Event Planning Tools | Terrorism | Emergencies


Event Planning Tips - for Emergencies

By ACS Distance Education on December 21, 2017 in Business and Management | comments

As an event organiser you have a duty to have appropriate plans in place to enable suitable and effective response to situations that may arise. The plans will need to cover health and safety, and emergency situations. Plans need to be fully documented and lines of responsibility and reporting need to be clearly defined within these. You will also need to have carried out some form of testing to ensure your plans are appropriate – this may be in the form of staged exercises, or a meeting of designated individuals to determine what might happen if a theoretical incident were to occur. Revisions to plan documents might then be made following such exercises. When using a venue, you will need to discuss with the venue administrator or person(s) responsible the plans that the venue has in place for incidents as your own planning/staff will need to operate in coordination with these. For smaller venues, you will need to discuss your plans with the local emergency services and authorities.

In preparing your plans, you will need to consider what the potential key risks are and then have emergency procedures that your staff will follow in the event of an emergency. The range of key risks can be very varied, and might include:

  1. Event cancellation.
  2. Emergency situations – threats to location and attendees through severe weather, fire, flood, terrorism etc.
  3. Power Outage.

Emergency plans will need to address some essential issues such as:

  • Lines of communication and responsibility, incident control – assign responsibility to key staff members.
  • Summoning of emergency services.
  • Cooperation and liaison with emergency services.
  • Evacuation or movement of persons affected by an incident – move persons away from danger.
  • On-site treatment for minor injuries.
  • Crowd management.
  • Evacuation of persons.
  • Processes for evacuation or protection of persons with disabilities.
  • Traffic management.

As mentioned, larger venues will have processes in place, so your own plans and arrangements will need to dovetail with these.
Unfortunately, with the increase in terrorist activity, venue and event managers need to consider even further the possible types of terrorism that may impact directly or indirectly on their event. Historically, terrorism concentrated on processes causing damage to property, whereas in more recent times it has been very much more focussed on directly impacting on individuals. This means that whilst, at one time, managers may have considered, for example, restrictions to the deployment of waste bins (which could be a receptacle for a bomb) they now need to consider many other factors such as vehicular access to crowd areas.

Contingency Planning

Contingency planning involves preparing "escape routes"; to use in the event of something going wrong. 
This is done to reduce risk. The way to do this is:

  1. Identify the areas of greatest risk
  2. Devise procedures to deal with identified problems, in the event that they occur.
  3. Prepare for implementing these procedures, if you need to use them. This might involve training staff or buying in equipment.


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