Wednesday, August 08, 2007

NEXT TIME...

Hi all,
Like Ann I was also on one of the floors at the Dallas Conference where the fire alarm went off. It happened at 12:30 p.m. and I was sound asleep. Suddenly an alarm was blaring, lights were blinking and a voice was saying over and over, “Hotel Emergency. Exit your room quickly. Do not use the elevators. Use the stairs.”

Now I’m in a wheelchair and this was a bit daunting for me. My cousin was with me and we scrambled out of our beds. I didn’t know I could move that fast. I didn’t bring a robe either, but I had on a very nice gown that covered me completely. My cousin on the other hand had on a pair of pajamas and the top was cut low. She also didn’t bring a robe so she grabbed our purses and a blouse to cover herself.

As we reached the door we could hear people running in the hall. My cousin said, “What are we going to do?” I replied, “You’ll have to go down and tell someone I’m still up here.” She was appalled. “No. I’m not leaving you up here.” Here we were debating this at the door. Finally I told her we needed to just go see what’s happening. She opened the door and people were running here and there looking for the stairs. Everyone was scared and not knowing what to do. Finally a hotel person came running and shouting, “False alarm. Go back to your rooms.”

Best words I’ve ever heard in my life. My heart was about to pound out of my chest. The alarm continued to blare and none of us were too eager to go back to our rooms. So we started chatting until we could breathe normally again. We were in our night clothes, no make up and our hair was sticking out in all directions, but no one seemed to care.

This all happened in about a minutes time, but it was like a tiny sliver of the fear the people of 911 must have felt—the fear of the unknown. From now on I will ask what arrangements there are for handicap people in case of an emergency. For heaven’s sakes my handicap room was on the 10th floor. Next time I will also carry a robe. Next time I will be prepared.

And if you’re checking into a hotel any time soon, make sure you know where the stairs are. That’s important. Happy travels to all.

Linda Warren
Once A Cowboy--Feb American
Adopted Son—Sep SuperRomance

10 comments:

Estella said...

How scary for you. Am glad there was no emergency.

Christa said...

You'd think the hotel would make sure that they put you on the ground floor.
In our building I am to go out on the balcony if the fire alarm went off.
Did the hotel have any kind of safety measures that you were instructed about?

Ann Roth said...

Gosh, Linda, that's terrible! I wondered about you that night, but figured... nah. She'd be on a floor near the ground.

I think it appalling that the hotel put you on a high floor! I hope you told the front desk so that this doesn't happen to someone else.

And I'm sooo glad it was a false alarm.

Linda Warren said...

Estella
Thanks. I'm glad there wasn't an emergency, too. It was just a very horrible feeling that I will remember for a long time.
Linda

Linda Warren said...

Christa,
No. There were no instructions from the hotel. The next day I tried to speak to the manager a couple of times, but I had to wait and time ran out because I had to make a meeting. I never got to talk to him.
There are no rooms on the ground floor. But this was a great learning experience--I will know before I check in from now on. In this day and age it very smart to be prepared.
Linda

Linda Warren said...

Hi Ann,
Thanks for thinking about me. Several people were worried about me. I feel so special.
Yes. I told a girl at the front desk and she apologized and said I had to talk to the manager. And that went nowhere.
But sometimes nice things happen. That night one lady was really concerned how I was supposed to get down and we talked for a bit. The next day in the cafe this lady came up to me and said she was lady I'd talk to on the landing. I didn't recognize her fully dressed and with make up. She's an editor for another Publisher and I recognized her name. You never know who you're going to meet in your nightclothes and no make up.
Life is strange sometimes.
Linda

ABamaBecky said...

I'm so glad that the fire was a false alarm and everyone is safe. It could have been a blessing in disguise, as it made you aware that you need to be on the ground floor and made the hotel aware that all handicap accessible rooms need to be on the ground floor or at least easy to evacuate!

Linda Warren said...

Becky,
Yes. It was a blessing in disguise. Now I will be asking quesions and more aware of my surroundings and safety.
Thank you so much for responding.
Linda

Heather MacAllister said...

Linda, I was on that floor, too! Our room got hazy and smelled like burnt wiring.

I have special conference pajamas just for fire alarms :)

Maureen said...

What a scary story. What a relief it was a false alarm