Tuesday, October 6, 2009

EMERGENCY PREPARDNESS: AT WORK!

Last week I had the misfortune of attending a meeting for my boss. (She tricked me by her vagueness). She mentioned Emergency Preparedness so I was intrigued. I work at at Hospital that bills itself one of the "Finest in the Land". We have everything new thing, and the next new new thing a sick or injured person could want. But is this hospital prepared? I was working on Sept 11 2001 and I remember it well. I work in a basement where were are lucky to maintain a decent computer connection. We can hardly access a radio signal and back in 2001 it was even harder. However the one thing that stood out to me was that my office actually started calling people (IE: our supervisor, etc about the attacks). Of course no one believed us. When it finally hit;( no pun) everyone and I mean everyone started to literally run out of this place. I remember asking my supervisor what we should do , she said well stay here and answer the phones. Well the phone lines were jammed and the computers were basically overloaded and frozen in place. But I trusted her. I tried to page her and eventually she called and said that she was on her way home, What about us I said (in shock), she said stay there until the shift ended. (She didn't care and she hung up on me). I saw her assistant as she was running down the hall, she looked back and said , why are you here? Now the moral of this story, the hospital had an emergency plan in place and they activated it, unfortunately we received no patients. However, the real emergency plan that should have had a plan for the employees to follow was non existent. Oh sure we knew we had to call certain numbers, and show up at certain places. No one can prepare you for the world coming to an end. So I sat in on this 2 hr (extremely tedious, self serving) meeting and learned that the same emergency plan is still in place (tweaked here and there), but there is still no "personal employee" disaster plan. There are no answers to what happen to the employees if they have to stay here a few days, what about food and shelter for us as employees? The answer my friend is "blowing in the wind". The instructions will eventually be passed down the managerial chain and each Dept head; YA DA YA DA YA DA; BLAH BLAH. I thought to my self that I had better get an emergency set up in my office, some food storage, water,etc and copies of documents. Some bedding and a change of clothes.
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