Emergency Tips From a Pro

emergency tips
When you arrive at a new venue, take notice of where additional exits are located.

Follow these 5 emergency tips. Your life—and the lives of your attendees—may depend on it.

The whole idea of emergency planning is fairly new in the hospitality industry. Everyone is talking about duty of care and wondering if they’re doing enough to help keep their attendees safe. That’s why I created these emergency tips through my lens of 20 years experience as a fire chief officer, and my extensive education and training on emergency management and homeland security.

Practice Situational Awareness

When you arrive at a new venue, take one minute to survey your surroundings. Take notice of where additional exits are located. Take a mental note of where the stairs are located. Survey your options for potential cover that can hide you and protect you from bullets. Consider things like pillars, vehicles and thick walls. Notice your options for concealment. If there is no cover, or you can’t get to it, you’ll want to know where you can hide. Good examples for concealment are tables, desks, exhibit booths, behind or between pipe and drape or staging.

Visualize “What-If” Scenarios

As you move throughout your day/event, consider these types of scenarios:
• If an active shooter came in through the main entrance, what would I do?
• If a vehicle rams into the building and explodes, what would I do?
• If there’s a fire in the building, what would I do?

Be Prepared to React Immediately

Even with something as simple as a fire alarm, where most people just stand around looking confused and waiting for direction, take it upon yourself to take action and get out immediately. It’s better to feel silly or overcautious later, then to delay and risk injury or death. Assume the worst-case scenario and be ready to run—the goal is always to get as far away as possible.

Take Unexpected Actions

Most people will exit the way they entered. Unfortunately, that’s also the likely entry point for an active shooter. Try to use the additional exits you identified if possible. Identify tools that could be used as weapons.

Establish a Warrior Mindset

In the event of an incident, don’t count on someone coming to help you or telling you what to do. Develop self-reliance, just in case. Adopt a survival mindset. You need to fully believe that no matter what situation you’re in or what injury you may have that you will survive. Death can not be an option in your mind.

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