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The green-eyed event planner - Houston… we have a problem!

"It's snowing still," said Eeyore gloomily."So it is.""And freezing.""Is it?""Yes," said Eeyore. "However," he said, brightening up a little,"we haven't had an earthquake lately.

"It's snowing still," said Eeyore gloomily."So it is.""And freezing.""Is it?""Yes," said Eeyore. "However," he said, brightening up a little,"we haven't had an earthquake lately."Winnie the Pooh

One would love to be as objective as Eeyore, but if youhad planned a special event over the May long weekendin the British Columbia Peace Country, it would have beendifficult to share the same outlook. With heavy, wet snowfallcausing trees to break and power lines to be affected, roadsimpassible, it would have wreaked havoc on any planned festivities.

Lately, there have been many reminders of how little controlwe have over Mother Nature. The volcano which erupted inIceland spewing ash into the air grounding air travel and theintense flooding in parts of the world have shown us that thereare some circumstances which we cannot possibly foresee.Even the most experienced professional meeting managers andevent planners were left scrambling, prompting the blogs tobecome alive with stories of lost revenue due to cancellations.When did good old fashioned risk management turn into theneed for full blown emergency preparedness plans?

Unfortunately, you cannot control the weather, but you canmanage "reasonable" weather related risk for your next eventby being prepared.

Here are some tips:

What goes up can come down Tents are temporary structuresand can react unfavorably to extreme weather. Tents arenot DIY, always hire a tent rental professional.

Hot and Cold In the summer, there is going to be thepotential for tremendous heat, but we can experience unseasonablylow temperatures. Consider rental of fans and/or heatingdevices. If using one of these devices in a tent, always getpre-approval from the tent rental company.

Look up Don't set up your outdoor event area in a lowspot. Instead, look at an area that is slightly elevated so that if itdoes rain, the water does not puddle around you. Also thinkabout the grass. Even the most beautifully manicured lawn canget chewed up quickly when wet, consider laying some sheetsof plywood down to create a pathway. You can cover themwith carpeting.

Park it That beautiful parking lot looked great the daybefore, but now after 4 inches of wet rain or snow, it is amucky mess. Think about the parking area when considering avenue.

The Lights Went out - Oops! Someone just plugged in the100 person coffee urn and has blown the breaker. Do youknow where you can access a generator and do you knowhow to use it?

Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink Havewater available for your guests to refresh themselves. Considerputting cucumber slices in the water dispenser.makes a verypleasant and refreshing beverage. Not into cucumber? Trylemon, lime or orange slices or even whole strawberries.

Raindrops keep falling on my head The song was cute,but the real deal isn't quite as pleasant. Have a back up plan inplace for your outdoor event. Consider tents or moving theparty inside. Either choice, it must be considered prior to theevent don't wait til the day of to make this decision.

Give out your cell number Encourage people to call you ifthey are unable to make it due to weather.

Give it away If you anticipated 100 people, but only 50could make it because of inclement weather, consider donatingthe left over food to an organization such as the SalvationArmy.

Judy Kucharuk is owner of Footprint Management SystemsInc. and specializes in Green Meetings and Events. For moreinfo log onto www.managefootprint.com or check out herFacebook page, the "Green Eyed Event Planner"