Government Technology

Texas County Promotes Emergency Preparedness With Electronic Billboards

An example of a message displayed on a digital billboard in Jefferson County, Texas.
Emergency Billboard

June 30, 2009 By

To promote emergency preparedness information, in Texas, the Jefferson County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) purchased advertising on electronic billboards throughout the county. The OEM promotes information like the days remaining in hurricane season and Web sites residents can visit for emergency planning information, like

"We live in an advancing technology society, and we thought we had to go the extra step to get people's attention," said Greg Fountain, emergency management coordinator of the OEM. "They get tired of just listening to you on the radio or the news. Print materials are just something that people are handed and throw away, or they rarely pick up a brochure like you would hope."

Fountain said Lamar Advertising has three electronic billboards in the county and the OEM purchased time on each of them. He said the company sells six ads for each billboard, and each message appears for 10 seconds of every minute. One of the billboards is located at the intersection of Highway 347 and Highway 69 -- a location that nearly all of the county's more than 250,000 residents drive through, he said.

According to Fountain, Jefferson County spent $15,000 to advertise on the electronic billboards for six months. He said the OEM received a discounted rate, and two of the billboards didn't sell all of their slots so Lamar Advertising filled in the remaining ads with the OEM's at no additional cost.

To change the billboards' messages, an OEM representative must call his or her Lamar Advertising contact. However, Fountain said the company representative can change the message quickly, which allows for disaster information to be broadcast in near real time.

He also said future messages will include information about the county's local emergency planning committee, how to shelter in place and what to do following a man-made incident.

"Some people have asked, 'Why don't you use your own Web site?'" Fountain said. "Why reinvent the wheel? is the wheel; that's where everybody can go, and people driving down the road can remember But to tell them to go to -- they're not going to remember that."

He added that emergency managers need to think outside the box when it comes to educating the public. Fountain said Lamar Advertising told him this was the first time it had been approached to display information like this, but that it was very receptive to the idea.


Photo courtesy of the Jefferson County, Texas, Office of Emergency Management

| More


SKinTexas    |    Commented June 30, 2009

What a great way to educate the public! Love the ability to change the message almost immediately with just a phone call!! Glad a gov agency is actually interested in providing useful, timely information!

SKinTexas    |    Commented June 30, 2009

What a great way to educate the public! Love the ability to change the message almost immediately with just a phone call!! Glad a gov agency is actually interested in providing useful, timely information!

Add Your Comment

You are solely responsible for the content of your comments. We reserve the right to remove comments that are considered profane, vulgar, obscene, factually inaccurate, off-topic, or considered a personal attack.

In Our Library

White Papers | Exclusives Reports | Webinar Archives | Best Practices and Case Studies
Fresh Ideas In Online Security for Public Safety Organizations
Lesley Carhart, Senior Information Security Specialist at Motorola Solutions, knows that online and computer security are more challenging than ever. Personal smartphones, removable devices like USB storage drives, and social media have a significant impact on security. In “Fresh Ideas in Online Security for Public Safely Organizations,” Lesley provides recommendations to improve your online security against threats from social networks, removable devices, weak passwords and digital photos.
Meeting Constituents Where They Are With Dynamic, Real-Time Mobile Engagement
Leveraging the proven and open Kofax Mobile Capture Platform, organizations can rapidly integrate powerful mobile engagement solutions across the spectrum of mobile image capture, mobile data capture and complete mobile process integration. Kofax differentiates itself by extending capture to mobility, supporting multiple points of constituent engagement. Kofax solutions dynamically orchestrate the user’s mobile experience from a single platform—reducing time to market, improving process perf
Public Safety 2019
Motorola conducted an industry survey on the latest trends in public safety communications. The results provide an outlook of what technology is in store for your agency in the next five years. Download the results to gain this valuable insight.
View All

Featured Papers