Weather and group safety – planning an outdoor activity

Weather and group safety – planning an outdoor activity

Planning, preparation and vigilance of competent leaders is key

“Experiencing different kinds of weather at all seasons of the year can be exhilarating and provides opportunities to learn about and appreciate the cycles and forces of nature” states the National Guidance document 7.2j Weather and Group Safety

The Outdoor Education Advisers’ Panel (OEAP) has recently updated its guidance, which provides crucial information for organisers and providers of outdoor activities where by “being prepared to cope with the weather, young people can obtain the health and other benefits of getting outdoors more often.”

“Even if a visit does not involve outdoor activities, you should be aware of any potential impact of the weather on travel plans.”

The weather forecast of course is the first port of call as the event draws near. These, including specialist ones for mountain and marine environments, are readily available and generally very accurate.

Study the forecast in detail

It is important to study a forecast carefully and to interpret it for your planned visit says the guidance.

“For example, a quick glance at a weather app may show a picture depicting sunny periods for the day. A closer look may show that there is actually a significant chance of a shower at times.”

Weather and Group Safety covers a number of key topics including:-

  • Weather Forecasts
  • Cancellation and Insurance
  • Weather Hazards
    • Sun
    • Heat
    • Rain
    • Cold and Wet*
    • Wind
    • Fog
    • Lightning.

The “Cold and Wet” section for example states

*”Water activities and activities in caves, mountains, moorland, and other exposed areas can put participants particularly at risk of hypothermia. Leaders of these activities should be specifically trained in the prevention, recognition and treatment of hypothermia.”

The download also contains direct links a variety of other supporting OEAP National Guidance documents.


Download OEAP National Guidance document 4.2b Residentials »

An introduction to OEAP National Guidance »

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