The Boy Scout motto is to always be prepared.
Let’s be honest about this. If an emergency happened at your venue, is your staff prepared to handle it with a calm and confident manner? Do the planners and group leaders have the resources and information from you they would need to handle an emergency during their event?
From food allergies to severe weather to medical issues, emergencies can, and do, happen. While the venue is sure to have an emergency policy and plan, are guest groups and venue staff well versed in what to do?
Recently, Michigan Meetings and Events posted a blog providing tips on how to be prepared. So, what are a few take-aways?
Collect Important Information
For the event planner or group leader, a full list of all participants for their group is imperative information to hand over to emergency responders. For the venue, a complete list of staff as well as what guest is on site and in each overnight room assists in ensuring a complete and accurate reporting to first responders.
But it shouldn’t stop with just a name. The American Camp Association has been accrediting camps for over 50 years through a process where sites must comply with over 300 health, safety, and program quality standards. The ACA recommends group leaders not only have the name of each participant, but also an emergency contact as well as a name and phone number of the individual’s physician or health care facility. With minors, the suggested information to have on hand increases.
What would the guest do in the case of a medical emergency?
As a venue, do you have a list of emergency information to hand over to groups? Information such as the closest hospitals (at least two), a site map, how to direct emergency vehicles to a location on site, and the venue’s emergency plan are good places to start.
And what do you require when an incident happens at your venue? Inform group leaders and planners of any required processes you have for reporting incidents to venue staff while using your facilities.
Ensure staff is aware of the emergency plan
One suggestion with the Michigan Meetings and Events blog post is to keep a folder containing important information of current on-site guest groups. This should include full participant registry lists (both overnight room assignments as well as day participants), a list of emergency contacts, and notification procedures. Including the venue’s emergency plan is also good to help staff remember steps they must take to meet your standards for preceding and dealing with emergencies.
While emergencies are hopefully rare with your venue, being prepared is better than being unprepared. Time spent going through the emergency plan for your venue is never wasted training time.