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#100289 - 07/20/07 12:26 PM Re: Everybody Immediately Evacuate The Building (long) [Re: Jesselp]
williamlatham Offline

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 238
Loc: Stafford, VA, USA
Working in Northern Virginia, we have had a couple of building evacs in the past year. These are normally fire alarm related. The way I go about keeping my kit with me is to keep it in my laptop case (actually a really large backpack for a serving tray sized laptop). Anytime I leave the building I grab my bag like I do every day when I go home. It is the most natural thing to do versus training yourself to grab a BOB that is not your everyday commuter bag.


#100291 - 07/20/07 01:00 PM Re: Everybody Immediately Evacuate The Building (l [Re: JohnN]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2823
Originally Posted By: JohnN

Seems worth a try. I'd try GRMS instead (it's just $80 for the family license for 5 yrs I think). Keep in mind many FRS/GRMS radios tend to use rechargeable batteries which self-discharge pretty quickly.

Yes , at least GMRS, FRS is a joke, we tried them before and couldn't hear each other on the radios even though we could see each other through the woods. You can find them AA powered, though a little larger, so you can drop in some low self discharge batteries.

Originally Posted By: JohnN

The big thing I'd want improved is the PA announcement to evacuate. I would really try to get them to give a better description of their understanding of their threat. Something like "there is a report of an explosion up the street, we have no more details" is infinitely better than "evacuate the building now".


The PA announcement having more detail may not be doable. In my building its a simple recording that kicks off from any number of inputs like the manuall pull fire alarm. Could be the same there, someone could pull the handle and the alarm and evacuate recording would go off with no way for anyone to give more details. Also giving more detail could induce panic, if the message is the same every time then no one knows if its something real or a drill. We get e-mail reminders that our company does require drills and then we usually will have one soon after, so they are not scheduled at a certain time.
Does your son have friends in the day care (I forgot what his age is now)? Many day care places like to have volunteers, since your close by can you volunteer as an emergancy planner for the day care and talk to them about go kits and have a bag stocked in the day care that you can grab and take your son and others to safety?

#100317 - 07/20/07 05:20 PM Re: Everybody Immediately Evacuate The Building (l [Re: Eugene]
wolf Offline

Registered: 12/01/04
Posts: 329
Loc: Michigan
I'm stunned that you and your friends were the only ones who took the stairs.

As others have suggested, you might consider keeping a few more items on your person, on a keychain or in a wallet. A bandana, whistle and flashlight would be a good place to start. You might not be near your desk if it happens again.
"2+2=4 is not life, but the beginning of death." Dostoyevsky

Bona Na Croin

#100343 - 07/20/07 08:51 PM Re: Everybody Immediately Evacuate The Building (l [Re: JohnN]
Tjin Offline

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 1747
Making proper announcements is actually not as easy as it sounds. The guy making the announcent probably don't have much information either, little practise and a raised bloodpressure. So don;t be to hard on the guy.


#100349 - 07/20/07 10:02 PM Re: Everybody Immediately Evacuate The Building (l [Re: Tjin]
ducktapeguy Offline

Registered: 03/28/06
Posts: 358
It's good to read about things like this (not the evacuation or bomb, but the experience of going through it). I know there's a lot of scenarios that are talked about and discussed, and they're really good mental excercises for us armchair quarterbacks (or cubicle commandos, in my case), but listening to first hand experience from someone that's actually gone through it is much more useful.

Also, giving out too much information over a PA system might not be the best idea. Most of the ones I've heard sound like the speakers at a drive through window. I'd be lucky to hear maybe 50% of the words, and my desk is directly under a speaker. It's probably better to give simple one or two word announcements than detailed explanations that could be misunderstood. If I heard anything that sounded like "bomb" or "explosion", I'm sure those are the only words people will hear, and might cause a major panic.

#100380 - 07/21/07 12:14 PM Re: Everybody Immediately Evacuate The Building (l [Re: Jesselp]
Brangdon Offline

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1201
Loc: Nottingham, UK
I think this reiterates the importance of every-day carry. If it's not on your person, it may not be available. Having less stuff but in pockets can be more important than more stuff but in a bag. I think "EDC bag" is an oxymoron.

It sounds like the item you most wanted was a face-mask. It's always interesting to see how theory and reality match up.

Did you at any point use the "STOP" process? I'm guessing not, and that if you had used it while at your desk you might have remembered to collect your stuff. Is it something your are unfamiliar with, or is it one of those things that is easier to read about than to actually do?
Quality is addictive.

#100381 - 07/21/07 01:44 PM Re: Everybody Immediately Evacuate The Building (long) [Re: OldBaldGuy]
David Offline

Registered: 10/09/02
Posts: 245
Loc: Tennessee (middle)
Originally Posted By: OldBaldGuy
...I would really suggest that you get a light of some kind, little bitty, mid sized, something, and carry it on your person ALL the time. Next time you might have to abandon the BOB and hit the stairs, lose power, emergency lights in the stairwells (if they are installed at all) can fail, and it can be DARK inside of those things. I recall reading of one guy (who died in the process) with a light who kept going up and down the stairwells in one of the towers on 9/11, guiding people out because there were no lights...

I, too, will second the idea of a light, maybe even more than one. A Photon is negligible in weight, but mighty in output (for it's size). There are a plethora of small AA or AAA or even 123 sized lights on the market.

IIRC, in the 1st attack on the WTC (1994?), the emergency lights in the stairwells were out. One guy led a group down about 30 floors lighting the way with his Timex Indiglo watch. Timex ran an ad about it sometime after that, with the text stair-stepping down the page.

I know from experience that an Indiglo or other bright electroluminescent light on a watch will light up a room enough to navigate when your eyes are dark-adapted. You might consider getting such a watch as an easy addition to your EDC. Hard to forget it if it's strapped to your wrist!

Good luck, & be safe.


#100471 - 07/22/07 10:31 PM Re: Everybody Immediately Evacuate The Building (long) [Re: Jesselp]

Registered: 11/26/01
Posts: 81
I would get a Mission Wallet ( google it) for my pocket. I can keep a SAK, Attwood Prybaby, photon, couple band aids and more in mine with little bulk or weight.

#100473 - 07/22/07 11:32 PM Re: Everybody Immediately Evacuate The Building (l [Re: THIRDPIG]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4998

#101027 - 07/28/07 09:04 AM Re: Everybody Immediately Evacuate The Building (l [Re: Russ]
MedicineMan Offline

Registered: 06/17/06
Posts: 43
Loc: upper east TN
The 'small of the back' is a wonderful place for holding/hiding things. Most fanny packs are too large to fit there without a bulge that would show under a suit coat...but you can make your own fanny pack that is much smaller and that will fit and it can hold many items that you would find nice to have in a city building evacuation. Build it now and get used to wearing it...put it on after you put on your watch (or whatever) so it becomes routine...

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