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Event Planning: Emergency Planning

The consequences of a major incident at an event could be catastrophic and it is important to plan for such an occurrence. Such a major incident normally requires a multi-agency approach. You, as the event organiser in partnership with the police, fire authority, local authority, local emergency planning officers, the Ambulance and Hospital Services, stewards and first-aiders may all play a part. It is, therefore, important that duties are clearly identified and that responsibilities are agreed and understood at the planning stage.

You should therefore consider what could go wrong on the day and draw up an Emergency Plan to deal with any contingency.


  • Identification of key decision-making individuals
  • How you would stop the event
  • Identification of emergency routes and access for emergency services
  • How would people with special needs be impacted
  • Identification of holding areas for performers, workers and the audience
  • Details of the script of coded messages to alert and 'stand down' stewards
  • Alerting procedures
  • Public warning mechanisms
  • Evacuation and containment measures and procedures
  • Details of the script of public address (PA) announcement to the audience
  • Identification of rendezvous points for emergency services nearby but outside the incident area
  • Identification of ambulance loading points and triage areas
  • Location of hospitals in the area and identification of routes to them
  • Outline of the roles of individuals and contact details

The purpose of your plan is to provide a flexible response whatever the incident, conditions or resources at the time.

Your Plan should include

  • The action to be taken in the case of any of these emergencies occurring
  • Who will take action?
  • A clear statement that describes the point at which during an incident, control is transferred from the Safety Officer to the emergency services
  • How you will let the right people know about the emergency using a detailed communication list containing relevant telephone numbers and radio call signs

It is important that the Emergency and Evacuation Plan is discussed and agreed with the emergency services and that they are given a copy of the finalised document.  A template for the emergency and evacuation plan is available for you; please request this from the event officer at DDC. Once an event has begun, unscheduled stopping of the event could present serious difficulties, and therefore such an eventuality should be pre-planned as far as possible.