Disasters can happen anytime and for many reasons, putting people and organizations at risk. While no one can truly predict how and when they will be impacted, businesses can plan ahead for potential disasters to better ensure the future safety of others should the need arise. Here are 10 ways you can utilize signs and visual communications to prepare your company for disaster before, during and after.
Mark entrances and exits with clear, compliant signage.
Post emergency route maps and signs in high-traffic halls, near elevators and stairwells.
Have a clear wayfinding system in place at your office that guides people to the best route depending on the specific emergency. Many types of directional signs can be powered on through non-electrical means in order to stay illuminated during disasters.
Use Braille, bilingual and universal signage elements to ensure clear communication with all employees and visitors.
Identify hazardous and restricted areas clearly and secure them properly. This is important both before and during a disaster to enhance the safety of others who may be too panicked later to pay attention.
Utilize digital communication including digital signs and SMS text messaging programs to keep employees updated on the status of the building during a disaster, provide any resources for those affected and to advise on how long to stay away. (Sometimes during natural disasters, digital communication like email and text messages are delayed or temporarily unavailable).
Place signs at the perimeter of your property to keep employees or visitors away from the building if it is not safe to enter.
If relevant, clearly mark any weather-safe shelters on your property for employees or others who may be nearby and in need when disaster hits.
If damage occurred, close off areas that are under repair and post “under construction”, “danger”, “do not enter” or “hard hat only” signs to denote areas where access is restricted or limited.
When the disaster is physically behind you, but the emotional toll may linger, consider hanging posters or banners with motivational messages to help unify and promote positivity in what can be a stressful recovery period.
Regardless of the cause, disasters are always a potential threat. Businesses and organizations should plan their visual communications disaster strategy for before, during and after an event. Clear and effective communication is a priority; with this list as a starting point, you should assess your plan each year to ensure the most important signs and graphics are in place to keep everyone in and near your business or building as safe as possible.
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