So, it’s October, time to do all the fire drill, emergency stuff. Which is a way to remind you to change the batteries in your smoke alarms, check to see if your fire extinguishers are up to date and properly charged, and perhaps for those of you who have newly moved, figure out how you’re going to get out of the place if it catches on fire.
Here at the Palace, our smoke alarms are hard wired, and they come and check the damned things about four times a year. But once a year, they do a fire drill, and put us through our paces, along with giving us some information on emergency preparedness. And today was the day.
So, the emergency preparedness meeting was supposed to be at 10 AM, except only two people showed up. No, I wasn’t one of them. I didn’t wake up until they set the fire alarm off at 11:30. I had good intentions, even set my alarm, just didn’t make it. Well, hardly anyone else did either.
I suppose they have to do the fire drill thingy because of federal rules or something, but in a building full of elderly and disabled people, well, there aren’t many participants in that either. A lot, like me, can’t make it down the stairs. Well, OK, if somebody threw a Molotov cocktail through my living room window, I could probably manage. Otherwise, not worth the pain. The residents in wheelchairs don’t even have that option. There is a list in the office of people who can’t make it down the stairs, so the firefolks would know where to look for us, unless of course, the fire started in the laundry room, which is right next door to the office.
This whole exercise would come to nothing if they didn’t feed us. They scheduled a barbeque after the meeting and fire drill, but of course, it was pouring this morning. Eventually, the weather let up, and they cooked the hamburgers and hot dogs, but the lunch was a half hour late. I didn’t go down until I could smell it cooking.
So, since they had however many of us together, they gave the talks on emergency preparedness, and handed out some literature. Some of it was laughable. Like an 8½ X11 sheet of blue paper with the word HELP in a huge font on it, and a place to put our apartment numbers. I’m on the tenth floor. I’m sure it will be visible from the ground…not. And we went over some basic stuff, like what do you do when somebody has chest pain, or there’s a grease fire in your kitchen, or where are the pull stations and fire extinguishers. It won’t hurt to know that stuff.
And of course, they handed out to us a list of things we should have like water, batteries, and canned and dried food. I had procured some of the stuff, but not really assembled it. I know where it is, but it would be better to have it all in one place, and accessible, so that will be my next project. As will be obtaining a battery lantern or two, and some way to cook without electricity. And an itty-bitty book light. I figure the power is going out whatever the emergency is.
We have earthquake supplies down in our recreation room, but I don’t know if they could even be accessible in an earthquake. I guess after the Nisqually earthquake, they decided they had to DO SOMETHING. Whether or not it will prove useful in the eventuality of an emergency remains to be seen. Now to teach Friday to do her business in the shower, in case the elevator doesn’t work for days. This is a something people with service dogs do, if they can’t get outside. Of course, nowadays, they have litter boxes for dogs, too. You have to think about these things. After all, they had a hurricane in Ohio not long ago.