Posted by: Jim Digby, Director of Touring/Production Manager, Linkin Park Production
As the production manager for world-renowned rock band Linkin Park (LP), risk mitigation is at the top of the priority list. Linkin Park are at the forefront of finding and creating better solutions to ensure the safety of all those in and around their performances.
Severe weather is more common than most realize. That is why we have a solution for outdoor event weather monitoring by accredited meteorologists who advise us through predictive forecasting technologies at all of our outdoor events. Weather Decision Technologies (WDT), located next to NOAA’s severe weather research and forecasting experts in Norman, Okla., has partnered with us to create the first ever weather decision and alerting matrix deployed specifically for outdoor events.
In place throughout the back stage area at a Linkin Park concert are printed decision matrices that advise the crew of the exact actions that are to take place under predetermined weather thresholds which we are advised of through our relationship with WDT.
Linkin Park are also the first-ever touring musical artist to receive the NOAA “Storm Ready” recognition, achieved by demonstrating and fulfilling the NOAA requirements of planning, preparedness and alerting methodologies. This was a proud moment for Linkin Park and a step forward in the industry. The StormReady program has helped over 2000 communities develop emergency plans to handle severe weather. Going to an outdoor concert or entertainment event should always offer an opportunity to happily escape from the day-today grind of life. Most times, as you prepare to attend an event, you are likely to be thinking only about the great music or entertainment you are about to participate in; we believe however you should also take a minute to consider your personal safety.
During National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, I want to provide you with tips that could save your life. The better prepared you are the greater your chances of not being caught off guard by inclement weather during an outdoor event. The good news is it only takes a few minutes to prepare. Heat, rain, lightning, hail and damaging winds are all possible game changers at outdoor events. Packing sunscreen, a fully charged mobile device with an advanced weather app (there are lots out there, just search “weather” in your smartphone’s app store) that will deliver life-saving watches and warnings from the National Weather Service, and plenty of water are all precautions one should take before heading out for a day of outdoor entertainment.
Once on site take a minute to familiarize yourself with the surroundings; know your exits, your shelter areas, your means of egress back to your vehicle (which is often times the safest place to be) and the alerting methods that will advise you when it is necessary to take shelter. Be prepared to look after yourself in the face of these risks as not all outdoor entertainment sites are prepared to safely shelter everyone in attendance. Don’t be afraid to ask a venue representative what the audience evacuation plan is in the face of foul weather. If they don’t have a suitable answer its best you take a minute to create your own plan. Remember it’s only an entertainment event – if the threat of severe weather is heading your way take shelter and only return when the all-clear is given.
Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Don’t be near temporary structures such as scaffolding and tents if high winds are forecasted.
Look for the “Storm Ready” placards. If you see these on site then there IS a plan in place from the venue - they will have alerting systems and the necessary instructions for you to follow when the threat of weather becomes real.
If you don’t already have a family preparedness plan, now is the time to Be a Force of Nature: know your risk of severe weather, take action, pledge to prepare and be an example, tell others how to prepare.
These few tips can be a matter of life and death. Enjoy yourself. But do it safely by having a plan for severe weather.