While March, April and May are the peak months for inclement weather, it’s always a good idea to have a plan in case severe weather hits your event. Being prepared for severe weather is key for ensuring the safety of those attending when disaster strikes. Here are five tips for preparing for dangerous weather conditions:
Tip #1: Meet with the facilities manager
Meet with the facilities manager of the event site and familiarize yourself and your staff with the current evacuation plan. This will enable guests to quickly locate shelter during tornado warnings or exit the building safely and calmly. The plan may need to be adjusted to accommodate the size of the event.
Tip #2: Know how you will be notified
Prior to the event, know how you will be notified of severe weather. Is it your job to watch the weather or will the facility manager contact you by text? Will an alarm sound throughout the building? Make sure you have a clear understanding of how you are to be informed of severe weather to prevent panic and confusion.
Tip #3: Who will tell the audience?
Have a staff meeting to clearly identify who will alert the audience in the event of severe weather. This could be from the facility manager, the event emcee or the manager of the convention center. If it is an event with multiple rooms with different speakers happening simultaneously, designate individual event staff members to relay the news to specific rooms.
Tip #4: Know what you will tell your audience
Rehearse the plan prior to the event. Have the plan written out for the person announcing the severe weather alert. This way, the announcer can have clearly marked and specific instructions to deliver to the audience without confusion.
Tip #5 Check the weather before the event
While this seems obvious, it is so important to check the Storm Prediction Center and other news media outlets the night before the event. This will help you prepare accordingly and know what to expect. Assessing the risks prior to the event is necessary for keeping the day as smooth as possible.
Again, make sure each staff member knows the severe weather and evacuation plan for the building. Keeping staff informed will prevent chaos and allow them to be leaders in the event of a weather emergency which will keep the audience calmer.
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