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NFL, Nashville develop severe weather plan for draft events

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The NFL Draft will likely bring the largest number of people ever to downtown Nashville.  So what happens if severe weather or lightning interrupts the event.  How will they keep people safe?  Where will they go? 

The NFL is working with the Metro Office of Emergency Management and the National Weather Service on a plan of action. 

There are two weather phenomena that the officials are most concerned with, lightning and high winds, and the plan to keep people safe is similar for both.  Officials will begin tracking lightning when it is seventy-five miles out.  If it gets to eight miles out, they will suspend operations and immediately display evacuation information to the crowd on all video screens at the event.   

NFL head of operations and event production Jon Barker explains where people will be encouraged to go: 

Three things are going to happen downtown:

  1. People are going to self-populate inside the bars and the honky tonks and any kind of hospitality space there is in downtown Nashville.   
  2. Another group of people will then head back to their hotels. That’s a natural place for them to go.   
  3. And then working with the Office of Emergency Management we’re identifying the parking garages in and around Nashville that can receive people and shelter those people in those places. 

For the event that will be happening on the stadium side of the river, people will be sent underneath Nissan Stadium which is already designated as Storm Ready by the National Weather Service. 

Sam Shamburger from the National Weather Service said, “There’s an official protocol that the Titans Stadium does have, and they would follow those rules.  Probably get into the restrooms and the interior hallways and any underground areas there to become safe from any thunderstorms outside.”