alert – flashing elements and audio if available. If your emergency plan involves updating audiences with important information make sure you make it clear that this will happen.
Finally, make sure you test your emergency broadcast across your digital signage network. And test it regularly. It could make the difference.
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