Ignoring safety planning for a special event could be disastrous. Even simple issues like weather-inspired evacuations can become a logistical and legal nightmare without some advance planning, however rudimentary. This document outline is designed to get the safety conversation started for your event, and help you build up a framework that makes sense given your venue, resources, and level of risk aversion.
What this is
This document provides an outline and sample content for a special event safety and emergency plan. Typical events that might need a plan like this include parades, summer concerts, city festivals, and holiday observances. Employers could use a plan like this to improve safety at company picnics, job fairs, or similar events. It will not cover all contingencies, but it will get the conversation started.
Why it's useful
Special events are often run by volunteers or organization members who have limited personal experience in event management and crowd control. Parades, concerts, festivals, company picnics, and similar activities are a significant undertaking, and careful planning is required to maintain event security and participant safety. There are usually local and statewide regulations to consider, and any large public event involves a certain amount of risk. Without careful attention to public safety planning, civic groups and volunteer organizations could risk getting mired in unanticipated legal problems.
Having a designated and approved emergency plan reassures event sponsors and organizers that proper attention has been paid to public safety and emergency planning, and ensures that risks are examined and consciously accepted. Some venues may require a safety plan before the event can proceed. In those cases, this outline can provide a starting place for crafting a plan appropriate to your event's expected attendance, resources, and circumstances.
The outline presented in this document was used by an actual event committee (in this case, a local parade) to put a baseline safety plan in place and ensure that risks to participants and spectators were consciously accepted or mitigated.
How to use it
Important note: This outline is only a starting point, and may not be appropriate for your venue. Be aware of any city, county, or other governmental ordinances, regulations, laws, or restrictions and ensure that your final plan is fully compliant. Disregarding regulations may be dangerous, expensive, and potentially disastrous. This template is intended to be a guide to begin your own safety plan document. The outline is annotated and contains extensive sample text.
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