While I was at the office yesterday, our building had a power outage. It got eerily dark for a few seconds, then generator power kicked in and a few lights turned on. The city was having rolling blackouts due to heavy demands on the power grid from the cold weather. Management announced anyone who wanted to leave can do so. This is when things got interesting.
I grabbed my laptop and immediately left. There were already a number of people waiting at the elevator. Only one elevator out of six was working. Coming from the 20th floor, a few of us decided to walk down the stairs. Down we trudged with our laptop cases and backpacks. We expected to keep going down until we got to the parking lots on the lower floors. We were mistaken. The stairwell ended in the 9th floor, and that floor was locked. Back up the stairs we went, looking for a door out. Tried to use the cell phone to find out if there was another stairwell leading down but no one picked up over in Building Management. We found an unlocked door on the 12th floor and got out; wherein we joined a throng of people already waiting for the one elevator. By the time I got in, it was so packed I feared the elevator might stall. I found out on the news later that the city had a lot of 911 calls of people being stuck in elevators. It took me about a half an hour to get out of the building.
I realize even if you are one of the first to leave there are still lots of others trying to leave at the same time. People were being orderly this time, and no one was in a panic. It would have been a lot worse if it was a dire emergency. Luckily, it was only a mini-emergency this time, but I resolved to fix this “hole” in my prepping efforts:
1. Visit the Building Manager’s office to obtain a layout of where the stairwells are located and where they lead, then plan a route to get to the parking lot or out of the building.
2. Stock my desk with bottled water and non perishable food in case I get stuck there.
3. Keep a pair of comfortable shoes in my cubicle, just in case I have to run down the stairs or have to walk home.
4. Assemble a small First Aid kit for my desk just in case.
5. Plan a walking route in case the parking lot is inaccessible and I have to walk home.
Do you work in a high rise? If you do, please consider making plans on how to leave in a hurry.