Fear. Sadness. Anger. Pride. All these emotions went through me as I watched the coverage of the finish line bombing at the Boston Marathon. As an athlete and event planner I get REALLY upset when terrorists wreak havoc at sports events. As a mother and human being I am heartbroken for the victims and their families.
Yet in the midst of the devastation I am also proud. Proud of the first responders and volunteers that ran toward the injured even as another bomb went off. Proud of the Boston Athletic Association who organized the event and clearly had their emergency preparedness plan in place.
As the finish line became a war zone and crime scene, runners were routed to a different area where they were out of harm’s way. The organization had their plan and executed it. They had lots of first responders ready to go at a moment’s notice and it was no accident that wheelchairs were available to transport victims to the ambulances. They also used social media to communicate with the runners and their families about where different services had been relocated.
The likelihood of your workshop or seminar being targeted by terrorists is slim to none. But that doesn’t mean that your event couldn’t have an emergency of its own. Unfortunately, natural disasters can happen without warning and a tornado or earthquake certainly COULD hit your event.
Are You Prepared For A Medical Emergency At Your Event?
It is even more likely that you are faced with a medical emergency. After all, heart attacks happen every day. Being prepared is more than knowing where the nearest AED (Automated External Defibrillator) is located.
At the very least you need to have your attendees’ emergency contact number. These days, people use their cell phone as their primary contact information. Even the address associated with the credit card for the seminar ticket they bought online may or may not be their home address. Sometimes, the mailing address is so old, it isn’t even in the state attendees live in.
So who do you call if your attendee is unconscious? Do you really know how to get in touch with your attendees’ home front?
It is a very small thing, but asking your attendees to fill out a simple form online with their emergency contact information and any allergies can be a life saver. Put the spread sheet in your event binder and hopefully you’ll never have to use it. But if you do, you’ll be prepared.
Have you experienced an emergency at an event you hosted or attended? If so, how was it handled? Please share in the comments!