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Aug 3, 2016 9:30:00 AM by InitLive

3 Simple Steps to Improve Event Emergency Response

Event Safety


If you’re planning an event, especially a large scale outdoor event, you need to have an emergency preparedness plan. Your municipality, your insurance provider and your vendors/entertainment would all agree. But it’s not enough to just have a plan. Take these 3 simple steps to make sure that your event emergency response will be coordinated, quick and effective!

  1. Create a detailed and flexible Emergency Response Action Plan

    When you create your Event Emergency Action Plan, make sure you build in as much detail as possible. Just like you visualize the attendee experience during the planning of the event, visualize the attendee experience, staff/volunteer experience and vendor/entertainment experience in an emergency. Everything from locating exits, to communication and crowd control.


  3. Once you’ve got your details sorted out, be sure to come up with plans that work for multiple scenarios. We may not always be able to predict the type of emergency we’ll encounter, so have plans that can be applied broadly in different kinds of emergencies. For a template to get you started, download InitLive's free Event Emergency Action Template.

  4. Make your Emergency Plan accessible

    Every staff and volunteer person on your site needs to have a copy of the emergency response plan and they need to be trained on it. Take some time out of your volunteer orientation or staff training to get the team up to speed on your plan. Not only should your team be trained, but the plan needs to be easy to understand. Be sure to format clearly (think point form), use plain language and don’t make the document too long, no more than 5-6 pages.

    When giving out copies of the emergency plan, use a mix of digital and paper copies. We recommend offering everyone a digital copy through an app or email (an app is quicker to access in the event of an emergency) and then posting paper copies at each station for reference. These paper copies should be clearly marked for the team on a map and should always remain in place.

  5. Put a communication system in place

    The one consistent thing in events is things change! We need to be prepared to adapt and re-organize in an emergency. The only way to effectively coordinate this is with an internal communication system. You may already use radios, but these can be expensive, loud and ineffective with too many people on the line.

    Instead use a messaging system that allows you, the manager, to reach everyone quickly. Bonus if this messaging system is quiet and text-based. Often emergencies can be dealt with behind the scenes without your attendees even noticing there was anything wrong. Check out the InitLive targeted broadcast messaging system here. Keep your communication targeted and succinct, that’s the best way to coordinate effectively in an emergency.

Take these three steps to improve how your team responds to an emergency on event day and have a safer and smoother event for all!

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