Are you ready for a stadium evacuation?

When fans make the
decision to attend an event there is an expectation for being entertained in a
safe environment. In addition to a secure atmosphere, there are growing
expectations about the competencies and preparedness of event managers
regarding how and when to make decisions that may change the event. According
to the NCS4 Best Practice guides (2019), the most common change tends to occur
as a result of extreme weather conditions that force participants and
spectators alike to evacuate. Venue managers must be prepared to do more than
simply evacuate. There is a need to know how to best protect. There are various
protective actions that best protect the guests. Some of the different
protective actions include evacuation, sheltering, or relocation. Each of these
methods serves as means to best protecting patrons from potentially contrasting
situations. The decision regarding the best approach to use during an incident
involves a complicated process and requires input from various entities
knowledgeable in the following:

· The structure and size of the facility
in use.

· The distribution and condition of the
spectators/participants in and around the facility.

· The various hazards involved with the

· The anticipated response from the
spectators to the specific hazard(s).

Each incident will
have the previously mentioned factors that must be looked at each time
protective actions are deemed necessary at an event. The risk management team
should determine the least invasive and most effective method to protect guests
against dangerous conditions. All of the decisions should be based on a risk
assessment that takes time and guest mobility patterns into account. The
ability to make these decisions quickly is critical to successfully identifying
a protective action. The longer the decision takes to be made the greater the
risk guests will be susceptible to while implementing the protective action.
Each decision may be predetermined through the EAP that is developed with
public safety partners and venue/event teams. Within the EAP you may
potentially consider using trigger points that provide decision guidance
regarding what should or should not be done at that specific time.

Along with the specific decision being made, another critical component is identifying the final decision maker for a particular event. When the decision maker is selected, all entities should know that this individual has the final regarding decisions. By selecting a single person, confusion between who has authority is reduced. This individual will be able to analyze all information that is provided to them and synthesize this in formulating an informed decision. A more streamlined approach provides the most expedient and effective way on how to best protect. For more information on the Best Practices, download the 2018 editions of the NCS4 Safety and Security Best Practices Guides here.