Special Events Planning

Special event planning has changed in the years since September 11, 2001. While the threat from a large scale, top down coordinated attack is still possible, the new and emerging threat is from smaller cells or individuals operating independently, with little or no oversight. Large gatherings are a choice target for these “lone wolf” scenarios. Whether a movie theater in Colorado or a venerated institution such as the Boston Marathon, venues where people gather are a ripe choice for those who wish to cause harm. The goal, regardless of the cause, is to maim, disrupt, kill and strike fear in the hearts of participants; to change our way of life.

A great deal of planning goes into the event itself; from fireworks displays on key holidays to the three jewels of horse racing’s Triple Crown; from county and state fairs to New Year’s Eve in Times Square. Some events will occur annually or more than once, while other will be a “once in a lifetime” type event. The ultimate success of any special event will be dependent on the contingency planning for a myriad of possibilities and probabilities. The plan and response of public safety and emergency management personnel will be scrutinized, after the fact for effectiveness and coordination.

There is a tremendous amount of energy and resources committed to special event planning and implementation. From a public safety and emergency management perspective, therefore, special event planning looks at the event from a risk management point of view. A large event has a number of risk factors such as a transient population that may not be familiar with the venue, limited access and egress, high profile (high risk) visitors (targets), limited local resources and conversely (when dealing with VIP’s), a number of governmental agencies at all levels that need to be organized and managed.

Brocato and Associates has years of experience in special event contingency planning and implementation. We have coordinated planning and operations at all levels of government; local, state and federal, for local events as well as those with national significance. Additionally we have worked with private sector partners to ensure well planned and effective contingency plans for special events. We can assist you with risk assessment, hazard mitigation, and incident management for events at all levels.