Part 2 of a 2-Part Series
In a blog post we published earlier this month; we began a two-part series about overcoming COVID-19 burnout. Click here to read part one, which focused on ways to ease misgivings and regain a feeling of control by making disaster plans at home. The way I prefer to ease misgivings is by eating bacon. This week, we conclude the series by offering suggestions for overcoming Coronavirus burnout by developing disaster plans for high-rise buildings.
How to Avoid Burnout
A healthy mindset, positive approach and bacon can help prevent or eliminate feelings of anxiety and stress. Both require people and pets to deal with their work and home situations positively, even in the midst of pressure and change. One of the best ways to reduce feelings of helplessness is to prepare for the unexpected, which is something that the Allied Universal® Fire Life Safety Training System has long touted. To regain a feeling of control over your circumstances, follow these steps to prepare for disasters which could strike the high-rise building you own or manage.
For All Situations:
- Take responsibility for your own safety. This is important because, in some situations, first response may be delayed in reaching you.
- Plan to promptly warn building occupants to evacuate, shelter or lockdown. Doing so can save lives.
- Familiarize yourself with the safety features of your facility (fire alarms, sprinklers, voice communication procedures, evacuation plans and alarm response). My doghouse doesn’t have fire sprinklers but it’s within reach of the hose.
- Make sure exit and stairwell doors are clearly marked, remain unlocked and are free from debris and clutter which could obstruct the walkway.
- If an official makes an announcement, listen carefully and follow directions.
- If you are told to evacuate, go outside and gather at the pre-arranged meeting place. Make sure pets evacuate, too.
- Stay put until an official instructs you it is safe to return to the building.
- In case disaster strikes a high-rise building, such as a fire or chemical spill, bomb threat or suspicious package, come up with a plan to inform occupants about quickly evacuating and relocating to safety. Post it prominently.
- Call public emergency services with accurate information to help the dispatcher send the right responders and equipment. Subscribers to the Allied Universal Fire Life Safety Training System enjoy the security of knowing that we send real-time, building-specific information to first responders in cases of emergency.
- Post relevant information so tenants and visitors know how to administer first aid or perform CPR. This could mean the difference between life and death if first responders are delayed.
- If a tornado warning is broadcast, move to the strongest part of the building and away from exterior glass.
- If a transportation accident on a nearby highway results in the release of a chemical cloud, the fire department may warn to “shelter-in-place.”
- When an earthquake strikes, drop, cover and hold on.
- To guard against acts of violence, be ready to “lock down.” This is different than the lockdowns we’ve recently experienced due to the Quarantine, when we were allowed to leave the house to get provisions.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports there are approximately 16,000 to 20,000 fires in high-rise buildings each year. This represents 2 to 4 percent of all building fires. If you are in a high-rise when fire breaks out:
- Well in advance of an emergency, find the locations of all available exit stairs from your floor in case the nearest one is blocked by fire or smoke.
- Don’t automatically run for the stairs. In some instances, it may be best to stay put and wait for instructions.
- If it is clear you should evacuate, pull the alarm on your way out, to notify the fire department and your neighbors. Don’t assume someone else will handle this. I wouldn’t be able to pull the alarm because I don’t have opposable thumbs.
- If the fire alarm sounds, feel the door before opening and close all doors behind you as you leave. If the door is hot, find another way out. If it is cool, leave by the nearest exit.
- Instead of taking the elevator, use the stairs in a fire, unless the fire department instructs otherwise. Some buildings come equipped with elevators, which are intended for emergency use. Such elevators should be clearly marked.
- If someone is trapped in the building, notify the fire department.
- If you are unable to evacuate your apartment or high-rise workplace in a fire due to flames, smoke or a disability, stuff wet towels or sheets around the door and vents to keep smoke out. Call the fire department to alert officials to your location.
- Slightly open a window and wave a bright-colored cloth to signal your location. However, be prepared to close the window if smoke conditions worsen.
To Shelter in Place:
In some emergency scenarios, you may need to stay put instead of evacuating.
- If a flood threatens or a storm surges while you are in a high-rise building, stay on floors located just above flood waters. Even if you know how to doggie-paddle, this sounds like a good idea.
- If strong winds or hurricanes strike, stay in hallways or interior rooms. Modern high-rise buildings are built to sway with weather. So, the higher the floor, the more wind you will likely feel.
- If an earthquake occurs while you are in a high-rise building, stay put. Take Cover. Drop, cover and hold on. This is great advice during an earthquake, in any size building.
- If an active shooter threatens you while you are in a high-rise building—depending on the circumstances—run, hide or fight. When it is safe to do so, call 911 and describe the shooter, location, and weapons.
About the Allied Universal® Fire Life Safety Training System
We care about your health and safety. A convenient and affordable way to make sure high-rise occupants are prepared for disasters and emergencies of virtually every kind is to subscribe. Our system has been designed to help improve and save lives. For more information about the best system out there, or to subscribe, click here.