Sunday, April 15, 2007

On being prepared

With all the travel I've done, you'd think I would have participated in more hotel fire drills, but so far I've only been in two ... and only one was my fault. Well, not my fault, really, since there's no way I could have expected that lamp to shoot two-foot-tall flames into the air when I turned it on. That's one way to perk yourself up at 11:30 after traveling all day ... ever try to blow out an electical fire while wearing only your undergarments? You can do it, but it's not pretty, and you have to send your clothes to the drycleaner to get the smell out.

Anyway, yesterday we woke up at 6:45 to smoke alarms and flashing lights. Liza had gotten up earlier in the night and come into our bed, which is right underneath the smoke alarm ... and she didn't even flinch while the sirens were blaring overhead. I guess we're going to have to get one of those special smoke alarms for kids that let you record a message to play instead of beeping. Anyway, thanks to my experience with The Lamp of Extreme Flaminess, I always make sure when I go to bed in a hotel that I have enough clothes on to allow me to stand around in the lobby during a fire drill and not look like somebody's paid companion.

When I looked out the peephole in the door there was indeed a little smoke in the hall, so I grabbed a jacket and shoes, the diaper bag, and the kid and headed for the door. Jason, meanwhile, was running around in his boxers with the cat carrier, trying to find the cats who were hiding from the noise. That's two potential disasters where he's wasted evacuation time to try to save the cat(s), the other being an earthquake when we lived in Japan. It's nice that he likes them enough to not want to leave them behind to fry, but still. I'm telling you, he's like a walking advertisement for why they put the line "LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND" in large letters on the evacuation instructions for natural disasters.

Luckily, the fire alarm was for something relatively minor - from the smell of it, one of our neighbors had burned their breakfast bacon or had a small grease fire - and we were able to get back into the hotel room pretty quickly. And Liza got a chance to see a fire truck up close, and she waved to the firemen, so she was happy. Still, not a restful start to the day.


Anonymous said...

In my defense, our hotel room is on the first floor. It is right next to the exit door and we have two windows, on opposite sides of the room, that open directly to parking lots. If there was ever a hotel room in which you could wait to evacuate, it's this one.


Anonymous said...

It was good that you knew the exact location of the emergency exits. In my travels, I always try to remember to count the number of doors to the emergency exits at both the hotel and on the airplane.