Event/ Disaster Management Principles

For starters, you will never need a Traffic Management Plan (TMP); until we hit the ground running. When people are hooting and screaming at each other. Then a plan seems like a very good idea now. Especially where staff are running around like rats on a sinking ship, direction less, un co-ordinated – when late comers still need to pitch a tent, and the eager security guard, has already shown people to park, right over the envisage area. Then tempers get hot and chaos ensues.

Proper planning, co-ordination, and execution are a must have, a strategic science and art.

We will be looking at the importance of having a STRATEGY, with pre – planned parking layouts and a Traffic Management Plan.

There are several ways to start your planning, but the best way is to get specifics, and as much info possible first.

  1. What are the modes of traffic to consider for this event?
  2. What time of day will it be?
  3. The duration?
  4. The expected turn out?
  5. The nature of the event?
  6. Its history if any?
  7. Previous records, debriefing reports by Police, Traffic Police, Metro Police, Traffic departments – anyone.

Start by looking at the bulk mode of transport first.

This will inform you of your focus areas, and its derivatives. There are several modes of traffic to anticipate; starting with the most common and obvious – people forget this – yes being a pedestrian is a mode of transport; they also bring with them baby strollers, bicycles, wheelchairs, trolleys, carts, bags, back packs and then the bigger more conventional motorbikes, quad bikes, motor vehicles, mini vans, trucks, abnormal vehicles, busses, taxis, plains, boats and trains to name but a few. All these aspects need to be catered for as well; in terms of;

  1. Security – of all aspects concerned with patrons property and life in mind.
  2. Safety – prohibited substances, come in via modes of transport etc. search areas, get people to buy online, or at supermarkets, or register online and collect tickets in the vehicle park…
  3. Safeguarding – have facilities, options, in place for patrons to hire or pay for safeguarding. Have security levels around your event. No private vehicles, only shuttles beyond this point signs, etc.. Only pedestrians, etc..
  4. Storage – have lockers available for rental, bicycle sheds, motorbike stands
  5. Scanning – have scanners built in to detect vapour, x-ray, and scan for explosives, and other safety and security issues. Or don’t allow them at all, until they have gone to an offsite vehicle scanner park, for vetting, and certification.

Each form of transport has each its own unique and common characteristics, compared with that of other forms of transport. This will inform us of how to orientate ourselves when planning.

Characteristics of transport;

The common elements are;

  1. Speed
  2. Size
  3. Manoeuvrability
  4. Accessibility
  5. Capacity
  6. Capability

The unique elements are;

  1. Design characteristics; that give it certain limitations or abilities, IE.  – 4×4 – three wheeler – tractor, racing car… some are good at some terrain others are better at speed, and then others are great at pulling things.
  2. Node specific – see, water, air, road, rail, dirt, space or combinations…
  3. Type – goods, passenger, specific, specialised, and agricultural/ industrial

Therefore; when we look at designing a traffic management plan all these characteristics play a critical role, and need to be incorporated in the business hypnotises to make sense,  the one thing we need to look out for first is, what nodes – types of infrastructure – connects our venue to the patrons, and what type of transport modes do they accommodate. How big is this events spread, or footprint…? Does it or will it affect the local community, region, province, etc?

  1. There might be roads, but they could be too small for cars, and the main node could be water ways, like in Venice (Italy) for instance.
  2. An intersect could also be understood to imply, a handover from one form to the next, so we may have a train station, that hands over to pedestrian traffic for instance,
  3. the mode of transport changes where the node ends, or intersects.
  4. The type of event will also determine the spread of nodes; starting from a local event, to regional, to provincial, to national, right up to an international, and then also VVip events, heads of state…
  5. Then the factors commonto traffic congestion become focal.
    1. For instance; where pedestrians want to cross a road at a pedestrian crossing, then the speed of vehicles and the speed of a pedestrians intersect, the slowest speed dictate the fastest rate of transfer at that point.. (Implying that the amount of vehicles passing through, versus the amount of pedestrians – say 6 pedestrians for every one vehicle, constitutes a cycle time of 2 minutes. Cycle times can give you an indication of how long it will take to clear an intersection running at full capacity for instance…) will take to clear…

With knowledge of this nature in hand one can plan for contingencies. Like having points-men manning intersections, automation, or setting cycles on a robot – traffic light for instance…etc. then we are pre-empting heavy traffic…and minimising the bottlenecks.

Bottle necks and choke points are only diluted through proper planning of all nodes and modes of transport in mind.

Contingency planning and flexibility is key to minimising the effect of bottlenecks and choke points. .

In addition – we should also consider extremes;

  1. like if the weather conditions are such that the car parking areas become waterlogged then you must be able to use alternative sites.
  2. Grass cutting and cleaning up the dirt/ grass parking sites,
  3. as well as filling in holes,
  4. putting up lights
  5. having fire extinguisher on hand, etc is all good ideas.

The next issue is size; size impacts on all the other aspects of traffic flow; speed, manoeuvrability, accessibility, capacity, capability etc…

For instance;

  1. the larger the number of patrons the greater the knock-on effect becomes; more vehicles, busses, taxis, construction vehicles, emergency vehicles etc, then we should revisit our;
    1.  turning radius and spaces between columns in parking areas,
    2. the greater the capacity required to deal with them – more guards, marshals, and traffic wardens, and points men…
    3. it will also impact on security and other risk factors only applicable to large events
    4.  and then subsequently the greater the planning and considerations become.

With this said let’s look at the planning of a traffic flow diagram…first and then address parking layouts.

Take note; No two events, and even stadiums are the same, there is no one template for all types of events, especially if you have events running in parallel.

First the principles that work best – or best practices – are;

  1. Try to get the traffic to move around the venue in a circle pattern, clockwise for instance, with one entrance and one exist if possible, then you can in most cases use two lanes.
  2. Make use of trained traffic controllers – they can adjust at a minutes’ notice – traffic police / wardens.
  3. Make use of road traffic signs, and information boards, knowledge is power – advertise / communicate.
  4. Where you have more than one entrance, then two or more strategies are required, for entrance and exit – at a show or sports event for instance, where everyone wants to be in by say 6pm and out by 9pm. You will have two sudden peaks…
  5. With random ingress en egress, the traffic should be channelled as far as possible – shown where to go…compelled to follow specify routes in and out…create order.
  6. Parking layout and planning, and the physical demarcation of it is a must, always, and also dedicate parking areas for specific types of transport; cars, motorbikes, mini-busses, handicapped, emergency vehicles, vendors, service suppliers and busses etc. never attempt to mix them up.
  7. Make use of transfer areas, where you switch from one mode of transport to the next smaller is a faster mode… trains totravelators, mini busses to golf carts etc…

The purpose of a Traffic Management Plan

Remember, we are planning for people that in most instances have never been to the venue. They pay our salary, so they are the customer, and the customer is always right. Patron access must be planned to ensure there is no disruption, and confrontation, or infringement to neighbouring businesses or homes either and to ensure clear access by emergency services and event staff. It’s a balancing act, keep everyone happy. There must be a structure, and a command and control element, backed up by a plan.

Event organisers are expected and must make arrangements for the following:

• Adequate, safe and secure car parking space, including over-flow parking

• Access for people with disabilities

• Preferred/ priority access routes to the venue

• Adequate lighting and visible security

• Shuttle buses where venue/activity covers a large area and info boards, directions…

In addition to the public vehicles arriving on site there are traders, vendors, performers and service suppliers, as well as VIP vehicles. That should be catered for. The best is to have separate times, gates, and operational protocol for them. Work on accreditation.

Road Closures

Will there be any road closures for the event? What roads will be closed for the event?

This is not a well liked practice by the locals. So if you do it, do it right. Start with the development of a traffic management plan, and submit the application to Council for approval and then start

Advertising, well in advance to your event – at least six (6) weeks prior to the event.

On lodgement of the information, Council officers will inspect the area for the proposed

temporary street closure and advise the applicant if it is practical and safe to do so for the purpose of conducting the event. The closure will apply only to that section of street nominated as approved by Council and it is the responsibility of the application to provide evidence that emergency services have been notified of the temporary street closure.

The street closure is to be effected using appropriate barricades, warning signs and warning lights as detailed in the Traffic Management Plan submitted. You will be advised, I presume by the traffic department, metro or police concerned in this regard I am sure.

The Event Manager will be responsible for the clearing of rubbish from the area following the event.

Parking areas

Getting to and from the Event should be made as easy as possible. By talking with the public transport operators at an early stage, it may be possible to increase the frequency of buses, or increase the capacity of trains. Thus alleviating the congestion and density of parking areas.

The layout of parking areas goes hand in hand with the terrain map. Most organisers don’t bother with a terrain map. This is a very important tool to plan the structure and layout of any event that will make use of temporary structures, and will make of rural parking, or temporary parking spaces.

Aspect to consider;

It is very easy today to draw an on scale terrain map, with the use of Goole Earth, where you get the street map, and an aerial view, as well as street view. You can now draw in the details you need for presentations.

Have a bench mark, a checklist, and ask these questions, to make sure what you planned is implemented and checked.

Preliminary Site Assessment Checklist (SWOT assessment)

Factors Description

Entry and Exit points

  1. How many? Pedestrian or
  2. Vehicle access?
  3. Allow for emergency access?
  4. Easily accessible? Gradient, pavements, rocks, sloped etc.
  5. Well signed?

Emergency Routes

  1. Is there access to all areas on site for all types of emergency vehicles – especially fire trucks?

Safety of Site

  1. Are there features of the site that would need to be marked and could pose a risk and effect the site plan e.g. river, ponds, streams, dams…

Power points

  1. Where are the power points?
  2. Are they easily accessible?
  3. Do we require a COC – Certificate Of Compliance  -for them,
  4. What is their capacity?
  5. Do they have isolators on?
  6. Are they child safe?

Do vehicles need to be made aware of overhead power lines?

Central area/stage Are there many options for the positioning of the central arena/stage?

Which is the most appropriate and why?

Is there enough space for the audience?

Stall area is the topography reasonably level?

Is the area prone to flooding?

Is there enough room for people to circulate around the stalls?

Parking Is the car park in reasonable distance from the event?

Is there an area for disabled parking? If parking in the park (in an area that is not usually designated for parking) is the ground and topography suitable?

The points that need to be on the terrain map.

•  Position of trees – check trees for broken branches, or dangerous growth and remove

•  Emergency routes, and evacuation area through undesignated areas – areas not used readily.

•  Emergency staging area, if overflow, plan B

•  Audience space, pertaining to overflow, and closable stage barriers positioning

•  Parking areas layout and rout directions – flow pattern. The placement of fire extinguishers and grass beaters. This will include any pay points, and collection points for tickets as well as the placing of barriers and cordon tape.

•  General safety of the site – no go and restricted areas, holes, pot holes, broken fences, lights, windows, doors, tiles, floors, and water pipes leaking, exposed drains, covers missing from storm water pipes, rubbish, broken glass –  etc…

Then a supplementary to this we have a key infrastructure facilities map

This map shows detailed placement and dimensions of areas…

•  Staging areas and evacuation points

•  PA system spread

•  Toilets positioning

•  Crowd barriers placement

•  Marquees and gazebos placement

•  First Aid tent placement

•  Information tent placement

•  Power points required and placement

•  Parking designation – emergency vehicles, staff, security, service suppliers, vendors, etc and areas for bulk, busses, heavy motor vehicles, and construction rigs, and TV vans etc.

•  Emergency Entrance and exit points

Great leaders had great inspiration, that comes from radical and revolutionary ideas, principles, and practices, all meshed into a capability for considerable insight, here we have exactly that… just waiting for you…read my book, get it here.

Certification of Events – for the purpose of emergency and disaster mitigation management.

Legislative venue compliance is becoming focal within the event management industry. Looking at stadiums or large venues, then one can see how complex the infrastructure is, or any large area that can, could and has been utilized for public use, they all needs to comply with certain aspects of legislation.

The owner that is in the business of renting out or leasing his whole or partial facility, should always be up to date with current legislation. Certification is a worldwide requirement when it comes to compliance with legislation covering aspects ranging from electricity, health, and building regulations for instance to fire codes, need to be checked beforehand. As they all have limitations, conditions, and expiray dates. All of wich becomes relevant at the point where we have a full stadium. Do we then comply legally?  


Certification can and should cover the following criteria, and this should become a standard checklist for event promotors, to check, when enquiring abiut the venue, its capacity and cost.

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What would you like to ask, but never had the nerve to
Hi all, i see most of you following, have different ball games, if there is anything you need more info on and I can help, just ask and we can see what happens...
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Hope you all have great times, and events in 2012!!!
The purpose of security guards and security devices at points of access

We can only speak of access control where we find a specific criterion for Authentication, Authorization, and Control.

The purpose of security guards and security devices at points of access. Is to create a perception of sanctuary and a presence of safety, and to enforce the access criteria.

Definition; Access control in general refers to a condition, or conditions (more than one) that must exist that specifically determines a criteria, or a set of criteria’s that has to be met, before access / entrance will be granted, thus restricting free access, by enlisting a criteria. This criteria could be simple or very complicated, physical, electronic or biometric (the recording of things such as people’s fingerprints or the appearance of their eye in order to identify them on an electronic system).By implication, anything from a key, to a credit card pin, to a finger print.

Access also implies egress, and rights

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A – Standard Operating Procedure – (SOP) - for Access Control

A – Standard Operating Procedure – (SOP)  - for Access Control

PURPOSE and definition of any access control SOP:

  • Purpose; SOP’s were designed to create uniformity of effort, and cohesion, thus resulting in the continuity of standards. These standards would also refer to unit standards, TACTICS: best practices, immediate action drills, intelligence gathering, surveillance and counter surveillance, interrogation, authentication, and legislative compliance among other things.
  • Aim; to couple objectives with standards; It becomes a standard for“tactical” implementation. (Tactical – implying; the use of military/ Police science that deals with securing objectives set by strategy).  Especially the technique of deploying and directing “troops” – guards -, and the use of terrain, and communication, as well as technology to effectively counter any threat with.
  • Strategy implementation;  Thus we design a strategy first, and then we use techniques – tactics/ SOP’s – to deploy guards/ resources for the greatest impact and effect, in executing our access control strategy.
  • Definition; To establish an integrated standard criteria and control system for all functions/aspects of access and egress control within the scope of standards.
  • Standards in this context refers to; something considered by an authority or by general consent as a basis of comparison; or an approved model. Put at its simplest, a standardis an agreed, repeatable way of doing something.


SOP’s for the most part cannot and should not just be cut and paste exercise only, granted its good to work from a template. The applicability of an SOP applies to all security personnel assigned to the safeguarding and protection of life and assets at a specific site or gate, or venue, and effects all who they come into contact with. Therefore it needs to be specific, in both addressing security concerns as well as enforcing the basic aspects of security and access control.

An SOP’s aim is to create one specific criterion to be followed during all hours of operation; by all concerned, thus creating a uniform approach to access control. This also then becomes a standard, that then becomes the benchmark for the level of service expected, and to be maintained; how you start will determine where and how you will finish. The departing standard, will also thus inform the grading of guards required and a performance criteria to be followed for the maintaining of a minimum, (or medium, high, or maximum level of security). a level of security in it self becomes a expected standard.

Standards are set pertaining to any agreement reached, or president that was set.  Any attempt to address any level of threat, should be coupled to a standard, or by adopting a best practice. Not just on consensus reached, perception is not reality. Threats can only be countered, by implementing barriers,  a counter strategy, that prevents the opposition from achieving his goals - committing crime – by countering such threat with tactics. Tactics are set standards to be adopted.

Tactics may very or escalate, (you won’t just have one criteria for instance to address just one problem with; if violence erupts in a community, or we experience a sudden crime wave, then naturally the level of security must escalate – “automatically” -, and then be adequate – to face the emanating escalating risk, and be escalated disproportional to the risk).

Flexible tactical escalation and de-escalation could be built into any SOP, with set protocols for each level to escalate to.

The aim is to have scale-able criteria, and to still have set standards for each scale.  If you only adopt one level of security, and it never flexes, then its easy to observe and be bridge by criminals. However, if you have changing tactics, and scale-ability then they will have to make a huge effort to bridge your security. This aspect could also be coupled to time; for instance day vs. night time deployment could see different criteria, (more guards during night time, dog patrols, etc.) and then even seasonal, calling for additional measures to be adopted.

The SOP must address the situation well and in its entirety;  some say in parallel; for instance with peak hours and off peak; we make provision for traffic flow, or get house sitters, to check proprieties of people on leave, etc.  Our strategy and actions/ tactics needs to inform and speak to us; on both the internal as well as external factors that will, could, have, has impacted on our strategy in the past, to address where we suffered error in hindsight effctifly in the future. It must be in parallel with trends, and crime patterns, neither be over bearing, nor be watered-down either. Therefore; not extreme, it must be efficient – professional – and both effective – valuable.

That’s the best way to describe it. We have to think highly of these people we employ as guards, and they have to become indispensable assets of the community they serve. (Not the norm, where they can’t speak, or communicate, lazy, and they are the masterminds behind most acts).

Detail; they say the devil is in the detail; any good SOP will/ should cover several aspects clearly. we have to go into detail, and cover every aspect we can think of that will impact, challenged, compromise, and or address our access concerns. The only way to do this is to go into detail, for instance;

  • It should define the minimum force criteria; 
  • The minimum level grading of guards to be deployed
  • Thoseminimumactions condoned, how far is a guard expected to go; including the use of (armed)force; to be sufficient to bring any situation under control or to defend against hostile acts or hostile intent. In other words, the guards should be bound by the use of force criteria. But not to such an extent where they become useless, or targets themselves…strive for balance in all things…
  • The specific amount of guards and resources on the gate, or terrain at all times.
  • Informed decision making practices; 
    • what is the best practice pertaining to each criteria staring with; 
    • Access control criteria
    • Vehicles
    • Pedestrian
    • Delivery people
    • Contractors 
    • Visitors
    • Service suppliers 
  • Patrols
    • Perimeter
    • outside, inside, mounted, dog, equestrian, etc..
  • Look at all the criteria in question…then see if it is legitimate. 

     Legitimacy is the final test, the legal status of your criteria set, and the standard used and adopted to become the  SOP.

    Always get a legal opinion before denying people their rights. However for the most; The short and the long of it is; basically, any (legal and reasonable) criteria implemented by the owner, body corporate, trustees, landlord, or anyone who is legally in charge of a property will be deemed legal. No matter peoples rights.  Any person May institute any criteria they deem fit for the use of access criteria, and it will be deemed legal, as long as its legal and reasonable.

    • Legally speaking, however - Accountability and Responsibility is not thereby removed; it remains vested with the HSO: Head of Security Operations at a venue; – or otherwise the owner, or his/her appointee.
    • A responsible individual appointed on orders to act as the representative of the Directorate/ people that employed them – security contractor -, on all matters involving access, egress, traffic, parking, and security.  He/she is totally responsible for supervision of the control, of personnel and systems and will ensure that the SOP is maintained.
    • Second HSO: An individual appointed on orders to assist the HSO in all matters of supervision and control. Unless otherwise specified, the term refers to operational effectiveness.


    Is best established through having a proper access and egress control system, supported by SOP’s.

     HERE IS A SAMPLE SOP;read the user rights…

    This is one of the most comprehensive documents I have ever seen on this aspect, complied by; The Foundation for Community Association Research is a national, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization devoted to common interest community research, development, and scholarship. Incorporated in 1975, the Foundation supports and conducts research in the community, homeowner, and condominium association industry

    SOP Security village      

    Terms of use;

    Copyright and Use Permission
    Published 2008. Foundation for Community Association Research
    225 Reinekers Lane, Suite 300
    Alexandria, VA 22314
    Readers are encouraged to download and reproduce this report for community association managers, board
    members, individual homeowners, and community association-related industry professionals without permission of the Foundation for Community Association Research provided the following terms are met: this
    document must be reproduced in its entirety including the use permission statement; this document may not
    be added to, modified, amended, or otherwise altered from the original as presented here. Readers and users agree not to sell copies of this document or otherwise seek compensation for its distribution.
    “This document is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is provided with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal,
    accounting or other professional services. If legal or expert advice is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought.” —From a Declaration of Principles, jointly adopted by a committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers.http://www.cairf.org/research/bpsecurity.pdf
    ISBN 978-0-941301-73-2
    Also see this SOP;


    Emergency & Disaster, Event Management Planning.

    Get a copy of this book on strategy; and build your own SOP…
    Security at events

    This is just an introduction to some of the in-depth aspects that need work when dealing with events. Many veterans in the event management industry have now realized and will agree, that with events we need plans tailor-made, templates just don’t cut it.

    Next, how we focus, will determine where we will focus. Focus is the main issue here, and it should be on good and proper planning. Planning alone is one step in the right direction if done right, the next is the handling (management and co-ordination) of events, our plans should not become the catalyst for disaster itself, and neither should our ultra-ego influence our management styles and practices.

    The fact of the matter is. You get plans, and then you get plans; I have seen some “plans” and PLANS in my life time, most was just a pure thumb suck exercise, not even worth looking at, a complete waste of paper and time. Some have only submitted a one pager for an event that will be hosting/ catering for as many as 30 000 people.

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    Emergency & Disaster, Event Management Planning.


    No portion of this document may be used, sold or otherwise reproduced or disseminated for any other purpose as what it was initially intended for, no person has any rights to this document, and it is not considered a public document, no one else will be considered a rightful user. All rights to this document in terms of the Protection of Information Act, 1982 83


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    What is a Disaster Management Plan?

    Stop wasting time by creating mountains of elaborate planning, do it right, or just don’t do it at all.

    Far too many disaster management plans are drawn up daily just for the sake of having one, because it is somehow “required”. Even more are drawn up costing thousands and are never implemented. The reason for this is they could not interface, or connect with structures and systems existing. 

    strategic management

    What is a Disaster Management Plan?

    First off, what is a disaster? Here is a short definition; disaster is classified as being either natural or man-made. That has impact on a developed population’s infrastructure, housing, farms, or livelihood that destroys most of it, and caused extensive loss of human life, or drastically changes the landscape, environment, or economy of a region…

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