In light of recent events in Orlando, safety is at the forefront for planners organizing large meetings and events. Hotel, event and security staffs are required to receive training on responding to unpredictable situations and emergency events. Yet, however seemingly frequent they may occur in the news, hospitality staff may be out of practice to handle situations out of the ordinary. Force Training Institute, a Los Angeles-based consulting firm that specializes in critical incident responses, offers nine safety tips for event professionals to be prepared for whatever arises.
1. Instead of barging into a space, it’s important to stop, look and listen in order to assess if the room is safe.
2. Walk confidently and be alert when moving around a facility. Notice who passes you and who is behind you.
3. Check the elevator before entering. Wait for the next elevator if there is a person who appears suspicious. If a suspicious person enters the elevator, get off at the next floor.
4. Within hotel hallways, know how far you are from the nearest exit. In the event of an evacuation, it’s important to be aware of the quickest exit route.
5. Don’t walk and text or catch up on emails. Always remain alert to your surroundings and the people nearby.
6. Streamline processes for all threat response plans. Ensure that all team members are equipped to make informed decisions for their safety and that of others.
7. Practice emergency drill plans in a variety of threatening situations. Familiarize team members with different protocols for weapon threats, single and multiple person attacks, bomb threats and other situations.
8. Ensure that team members communicate clearly and effectively under pressure, and clear any confusion before an incident occurs.
9. Emergency plans should be communicated to customers, vendors and other third parties that may be present during the event.