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How to Be Prepared for Emergency Situations at Schools & Universities

Emergency Preparedness in K12 and Higher Education


While no one likes to have to imagine an emergency situation, having an emergency response plan is absolutely critical. When a disaster strikes – no matter how big or small, effective communication makes all the difference. All too often, emergency situations and disaster relief create communication obstacles such as power outages, isolation, and difficulties communicating with large crowds of frightened adults and children. Therefore, finding the best portable PA system to have on standby for when you need it is an important consideration and decision.


Sue Orton, retired San Diego county principal and teacher, says that “a battery powered portable amplification system is paramount” in emergency preparedness. “A portable, easy to use, efficient, and lightweight system with a really good range” is critical in order to “get instructions out clearly and succintly to reach the greatest number of students and staff at one time,” which is extremely important in providing immediate direction.


When the power is out or if it is too risky to use an outlet, a battery powered portable PA is the best choice. Ensure the safety of yourself, your team, and the frightened individuals relying on you by making sure that the communication device is charged and/or has spare batteries and remains close to evacuation and meeting areas. You need to be able to access and utilize the device when necessary without being in harm’s way.


Features to Consider for Your Emergency Preparedness Toolbox:

  • Battery Powered – reliable, long-lasting battery in the event of a power outage
  • Easy to Operate – anyone and everyone can use it
  • Crystal Clear Voice Amplification – people need to understand what you are saying
  • Effective Range – small to large crowds are able to hear you depending on your audience size
  • Reliability and Durability – you depend on this system when it matters most
  • Grab It and Go – readily available to easily utilize at a moment’s notice


Orton recommends you “have a portable system that is only to be used for emergencies and housed in the office, as well as another system that is housed elsewhere, so you have two [portable PA systems] in case of an emergency.” The secondary or additional systems can also be used for additional activities such as PTA functions, sporting events, special activities, grade level performances, field trips and even as a low-cost, portable option for a public address system for the school auditorium or common area.


“Every school should really have a [battery powered portable PA system] in their emergency preparedness toolbox to help out,” says Orton. By selecting the best portable PA system, you have the capacity to reach out and be heard above a crowd. 


Anchor Audio has a variety of portable PA systems such as the MiniVox and MegaVox to the Beacon and Bigfoot that exceed the demands for emergency communications. From small personal portable PAs to large roll-out systems, Anchor Audio is here for you.


To learn more about the importance of emergency preparedness in K-12 and higher education, watch retired Principal and Teacher Sue Orton's full interview below: