Thursday, January 25, 2018

Prudent Prepping: Big Crowds, Big Problems

The dust has settled and the First 72 Hours have passed. Follow along as I build a long term plan via Prudent Prepping.     

I spent last weekend at a convention attended by 5,000 like-minded people. We all had a great time, learned some new things, and figured out how to apply what we learned to our lives and the lives of  those around us. It was wonderful... except for the other 4,985 people in the building.

I was with team members from around N. California, most of whom I've never met in real life, along with my direct contacts. I sat and met with the local team of 15 several times after the presentations to plan dinners and recap the days' events. Many of these meetings were less than 10 minutes long at the convention site, with a few lasting much longer. The off-site meetings were not a problem because they had less noise, were easier to be heard and had more room to move. Noise, hearing and space/room around me are a concern as a safety matter, not an emotional one.

My closest friends and I planned out what to do in an emergency, but the other people did not think it was necessary. We looked for emergency exits, staircases and even fire extinguishers, even if we were never going to use them. The leaders of my team were somewhat surprised when they overheard us setting up a meeting site if something happened. After a short explanation of why we were doing this, the rest of the team was called together to be told about our rally point.

When the discussion turned to why worry about meeting up, our leader explained how hard it was to get everyone in one place when 5,000 people were exiting a 3rd floor convention space, let alone if there was a panic. It turned out I was the only one carrying a real flashlight, not those midget door lock finder lights carried on a key chain. I was also the only one to stop and get a map of the building from the security office, which they gave me only after I proved to their satisfaction I was attending the event. It was a copy of the publicly available info, similar to what you could find online when planning an event, but expanded to include the (public) exits.

Just like in the pre-flight talk from your airline's flight attendant, our closest exit wasn't the obvious one. It turned out that around a corner was a set of emergency stairs leading to the loading dock. If I hadn't asked for the map, I'd have never thought to look down a corridor that would normally be for the catering staff. Access would be difficult if everyone rushed to the main exit doors, but we saw there were other doors to the side of the hall, and our plan was to stay together and stay put for a minute so as not be trampled and then  move to the side and safety. 

Like with most emergency plans or even insurance, you hope it never gets used but you should have it already!

The Takeaway
  • "Plan your plan" and be prepared to change it to previously discussed alternatives.
  • Get everyone on board and clear on what to do. During an emergency is not the time to discuss how to survive.
  • Information is usually there, just for the asking, so ask!

The Recap 

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NOTE: All items tested were purchased by me. No products have been loaned in exchange for a favorable review. Any items sent to me for T&E will be listed as such. Suck it Feds.

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