Planning for moving people in an emergency terrorist threat situation

Currently sports grounds must be designed, maintained and operated to reduce the risk to safety arising from fire and other incidents that may create concern or panic.

This guidance note has been developed by the SGSA in partnership with NaCTSO to provide more specific guidance for sports grounds management in the development of plans to move people in an emergency terrorist threat situation.

Evacuation in response to a terrorist threat is not the same as evacuation due to fire or other incidents and the appropriate response may be different. The policy of simultaneous evacuation where all occupants leave the sports ground at the same time may no longer be the most appropriate response. In a fire scenario, it may be appropriate to use all available exits; in a terrorism scenario consideration should be given to directing people via alternative routes, to avoid exiting into a potentially hostile situation.

The latest edition of the Green Guide provides more detail on this.

Key points for sports grounds to consider for moving people in emergency terrorist threat situation

NaCTSO has advised that there are a number of options for emergency response during a terrorist incident, including:

  • a full site evacuation;
  • a phased evacuation;
  • partial or zonal evacuation;
  • a directional evacuation;
  • an invacuation to safer (protected) areas;
  • a partial invacuation;
  • no action is required (a decision is made not to evacuate or invacuate);
  • lockdown.

The decision on which response or combination of responses is appropriate in any particular terrorist threat situation should be guided by the best chances of survivability for all those present at the ground including spectators, athletes, staff and responders.

Planning for moving people in an emergency terrorist threat situation – full briefing (PDF)