Creating an Emergency Response Plan for Meetings and Events

Emergency situations can arise at any time and in any place – including at your conference, event or meeting. Whether it is a larger-scale natural or weather-related disaster, fire, acts of violence, terrorism or pandemic, OR smaller-scale problems such as an accident, illness or a death, it is critical to have an emergency response plan in place that can help you act swiftly to mitigate the impact on your attendees and your event.

When an emergency situation occurs you have only moments to respond, and the actions you take could not only mean the difference between life and death, but will certainly impact how your attendees will view your organization and its leadership in the future. That is why it is imperative to have an emergency response plan in place, so you are prepared to deal with any type of unanticipated situation.

In the past several years, we’ve been witnessing an increasing number of acts of terror and violence across the country and the world, and as a result, emergency response planning is now a top priority for organizations planning meetings and events. We have seen questions about emergency response plans appearing more regularly in RFPs, and various meetings industry organizations have put together tips and tool kits to help organizations create such plans.

For meeting and event vendors, emergency response plans have to be adjusted for each individual meeting, because they need to be aligned with the client’s plan, but all service providers should have a base plan in place so their staff is prepared for problems and response actions are top of mind.

As the ground transportation provider for meetings, events and conferences, Event Transportation Systems (ETS) understands the important role we could play in getting people out of harm’s way. We develop our own emergency response plan for each event, most often keeping in mind weather and road closing situations, but covering contingencies for other emergencies as well. We have also made it a priority to collaborate with our clients and understand their procedures so we can provide essential assistance should an emergency arise.

We created our plan with the help of the following helpful resources:
FEMA Emergency Response Plan Guide
PCMA Emergency Action Plan Toolkit
Ready.gov Emergency Response Plan
IEEE Contingency/Emergency Planning For Your Event

ETS provides ground transportation services for meeting and event planners in cities throughout the United States and portions of Canada. Please contact us prior to your next meeting or conference.

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