Who, What, When and Why of an Event Emergency Plan
Modern events must be prepared for weather challenges to horrific acts. Being ready for emergencies like hurricanes or an attendee having a heart attack, means a plan is a must. Here’s how to get your events, meetings, parties, trade shows, concerts, 5Ks, golf tournaments prepared, and start your emergency plan. Understanding the who, what and why will help lay the foundation for your plan.
What Is An Event Emergency Plan?
Simply stated, an emergency plan includes measures for the safety of personnel and, if possible, property and facilities. According to Business Dictionary, “It should detail step-by-step procedures to follow in emergencies such as fire, chemical spill, or a major accident.” 1
Why Do You Need An Event Emergency Plan
Knowing what to do if an emergency happens is key to the best possible outcome. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety also notes “Besides the major benefit of providing guidance during an emergency, developing the plan has other advantages. You may discover unrecognized hazardous conditions that would aggravate an emergency situation and you can work to eliminate them. The planning process may bring to light deficiencies, such as the lack of resources (equipment, trained personnel, supplies), or items that can be rectified before an emergency occurs. In addition an emergency plan promotes safety awareness and shows the organization’s commitment to the safety of workers. The lack of an emergency plan could lead to severe losses such as multiple casualties and possible financial collapse of the organization.”2
If that isn’t enough reason, DIAL 9-1-1 – is not always the answer. Event staff and volunteers need to know what to do, from medical emergencies to fire. This is especially true if the right answer is, call Convention Center staff on the radio. Why would you call Convention Center staff? Often times they know where items like a defibrillator would be, and more they have key knowledge of the building, like the best place for an ambulance to pull up.
Who Should Be Included In Planning?
When you are creating a plan specific for your event/meeting, it will be important to include the venue staff, security, transportation personnel, lead volunteers and key internal staff. If your event/meeting will require road closures, city resources or could be a target for protests consider including police, fire and city representatives.
What To Include In Your Plan
“It should detail step-by-step procedures to follow in emergencies,” Business Dictionary offers. They also note, “An emergency action plan also includes information such as whom to notify, who should do what, and location of emergency stocks,” 1 These procedures should be readily available. For your meeting also include what to do if someone appears to have a heart attack, what the procedures are for protestors and ways to ensure a peaceful outcome.
Contact information needs to be included. Consider including:
- Key personnel
- Security information
- Fire and police
- Emergency contact information for attendees
If you don’t collect attendee emergency contact information, add it to the registration. It is good information to have. Include where this information is stored in your plan.
MAPS! Maps are essential to your plan. Include:
- Maps of evacuation routes
- Maps of exits for all rooms/venues
- Maps with location of first aid, defibrillators
- Off-site meeting location for staff in case of evacuation.
- Have a way for staff/volunteers to be able to check-in after an emergency. This could be Facebook or LinkedIn. Just make sure you have a way to know everyone is safe and convey important info.
When Do You Present Your Event Emergency Plan?
Your pre-con meeting is a great time to “present” and go-over your emergency plan. It is also a good idea at the start of each meeting to have a safety briefing and make sure that staff/volunteers are updated. Even if you do it several times, it’s better to be safe.
Your emergency plan is yours. Add in items that are important/specific to your events. Also, remember that plans change. Update your plan as often as needed. If an emergency does happen, review what went right, what went wrong and what can be improved.
What Corporate Events & Occasions Can Do For You
There’s so much more we can do for you and your business from events to team motivation. Check us out at www.ceocorpevents.com. We will work with you to cultivate the ideal plan and execute it produce exceptional outcomes. Exceptional outcomes are important, the most important though is the safety of your event. Email us today at firstname.lastname@example.org to start your emergency plan.
1: Business Dictionary: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/emergency-action-plan.html
2: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety OSH Answers Fact Sheets: http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/hsprograms/planning.html