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There’s much digital signage can do to enhance customer experiences, drive revenue and productivity in your organization (we’ve shared a few ideas here).

We know organizations like yours get hit with emergencies often enough that they strike us as old news, ranging from severe weather to active shootings, road closures, event cancellations and other disruptions. At best, these are incidents that can slow operations, erode customer trust and your reputation; at worst, they cause irreparable harm to people or property.

It’s why planning for emergencies is as important as planning for profits.

We’re big believers in leveraging tools you already have, increasing their capabilities through automation and integration to improve the quality, speed and accuracy of your crisis response. Perhaps you use digital signage for routine announcements today. It makes good sense, then, to also leverage digital signage to respond and resolve emergencies faster.

Below are three simple but powerful ways digital signage can help:

Automate commands to reduce panic and potential for harm.

When an emergency hits, you want affected audiences (customers, staff, visitors and others) to respond quickly and appropriately to avoid making things worse. At the same time, you want to instill a sense of calm and confidence that you have things under control.

Disorganized emergency or evacuation plans breed confusion, injury or property damage, says OSHA. LED signage, LCD panels, audio and PA integrations are great ways to share safety instructions clearly and instantly.

Speaking of instant, speed matters a great deal when it comes to managing emergencies. Visual outputs like digital signage not only help you reach anyone within sight, but it can also help you overcome communications hurdles like language barriers or hearing impairment. Even better when you pair digital displays with flashing lights and sounds.

Ensure consistency to avoid errors, confusion and delays.

When you have just seconds to communicate and organize, even the slightest inconsistency in instructions can have costly consequences. Using sirens or “winging it” at a moment’s notice can leave your audience panicked with no meaningful information about the nature of the emergency or what to do about it.

To prevent that, you want to anticipate possible scenarios, clarify protocols and automate as much as possible, so the only decisions your staff has to make during a crisis are two or three clicks to deploy pre-programmed messaging to all target audiences, from fellow employees to customers and first responders.

Reach larger audiences faster, and with greater ease.

One key difference between traditional emergency alert tools and integrated technologies that incorporate various vehicles like digital signage, emails, mobile messaging and more is how far and wide you can reach audiences with just a couple of clicks.

The city of San Francisco (CA) knows this well: It has integrated digital signage and push notifications into earthquake preparedness for the entire city, reports Digital Signage Today, while Des Moines (IA) uses digital billboards to alert citizens of severe weather.

How do you ensure no recipient fails to see, hear or understand your alerts — particularly when every second matters?

You’ll need to layer communications in various formats and channels: mobile messaging, email, PC alerts, fire alarms and more to ensure no one falls through the cracks because they were distracted or busy when you issued your alert.

Sure, digital signage is an effective, multi-use tool, but it can be infinitely more effective if connected with other technologies. With that in mind, it’s smart to consider a central hub that integrates all your communications technologies, enabling you to manage them from a unified dashboard.

Another benefit of integration and incorporating your digital signage into emergency preparedness is that it doesn’t require a huge investment. Rather than buying a bunch of new tech tools, you’re investing in software that integrates and augments tools you already own and centralizes their monitoring behind a single dashboard. (We hope you’ll consider ours!)

Second, you can start small and build as you go, adding capabilities and integrations over time as your needs evolve and funds become available. In the end, you get a massive upgrade in your routine and emergency communications capabilities, without having to replace or overhaul your existing technology.

Wondering what this might work or look like in real life?

We’ve linked to related sources below. As usual, we’re happy to clarify anything and show you a demo: Get in touch and we’ll get you answers.

Related Resources: