With the Winter Olympics starting this week, a major concern among Americans planning to attend the games is security. Considering the fact that security is a huge concern even when the games are held in America, it is understandable that the need for a robust security setup increases manifold when Americans travel overseas to attend the Olympics. In fact, Americans need to worry about security more than most countries based on past Olympics where anti-social threats have been specifically targeted towards Americans.
The international concern regarding security during the 2014 Winter Olympics has been fueled by five suicide bombings over the past year in areas surrounding Sochi, Russia, where the games are scheduled to be held.
Having an Emergency Action Plan specifically designed for the Olympics is imperative since such a plan targets the specific concerns that are expected to arise during such an event. A mass notification system plays a key role in such a plan, since it gives the organizers a way of communicating to all the attendees instantly, in the event of an emergency. Such a notification system could be implemented on a voluntary basis, whereby athletes could sign up using a simple procedure, after which they would receive key updates regarding the Olympics, such as security plan modifications, event start times, etc.
Such a mass notification system enables attendees to subscribe to specific groups of their interest, and to receive emergency alerts from anywhere in the area. By signing up for this service, they can receive information specific to the events for which they have tickets, ranging from schedule updates to helpful information such as road closures, what they can/can’t take with them, etc. In addition to this, the use of such a mass notification system as a part of the emergency action plan during the Olympics can also be beneficial for the volunteers, who can get information related to their specific function, as well as updates on logistics, security, etc.
The key components of an emergency action plan for the Olympics should be communication, medical supplies, emergency transportation, venue access, and emergency action plan. Such a plan, when implemented effectively, can make all the difference between a historical event and an international catastrophe. It is important for the emergency action plan to be designed and tested well in advance of the actual event.
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