Preparing for severe weather during festival season

In Allen County, all festivals must have an incident action plan, which includes what to do in a severe weather situation.

Posted: Jun 4, 2019 4:05 PM
Updated: Jun 5, 2019 8:35 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - It’s festival time and you know exactly when the gates will open up, but are you prepared if the sky opens up?

Event organizers in Allen County spend their time preparing for you to have a good time and a part of that is making sure they have a plan in place if severe weather strikes.

"Our first priority is to keep everybody here safe since it’s a family, fun festival," said Brian Hollister, the Vice President of Germanfest in Fort Wayne.

Hollister helped develop the severe weather plan that will help keep the thousands of Germanfest goers safe.

Hollister said, "We work extensively with Bernie (Beier), with Homeland Security. Then we have Fort Wayne Police Department officers that do our security for us. So, between the city plan and the Homeland Security, we’ve got a packet they built just for Germanfest."

That packet includes information about what to do when severe weather strikes, where the exits are, and who is going to direct you to safety.

It depends on the type of weather though. If it’s just heavy rain, the pavillion should provide more than enough shelter.

If there’s a tornado warning, you’ll be directed to the designated shelter. For Germanfest, that’s the basement of the parking garage at the Rousseau center.

It’s not just Germanfest that has a plan. All festivals and events have to have an incident action plan. Lori Mayers, the Assistant Director of Homeland Security in Allen County said, "If severe weather is forecasted, we will make contact with the event director to make sure they monitor the weather."

You and your family should have a plan as well. Know where you will meet to go seek shelter. Take a few minutes to learn where the exits are, and easiest of all, look at the forecast before you leave the house. 

Make sure to follow the plan when it’s put into action.

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