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Cocktail Event Planning
Disaster Planning TIps
Cocktail Party Planning
The Party Layout
Planning A Birthday Party
Get This Party Started
Lighting & Aroma
Disaster Planning TIps
Choosing A Theme
Cocktail Party Checklist
Setting Up A Bar
Party Shopping Lists
Cocktail Party Tips: Planning For Disasters
Unplanned events and
disasters are inevitable
, but they still
add another "surprise"
to your party. Whether guests see it as a good surprise or bad surprise is
how you handle it
. A handy fire extinguisher can turn a potential disaster into a comical mishap.
Plan for it
so you will be ready when it happens.
Buy more liquor than you think you will need
or keep the phone number for a liquor store that will deliver handy. A cocktail party with
Upset or Injured Guest
isolate the problem
. If the guest is upset about anything less than the kitchen engulfed in flames,
take them to another room
. Simply say, "Let's go in here and talk about it."
guest is injured, treat them in another room
, no matter how minor. If bleeding, wrap and cover the injury enough to prevent a trail of blood through your house while moving the guest.
keep a First Aid kit
on hand. You may encounter a cut from a broken glass or splinters if your party is on a wood deck.
keep guests out of the kitchen
unless they are helping you at that moment. Not only will this
keep your guests safe
from exploding blenders and splattering oil, it will
minimize the impact of any missteps
in the kitchen.
can be reduced from a major disaster to a minor incident by having a
charged fire extinguisher handy
. If you don't have one, buy one for the most likely places a fire could start (kitchen, garage, party area). If you do have one, make sure it is
up-to-date and fully charged
Do not store fire extinguishers above the stove.
In the event of a fire on the stove, it would be difficult to access.
can be a nuisance. Once you
eliminate the source
of the smoke,
disconnect your smoke alarms
before they go off.
Open nearby windows and use a fan to blow air out
of the room.
Inedible hors d'oeuvres
is probably the
most common cocktail party disaster
. Keep a backup
emergency hors d'oeuvre on hand
, should you need one. Obviously, something that you can put together in a jiffy.
It is also a good idea if your backup hors d'oeuvre
does not require electricity
to prepare, in the
event of a power outage
For example, I keep 2 or 3 bags of
peeled & deveined cooked shrimp
in my freezer for emergencies and impromptu parties. Don't forget the cocktail sauce.
Alternatively, prepare an extra batch of hors d'oeuvres
, in case things don't go as planned or extra guests show up. You can always serve the extra batch at the end of the evening or freeze them for your next soiree.
If you have the opportunity, do a
practice run of each appetizer.
Prepare all sauces and anything that can be frozen before the party
, to minimize mistakes before serving.
You should have plenty of candlelight in place already, but you may need to bring out a few extras.
Keep candles, lighters, and flashlights in a pre-designated location.
emergency backup hors d'oeuvre that does not require electricity
to prepare, especially if your range and oven are electric.
Keep iPod speakers and new batteries on hand
. If you don’t have iPod speakers, buy a small travel set or borrow some from a friend. If your iPod, computer or stereo goes out, someone is very likely to have their iPod/iPhone handy.
If you are using your computer to play music and have a stereo that plays CDs,
burn CDs before the party as a backup
in case your computer is uncooperative. Otherwise, if you have a piano, there is usually someone that can play well enough to keep the crowd entertained.
There is almost no way to prevent some
along the way.
and assure the clumsy guest that it is no big deal.
Minimize the impact by removing upholstered chairs
from the party area. Also,
drape tables and put out coasters.
To reduce damage by smokers,
designate a smoking area
and put out
plenty of ashtrays
. Keep the area
clear of hot tub covers, furniture cushions, carpet, rugs, and grill covers
Do not allow children into the party
under any circumstances. Politely explain that it is not an environment for youngsters, and it would be very
unfair to the other guests to have children present
cab phone numbers in your phone
, in case you need to call one for an intoxicated guest. Make sure their vehicle is
parked in an out-of-the-way and legal location
. Get their car key to move the vehicle, if necessary, and make sure you do not also have their house key.