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Photo by Victor Svenningson

Severe Weather Workshop
October 2-3, 2019 Mississauga, ON

Event and venue professionals thrive in an environment that requires both careful preparation and the ability to adapt to frequently changing circumstances. But recent history shows that severe weather can disrupt even the best-laid plans. When it does, the results can be physically and financially catastrophic.

Pioneered by the Event Safety Alliance (U.S.), this workshop was designed to aid event and venue professionals of all types in preparing for and responding to dangerous weather conditions. Subject matter experts explored topics such as:

• Severe weather phenomena that can threaten all types of events and facilities;
• Why playing “amateur meteorologist” can be dangerous;
• Public and private-sector resources that can assist in weather preparedness;
• Technologies that can provide advanced warning of threatening weather; and
• How to develop a relevant and actionable severe weather plan.

Understanding severe weather is a science all to itself. The Severe Weather Workshop provided attendees with the knowledge necessary to identify and prepare for potential threats, and how to use existing technology and expertise in order to safely handle a severe weather event.


So You Want to Be A Meteorologist? (Dr. Kevin Kloesel).

Weather data are everywhere, but little to no training exists on how to use it to support timely and accurate decision making. Examples of radar misinterpretation, and app misuse in the presence of a dynamically changing atmosphere will be shown.

Is Your Weather Great? Just Wait 5 Minutes! (Dr. Kevin Kloesel)

The basics of wind, rain, lightning, and other weather hazards, and our abilities to forecast them. What information do I look for to be more situationally aware of impending weather threats and hazards. How do I know when it's time to stop? How do I know when it's time to safely resume?

Weather Resources: Environment and Climate Change Canada (Gerald Cheng)

Environment and Climate Change Canada capabilities, impact-based decision support and special event restrictions.

Weather Resources: Private Sector (Daniel I. Jobin)

Factors to consider when choosing private sector weather services and technologies for planning and monitoring, as well as using weather information for prevention, and potential post-event insurance claims.

The Power of Air (Dr. Kevin Kloesel)

A short activity that uses household materials and simple construction to illustrate the power of air, as well as resilient design.

If You Build It? Wind Will Come! (Cindy Sypher)

Overview of basic engineering principles and the impact weather has on event
structures. How to understand engineering documentation, what to look for when
selecting and building structures, and when and why to consult a professional engineer.

Establishing Actionable Weather Plans (Kevin Tanner)

What is a Weather Action Plan? How do you develop one? What should they contain? What development resources are available?

“I Want It That Way:” The Failed Evacuation of Thackerville, OK (Steven A. Adelman)

One would think that every severe weather action plan includes a way to persuade event patrons to find shelter before the storm arrives. Alas, no. In this session, we will try to learn from the failures that led to more than a dozen Backstreet Boys fans getting hurt while they waited to enter a concert in Tornado Alley during tornado season.

Weather Jeopardy!

Test your weather and planning knowledge in a high stakes game of Jeopardy! and have your questions answered by our team of subject matter experts.

Preparing Your Own Decision Trigger Chart & Interaction with Experts

Small group development of a Weather Action Plans and Decision Trigger Charts allowing interactions with experts, as well as "did you think of this?" injects.

Weather Incident Tabletop Activity to Test Decision Trigger Charts

Put your newly-developed plans through the ringer using actual weather data, and hear first-hand accounts of what others have done when faced with dangerous weather emergencies.


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Steven A. Adelman

Sports and entertainment lawyer Steven A. Adelman is the head of Adelman Law Group, PLLC in Scottsdale, Arizona and Vice President of the Event Safety Alliance. His national law practice focuses on risk management and litigation regarding safety and security at live events, and he also serves as an expert witness in crowd-related lawsuits. With the Event Safety Alliance, he is one of the authors of the Event Safety Guide, and he chairs the group that is developing a first-of-its-kind ANSI standard for Crowd Management at live events. He is on the faculty of Arizona State University’s Sports Law and Business Program, he writes the monthly "Adelman on Venues" newsletter on current issues in the live event and venue industry, and he frequently appears in national and local media to provide analysis of sports and entertainment incidents. Steve Adelman graduated from Boston College Law School in 1994. He can be reached at

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Gerald Cheng

Gerald Cheng has been a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada since 2013. He worked as a forecaster at the Quebec Storm Prediction Centre in Montreal and at the Ontario Storm Prediction Centre in Toronto. He has been a warning preparedness meteorologist for Ontario since May 2018, providing weather information to different levels of government, the media, and the private sector. Prior to his time at Environment and Climate Change Canada, he had worked at the Weather Network for eight years, forecasting, producing weather content, and giving briefings to presenters, editorial staff, and department heads.

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Daniel I. Jobin

Daniel Jobin, M. Eng., P. Eng, AP, is a professional engineer with nearly 40 years of experience in water resources, hydrometeorology and geomatics. He obtained both a Bachelor in Civil Engineering and a Master’s degree in Water Resources at the University of Ottawa. Daniel is currently President of Kije Sipi Ltd., a water resource engineering company, as well as RadHyPS Inc., a weather radar technology company. He is also is a founding partner and oversees all technical operations at Event WeatherPlan Inc., a weather surveillance and warning service company for outdoor events. He has chaired the private sector committee of the Canadian Meteorology and Oceanography Society and currently participates on the CSA’s Standards on Weather Stations & Data Committee. He is now focusing on weather radar hydrology research and real-time extreme event monitoring and warning systems.

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Dr. Kevin Kloesel

Kevin is the University Meteorologist for the Office of Emergency Preparedness at the University of Oklahoma and a certified Oklahoma Emergency Manager. He is a former National Weather Forecast Contest Winner, and is responsible for weather plans and decisions for every event on the OU campus. Kevin is an instructor at the Event Safety Alliance Severe Weather Summit. He has appeared on numerous media programs including The Weather Channel’s WXGeeks, SXSW Eco and WeatherBrains. Kevin is the Director of the Oklahoma Climate Survey, an associate professor in the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences at OU, and lead author for the US Fourth National Climate Assessment.

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Cindy Sypher

Cindy Sypher is a Designated Consulting Engineer and the President of Sypher & Associates Field Engineering Ltd. She has bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Waterloo. Her consulting interests include amusement rides, risk management, temporary structures, mechanical and structural design, fire and life safety, machine guarding, playground design and inspection, emergency preparedness, rigging and general public safety initiatives. She has consulted to major fairs and event promoters.

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Kevin Tanner

Kevin is a production and venue management leader, currently the Managing Director of Production at Banff Centre in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains. Banff Centre welcomes tens of thousands of visitors annually for hundreds of events and their diverse programming presents many unique safety, crowd management, and operational challenges, including those involved with severe weather.

As Technical Director of the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, he was instrumental in developing foundational processes, including an organizational focus on safe work practices. Prior to The Isabel, he served in production leadership roles at both the Kingston Grand Theatre and Thousand Islands Playhouse.

Passionate about promoting a strong safety culture in the arts industry, Kevin holds a certificate in Occupational Health and Safety from Ryerson University. He is also a graduate of the Master of Arts program in Arts Leadership from Queen’s University.
Outside of work, Kevin is an avid curler, bagpiper, and general enthusiast of all other Scottish hobbies.

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Jacob Worek

Jacob Worek is Director of Operations and the Swiss Army Knife of the Event Safety Alliance. Over the last two decades he has worn numerous hats in the live event industry, including stints in venue management, business development, event marketing, production management, and audio engineering.

Jacob is firm believer that safety knowledge should not be restricted to those with unlimited resources. He has leveraged his education, experience, and DIY ethic to help ESA make safety relevant and financially accessible to basement shows, street festivals, small clubs, and warehouse parties alongside the world’s largest festivals.

He holds twin Bachelor's Degrees in Occupational Safety and Telecommunications, OSHA 30 and Safety Trained Supervisor (STS) certifications, is active in Seattle’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program, and is the father of two young daughters. Occasionally he sleeps.

Event Safety Alliance Canada
is a chapter of

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Platinum Sponsor

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Scott Johnson Keynote Presenter

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AV Partner

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