Weather claims – it isn’t just winter weather you have to think about!

Any outdoor event organiser will know that weather can be the greatest organisational challenge of all. You can arrange for everything perfectly but if you’re caught out by a blustery day or a surprise storm, all of that hard work and effort may come to nothing. While organisers of larger or public outdoor events will know to insure against adverse weather conditions, it’s still commonplace to build-in weather precautions anyway. This may be items such as additional shelter to take cover from the rain or tying and weighting down your tents; rarely is it things like additional drinking water stations and larger shaded areas.

However, this was exactly what we were faced with recently, when one of our clients was required to cancel their event due to heat…Yes, heat

Last summer we insured a special kind of festival, one aimed specifically at dogs. Unfortunately, the weekend it was due to fall on, was forecast temperatures of 30 degrees and beyond. So, with concerns for animal and human visitors alike, it was ultimately deemed unsafe for the show to continue. The moment we were made aware of the situation by our client, we ensured we worked alongside them every step of the way to try and make it possible for the festival to continue.

Making a decision like this requires us to consider a variety of different factors, to analyse and agree on the best possible outcome. It’s a hard call to make so it’s important that everything is considered from journey times to the walk between the car park and festival, to how long the queues are likely to be. As soon as we discovered the potential high temperatures were likely to affect the event, we began to look at ways to adapt the show to ensure the wellbeing of all visitors, canine or otherwise, as they are of paramount importance.

To protect them in the best possible way, we needed to evaluate how the heat would pose a risk to individuals and then look at potential ways to minimise it. Some solutions we discussed included installing a greater number of water stations to keep people and pooches well hydrated; as well as posting more first aiders around the festival to keep response times low for any potential emergencies.

Despite the efforts in the run up, health and safety officials still deemed it unsafe to continue with the festival and recommended our client not go ahead with it. Making the call to cancel an event for adverse weather is always a difficult one to make. High temperatures are rarely considered a serious threat to festivals and outdoor events (many organisers would welcome it!), however as you have read here, it has the potential to be just as devastating as thunderstorms or high winds for an event.

If you are organising any event with a potential to be affected by adverse weather or have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team on 01732 757616.