Every August Bank Holiday weekend since 1974 people have come together in the streets of W11 to celebrate Afro-Caribbean cultures and traditions. This weekend people from all over London, and all around the world, will watch colourful floats and flamboyant performers, listen to steel bands and taste mouth-watering food.
Lots of effort goes in to planning events, especially ones on the scale of Notting Hill Carnival (or the SW4 festival in Clapham this weekend). As well as the entertainment, event organisers have to protect visitors and event staff from a variety of risks. The handbook, if you're running an event is known as The Purple Guide, but we thought we'd share just a little bit of information about how the risk of emergencies at events is reduced as far as possible.
Typically, where events require a license to be issued (usually if there is some form of entertainment, food and drink being provided or temporary structures) a Safety Advisory Group brings together the event organisers, emergency services and local authority to ensure that all risks have been considered; including the possibility of an emergency occurring. This includes assessing evacuation procedures, ensuring recommended levels of first aid provision and confirming that emergency services can access all necessary areas.
Sadly, there are examples of events which have experienced an emergency. But by considering the possibilities, planning in advance, and providing people with information those risks can be reduced. London has a high-level of expertise and experience in managing events successfully due to a very busy events calendar.
If you are attending Notting Hill Carnival this year here's my top 5 tips
- Check your travel arrangements - this information from Transport for London will help you plan in advance, but it's worth checking real-time information before you set off. Remember, the Night Tube is also now running on the Central and Victoria lines on Fri and Sat too.
- Take a coat & a bottle of water - although the weather will continue to be warm over the weekend, there is a possibility of some heavy showers
- Allow plenty of time - to get around and to get a good view of the parade, there are hundreds of thousands of people so prepare to walk slowly
- Arrange a meeting place - if you get separated from friends or family have somewhere in mind that you can meet back up again
- Stay safe and alert - don't take items that are prohibited, keep your valuables out of sight to avoid pickpockets and if you have any worries let a police officer know
Wishing you a safe weekend and a happy Carnival,
Matt, London Resilience Officer
oh, P.S. if this talk of planning for emergencies at events has whetted your appetite take a look at the current job vacancies we have advertised...but be quick, the closing dates are next week.