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24/7 Software Blog

“It is summertime,” you shout to your team across the room.

They respond with blank stares. You’re telling them something they already know.

The majority of your team is from the area, so they know what type of weather to expect this time of year.

Today’s no different than any other summer morning meeting. You run through tonight’s event, review the weather forecast, and send your team off to the races.

“Expect some rain today,” Luke, your operations manager yells as everyone disperses into the building.

Luke rushes over to you following the meeting.

“I’m going to get some sandbags together in case the rain gets out of hand today,” he tells you as he takes another sip of his coffee.

“We should be all right today,” you respond. “But, go ahead. Ask Matt and his security team to give you a hand,” he continues.

45 minutes into the event, you hear the crack of lighting, followed by heavy thunder that shakes the building. The rain begins hitting the metal roof of your offices.

Today is not like any other Monday.

It is exam day.

You expect your college campus to fill up with “eager” students running to their exams. You even enjoy it because you reminisce your college days.

You remember, the panic to make your exam on time, the late night cram, and a month’s worth of coffee your parents sent you – finished in one week.

You think to yourself every semester, “Those were the days.” Sometimes you miss them.

As you finish daydreaming, you make it to your office at 7:15 AM. You start making your rounds on the radio.

“Come in, John.” John, your security supervisor, responds, “Morning.” He is making his way to your office for your Monday morning supervisor meeting. “I’ll be there in 10 minutes; I have to check something out at the library.” “10-4,” you reply.

You grab a cup of coffee and start reviewing the high priority reports on your desk.

Emotions run high on exam day, so you expect to be interrupted with calls. It happens all the time. A student cuts another student in line at the testing lab. A brief altercation erupts, and then everyone moves on his or her way.

You are in charge, which unfortunately means you have to get involved to ensure there is no need for an incident report.

Five minutes after you begin reviewing reports, it happens. John comes in over the radio. You are expecting the usual.

However, this call is not the usual.

90,000 fans are screaming for their home team.

It is the final minutes of the 4th quarter for Thursday Night Football. Your home team is down by seven points with 2:42 left on the clock.

You are watching the clock, but not because your biggest concern is whether the team scores to tie the game.

You know that you are two minutes and forty-two seconds away from a smooth egress going off without a hitch.

You finish up your protein bar and start to pack your briefcase. The weather is beautiful, so you call your wife to Google a restaurant for a much deserved Thursday night dinner by the water.

The refs call the two-minute warning on the field.

Your team has everything under control. You start making your way down the hall. It looks like you will be able to hit the road a few minutes early tonight.

However, you start hearing loud chatter throughout the hallway. Then, your radio goes off. Your team is trying to contact you.

Emily Attwood, Editor of Athletic Business, made a notable statement in her recent article “Preparing for Weather-Related Stadium Evacuation.”

Her point is clear, and we believe, the best way to start this article as well:

“Risks at sporting events such as active shooters, bomb threats and fan violence can all be lessened through proper security measures, ensuring a safer sporting event. However, another essential component of emergency action planning — severe weather — is harder to avoid.”

It’s true…

When it comes to adverse weather you spend more time mitigating than preventing. That’s not peace of mind.

Unfortunately, no one has control of the weather. Nevertheless, you can control its effects on the safety of your guests.

With the Academy for Venue Safety & Security’s (AVSS) 2016 Severe Weather Preparedness program tomorrow, this topic is timely.

On Tuesday, November, 17 the FBI along with many other law enforcement agencies conducted security training at Levi’s Stadium in preparation for Super Bowl 50 in February.

The training involved SWAT teams, bomb and hazardous materials (HAZMAT) units, and medical staff. Over 100 people participated, inclusive of helicopters that flew over the stadium.

Rick Smith, a former FBI agent, and training participate made a precise, extremely important, and intriguing comment that caught our attention:

“It takes the coordination in the event something happens. Every time there’s a major event there’s a problem with radio.”

This statement really got us thinking.

When was the last time you reviewed your emergency management plan?

You probably have one sitting on the shelf somewhere collecting dust…but what good is that doing you?

You might be wondering:

“Does my team really know what to do in the event of adverse weather? How would they handle a bomb threat? How is everything communicated to my need-to-know staff?”

Are you using an incident management system to organize, track and manage your high priority issues?

Sure, these protocols are organized and outlined in your emergency management plan binder. Every protocol you’ve established is well written with a complete list for each issue and incident related to your venue.

You even do an annual training workshop for new and returning staff that includes role-playing to perfect response times.