Actions to Consider Taking with Hurricane-Force Winds Approaching

Author / Mark Breen
14 Oct ‘17
Hurricane Ophelia is set to hit the Irish shores early next week. With winds and gusts of up to 100mph being forecast, there are a number of key actions we should consider taking.

The challenge

Weather can significantly disrupt events and the preparation for events in a wide range of ways. I previously wrote an article entitled Weather Can Significantly Affect Your Event  and one of the weather types I touched on in that article was wind. 

With the tail-end of Ophelia due to visit Ireland in the coming days, here are some suggestions of actions you might consider taking if you're planning / running an event while Ophelia is here.

The advice

Perhaps consider some or all of the following, on foot of comprehensive Risk Assessments conducted by competent people:

  • Halting work on event builds
  • Halting any working at height on-site
  • Performing remedial works in advance to secure event build elements for the winds being forecast
  • Temporarily closing events to the public
  • Temporarily closing some high risk areas within you event or event build
  • Actively monitoring the wind speeds on site
  • Taking down any platforms, high machinery, marquee structures etc. that do not need to stay up / are not currently being used
  • Resourcing your personnel to be able to make quick, key decisions on-site as the winds impact
  • Briefing on-site staff on the actions that are being / may be taken due to the high winds 

In practice

We're currently working on a particular large project that is being significantly impacted as a result of the impending high winds. 

We've had to take a wide range of remedial action to secure infrastructure as well as key event elements and have had to go as far as breaking down some event elements that we will need to reinstate in advance of the event going live. 

These are major decisions but we feel they are the only ones we can take.

The risks arising out of NOT taking these actions is too great and, for us, these control measures are 100% necessary. 

They will put pressure on the Team to complete the build in time to open once Ophelia has come and gone but that's how it has to be in this instance. 

We'll get there. 

The bottom line

Ophelia is being touted already as the hurricane to have traveled most easterly since records began. 

That its effects may be felt significantly here in Ireland is unusual. We need to prepare for it.