By Ana-Marie Jones, Executive Director, CARD
More than 111 million people watched Super Bowl XLVI last year, and this year advertisers paid 3.8 million dollars for 30-second spots. Beyond being the most watched sporting event in the United States, the Super Bowl is a cultural phenomenon, a premiere entertainment venue, and a multi-billion dollar business enterprise. Super Bowl XLVII handed emergency managers a brilliant gift: A 34-minute power outage descended upon the Mercedes-Benz Superdome just after the start of the third quarter.
Further your readiness goals by capitalizing on this unique occurrence of having an emergency scenario simultaneously witnessed by over a hundred million people.
1) Conduct a short, impromptu training on your power outage response plan. If a training simply isn't possible, send out an email or otherwise post the information.
2) Share all the back-up resources available to your team. Whether it’s uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), generators, battery-packs, solar chargers, or car battery inverters, let everyone know what’s in place to help them if the power goes out.
3) Brainstorm power outage downtime activities for each key position. Whether your outage lasts minutes or hours, make the time productive.
4) Have people responsible for your PIO (Public Information Officer) activities, search for Twitter posts with the hashtags #SuperBowl, #PowerOutage, #Blackout, #lightsout, #SuperBowlBlackOut. Look for good "lessons to be learned" with social media, and see if you find ways to insert positive preparedness or response messages.
5) Invite the emergency/risk manager responsible for your largest local sports arena and your local sports teams to give presentations at your next emergency management association meeting.
6) Enterprising marketers responded to the blackout. Get everyone to submit their choice for “Best Use of the Super Bowl Power Outage” to market their product or company, or extend their brand. See if there are any good ideas for ways you can tastefully and appropriately promote your business, tools or services when power outages happen.
7) Have a conversation about how you’d handle it if a power outage happened at your own, big, off-site event. Chat about what different things need to be in place when you are not on your home turf, and when people need to fill unexpected roles.
8) Conduct a “Hot Wash” or “Plus/Delta” debrief on how well the Superdome officials handled messaging and informing the audience about the power outage. Note what you would have done differently.
9) Reach out to your extended community to find out if you have a direct connection to someone who was at this Super Bowl when the power failed. Get a first-hand account of what it was really like inside the Superdome. Find out how spectators reacted and how they found out about what was going on. Ask if they used social media, and if so, what did they post and what did they search for?
10) Hunt for the Humor! Give your team the fun assignment of finding the best jokes related to the power outage. Appropriate humor can be very helpful in emergency situations.
No matter which activity you choose, remember that you are leveraging the popularity of the Super Bowl. Do whatever you can to make it fun, social and more playful, and be sure to allow time for some regular sharing about the game and the Super Bowl ads. Remember that simply doing some non-disaster bonding as humans, colleagues, and sports-lovers can make you a stronger team.
Please add your ideas on how to leverage the Super Bowl power outage on our Facebook page: www.Facebook.com/CARDcanhelp. If this post sparked any ideas, please like our page! If you are looking for other ways to have everyday events serve your readiness needs, call us at 510-451-3140. We can help you turn your everyday brilliance into your disaster resilience!
Ana-Marie Jones, Executive Director
CARD - Collaborating Agencies Responding to Disasters
1736 Franklin Street, Suite 450, Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: 510-451-3140 ~ Fax: 510-451-3144 ~ Cell: 510-207-0189 ~ Email: AMJ@CARDcanhelp.org
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