You’re at work.
BOOM! What happened? No power, no lights.
You reach under your desk and grab your GET OUT KIT.
Pull out the radio, check the local stations for info. Check the weather stations, too. Decide to wait a bit.
Okay, waited long enough. Co-workers beginning to panic. Time to get out.
Too dark? Grab your flashlight, put on your headlamp.
Door jammed? Can you go out the window? Put on your work gloves. Whack the window at the corner with your hammer. Be careful of the shattering glass.
Too high up? Head for the stairs, but first open that jammed door. Knob won’t turn? Clamp your 10 inch Vise Grip on the knob and yank. Opens? Good.
Still won’t open? Use your hammer and screwdriver to pop the hinge pins off the door.
Still no go? Try your 12 inch crowbar on the door edge, either at the door knob area or at the back near the hinges.
Out to the darkened hallway to the stairs. Keep your light on. Give the extra one to the guy in the rear. Don’t forget to bring your GET OUT KIT with you.
Helpful to have a multi-bit screwdriver to loosen those flat and Phillips screws holding stuff that blocks your egress. A knife to cut stuff helps, too.
Out onto the street and away from the building and thankful that you assembled and kept a GET OUT KIT under your desk.
The minimal GET OUT KIT
- Radio, battery or crank operated. Keep in touch with emergency news and weather.
- Flashlight(s) and/or a headlamp. More than one is always handy. Use ONLY lithium batteries for long and leak-proof life.
- Work gloves. Sometimes you need to apply brute force. Gloves protect your hands.
- Hammer, straight claw with metal or fibreglas handle. Straight claw for prying. Non-wood handle to prevent embarrassing handle breakage as you apply your gorilla strength to the task.
- 12 inch Prybar for heavy duty prying and general whacking
- 10 inch ViseGrip locking pliers. Get the curved jaw ones that can fit around door knobs to wrench them apart.
- 10 inch Screwdriver with a flat tip. Used for poking, prying, whacking (as in whacking door hinge pins along with a hammer).
- Multi-bit screwdriver with large and small, flat and Phillips bits. To unscrew things that get in your way.
- Folding knife 3-4 inch blade for cutting, NOT for prying.
- Sturdy bag or day pack to store and carry it all. A shoulder strap would be handy, but not essential.
Hopefully it will sit under your desk and never be used. But it’s good insurance.
There are many other things you can include, but that’s up to you.
- Whistle, on a lanyard. Quick call for help. Lanyard goes around your neck to keep the whistle handy.
- Dust mask, disposable. Not for smoke, but handy for dust in the air.
- First Aid Kit. Big stuff. A dozen 4 X 4 gauze pads, a roll of athletic tape, in a ZipLoc bag. For immediate bandaging of big wounds. Skip the small cuts and BandAids until you get out.
Jim Yuen, 2012
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