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.
Once A Cowboy--Feb American
Adopted Son—Sep SuperRomance