How do you handle stressful situations? Are you the one everybody turns to when a crisis arises? Some of us freeze; some of us have a calmness that carries us through any calamity. Regardless of what type of stress mechanism you have, having important information on hand and a plan in place is an essential part of your response process.
Here’s a checklist for easy reference:
- Have a planner in every hotel in which you have groups of guests staying.
- Make sure that person has that hotel’s manifest and a master list of all hotel guests.
- Research every hotel you’re using, not just the host property. Know who the manager on duty is for each shift for each day you have guests there.
- Know where the defibrillators are and when they were last checked.
- Know who the security company is and what its direct dial number is.
- Have a small pre-conference with all the overflow hotels and make sure you meet the security directory, share your rooming list and your contact information. Be the person called or contacted in an emergency.
- Offer guests the opportunity to list emergency contact information during the registration process.
- Ask guests for food and medical allergies and have them listed on your hotel manifest.
- Put the staff staying at a given hotel all on one floor so you can walk to and from events together as often as possible. In an emergency, you’ll instantly know who is unaccounted for on your team.
- Have a rallying point at which your team will gather in an emergency. Make sure each team member has the full guest list and that they know to bring it with them in case of an emergency.
- Consider what floor you’ll stay on. My preference is nothing higher than the ninth floor, because that’s the standard height a fire ladder can reach. I’ll trade the view for a rescue any day.
- Consider a safety strobe. It can direct people in the case of a blackout, smoke or in large crowds where it’s difficult to find a particular person.
- Have an emergency kit on hand and restock it regularly. Pay the extra few dollars to have one that is beyond the standard. It’s worth every cent.
- Get your team trained in first aid and CPR.
- Get certified in crowd control and fire safety.
- Have an emergency plan and assign each team member a particular task so everyone can spring into action at a moment’s notice.
- Pack flashlights and make sure every team member has one. Buy flat ones so they can fit easily into a handbag, binder or iPad case.
- Put “in case of emergency” info on every team member’s phone and suggest all guests do the same.
- If your trip is international, contact the U.S. Embassy in that country so it has the group and trip details on file.
Emergency situations are unpreventable. Being caught unprepared is not. Make the time to follow this checklist and add items of your own. Don’t ever get yourself into a situation where you wish you had.
For information on certifications, embassies, where to purchase flat flashlights and safety strobes, email me at Christy.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next: MBEC 6.04 — Arranging security