As event professionals we have so many factors to consider when planning for outdoor and live events. Tents, stages, porta potties, catering, lighting, and power are all very important elements. The most important – and frequently not taken seriously until it happens – is WEATHER.
Weather is not just rain – it is wind, lightning, heat, cold… all of which can and will have major effects and should be planned for in advance.
Weather related incidents at outdoor and live events have resulted in deaths and injuries to unsuspecting attendees and event personnel. As event professionals, it is our “Duty of Care” to take every precaution to ensure the safety and security of our clients, guest and staff.
Determining the weather is no longer simply based on a hope and a prayer, nor is it an app on your phone. Many times, people rely on apps on their phone to monitor the current weather conditions in their immediate area to determine if the show should go on or shelter be taken. While these apps are helpful, often times they do not provide enough lead up information, warnings or adequate time for a safe response. With today’s climate and advances in technology, there are new, sophisticated weather software and programs designed to assist with planning and tracking severe weather systems that might affect your outdoor event.
The Event Safety Alliance, an organization committed to “Life Safety First” has partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and National Weather Service (NWS) to develop a forum geared to event professionals of outdoor and live events.
“The Severe Weather Summit is designed to aid event, sports, and venue professionals in preparing for and responding to dangerous weather conditions. Over the course of two days at the National Weather Center’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK, subject matter experts from NOAA and the National Weather Service will introduce participants to short-fused severe weather incidents that can threaten all types of events and venues, as well as the steps to develop a severe weather preparedness plan”.
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