Special events contingency planning and execution has changed in the years since September 11, 2001. Since that time special event attendees have come to expect from first responders, emergency managers, venue operators and business owners, a high level of situational awareness, planning, preparation and protection While no event is completely immune from risks, responsible parties must be able to show that risks have been assessed and minimized, and a plan is in place for dealing with factors such as crowd size, weather, routine public safety situations, accidents and intentional acts.
A great deal of planning goes into an event ; 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 even more frequently, while others 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 planning and response of public safety and emergency management personnel, venue operators/owners and business owners will be scrutinized, after the fact for effectiveness and coordination.
There is a tremendous amount of energy and resources committed to special events. From a public safety and emergency management point of view, therefore, special event planning looks at the event from a risk management perspective. 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 must 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, contingency plans, hazard mitigation, and incident management for events at all levels.