How organizers of large events brace for severe weather

Planning for Impactful Weather is Critical for Large Events
Updated: Apr. 19, 2023 at 6:00 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - As we approach the warmer spring and summer months, outdoor events become more prevalent and more heavily attended. Whether the event is large or small, considerable planning is required by event managers to ensure the events run smoothly and safely.

A critical component of that planning process is the preparation for all types of weather. When the weather turns bad, the safety of attendees becomes a primary concern for event managers.

For most large events managers utilize a three-step process to keep attendees safe during inclement weather:

A three-pronged approach is used by outdoor event managers to keep attendees safe.
A three-pronged approach is used by outdoor event managers to keep attendees safe.(wmtv)

First, they plan for inclement weather and how it will impact the event.

  • Which types of weather could impact the event?
  • What are the options for sheltering and evacuation?
  • How will people be alerted and how long will it take to shelter or evacuate?

Secondly, they assess the weather risk as the event nears by checking forecasts and severe weather threats.

And thirdly, they follow the action plan during the event if severe weather approaches. Including keeping line of communication with attendees open.

Organizer Tim Metcalfe explains what BratFest does to ensure everyone who comes to BratFest stays safe.

As the size of outdoor events increase, weather plans have evolved over the years. We spoke to Tim Metcalfe about the evolution of the severe weather planning and implementation process for The World’s Largest Brat Fest.

Whether an outdoor event is large or small it is critical that managers develop and implement a well-defined severe weather plan. As an attendee, it is just as critical that you keep yourself informed of changing weather conditions. Download the NBC15 weather app and stay weather aware at outdoor events.

Click here to download the NBC15 News app or our NBC15 First Alert weather app.