Digital signage is a critical response tool that is generally used for mass communication during dynamically changing emergency situations.

Ever since it was introduced to the worldwide market Digital signage has been an important component of digital marketing, but this form of communication extends beyond customer engagement and brand advocacy. When a digital display is paired with emergency content it immediately becomes a tool that can save lives.

Disaster preparedness is a critical part of any organization—from schools, hospitals and college campuses through stadium, hotels and more – and your digital signage can be crucial asset in delivering quick messages during urgent situations. There are a variety of ways in which digital signage can be used in an emergency capacity and it’s beneficial to know the various aspects of this type of content.

When should it be used?

Although it is possible to install digital signage for an emergency response situation only, it is actually possible to use existing digital signage system used for your company promotion or similar. Therefore, the question you might ask is “when to use emergency content?”

Digital signage is a critical response tool that is generally used for mass communication during dynamically changing emergency situations. This can include but is not limited to: weather emergencies such as hurricanes and floods, chemical spills are requiring road closures in order to allow for emergency responder access, active shooter situations, fire and many more situations which will require no access conditions to be activated.

Types of emergency digital signage messaging

It is crucial to understand what exactly you should be telling people. In terms of an emergency plan, digital signage content should be equipped with eye-catching graphics and simple, direct messages. The following are a few examples of the type of content you should consider displaying during an emergency:

  • Instructions on where to go and what to do
  • Exit routes
  • Information about local shelters and emergency centers
  • Ambulance/Hospital contact information

The ability for digital signage to integrate with your emergency management system, or to manually deploy relevant messaging during an emergency, is a practical way to handle the emergency but also provides a peace of mind.

What are the benefits of emergency digital signage content?

Disaster preparedness is all about fast response time. Emergency digital signage content can be updated in real-time so everyone in the building is advised with the information they need within seconds. Additionally, having digital signage relay emergency messages frees up personnel to assist during a crisis, rather than worry about disseminating information. Amber alert and wanted persons are another section of the smart messaging platform.

Including digital signage in your emergency plan also means you can have your disaster information prepared ahead of time and ready to go the second it is needed. Digital signage solutions are cloud-based and can be accessed from any location.
Digital signage offers a form of centralized control during disastrous situations that is unparalleled by any other form of communication during a crisis. There are many ways in which you can use this technology in an emergency.

Ideas for using emergency communications via digital signage

Schools are some of the first institutions to widely use digital signage as an emergency communication solution, but organizations in every industry are now taking advantage digital signage for emergency management. The following is a general guideline for the types of emergency communications to consider:

Prevention: It is important to tell everyone exactly how to respond in various situations. Create campaigns that provide that information and schedule them to run intermittently to ensure people know standard emergency procedures.

Preparedness: Always have a course of action depending on the situation. This plan should include a repository of situation-specific messages that can be accessed and triggered instantly.

Response: Alerts should be part of your overall digital content and distribute frequently with regular content.

Recovery: There should also be notifications that inform people a danger has passed or a situation is under control. Recovery content is just as important as the alerts themselves.

The following are a few tips to consider when planning your digital signage content:

Use short and brief messages
Always have proper lighting over your signage
Use large fonts and bright colors

Our ongoing related projects in The Bahamas:

In February of 2018 Ridebahamas Ltd. began discussions with the City of Freeport and was selected to deliver the city’s first series of Smart Messaging Screens. The platform is set to com on stream for mid-2019. This platform is expected to give the city the capacity to deliver improved emergency management strategies as discussed above.

For over a year our partnership with RBPF to disseminate wanted and missing persons bulletin on our platform has been successful. In response we have posted dozens of wanted persons and many missing persons on our system for the public response in helping the police locate victims and suspects.

Conclusion

Digital signage is a useful communication tool, but it really becomes a critical instrument when used in emergency situations. If you do not have a disaster plan in place, or even if you do, you may want to consider including digital signage. Inform people before disaster strikes, and update them in real-time when they instantly need the information, it could save lives.