The integration on the charter plotter was a simple process (don't believe Raymarine when they tell you it can only be done with a Raymarine AIS). The advantage of the integration is that in a crowded shipping lane, we get to see all the commercial vessels within 25nm, their direction and when you click on their small triangle, you get a large detailed display of all their particulars including speed, heading and time left until they chop you in two
It also gives you their port of origin and destination so that should you survive, you know where they live!
The other safety regime not mentioned so far is submitting a detailed plan of your voyage and return details to the authorities and family. That more than anything here in Oz, has been the salvation for many a coastal sailor in trouble.
According to Australian Search and Rescue, the worth of an EPIRB has less to do with the signal it sends out when activated, but more to do with your vessel's details, family contacts and other voyage and passage notes you submit for their records when you register your EPIRB. Keeping that data base current gives them a great advantage in locating you quickly. I'm not sure what happens in the UK or the US but we can log onto our AMSA account before heading out into the blue and update our cruising itinerary just to give a heads up if we start beeping