This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com
I work in a high rise building downtown. The other day I had the terrifying experience of getting trapped in an elevator with six other people. It was lunch time and two out of four elevators were not working. A crowd was forming to get on the two remaining elevators. When I finally got my turn, six other people came in with me. I already felt closed in, being in such tight quarters. The doors closed and the elevator proceeded to move down. The elevator suddenly stopped and everyone started looking around uncomfortably. People started shuffling their feet. It was a terrible feeling – what if this lasts a long time? The guy closest to the emergency button pressed it and a loud buzzer sounded. It felt like an eternity, but after about three minutes the elevator started moving again. I got off the next stop even though it was not my floor. I had uncomfortable shoes on, but I took the stairs 10 floors down.
This happened on a regular day, and it was scary enough. Imagine if there were an emergency, power is going on and off and everyone is trying to get off the upper floors all at once. The elevators would be jam packed and overweight, exceeding the weight limit. There would be more chances of a breakdown.
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 may be orderly at first, but that is until someone starts to panic. Panic spreads quickly and before your know it, chaos can ensue.
Get in the mindset to prepare in case of emergency and you find yourself at work.
1. Know where the stairwells are located and where they lead.
2. Stock your desk with bottled water and non perishable food just in case.
3. Keep a pair of comfortable shoes in your desk drawer, just in case you have to run down the stairs or have to walk home.
5. Assemble a small First Aid kit for your desk. Include personal necessities such as contact lens solution, extra pair of glasses, asthma inhaler, or other prescription medications etc. just in case you are unable to leave for a day or two.
6. Plan a walking route in case the parking lot is inaccessible and have to walk home.
7. Have alternate routes home, and paper maps to guide you if your GPS is not working. Of course, you already have a car survival kit right?
8. Be aware of what’s going on in your area – check the news on TV in the break room if you can, read the news online if you have access.
9. If there is an impending natural disaster, or bad weather has already started early in the morning, consider staying home from work and taking the day off. Sometimes the best precaution is just to stay away.
10. It is a good idea to know who among your co-workers live in your area, so you can share a ride in case of emergency.
11. Trust your gut. Don’t hesitate to leave your office if an emergency happens and your gut tells you it is time to leave.
12. Know all the exits out of your office, the building as well as parking garage exits.
Make a plan on how you would handle a disaster at work now before an emergency occurs. Thinking ahead will help you avoid panic and stay calm no matter what happens.
© Apartment Prepper 2015