Even though we are well into the summertime, businesses remain open year round unless there is some downtime due to technical difficulties or federal holidays. Likewise, just because schools are on summer vacation does not mean that they are empty. Whether you are in charge of securing your business or school, you must understand the importance of making emergency announcements as easy to understand as possible.
Know the Difference
The first phase of crafting an emergency announcement means you need to answer one question: do you need to make it an alert, or a warning? Alerts are for informing your employees, staff, and students that there is an emergency situation potentially possible. It also advises them to be aware of their surroundings, and that more information is forthcoming. Warnings, however, emergency announcements containing further details. The warning tells its audience what they should do next – for instance, stay away from the affected area, or to seek shelter immediately, depending on the type of emergency you are announcing.
Make Them Noticeable
Whether you need to create an alert or a warning, your emergency announcements won’t count for much if your intended recipients fail to see them or acknowledge receipt. When you use sound as the primary delivery method, be sure that it is vastly different than the typical noise that everyone hears on a daily basis. When you are using lights, be sure to use flashing lights instead of lights that only light up before turning back off again after a set interval of time. If you are going to use lights, install the same color of lights everywhere you need to place them in your school or business; that way, you can reduce confusion, as confusion can waste valuable escape time during an actual emergency.
Issue Simple Instructions
Now it’s time to send your emergency announcements. Once you are ready to send your announcements, be sure to issue simple instructions on how your audience should react. Use active voice instead of passive when phrasing the directions. Whether you need to announce an evacuation or a lockdown, time is of the essence.
Other Factors to Consider
When you need to issue emergency announcements, try to send them out multiple times. You will need someone credible to issue them so that people will take it seriously – even if you are only running an emergency drill. Provide a reason for the emergency alert, and tell your audience what they need to do to keep themselves and others around them as safe as possible – this matters in both commercial buildings and schools, whether they are elementary schools or college campuses. You will also need to indicate where the emergency is happening, and lastly, that your audiences must take immediate action upon receiving this mass notification.
Trust the Professionals at ARK Systems
Located in Columbia, Maryland, ARK Systems provides unsurpassed quality and excellence in the security industry, from system design all the way through to installation. We handle all aspects of security with local and remote locations. With over 30 years in the industry, ARK Systems is an experienced security contractor. Trust ARK to handle your most sensitive data storage, surveillance, and security solutions.