An effective emergency management plan outlines the procedures, roles, and responsibilities of event staff and volunteers and emergency service providers and suppliers in the case of an emergency.
While emergency services exist to provide an immediate response to adverse situations, the onus cannot be solely placed on them to be prepared for these occurrences. By developing a comprehensive plan, you can be prepared to effectively respond to emergencies, minimize risks, and protect people, property, and the event itself.
Types of Emergencies
- Identify any potential emergencies that could reasonably occur during the event. Examples include medical emergencies, fires, severe weather events, security threats, or hazardous material incidents.
- Consider factors such as event location, weather conditions, crowd size, and specific activities.
Training and Readiness
- Prepare for emergencies by providing relevant information and training to event staff, volunteers, and contractors.
- Ensure they are aware of emergency procedures, their roles and responsibilities, and the location of emergency equipment and resources.
- Conduct drills and exercises to test the emergency management plan and enhance preparedness.
Communication and Command Structure
- Establish a clear communication structure and line of command for emergencies.
- Designate responsibilities to individuals for initiating emergency protocols, communicating with emergency services, coordinating evacuation (if necessary), and providing updates to staff, attendees, and stakeholders.
- Ensure communication channels, such as radios or mobile phones, are readily available and functioning properly.
Authorisation for Evacuation
- Identify personnel who have the authority to action an evacuation if required.
- Establish clear criteria for initiating an evacuation, such as specific emergency situations or expert recommendations.
- Train designated personnel on how to make informed decisions regarding evacuation and ensure they have access to reliable information.
Medical Facilities and Lost Persons
- Provide information regarding medical services available onsite (e.g. St Johns, First Aid station), including location.
- Provide information regarding the nearest Accident and Emergency (A&E) facility, including its address and contact details.
- Implement a process to ensure the well-being of any lost children or vulnerable individuals under the event's care.
- Assign staff members specific responsibilities for managing lost persons and establish clear communication channels with relevant authorities, such as the police, for reporting and managing missing individuals.
Briefing of Emergency Personnel
- Inform local emergency services of your event, its location, and any unique considerations they should be aware of.
- Establish clear protocols for collaborating with emergency services and provide them with necessary resources, such as site maps, access keys, or specialised equipment.
Site Maps and Emergency Equipment
Create a detailed site map that indicates important locations and resources for emergencies, including:
- Evacuation areas: Designate on-site and off-site evacuation points. Consider having alternative evacuation points in case the primary location is unavailable.
- Meeting point for emergency services: Clearly mark a designated area where emergency services can gather and coordinate their response.
- Fire safety equipment: Highlight the locations of fire extinguishers, fire blankets, and First Aid kits throughout the event venue.
- Additional resources: Identify the location of gas cut-off valves, main electrical switchboards, and any other relevant emergency control equipment.
- Radio communication: If applicable, establish a designated radio channel for emergency communication among event staff and emergency responders.
- Emergency Control Centre: Establish a dedicated area as an emergency control centre, equipped with necessary communication tools and resources for coordinating emergency operations.
- New Zealand Police | Nga Pirihimana O Aotearoa | www.police.govt.nz/
- Fire and Emergency New Zealand | www.fireandemergency.nz/
- Hato Hone | St John Ambulance Service | www.stjohn.org.nz/
New Plymouth District Council Health & Safety Guidelines:
- Health and safety guidelines (npdc.govt.nz)
Event Safety Alliance
Have you considered?
- Do you understand the relevant Civil Defence emergency management procedures in the case of a major natural disaster?
- Ensure the emergency evacuation procedures of the event venue are understood and implemented within your emergency management plan.