Local outdoor venues are well-prepared for weather emergencies
John Malan, Stephanie Graham
Photo: Video by tmj4.com
MILWAUKEE - Besides the heat, it's been a relatively quiet Summer in the TODAY'S TMJ4 Weather Department.
However, remember the deadly stage collapse at the Sugarland concert last spring due to high winds? Or the metrodome roof caving in from snow in December 2010. Don't forget earlier this year--tornadoes ravaged the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Weather truly has a mind of its own.
Mike Brenner is an outdoor food vendor in Milwaukee. He agrees, saying, "It can change on a dime, and all of sudden. I mean now with the Internet I'm constantly looking at the weather when I go out."
It's the most popular place in town right now, so we decided to check out State Fair's Emergency Management Plan.
State Fair CEO Rick Frenette says, "You need to be prepared and have a plan of what you're gonna do, and analyze each event as it happens, and be prepared for the worst case scenario."
The plan of action depends on the weather event. If a tornado strikes, there are 7 different shelters on the grounds.
"If we evacuate people to the Expo Center we get them to the exhibit hall, away from the windows," Frenette explains.
Lightning is also a concern, especially during a concert on the metal bleachers.
"If we do have a lightning situation in the area, we will delay the show, and evacuate people out of these bleachers," Frenette says.
The fair even has a plan for evacuating animals. Frenette adds, "We have to get them in the trailers, load them, get them off the grounds. Even high heat, sometimes we have to move the animals because the heat's too much."
Speaking of heat, Summerfest battled record-setting temperature this year.
Summerfest Vice President of Marketing said, "The conditions that we experienced were extraordinary and they were very, very challenging."
Officials adjusted to the weather by letting people carry-in water.
Another place ready for anything is Miller Park, where more than 40,000 fans can pack the dome at any one time.
Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger said in a past interview, "We have a system in place. What we'll do is we'll immediately notify through our P.A. system and scoreboard that we're temporarily suspending the game, and we are directing fans in different levels."
Busy downtown Milwaukee workers go to outdoor events like State Fair for fun, and are relieved to hear there are emergency plans in place.
Mom Shannon Gross says, "I do have two small kids, a six and three year old. If it starts looking gloomy or something like that, they get a little more nervous than me."
Mike adds, "I think a lot of it is staffing, so I think it's a good thing if they educate their staff, and they know what's going on, and they deal with people."
Because when Mother Nature strikes, it's up to people to keep themselves safe from the storm.