July 8th, 2005 12:48 PM
bomb threats and tornados
We don't get many tornado warnings, here in Virginia. We get even fewer that pose a serious threat. But we had a serious threat, last night, for the first time in years, and I discovered something. The girls have grown up. Greyhounds are bigger than they appear. My severe weather plan is obsolete. We don't all fit in the closet. So I loaded up the kids, wife, dogs and the cat that was willing to travel, and bugged out. The girls were upset that I left the Psycho Cat from Hell (tm), but that's the way it was. Thankfully, it ended up being a non-event, but it is one of the few times that I've seen a funnel, at night, in a rain-wrapped storm. We had more warnings during the wee hours, but none so close as that. It was a long night.
For once, everyone in my house did exactly as they were told, when they were told to do it. My hounds obeyed their commands and waited for release, and I was very proud of them, too. As a drill, it went well. As an actual emergency, it was an eye opener. I know my girls have grown up, but I still think of them as small. I know Greyhounds are a large breed, but they seem small to me. It isn't enough to have a plan. Not only do you have to practice your plan, you have to take it to its conclusion, which means actually getting everyone into the closet or saferoom or whatever. It isn't enough to do it most of the way.
This was brought home, again, this morning. I arrived at work to find the area cordoned off by police cars and tape. The police were tight-lipped. The building had been evacuated, using the fire alarms. But handicapped personnel, who can't use the stairs were not evacuated. People did not assemble in their assigned assembly areas, and most managers did not account for their employees. Senior management was nowhere to be seen, and the crowds were full of rumors. I reported my employees accounted for and tried to get real information about the situation so I could activate the appropriate plan, and they looked at me like I had lost my mind. In the absence of more information, I took the actions I thought appropriate for my area of responsibility. Many of the senior management had just returned from a FEMA exercise, too. Not only do they not follow through, they don't even practice. It turned out that a suspicious package had been found in the lobby. We are fortunate that it turned out not to be a threat.
July 8th, 2005 04:55 PM
Glad everything worked out well for you and yours.
As for the workplace issue, so many places have "plans" but they don't follow through with them. It's amazing how oblivious people are during such times. We had a building on fire with smoke billowing out of it, firehoses drug up the front steps and through the doors with firemen running all about doing their work, all sorts of emergency vehicles with lights flashing parked around the building, and more than once people crossed over the fire hoses and tried to enter the buidling. When I turned them away they wanted to know why??
Then some genius backed into the big red truck with the flashing lights.
Then the jury let the arsonist that confessed in a video taped interview go.
My agency has a bomb squad that handles a multi-county area. We get to deal with such things all of the time. Your experience is the norm.
I will say that the staff of the buidling that burned is now very good at clearing their building. They did a good job the night of the fire. It was the idiots on the outside that were a problem.
July 8th, 2005 10:58 PM
Can we say - that sometimes (?all too often?) - condition white, also know as head in sand - is the easy option. But sure as heck not the safest.
Glad all well Tom - I can suffer more fear from Mother Nature than probably any BG I can imagine!!!!
Chris - P95
NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.
"To own a gun and assume that you are armed
is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."
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