Emergency Preparedness Planning for Your Meeting
Every event should have a plan of action as well as a chain of command in the event of an emergency. Communicate who is the emergency lead or manager for each event and who will be the team that works with them to support and effectively communicate with your attendees the quickest route to safety.
Create a thorough checklist ahead of your event to mitigate all known possible risks and begin building out your plan of action. This checklist should also note the emergency chain of command for your organization, along with their contact information, and local and national hotlines, hotel security, alternate airports, and more.
Guests will need information on outdoor evacuation and indoor relocation, both from the conference and from the designated hotel or site. They’ll also need to know where to find the nearest 24-hour pharmacy and medical providers. Travel security notices, weather alerts, and contacts with local officials should all be noted ahead of your event. It’s key that you do not wait to plan for an emergency as the emergency is happening, as every second is critical during an emergency, and failing to plan often results in confusing information that could be detrimental to the safety of an individual or group. This is why the chain of command is also important to reduce any confusion and act decidedly when haste is needed.
There are courses you can take for certification in emergency preparedness for meetings. A written security and preparedness plan for security and natural disasters is key to mitigating your risk as an event organizer. Did you know that according to a 2018 Meeting Trends Today survey, it’s estimated that up to 70% of meeting planners do not have a written plan in place? Don’t be a part of that 70%. An emergency could happen at any time and being prepared is the only way to mitigate your risk and keep it from becoming a disaster.