Friday, June 20, 2008

Drill, Drill, Drill....And Then Drill Some More

PE has learned that the recent terrorism alert in Dubai resulted from nothing more than a conversation between two drunk Arabs. It made for an exiting couple of days in the Sandbox but it may have caused a few people to be a little more prepared should the real thing happen. As one of the evacuees from Katina, I can attest that it is good to have a plan before the emergency instead of making it up as you go along. The hard corps guys will even tell you how to pack a BOB, or Bug Out Bag. (Its the bag you grab when it's time to get out of Dodge and there is no time to pack.)

PE has been in some parts of the world where the company has had to devise Bug Out plans for their employees. If you go to Korea, the US military has elaborate plans for the evacuation of dependents - and they drill it once a year. I found it while browsing the military web sites for Korea. Good stuff to know in a country that 's still at war with the NKs (and withing 30 miles of the border).

In Nigeria, the company had a plan which involved getting to a boat and then evacuating to the sea where (hopefully) you will be picked up. IMHO, anytime you are in a country where travel involves armed guards, its a good idea to have an escape plan.

Hell, we even start engineering meetings with a summary of the location of fire escapes and muster areas. With the start of hurricane season, the local news has been filled with recommendations to prepare a personal hurricane plan. Its just good sense to take a few minutes and really note the location of those exits the next time you are on an airplane. Look for the fire exits the next time you are at the game and tell the family where you'll meet up if you get separated.

One of the things we do as engineers is study failures. One thing we learn is that the really bad things are caused by a chain of failures - not just one thing. That chain is easily broken and disaster often can averted by the someone doing the smallest things. Hopefully, the recent alert in Dubai will make people more aware, at least for a few months, and maybe that awareness can help stop a more serious situation in the future.

No comments: