With the UEFA European Soccer Championship now underway through Poland and the Ukraine, and the London Olympic Games set to start in just over a month, security professionals in Europe have certainly got their hands full preparing for possible disruptions. As we’ve mentioned in the past, large-scale events can pose very unique challenges to crisis managers.
In a recent Emergency Management Magazine article, Adam Stone provides several examples of crises that have affected large-scale events, noting that any time a large number of people are gathered in one space, a lot can go wrong.
“Bring together 80,000 people for a football game or 20,000 for a concert and the possibility exists for an emergency situation,” he writes. “During these events, the venue becomes a temporary city, with all the potential perils that implies. The combination of large numbers of people, in a confined space, with spirits high and alcohol flowing can lead to catastrophe. It’s a threat that promoters, venue operators and emergency planners have learned to take seriously.”
Organization, says Stone, is the key to success when it comes to handling potential crises. This means understanding and preparing for possible legal issues before they arise, continually building critical relationships with first responders, and even looking to third-party support and enlisting the help of local police forces to make sure all bases are covered.
Of course, no stadium, park, or arena can ever be fully prepared for all disasters. What is critical, says Stone, is “having a tightly scripted security protocol, a crystal-clear set of policies and procedures backed by a methodical training regimen.” Add to this a robust and flexible communication platform that you can access on the fly, and you’ve got a recipe for success.
To learn more about how security officials are tackling these challenges and preparing for the 2012 London Olympic Games, check out Send Word Now’s recent webinar, featuring Justin Crump, CEO of Sibylline Ltd and Editor, CSARN Security Risk Monitor. And for more helpful tips and considerations when it comes to large-scale events, read the full Emergency Management article here.