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Emergency preparedness for special events goes well beyond stationing security guards at various locations to manage risk exposure and potential consequence of a crisis. Emergency preparedness is a complex process that must be integrated into the operational elements of event security so that readiness is maintained. Large special events serve as economic drivers for many communities; however, event organizers must also consider that in today’s world there are an increasing number of security concerns they must be prepared to handle.

Emergency Preparedness for Special Events

Across the nation, communities and venue owners are responsible for managing thousands of special events for sporting events, festivals, concerts, conventions, tourist attractions, and other public and private mass gatherings. These events not only draw hundreds of thousands of people into a community or specific venue, magnifying the potential of a crisis or the consequences of a natural emergency or disease outbreak, but some events may be a potential target for terrorism or civil unrest.

Whether these events are designated as a National Special Security Event, past special event crises have demonstrated that communities and venue owners must be well prepared. Pre-incident emergency planning and crisis management strategies will help manage the crisis response operations and identify strategies to successfully manage communication, reputational risk, and recovery.

  • According to the FBI, over the past 20 years there have been over 300 active shooter incidents resulting in almost 3,000 casualties and 1,000 fatalities.
  • In 2020, the United States had a record number of public demonstrations that grew into civil disturbances resulting in over $2 billion in damages according to the Verisk Property Claims Services.
  • According to the Center for Strategic & International Studies, over the past 25 years there have been over 900 terrorist attacks and foiled plots in the United States. These terrorist plots were made by religious, left-wing, right-wing, and ethnonationalist groups.
  • Research indicates that disease outbreaks have been increasing significantly since 1980 and this risk will continue beyond the COVID-19 pandemic and into the decades to come.
  • According to the International Disaster Database, natural disasters and large-scale emergencies are on the rise, globally and in the United States. Although deaths from natural disasters are down, the cost and economic loss from natural disasters has risen exponentially.

Our Expertise & Experience

ISC has obtained the recognition of providing exceptional, client-focused services and is celebrated for its integrated best-practices approach to Special Event Crisis Management and Preparedness Services. Our continued success has served to strengthen our belief that our team must be coordinated and well-versed in both the practical application of crisis and emergency management and possess extensive knowledge of managing large-scale special events.

Major League Baseball All Star Game Evacuation Plan

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ISC provided technical assistance in the development of a Regional Evacuation Plan for the Mid-America Regional Council that can be utilized for multiple hazard scenarios including the Major League Baseball All Star Game. The overarching purpose of the plan was to provide a vehicle for collaboration in planning, communication, information sharing, and coordination of activities/operations requiring an evacuation. This coordinated effort incorporated nine counties spanning across Kansas and Missouri.

Super Bowl LIV Emergency Operations Functional Exercise

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ISC designed, developed, and conducted an Emergency Operations Center Functional Exercise, in preparation for the National Football League’s Super Bowl LIV, held in Miami, FL in February 2020. ISC planners designed exercises to provide a forum for staff supporting the Super Bowl. These exercises were designed to enhance their security and emergency response readiness for an event that attracted over 62,000 attendees and 102 million viewers during a worldwide pandemic. ISC facilitated the exercise planning process following HSEEP protocol, prepared all exercise tools and materials, including a comprehensive Master Scenario Events List, scenario vignette videos which enhanced the exercise simulation, and all HSEEP After-Action Reporting and Improvement Planning. Moreover, ISC established and operated a Simulation Cell which drove all exercise play with the use of scenario injects, introduced by telephone, WebEOC message, GIS product, and the scenario vignette videos.

Special Event Planning for Nation’s Largest Country Music Festival

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ISC developed and tested a Special Events Operations and Management Plan in preparation for our nation’s largest country music festival, WE Fest. WE Fest is an annual three-day country music festival that attracts approximately 100,000 spectators to Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.

ISC coordinated and led a tabletop exercise that included WE Fest event staff and management, the City of Detroit Lakes, Becker County, and the Regional HAZMAT Team. More than 30 people representing over 15 groups participated. ISC worked closely with WE Fest and Becker County to create a realistic HAZMAT event that might occur during the County music festival’s three-day event. Highlights included communication enhancements, training identification, infrastructure improvements, Memorandums of Understanding opportunities, legal contract shortcomings, and focused on various stakeholders’ areas of responsibility.