SOURCE: International Association of Assembly Managers, Inc.

August 28, 2006 15:56 ET

Hurricane Katrina Experience Leads to IAAM's Mega-Shelter Best Practices

COPPELL, TX -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 28, 2006 -- The International Association of Assembly Managers, Inc. (IAAM) recently released "IAAM Mega-Shelter Best Practice Guidelines for Planning, Activation and Operation" to address the salient needs that arose during the Hurricane Katrina experience. Public assembly facilities were used in a manner that had never before been required. Arenas, stadiums, convention centers and performing arts theaters became temporary homes and medical facilities for extended periods of time.

However, through this process, facility managers recognized gaps in communication between the facilities and government agencies in charge of preparedness and response. In November 2005, IAAM responded to these gaps by forming a Shelter Management Task Force. Under the leadership of Greg Davis, Director of the CAJUNDOME in Lafayette, Louisiana, the task force developed a Best Practices guide to assist facilities and managers in serving their communities when another emergency occurs.

Mr. Davis said, "These guidelines support managers of arenas, stadiums and convention centers in their deliberations with emergency planners as to the planned and rational use of their facilities as mega-shelters. Hurricane Katrina has demonstrated the critical role of the professional facility manager and these facilities as emergency response infrastructure when local communities are called to respond to disasters."

"Hurricane Katrina has also demonstrated that managers of major facilities have experience, training and skill sets that are transferable to mega-shelter operations. Their experience and training in customer service, crowd control, safety, security and facility operations positioned them for successful transitions to mega-shelter operations," said Davis.

Larry Perkins, CFE, president of IAAM said, "I am so proud of the work Greg Davis and IAAM continue to do for our members and communities." Perkins noted that the government cannot do it alone. "We must all do our part in a time of crisis. In a humanitarian effort, our members across the country converted their facilities into mega-shelters to assist our citizens," he said.

The "Mega-Shelter Best Practice Guidelines" are available from IAAM website at: https://www.iaam.org/Products/index.htm.

The International Association of Assembly Managers is the world's largest professional association dedicated to issues relevant to the management of public assembly facilities. Members of the association manage facilities such as amphitheaters, arenas, auditoriums, convention centers/exhibit halls, performing arts venues, stadiums and university complexes; or provide products and services to support the industry.

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