Smart event organizers are deploying modern outdoor alerting solutions to help keep the public informed. They’re doing this because they understand the impact effective alerting has on maintaining safety, and also because they recognize the three benefits that this can bring to outdoor events.
While organizers can’t change or control the weather, they can use reliable weather intelligence to act when appropriate, alerting the public before conditions take hold and dangerous situations occur. Equally, effective alerting minimizes disruptive false alarms, so events aren’t left exposed by alerting for conditions that do not happen as forecast.
Here are the three clear benefits of altering and why it matters for outdoor events:
#1 Manage the risks to public safety
The number one benefit is maintaining public safety throughout an outdoor event. Adverse weather is a risk to the public. It’s not an exaggeration to say it can cause injury or even death. But get alerting wrong and one of two things will happen. Either, there is a false alarm, the public leave the site and see that unsafe conditions don’t materialize and are subsequently angry and frustrated. Or, the alarm doesn’t go off in time, and the public is left exposed to unnecessary weather risks.
How alerting can help: With accurate weather intelligence, the risk of false alarms is reduced. If you’re using a basic weather product, then deciding whether to stop or to continue the event is harder because you can’t be confident in the accuracy of the forecast. As a result, you have to allow for a higher weather tolerance to maintain safety, leading to more inaccurate calls. Additionally, insurance premiums can also be reduced when outdoor events invest in professional weather services.
#2 Have confidence in go or no go situations
What’s the risk: Events are planned well before the precise weather conditions are known. As the event draws nearer, organizers and meteorologists alike will begin to have a clearer idea of what the likely forecast will be. But they need the confidence to make their Go or No Go call.
If the forecast shows they should go ahead, they need to be confident that conditions will not change and subsequently impact safety. However, if the weather data does show now informs the event and the alerting system that the conditions will be unsafe, they need to make a ‘No Go’ call in a way that ensures everyone knows.
How alerting can help: Accurate weather data ensures organizers can be confident in their decisions. In situations where the weather conditions are marginal, accurate data can be the difference between going ahead or canceling. The impact here is potentially huge. Not only unnecessary can scheduling changes mean financial you lose the initial 3-day weather window, but it can also be weeks or longers before you’re able to reschedule.
#3 Avoid doubt and confusion in the crowd, with a clear message to the public
What’s the risk: When adverse weather conditions hit, the message needs to get out to the public as quickly as possible. Any doubt or confusion can lead to people delaying taking suitable actions – and increase the safety risk.
As well, in situations where the information isn’t clearly presented to decision-makers, valuable time can be wasted trying to understand the severity of the situation.
How alerting can help: Alerting that relies on horns or beacons clearly and immediately communicates the risk to the public. When a horn goes off, it grabs everyone’s attention – there’s no doubts or questions from the public. An alerting system that allows key safety decision-makers to make confidence stoppage decisions reduces the time it takes to communicate with the public.
Outdoor events must balance the demands from the public for great experiences, with their responsibilities for duty of care and the growing number of extreme weather incidents, by ensuring they have an alerting system that helps them meet these challenges. Read the associated e-book on “Why Mass Alerting Matters”.