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Risk Management: Natural Disaster Management Preparation for Your Event

Posted:   October 5, 2017

In the past few months, we’ve witnessed several devastating natural disasters across the country. While these types of natural disasters are unavoidable, it’s our responsibility as event planners to consider actionable plans for dealing with potential safety concerns, including those that accompany weather events and natural disasters.

As part of your Risk Management & Event Safety series, we’ll be discussing how you can be prepared to navigate natural disasters that might affect your conference, meeting, or event.

Access Risk for Your Event Location

Different locations require different preparations. In the site selection stages of your planning, be sure to consider regional threats. If, for example, your event is scheduled in North Carolina during hurricane season, you’ll want to implement a contingency plan in the event a hurricane hits before, during, or directly after your event. Consider all natural disasters, including earthquakes, tornados, floods, forest fires, etc.

Sign up for Event Cancellation Insurance

Protect yourself from the loss of revenue or the commitment of expenses due to cancellation or rescheduling of an event with event cancellation insurance. Choose your plan wisely, as some insurance plans even pay for losses due to reduced attendance at a continued event.

Collect Important Information from Venue & Attendees

The venue you choose should have an emergency preparedness plan in place; however, that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. Be sure to request this material early from your venue, as well as anywhere you have hotel accommodations for your attendees. You’ll also want to request cell phone numbers and emergency contact numbers from your attendees during the registration process.

Create Communication & Evacuation Plans for Your Staff

Once you’ve seen the venue safety and security plan, it’s time to consider your internal event safety logistics. To do this, you’ll want to designate safety roles for different staff members, establish a clear chain of command, and prepare a plan for how you will account for staff and attendees in the event of an evacuation.

Closely Follow News and Weather Updates

As the date approaches, be sure to stay up-to-date on weather and news information for the area. Make it part of your daily routine to check in with local weather so you can make educated decisions in a timely manner. Remember, the safety of your attendees and your staff should always be the number one priority when deciding whether to cancel, relocate, or postpone an event.

If you missed our posts on Cyber Security for Event Professionals and Terrorist Attack & Active Shooter Preparedness, be sure to check them out, and keep your eye out for our upcoming blogs in our Risk Management & Event Safety series.

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