11.9 Emergency Alerts

11.9 Emergency Alerts

Introduction

Emergency alerts provide an advanced way to use your digital signage screens to warn people in any building if there’s an immediate risk to health, life, property, or environment. With the Emergency Alerts feature, you can warn students, employees, and customers and give them instructions based on the situation that they will face or are facing. The Emergency Alerts feature allows you to send warning messages to your TV screens very easily and very quickly.

Let’s say you are a company, university, or any “crowded” place with multiple departments or buildings, each with several screens. You want to warn a section of your company that there’s a fire in a room on the 5th floor. You can quickly warn employees, students, or customers located on the 5th floor to avoid that room or even evacuate the 5th floor entirely. You would also like to warn the other people in the building not to evacuate the building.  This is a typical case where you set up an Emergency Alert “widget” per floor and assigns each player that widget. If there’s an emergency, you can warn the entire building that there’s an emergency in a specific department.

The Emergency Alerts feature is flexible enough that it allows you to implement any warning scenario. If you have difficulty setting it up on your own, please reach out to our tech support, and we will help you optimize your use of our Emergency Alerts feature.

Quick Setup for the Emergency Alert feature

The first thing you have to do is add a type (a category) of Emergency Alert on your player. If you’d like to create a quick Emergency Plan, you will find the following steps very useful.

  1. Edit the player that you like to add an Emergency Alert by clicking the Edit button.
    add emergency alert
  2. Go to the Emergency Alerts Tab and click the Add button and choose one of the 12 Default Emergency Alerts .
    add emergency alert
  3. For our example, as an Emergency Alert Type, I chose the Fire Alert, and for the content that I want to display on my screen, I chose the Standard Default Alert Template.
    Feel free to choose any Default Alert Type of your choice.

    choose emergency alert

    Content to Display in Alert

    Of course, you have the option to choose a Layout, or a Playlist, or even a Media file from your Yodeck account.

    For example, if you do not want to display the Default Alert Type and you could display a Layout with an Evacuation plan and with a Ticker running on the bottom of your screen displaying some instructions, like the example below:

    emergency alert sample

    Or you could display some instructions on your TV screens pointing people towards the right direction so they can find the nearest exit, like the images below:

    emergency alert sample emergency alert sample

  4. By clicking the OK button, you will see that your player has acquired the Fire Emergency Alert Type.
    add emergency alert You can, of course, add multiple Emergency Alerts on your player if you like. I have also added one more Emergency Alert (Safety) for my example.
    add emergency alert
  5. Save your configuration and click the ” Push to Players ” button to download the Emergency Alerts locally on the SD card. This allows for an immediate content change if an emergency occurs.

    Push to Players?

    • Ensure that after you make the above configuration on your player, you click the Push to Players button on your Yodeck account.
      push to players
    • Ensure that your players are online; otherwise, they will not be able to download the configured Emergency Alert.

Upon adding an Emergency Alert on your player, a new button will appear in your dashboard called ” Broadcast Emergency Alert .”

emergency alerts dashboard

Broadcasting an Emergency Alert Type on your Player(s)

broadcast emergency alert

By clicking this button, the Emergency Setup Wizard (consisting of 3 steps ) will appear on your TV screen.

Emergency Wizard screen 1

Select the Emergency Type that you have configured on your players.

In the image below, you can only see 2 Emergency Alert Types, the Fire and the Safety Alerts, because I have only configured those 2 on my players in the previous steps.

If you configure more Emergency Alert Types on your players, you will see the ones you have configured on your players in this step.

select emergency alert

Emergency Wizard screen 2

The Headline , the Description , and the Instructions are predefined with the default texts. But you can, of course, change their texts by typing in something else.

Also, you can choose how long the specific Alert will be displayed on your TV screens. The Default display hours you can choose are 2 hours, 5 hours, 12 hours, 24 hours, and 48 hours.

select emergency alert

By clicking ” Next Step, ” you will proceed to the final step.

Emergency Wizard screen 3

You’ll see a quick review of your Emergency Alert that you have configured on your players. Upon clicking the ” Broadcast ” button, this specific Emergency Alert (Fire) will be pushed to your players immediately.

preview emergency alert

How to cancel an Emergency Alert

If you want to cancel an active Emergency Alert running on your players, you can click the ” X ” button next to the ” Broadcast Emergency Alert ” button.

cancel emergency alert

Overview of the Default Emergency Alert Types

Below are the Default Emergency Alert Types

default emergency alerts

Editing a Default Emergency Alert

You can, of course, edit a Default Emergency Alert and change the Headline , Description, and Instructions text fields as you wish . By clicking the edit button, a new form appears with all the relative settings configured.

Feel free to change anything in this form, except the Name of the Default Emergency Alert. You can also Preview the Default Emergency Alert by clicking the Preview Default button.

Preview Default Alert

edit default emergency alerts

Creating a new Emergency Alert Type on your Yodeck account

Add new alert type

You also have the option of creating your own Emergency Alert Type if the Default ones do not fit your needs.

By clicking the +Add new Alert Type button, a new editing form appears to create your brand new Alert Type.

How the Default Emergency Alert Types look like on your TV screen

See examples.

What are the Player Broadcast Groups?

If you have many players and you want to broadcast an Emergency Alert, you can broadcast it to ALL Players in your Account or broadcast it to a preconfigured Broadcast Group of Players, for example, only to the players that are located on the 1st floor or located in Building A.

The first thing you have to do is create the desired Tags in your account and assign them to your players. You can follow this link here to create Tags in your account, or you can edit your player and in the Tags field, type the keyword (the tag you want to assign to that particular player) and then either press the Enter button on your keyboard or click outside the field box with your mouse.

player tags

Creating a Broadcast Group

add broadcast group

After creating the Tags of your choice, you can create a Broadcast Group in your Account. Just click the +Add new Broadcast Group, type the name of your Broadcast Group and also define the Tags that you want this Broadcast Group to include.

The Broadcast Groups can only be created if you have created at least 1 Tag in your account.

You can follow this link here to create Tags in your account.

Example 1

For my example, I have created 4 different Broadcast Groups for my 4 players, and I have already assigned tags to them, as shown below:

broadcast groups

Player 1 tags
Player 2 tags
Player 3 tags
Player 4 tags

Assuming that you have already added an Emergency Alert on all your players, if you now try to Broadcast an Emergency Alert on your players, an extra step will be added to the Emergency Wizard, instructing you to specify which Broadcast Group you want to broadcast your alerts.

For our example, an extra step has been added to our Emergency Alert Wizard, as you can see. You can now choose which players (meaning which Broadcast Groups ) you want to broadcast the Emergency Alert.

screens to broadcast

Broadcast Groups with Workspaces [Enterprise Plan]

If you are using the Workspace feature, you have already grouped your players based on a Workspace. You can also choose in which Workspace you want to broadcast your Emergency Alert. You can broadcast an emergency alert only to the nested players in Workspace A, and the alert will not affect your other screens nested in another Workspace.

Example 1

For my example, I have created 2 Workspaces, Workspace A and Workspace B. In each Workspace, I have 2 players who are located on different continents.

As you will see, with Workspaces, the Broadcast Rule’s direct assignment can be straightforward. The only thing you have to do is create a Broadcast Rule and add the same tag to your players. Of course, you can create more complex Broadcast Groups, such as Evacuation Plan–1st Floor, Evacuation Plan — 2nd Floor, and create the necessary Tags for these Groups.

Player broadcast groups

If you have many players, you can use the Bulk Edit option to add the same tag ( Evacuation Plan – Tag ) to your players.

Workspace A Player 1 tags
Player 2 tags
Workspace B Player 1 tags
Player 2 tags

Assuming that you have already added an Emergency Alert on all your players if you try to Broadcast an Emergency Alert on your players, an extra step has been added to the Emergency Wizard. Because all players have the same Broadcast Group Tag, this extra step will help you choose which players (meaning which Broadcast Group) and also which Workspaces (A, B, or All )you want to broadcast your configured Emergency Alerts.

Select Screens to Broadcast