• FEMA says digital billboards important tool.

    By Ken Klein, OAAA Government Affairs

    Digital billboards are an important communications tool to share emergency information with the public, says America’s top emergency manager.

    “Use of digital signage along highways is part of the layering and unity of messaging to reach affected communities, and supplements radio and mobile alerts,” said William B. “Brock” Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).


    Rep Garret Graves, R-Louisiana, 6th District

    Administrator Long testified to Congress on November 2 about lessons from the busy 2017 hurricane season.  After the hearing, Congressman Garret Graves (R-LA), asked a follow-up question:

    “Administrator Long, has your agency learned lessons from deployment of donated digital (electronic) billboards located near roadways, as a means of communicating with the public to assist hurricane recovery and-or preparation?”

    Long sent a written reply to the congressman on March 9, 2018, making these points:

    • FEMA works with billboard companies and retail stores that use digital signs to inform disaster victims how to register for help
    • State and local governments use digital billboards to deliver information about evacuations and shelter locations
    • Billboards are part of the overall emergency-management media mix to communicate with the public

    From 2008-2011, Long was director of Alabama’s emergency agency, dealing with 14 disasters.

    In Congress, Graves is chairman of the Water Resources & Environment Subcommittee of the House transportation committee.  His congressional District includes Baton Rouge, home of Lamar Advertising Company.


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