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Florence —What’s Next for Your Billboard?

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What’s next?

When Hurricane Florence has come on gone
and its 5 days later and your billboard/digital is still down.

In the event of weather emergency like Hurricane Florence, your outdoor advertising and #billboards may be the last thing which is on anyone’s mind or list of concerns. As it should be.  Digital billboards (DOOH) can be a tremendously effective means of communication during these destructive climatic events.  DOOH can be a welcomed relief of assistance and service after the storms. Either way, knowing the status of your billboard or advertising is important.

Everyone is aware of the precautions Out of Home companies take with their static billboards. In many cases, the vinyl faces are removed prior to the storm.  What about digital billboards? What type of precautions are taken?  The proper planning and actions can make a difference if your digital advertising is down or is up and running after a storm.  Proper planning ahead of a weather event is responsible management. What is your #OOH Company doing?

Read this release by Formetco which covers guidelines for weather events and Hurricane Preparation.

Formetco Hurricane Preparation – Digital Billboards

by Daniel Hooper,  Marketing Director

Hurricane Florence is going to hammer the Carolinas and other parts of the Southeast for several days. While impacts from wind will be destructive, Florence’s rainfall is the real worry. What we know so far: • As with most hurricanes, Florence will have major impact inland. • Florence is forecasted to move slowly for several days. • Persistent onshore winds may cause coastal flooding that exasperates inland flooding. • Flooding is predicted to be catastrophic in some areas . Formetco is tracking and monitoring Florence very closely. Digital Billboards have become an important tool in delivering public safety information. Maintaining there operation, if possible, before and after severe weather conditions is now a very real priority. That being said, managing this process without endangering service personnel is critical.

Check out Formetco’s Hurricane Action Guide to properly prepare your plant for this unpredictable season.

Formetco Hurricane Preparation – Digital Billboards

Digital Billboards have become an important tool in delivering public safety information. Maintaining their
operation, if possible, before and after severe weather conditions is now a very real priority. Managing this
process without endangering service personnel is critical. While local conditions are best known to local service personnel, Formetco developed the following guidelines for preparation prior to the storm to protect the asset during and after storm recovery.

Severe Weather Spread Sheet: All plants should have a spreadsheet showing addresses, versions, and whether units have been equipped with a Smartlink Controller. Please send this spreadsheet to service@formetco.com prior to service personnel evacuating the area, if mandated. The spread sheet should have your wishes for power management during the storm labeled on a per display manner.
Formetco service can assist in developing a custom hurricane preparation spreadsheet on a plant basis.
During routine maintenance visits, items pertaining to hurricane preparation should be addressed. Verify that the spare parts box has been secured, verify all panels have locks fully engaged. These items should be monitored every time the location is visited.

Smartlink: Units with Smartlink controllers can be powered down remotely. Smartlink devices are installed after the main breakers. This means that although the display is powered down, main breakers are still in a closed position and power remains live at the base of the structure. Formetco has a strong track record of no damage caused by low, or inrush voltage to digital billboards that combine our version of the Smartlink firmware and are equipped with a Smartlink Controller. Formetco recommends that units without Smartlink controllers be retrofitted to include them. Please contact your Formetco sales rep for more information about retro fit kits.

Power: Formetco does not require its digital billboards to be powered down for storm operations. Every effort has been made to keep units operating normally through adverse weather conditions. Most damage occurs during power restoration efforts that cause surges and low voltage conditions. The decision to power down units prior to a storm, is best left with personnel knowledgeable of historical local conditions.
Some guidelines that may be used in this decision follow:
• Areas prone to flooding, typically have more instances of voltage variances during recovery as
transformers may be affected by on ground transformers.
• Areas subject to heavy tree damage to overhead power distribution tend to see many spikes during
recovery efforts.

Personnel: Keep in mind that service personnel safety is of the utmost importance. The predicted severity of the storm may play heavily into power management decision-making. It may be days or weeks before personnel are allowed in to an affected area. If a site visit is required to recover the normal operation of the display, it is important that once severe weather has subsided, that service technicians follow their company’s electrical safety guidelines.






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