The Nearest Exits and Emergencies

Flight attendants ask you to locate the nearest exit.  Movie theaters have additional exits, typically beside the screens, that lead outside. Do you discount the possibility an emergency, distracted because you are doing other things or do you make a mental note of the exit? 

“We need maps showing where the exits are.” 

“There are exit signs at the end of each of the hallways.”

“Well, we need to know where those exits go.”

“That is on the maps. There is a map beside the elevator on every floor; but you probably don’t notice it.”

This was an exchange at an HOA meeting on safety. The elevators were out and we had to use the stairs in January. To be honest, if you’d asked me where maps displayed, I would look dumbfounded even though I see those signs an average of 30 times a week. I know where the exits are and where they go, but that was because a false alarm last year.

How do you behave an emergency? Is it the result of being informed or because you have some experience? A friend told me safety is a priority at her company; anyone running  a meeting sets up an emergency protocol and assigns roles. Things like who will call 911, who will get the AED, who does CPR, what is the location  outside to meet in even of an earthquake, for an active shooter, what’s the plan to get out, hideout or take out.

Lots of organizations have “training” for emergencies; but have you made a mental note of what to do or discounted the possibility of an occurrence. As a team have you considered the collective response rather than individual behavior? We all know a coordinated response can save lives. Do you know what to do? Do you know if the people in your work area have a common understanding of what to do in an emergency?

Are we fond of reminders that disasters can happen? No, but when the bubble of all is well bursts, do you really want to be caught off guard? In an emergency, there is no time to plan. The clocks change this week, so while you  about spring forward for time, think about springing into action for an emergency.

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