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More of my high-rise smoke/fire obsession.

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Michael R Weholt

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Sep 26, 2001, 4:35:40 PM9/26/01
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I picked up the SPORTS ILLUSTRATED today and read about Jimmy Andruzzi
and the other Number Fivers. Odd feeling of putting together the story
from my view, from up here on 14th Street, and the story of the Number
Fivers, as it happened down there at Ground Zero.

Anyway, in the story, Andruzzi says: "We get to the fourth floor, and
the door out of the stairwell to the lobby is locked."

This is the second story I've heard of people engaged in desperate
attempts to escape the towers who encountered a locked door on the way
down. I just can't understand this at all. Does anybody know how such a
thing could be possible? Is there some reasonable explanation? Some
practice that can justify this? I'm really asking, not asking
rhetorically. I can't imagine such stupidity unless there is, in fact,
some real world justification for it. In both cases, the case seemed to
be that they were heading down the stairwell, and then they were
stopped, and in both cases there happened to be someone in the group who
knew of an alternate route (i.e., an unlocked door Somewhere Else).
Clearly the people were doing what seemed best, taking the most obvious
route, and then they encountered a potentially fatal obstacle, and only
through sheer luck were able to find an alternate route. The time it
took them to find that alternate route could have, probably did for some
others, mean the difference between life and death.

I don't know. Maybe the only answer is Really Stupid Design. I guess the
moral is that if you work in a tall building, you should occasionally
take the stairs all the way down, no matter if you work on the 80th
floor or even above, just to see if you really can do it.

Oh, and... ordered your smoke hood yet?

--
mrw

Marilee J. Layman

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Sep 26, 2001, 10:57:12 PM9/26/01
to
On 26 Sep 2001 20:35:40 GMT, Michael R Weholt <awnb...@panix.com>
wrote:

>This is the second story I've heard of people engaged in desperate
>attempts to escape the towers who encountered a locked door on the way
>down. I just can't understand this at all. Does anybody know how such a
>thing could be possible? Is there some reasonable explanation? Some
>practice that can justify this?

The idea is that a thief can't gain re-entrance to the building from
the stairwell, the only place they can go is down and out. Some
buildings have unlocked doors every x floors. I believe they're *all*
required to unlock when the sprinklers/fire alarm go off, but there
are other interior doors that are supposed to lock in those
circumstances (the people writing the rules didn't anticipate the
buildings collapsing).

--
Marilee J. Layman
Bali Sterling Beads at Wholesale
http://www.basicbali.com

D. Potter

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Sep 27, 2001, 12:22:28 AM9/27/01
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Marilee J. Layman wrote:

I vaguely recall spending some time in a building in which re-entry from the
stairwell was restricted to certain floors, although entry into the stairwell
was not.

The words "Triangle Shirtwaist Fire" keep popping up.


--
D. Potter

"Quit worrying about the chimera and pay attention to the damn bear!"
--Randolph Fritz, in rasff

TKarney

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Sep 27, 2001, 1:50:25 AM9/27/01
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And it came to pass that Michael R Weholt said in article
<Xns9128A91172A...@166.84.0.240>, awnb...@panix.com
>
> This is the second story I've heard of people engaged in desperate
> attempts to escape the towers who encountered a locked door on the way
> down. I just can't understand this at all. Does anybody know how such a
> thing could be possible? Is there some reasonable explanation? Some
> practice that can justify this?
>


Many years ago I was a security guard, and one of the things I
learned was that all the emergency stairwells were locked from the
stairwell side until one got to the ground-floor exit.

The rationale was to prevent people from leaving anywhere but the
final exit out of the building.

This had amusing repercussions the time I walked into one by
mistake, and had to leave a building I had every key for, save the
outside doors.

Terry

--
"Turning and turning in the widening gyre,
The falcon cannot hear the falconer
Things fall apart
The center cannot hold."


Ulrika O'Brien

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Sep 27, 2001, 2:01:15 AM9/27/01
to
In article <Xns9128A91172A...@166.84.0.240>,
awnb...@panix.com says...

A couple of years ago I took a Red Cross all-day seminar on various
work safety and emergency relata -- practicing duct taping each
other to body boards and so forth -- and the basic message I got out
of the hour we had with a fire marshall on the subject of fire
safety in tall office buildings could be summarized as: don't be in
a tall building if there's a fire. Thirty minute doors don't, in
practice, last thirty minutes, even if no one has propped them open
for convenience. Fire exit signs are inevitably placed near the
ceiling, where they are sure to be entirely obscured by smoke in
case of an actual fire, as opposed to near the floor, where you will
be, if you're smart. The combustibles in an office environment tend
to burn hot and toxic. And building and maintenance folks often get
lazy about regularly unlocking all fire exits because there are just
a butt-load of fire doors, and building supervisors get harassed
about building security just a whole lot more often than they get
harassed about fire safety. The reasoning why this is somehow
okay is I think supposed to be that once you're in the stairwell
you're going down the ground level anyway, so you don't need to get
back in on a lower floor anyhow. This obviously doesn't account for
firefighters needing to get in from below, as you note.

> Oh, and... ordered your smoke hood yet?

And do you have a personal emergency kit packed in a duffel or
backpack at your desk, containing things like water, energy bars,
a change of clothes (especially sturdy shoes if you don't regularly
wear such to work), basic first aid supplies, spare glasses or
prescription medicine, flashlight, whistle, space blanket, etc. that
you can grab with you in case of a hasty evacuation? If not, it's
worth considering, even if you don't live in California.


--
"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten we belong
to each other." -- Mother Teresa

David Dyer-Bennet

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Sep 27, 2001, 1:39:17 PM9/27/01
to

Having stairway doors be entry-only is common, for obvious security
reasons. I've never seen a building equipped for remotely changing
the state of their locks; all the ones I've examined are ordinary
local key-locks. I think firemen are supposed to have access to the
keys for those locks, though, so they are supposed to be able to get
to the floors. I could see how that procedure could break down in a
disaster of WTC proportions. Somewhat coldly, I can almost wish it
had broken down *more*; fewer firemen in the building when it
collapsed. and as it turns out they weren't going to be able to
accomplish anything. Of course we couldn't tell that in advance.
--
David Dyer-Bennet, dd...@dd-b.net
Photos: http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/
Book log: http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/Ouroboros/booknotes/

Jacque

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Sep 27, 2001, 3:38:35 PM9/27/01
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Michael R Weholt <awnb...@panix.com> wrote:

I've actually run into this, at some convention or other. Probably
fifteen or twenty years ago, and I don't remember what city. Very
annoying, especially as it forced far more traffic onto the elevators
that was necessary.

My understanding at the time was that the hotel managers didn't want
anybody to be able to get *in* by any route other than the "official"
entryways.

I don't think I've run into it more than once or twice since, but I
tend to check the stairwell doors carefully when I find myself in a
new hotel, because I don't want to have to take an unexpected stroll
out-of-doors.

--
Jacque Marshall: jac...@olagrande.net : http://www.eskimo.com/~jacquem

David Dyer-Bennet

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Sep 27, 2001, 4:13:24 PM9/27/01
to
David Dyer-Bennet <dd...@dd-b.net> writes:

> Having stairway doors be entry-only is common, for obvious security

^^^^ EXIT! (oops)

Marilee J. Layman

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Sep 27, 2001, 9:00:41 PM9/27/01
to
On 27 Sep 2001 12:39:17 -0500, David Dyer-Bennet <dd...@dd-b.net>
wrote:

Maybe we have different rules for buildings with government stuff in
them.

Keith F. Lynch

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Sep 28, 2001, 12:32:32 AM9/28/01
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David Dyer-Bennet <dd...@dd-b.net> wrote:
> Having stairway doors be entry-only is common, for obvious security
> reasons.

I think it's a bad idea, for three reasons:

* In a fire it may be necessary to backtrack if a stairway turns out
to be blocked or otherwise unusable.

* Walking up and down stairs is good, healthful, exercise. Nobody
should be forced to be more sedentary.

* It gives a false feeling of security, since nothing prevents crooks
from using the elevators. Indeed, crooks are typically very lazy.
(Which is usually why they're trying to get by without working for
a living.)

I wouldn't necessarily refuse to work in a building in which one can't
take the stairs. But it would be a very big negative for me, and
would have to be counterbalanced by lots of very big positives. Such
as more than twice the salary I'd accept if I could use the stairs.

I always take the stairs at cons. And if I worked in a hundred story
building, I would always take the stairs there, too, except when I was
in a great hurry. I estimate it would take me about 15 minutes to
climb up 100 stories at a pace at which I wouldn't get sweaty or out
of breath.

> Somewhat coldly, I can almost wish it had broken down *more*; fewer
> firemen in the building when it collapsed. and as it turns out they
> weren't going to be able to accomplish anything. Of course we
> couldn't tell that in advance.

What were they trying to accomplish? Can anyone really haul a hose
up 80 flights of stairs? And even if they could, is the pressure in
those hoses sufficient to make water climb that high? (Presumably the
building's internal water supply had been broken open and drained out,
and they knew this, and relied on water from street level.)
--
Keith F. Lynch - k...@keithlynch.net - http://keithlynch.net/
I always welcome replies to my e-mail, postings, and web pages, but
unsolicited bulk e-mail sent to thousands of randomly collected
addresses is not acceptable, and I do complain to the spammer's ISP.

David Dyer-Bennet

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Sep 28, 2001, 3:37:12 AM9/28/01
to
"Keith F. Lynch" <k...@KeithLynch.net> writes:

> David Dyer-Bennet <dd...@dd-b.net> wrote:
> > Having stairway doors be entry-only is common, for obvious security
> > reasons.
>
> I think it's a bad idea, for three reasons:
>
> * In a fire it may be necessary to backtrack if a stairway turns out
> to be blocked or otherwise unusable.
>
> * Walking up and down stairs is good, healthful, exercise. Nobody
> should be forced to be more sedentary.
>
> * It gives a false feeling of security, since nothing prevents crooks
> from using the elevators. Indeed, crooks are typically very lazy.
> (Which is usually why they're trying to get by without working for
> a living.)

The last high-rise building I worked in (which I'll use because I can
remember fairly precise details), had elevator shafts on both sides of
a lobby in the middle of each floor. There were doors at both ends of
that lobby, lockable doors. The side we unlocked was the side facing
the receptionists desk. So, generally speaking, that entrance was
"covered". In contrast, the two stairwells came out into the
corridors just inside the outside ring of offices. For most of the
time I worked there, one of them was in an area we weren't using, and
hence people seldom went. The other one wasn't where the receptionist
could see it, and there wasn't any other desk in the company that was
supposed to be manned all the time, and in fact there wasn't another
desk from which the other door could be seen.

Leaving those doors unlocked would have been a security nightmare for
the company.

> I wouldn't necessarily refuse to work in a building in which one can't
> take the stairs. But it would be a very big negative for me, and
> would have to be counterbalanced by lots of very big positives. Such
> as more than twice the salary I'd accept if I could use the stairs.

Your choice. It could get to be a problem; a pretty high percentage
of the jobs reachable by public transit are in high-rise buildings,
and nobody I've heard of accepts multiple unwatched entrances into
their space.

> I always take the stairs at cons. And if I worked in a hundred story
> building, I would always take the stairs there, too, except when I was
> in a great hurry. I estimate it would take me about 15 minutes to
> climb up 100 stories at a pace at which I wouldn't get sweaty or out
> of breath.

I take the stairs a lot at cons, if they're conveniently located and
if they work. Hotels, especially during a convention, have a very
different situation from an office building with regard to security.
The stairs are *outside* the security perimeter, which I view as being
at the various hotel room doors, rather than inside as in an office
building.

Having climbed *20* flights of stairs many times over 20 years ago,
you are either in far FAR better shape than I was then (not
impossible), or (inclusive) you're full of it. 1000 feet straight up
in 15 minutes is seriously hard. Doing it without breaking a sweat
seems awfully unlikely. Especially given the state of air
conditioning in the stairwells I know.

> > Somewhat coldly, I can almost wish it had broken down *more*; fewer
> > firemen in the building when it collapsed. and as it turns out they
> > weren't going to be able to accomplish anything. Of course we
> > couldn't tell that in advance.
>
> What were they trying to accomplish? Can anyone really haul a hose
> up 80 flights of stairs? And even if they could, is the pressure in
> those hoses sufficient to make water climb that high? (Presumably the
> building's internal water supply had been broken open and drained out,
> and they knew this, and relied on water from street level.)

I have no idea if they were thinking hoses; I doubt it. I think they
were thinking rescuing people, and simply finding out what the actual
situation was so they could make intelligent decisions. But probably
somebody who knows something about fighting fires in high-rise
buildings (beyond my usual fannish accumulation of irrelevant
information) would have more useful insight on that.

Kip Williams

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Sep 28, 2001, 8:12:41 AM9/28/01
to
David Dyer-Bennet wrote:

> Having climbed *20* flights of stairs many times over 20 years ago,
> you are either in far FAR better shape than I was then (not
> impossible), or (inclusive) you're full of it. 1000 feet straight up
> in 15 minutes is seriously hard. Doing it without breaking a sweat
> seems awfully unlikely. Especially given the state of air
> conditioning in the stairwells I know.

It's even harder if you're dressed in a fireman's uniform. (data
point)

--
--Kip (Williams) ...at http://members.home.net/kipw/
"I was once falsely accused of perjury, and had to perjure myself to
avoid arrest." --Dashiell Hammett

Pete McCutchen

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Sep 28, 2001, 8:22:34 AM9/28/01
to
On 26 Sep 2001 20:35:40 GMT, Michael R Weholt <awnb...@panix.com>
wrote:

>This is the second story I've heard of people engaged in desperate

>attempts to escape the towers who encountered a locked door on the way
>down. I just can't understand this at all. Does anybody know how such a
>thing could be possible? Is there some reasonable explanation? Some
>practice that can justify this?

Theoretically, the path of unlocked doors should lead out of the
building, while wrong turns should be locked off. That is, if people
simply keep moving, following the only path available to them, they
should get out. I have no idea whether this principle was followed at
the WTC.
--

Pete McCutchen

David Franklin

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Sep 28, 2001, 8:21:48 AM9/28/01
to

Kip Williams <ki...@home.com> wrote in message news:3BB468FE...@home.com...

> David Dyer-Bennet wrote:
>
> > Having climbed *20* flights of stairs many times over 20 years ago,
> > you are either in far FAR better shape than I was then (not
> > impossible), or (inclusive) you're full of it. 1000 feet straight up
> > in 15 minutes is seriously hard. Doing it without breaking a sweat
> > seems awfully unlikely. Especially given the state of air
> > conditioning in the stairwells I know.
>
> It's even harder if you're dressed in a fireman's uniform. (data
> point)

There's an annual race up the Empire State Building.

*Record* time for the 86 flights is 9:37, and the guy who came
second took 11:02. (another data point).

Dave


Pete McCutchen

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Sep 28, 2001, 9:05:39 AM9/28/01
to
On 28 Sep 2001 02:37:12 -0500, David Dyer-Bennet <dd...@dd-b.net>
wrote:

>Having climbed *20* flights of stairs many times over 20 years ago,


>you are either in far FAR better shape than I was then (not
>impossible), or (inclusive) you're full of it. 1000 feet straight up
>in 15 minutes is seriously hard. Doing it without breaking a sweat
>seems awfully unlikely. Especially given the state of air
>conditioning in the stairwells I know.

There's a race up the stairs of the John Hancock building in Chicago,
which is slightly shorter than the World Trade Centers were.
http://www.lungusa.org/chicago/hancock01.html Scroll down, and
you'll see that the record time is 10:22, and, in 2001, quite a few
people managed to finish in under fifteen minutes. Here are the 2001
results:
http://www.racedayresults.com/results/01_Hancock/98overall.txt

About 150 people came in under fifteen minutes, but I assume they were
sweating and out of breath at the time. Based on this data, I suspect
that, even in Keith is in superb shape, he probably couldn't climb 100
stories in fifteen minutes without being at least slightly winded and
having some small amount of perspiration.
--

Pete McCutchen

Colette Reap

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Sep 28, 2001, 9:17:58 AM9/28/01
to
jac...@UNSPAM.olagrande.net (Jacque) wrote:

>Michael R Weholt <awnb...@panix.com> wrote:

>>This is the second story I've heard of people engaged in desperate
>>attempts to escape the towers who encountered a locked door on the way
>>down. I just can't understand this at all. Does anybody know how such a
>>thing could be possible? Is there some reasonable explanation?

>I've actually run into this, at some convention or other. Probably


>fifteen or twenty years ago, and I don't remember what city. Very
>annoying, especially as it forced far more traffic onto the elevators
>that was necessary.
>
>My understanding at the time was that the hotel managers didn't want
>anybody to be able to get *in* by any route other than the "official"
>entryways.
>
>I've actually run into this, at some convention or other. Probably
>fifteen or twenty years ago, and I don't remember what city. Very
>annoying, especially as it forced far more traffic onto the elevators
>that was necessary.
>

IIRC, the main party hotel at Chicon 4 (1982) had that problem. I had
carefully made a list of all the parties I wanted to visit, arranged
them in descending floor order and was going to take the lift to the
highest one and work my way down on foot, but found my plans
frustrated by doors that could not be opened from their stairwell
side.

--
Colette
* "2002: A Discworld Odyssey" * http://www.dwcon.org/ *
* August 16th-19th, 2002 * Email: in...@dwcon.org *

Erik V. Olson

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Sep 28, 2001, 9:55:21 AM9/28/01
to
On 28 Sep 2001 02:37:12 -0500, David Dyer-Bennet <dd...@dd-b.net> wrote:

>> What were they trying to accomplish? Can anyone really haul a hose
>> up 80 flights of stairs? And even if they could, is the pressure in
>> those hoses sufficient to make water climb that high? (Presumably the
>> building's internal water supply had been broken open and drained out,
>> and they knew this, and relied on water from street level.)
>
>I have no idea if they were thinking hoses; I doubt it. I think they
>were thinking rescuing people, and simply finding out what the actual
>situation was so they could make intelligent decisions. But probably
>somebody who knows something about fighting fires in high-rise
>buildings (beyond my usual fannish accumulation of irrelevant
>information) would have more useful insight on that.

Most likely, they *were* carrying 50-100' of hose. All skyscrapers have many
standpipes to lift water to upper floors. The engine hooks up to the
standpipe and pumps, the firefighters on the upper floor hook up to the
standpipe upstairs, turn the valve, and fight the fire. You couldn't haul a
800' hose up stairs and charge it -- the pressure at the bottom of the
column would blow the hose. If you look at firefighting engines, they have
many feet of hose, and a couple of hundred feet of solid pipe, which is used
to hook up to the standpipe in tall buildings.

The standpipes should have still be functional up to the impact floors.
Above that, they might have been cut. Supposedly, there are various cutoffs
to make sure you can charge even a damaged system, I don't know the details.

--
Erik V. Olson: er...@mo.net : http://walden.mo.net/~eriko/

David Dyer-Bennet

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Sep 28, 2001, 2:05:56 PM9/28/01
to
Kip Williams <ki...@home.com> writes:

> David Dyer-Bennet wrote:
>
> > Having climbed *20* flights of stairs many times over 20 years ago,
> > you are either in far FAR better shape than I was then (not
> > impossible), or (inclusive) you're full of it. 1000 feet straight up
> > in 15 minutes is seriously hard. Doing it without breaking a sweat
> > seems awfully unlikely. Especially given the state of air
> > conditioning in the stairwells I know.
>
> It's even harder if you're dressed in a fireman's uniform. (data
> point)

Sure would be. And the only thing worse than a breathing mask is
*not* having a breathing mask when you need it.

David Dyer-Bennet

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Sep 28, 2001, 2:06:31 PM9/28/01
to
"David Franklin" <d.fra...@virgin.net> writes:

Thanks, that's relevant. And I presume the winners in this race work
hard enough to get pretty sweaty?

Dave Weingart

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Sep 28, 2001, 2:33:58 PM9/28/01
to
David Franklin wrote:
>There's an annual race up the Empire State Building.
>
>*Record* time for the 86 flights is 9:37, and the guy who came
>second took 11:02. (another data point).

What's the average time?

There's an annual race in NY called the NY Marathon. The record time
to run 26.2 miles is just over 2 hours. In 1999, I ran it in 4:47:52
chip time (just under 5 hours gun time). Yes, I trained for it.

--
Dave Weingart Ceci n'est pas un .signature
phyd...@altrion.org
http://www.liii.com/~phydeaux/

Kip Williams

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Sep 28, 2001, 3:55:45 PM9/28/01
to
David Dyer-Bennet wrote:
>
> Kip Williams <ki...@home.com> writes:
>
> > David Dyer-Bennet wrote:
> >
> > > Having climbed *20* flights of stairs many times over 20 years ago,
> > > you are either in far FAR better shape than I was then (not
> > > impossible), or (inclusive) you're full of it. 1000 feet straight up
> > > in 15 minutes is seriously hard. Doing it without breaking a sweat
> > > seems awfully unlikely. Especially given the state of air
> > > conditioning in the stairwells I know.
> >
> > It's even harder if you're dressed in a fireman's uniform. (data
> > point)
>
> Sure would be. And the only thing worse than a breathing mask is
> *not* having a breathing mask when you need it.

Certainly. Just pointing out that these people are already getting
the Harrison Bergeron treatment. For understandable reasons, of
course.

Keith Thompson

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Sep 28, 2001, 8:27:18 PM9/28/01
to
"Keith F. Lynch" <k...@KeithLynch.net> writes:
[...]

> I always take the stairs at cons. And if I worked in a hundred story
> building, I would always take the stairs there, too, except when I was
> in a great hurry. I estimate it would take me about 15 minutes to
> climb up 100 stories at a pace at which I wouldn't get sweaty or out
> of breath.

That's 9 seconds per story. 100 times in a row.

I'm very impressed that you're in good enough shape that that's
anywhere near being a plausible estimate. It this typical for your
species? 8-)}

At any ambient temperature above about 50 degrees, I'd be sweating
after two or three stories at that rate. (Yes, I mean Kelvin.)

--
Keith Thompson (The_Other_Keith) k...@cts.com <http://www.ghoti.net/~kst>
San Diego Supercomputer Center <*> <http://www.sdsc.edu/~kst>
Cxiuj via bazo apartenas ni.

Lydia Nickerson

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Sep 29, 2001, 3:34:46 PM9/29/01
to
In article <m21ykr9...@gw.dd-b.net>,
David Dyer-Bennet <dd...@dd-b.net> wrote:


> The last high-rise building I worked in (which I'll use because I can
> remember fairly precise details), had elevator shafts on both sides of
> a lobby in the middle of each floor. There were doors at both ends of
> that lobby, lockable doors. The side we unlocked was the side facing
> the receptionists desk. So, generally speaking, that entrance was
> "covered". In contrast, the two stairwells came out into the
> corridors just inside the outside ring of offices. For most of the
> time I worked there, one of them was in an area we weren't using, and
> hence people seldom went. The other one wasn't where the receptionist
> could see it, and there wasn't any other desk in the company that was
> supposed to be manned all the time, and in fact there wasn't another
> desk from which the other door could be seen.

Frankly, there were days where the receptionist wouldn't have noticed a
brass band with elephants coming off the elevator or the security
stairs. But that's another story. (For part of the time that DDB
worked there, I worked as receptionist.)

The other thing to note about the security stairwells is that they were,
theoretically, the safest place in the building. They had a strong
positive air pressure, which theoretically prevented both smoke and fire
from penetrating the theoretically fire-proof stairwell. I'm glad to
say we never tried to test that theory. My recollection is that the
doors all had electronic locks, so presumably they would be triggered to
unlock in the case of an emergecncy. Again, never tested that theory,
either.

--
Lydia Nickerson
Dulciculi Aliquorum

Vicki Rosenzweig

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Oct 1, 2001, 11:13:04 PM10/1/01
to
Quoth Ulrika O'Brien <uaob...@earthlink.net> on Thu, 27 Sep 2001
06:01:15 GMT:

>
>And do you have a personal emergency kit packed in a duffel or
>backpack at your desk, containing things like water, energy bars,
>a change of clothes (especially sturdy shoes if you don't regularly
>wear such to work), basic first aid supplies, spare glasses or
>prescription medicine, flashlight, whistle, space blanket, etc. that
>you can grab with you in case of a hasty evacuation? If not, it's
>worth considering, even if you don't live in California.

One thing to consider, though, is what the pack weighs, and
how far you'd have to carry it.

I grabbed my backpack for no special reason when my office was
evacuated shortly after the attacks. Halfway down, I realized
that I didn't want it, but that I could not leave it on the stairs,
as a decent human being.
--
Vicki Rosenzweig | v...@redbird.org
r.a.sf.f faq at http://www.redbird.org/rassef-faq.html

Dorothy J Heydt

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Oct 1, 2001, 11:30:46 PM10/1/01
to
In article <43cirtkgsfi81rn1c...@4ax.com>,

Vicki Rosenzweig <v...@redbird.org> wrote:
>Quoth Ulrika O'Brien <uaob...@earthlink.net> on Thu, 27 Sep 2001
>06:01:15 GMT:
>>And do you have a personal emergency kit packed in a duffel or
>>backpack at your desk, containing things like water, energy bars,
>>a change of clothes (especially sturdy shoes if you don't regularly
>>wear such to work), basic first aid supplies, spare glasses or
>>prescription medicine, flashlight, whistle, space blanket, etc. that
>>you can grab with you in case of a hasty evacuation? If not, it's
>>worth considering, even if you don't live in California.
>
>One thing to consider, though, is what the pack weighs, and
>how far you'd have to carry it.
>
>I grabbed my backpack for no special reason when my office was
>evacuated shortly after the attacks. Halfway down, I realized
>that I didn't want it, but that I could not leave it on the stairs,
>as a decent human being.

I don't work in an office any more, but I have a basic what-if-I-
had-to-escape-from-the-house list. It's not prepacked, but all
the components are in easily reached places. It consists chiefly
of the three cats, in their carriers. Then my medications, Hal's
medications, and Sebastian's medications. And some cat food, and
some water, and my purse, and it all fits into a shopping cart.

Dorothy J. Heydt
Albany, California
djh...@kithrup.com
http://www.kithrup.com/~djheydt

Nancy Lebovitz

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Oct 1, 2001, 11:56:18 PM10/1/01
to
In article <GKK73...@kithrup.com>,

Dorothy J Heydt <djh...@kithrup.com> wrote:
>
>I don't work in an office any more, but I have a basic what-if-I-
>had-to-escape-from-the-house list. It's not prepacked, but all
>the components are in easily reached places. It consists chiefly

Your cats are reliably in easily reached places?

>of the three cats, in their carriers. Then my medications, Hal's
>medications, and Sebastian's medications. And some cat food, and
>some water, and my purse, and it all fits into a shopping cart.
>

--
Nancy Lebovitz na...@netaxs.com www.nancybuttons.com

Michael R Weholt

unread,
Oct 2, 2001, 12:05:12 AM10/2/01
to
Vicki Rosenzweig <v...@redbird.org> wrote in
news:43cirtkgsfi81rn1c...@4ax.com:

> Quoth Ulrika O'Brien <uaob...@earthlink.net> on Thu, 27 Sep 2001
> 06:01:15 GMT:
>
>>
>>And do you have a personal emergency kit packed in a duffel or
>>backpack at your desk, containing things like water, energy bars,
>>a change of clothes (especially sturdy shoes if you don't regularly
>>wear such to work), basic first aid supplies, spare glasses or
>>prescription medicine, flashlight, whistle, space blanket, etc.
>>that you can grab with you in case of a hasty evacuation? If not,
>>it's worth considering, even if you don't live in California.
>
> One thing to consider, though, is what the pack weighs, and
> how far you'd have to carry it.
>
> I grabbed my backpack for no special reason when my office was
> evacuated shortly after the attacks. Halfway down, I realized
> that I didn't want it, but that I could not leave it on the stairs,
> as a decent human being.

And for an alternative view, I left everything and ran like hell. I
regretted it immediately, especially when it became clear that I might
not ever get back into the building again. Still, in the end, it's just
stuff. Minor stuff, too, when you look at the big picture. But at the
fire next time, if I can grab stuff without losing oh a pico-second or
so, I'm grabbing it.

I've been in the office twice since the Event. It's difficult because
you have to arrange a police escort past the National Guard detachment
that still mans the barricade across our street. The first time we went
in, the two cops escorting us discovered they could get access to the
roof of the building next door by going out onto our fire exit. We had
to wait around for a half and hour or so while the two of them walked
the roof-top, kicking at the soot and crap and building debris.

"So what are you guys looking for, anyway?"

"Body parts."

Sorry I asked.

Nobody has any idea when we can have access to the building again. It's
maddening. The people I work for/with remain an office only through the
tenuous grace of our home and cell telephone numbers. The office feels
like a horse they haven't sent to the glue factory yet only because they
haven't the heart. I feel like I'm on medical leave with a mysterious
illness they cannot diagnose.

This is so bizarre. So bizarre.

But on the bright side, it occurred to me today that those bastards are
dead. Yes, they took almost 6,000 good and innocent people, 6,000 people
if you can believe such a thing could happen, every one of those 6,000
with more value in their pulverized little fingers than those bastards
could muster in an entire lifetime on this Earth. Those bastards lived
short and twisted lives and ended them in the ugliest manner possible.
Or, hell, I don't know, maybe they lived lives of unparalleled richness.
I doubt it, but anyway I don't care. They are dead.

We're alive. We can walk out on the streets this chilly fall evening and
stop at the deli for a cup of joe. We can get Chinese take-out. We can
stop by and visit with an old friend. Our sisters can phone for help
with their computers. Our brothers can call and joke about the flight
they had to take this morning. Our cats can bug the crap out of us
because we're late already with their dinner. We can put on our coats
and go up onto the roofs of our buildings and look up into the night sky
and spot Vega.

Yeah, that's pretty much what I thought about today. We're alive and
they're dead. Stupid asshole motherfuckers.

--
mrw

Dorothy J Heydt

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Oct 2, 2001, 1:06:47 PM10/2/01
to
In article <9pbdt2$4...@netaxs.com>,

Nancy Lebovitz <na...@unix1.netaxs.com> wrote:
>In article <GKK73...@kithrup.com>,
>Dorothy J Heydt <djh...@kithrup.com> wrote:
>>
>>I don't work in an office any more, but I have a basic what-if-I-
>>had-to-escape-from-the-house list. It's not prepacked, but all
>>the components are in easily reached places. It consists chiefly
>
>Your cats are reliably in easily reached places?

Always, inside the house; usually, either on the waterbed or on
the livingroom couch.

Martin Easterbrook

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Oct 2, 2001, 1:50:29 PM10/2/01
to

"Dorothy J Heydt" <djh...@kithrup.com> wrote in message
news:GKL8v...@kithrup.com...

> In article <9pbdt2$4...@netaxs.com>,
> Nancy Lebovitz <na...@unix1.netaxs.com> wrote:
> >In article <GKK73...@kithrup.com>,
> >Dorothy J Heydt <djh...@kithrup.com> wrote:
> >>
> >>I don't work in an office any more, but I have a basic what-if-I-
> >>had-to-escape-from-the-house list. It's not prepacked, but all
> >>the components are in easily reached places. It consists chiefly
> >
> >Your cats are reliably in easily reached places?
>
> Always, inside the house; usually, either on the waterbed or on
> the livingroom couch.
>
The combination of a cat and a waterbed sounds like a good
way to fight fires to me.

Martin E


Sue Mason

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Oct 2, 2001, 8:59:27 AM10/2/01
to
On Tue, 2 Oct 2001 17:06:47 GMT, djh...@kithrup.com (Dorothy J Heydt)
wrote:

>In article <9pbdt2$4...@netaxs.com>,
>Nancy Lebovitz <na...@unix1.netaxs.com> wrote:
>>In article <GKK73...@kithrup.com>,
>>Dorothy J Heydt <djh...@kithrup.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>I don't work in an office any more, but I have a basic what-if-I-
>>>had-to-escape-from-the-house list. It's not prepacked, but all
>>>the components are in easily reached places. It consists chiefly
>>
>>Your cats are reliably in easily reached places?
>
>Always, inside the house; usually, either on the waterbed or on
>the livingroom couch.

I know it's fine, okay, safe, but every time I read 'cat' in
conjunction with 'waterbed' I have to suppress a shudder.

Sue - who has a cat who'se deconstructed two sofas so far in his 16
years.


Sue Mason
s...@arctic-fox.freeserve.co.uk

Dragons, unicorns and pagan designs in wood at
http://www.plokta.com/woodlore/

Dave Weingart

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Oct 2, 2001, 3:43:59 PM10/2/01
to
In article <y7nu7.12$tE3....@news.dircon.co.uk>, Martin Easterbrook wrote:
>The combination of a cat and a waterbed sounds like a good
>way to fight fires to me.

obFilk: Tom Smith, "The Really Sick Note"

Keith Thompson

unread,
Oct 2, 2001, 6:54:07 PM10/2/01
to
Michael R Weholt <awnb...@panix.com> writes:
[...]

> But on the bright side, it occurred to me today that those bastards are
> dead. Yes, they took almost 6,000 good and innocent people, 6,000 people
> if you can believe such a thing could happen, every one of those 6,000
> with more value in their pulverized little fingers than those bastards
> could muster in an entire lifetime on this Earth. Those bastards lived
> short and twisted lives and ended them in the ugliest manner possible.
> Or, hell, I don't know, maybe they lived lives of unparalleled richness.
> I doubt it, but anyway I don't care. They are dead.
[...]

On a similar note, I have one small hope. (Well, more than one, but
just one that I'm going to mention.) There were, I think, 4 hijackers
on the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. The plane didn't reach its
intended target, thanks to the kind of heroic action by ordinary
people that you usually see only in bad movies.

I hope that, in the minutes before the plane hit the ground, the
hijackers had time to know that they had failed. I hope they had time
to realize that their target (the Capitol, maybe?) wasn't going to be
destroyed that day, and that it was because they had screwed up. They
were obviously prepared to die, but they probably weren't prepared to
fail.

It's not much. It doesn't begin to make up for even one of the lives
they took. But it's something.

Dorothy J Heydt

unread,
Oct 2, 2001, 6:48:44 PM10/2/01
to
In article <slrn9rk67v....@andor.altrion.org>,

Dave Weingart <phyd...@andor.altrion.org> wrote:
>In article <y7nu7.12$tE3....@news.dircon.co.uk>, Martin Easterbrook wrote:
>>The combination of a cat and a waterbed sounds like a good
>>way to fight fires to me.
>
>obFilk: Tom Smith, "The Really Sick Note"

As I have already posted, my cats' claws have never done any harm
to the waterbed.

Oh, Promethea has cut a few grooves in the footboard, but that's
not what you were thinking.

Most punctures in the mattress have been caused by me doing
hand-sewing in bed and losing track of a pin.

Fortunately, there's a place in Richmond* that sells mattresses,
takes Visa, and delivers.

*Richmond CA, about fifteen miles north of us; not VA; just in
case you wondered.

Erik V. Olson

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Oct 2, 2001, 8:45:22 PM10/2/01
to
On Tue, 2 Oct 2001 22:48:44 GMT, Dorothy J Heydt <djh...@kithrup.com> wrote:

>
>*Richmond CA, about fifteen miles north of us; not VA; just in
>case you wondered.
>

I was thinking Richmod, WA, myself, and about to warn you about the
importance of keeping your Microsoft Waterbed patched.

Dorothy J Heydt

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Oct 2, 2001, 9:23:20 PM10/2/01
to
In article <slrn9rlta5...@calcium.physiciansedge.com>,

Erik V. Olson <er...@mvp.net> wrote:
>On Tue, 2 Oct 2001 22:48:44 GMT, Dorothy J Heydt <djh...@kithrup.com> wrote:
>
>>
>>*Richmond CA, about fifteen miles north of us; not VA; just in
>>case you wondered.
>>
>
>I was thinking Richmod, WA, myself, and about to warn you about the
>importance of keeping your Microsoft Waterbed patched.

Uh, isn't that Redmond?

Erik V. Olson

unread,
Oct 2, 2001, 9:32:54 PM10/2/01
to
On Wed, 3 Oct 2001 01:23:20 GMT, Dorothy J Heydt <djh...@kithrup.com> wrote:
>In article <slrn9rlta5...@calcium.physiciansedge.com>,
>Erik V. Olson <er...@mvp.net> wrote:
>>On Tue, 2 Oct 2001 22:48:44 GMT, Dorothy J Heydt <djh...@kithrup.com> wrote:
>>
>>>
>>>*Richmond CA, about fifteen miles north of us; not VA; just in
>>>case you wondered.
>>>
>>
>>I was thinking Richmod, WA, myself, and about to warn you about the
>>importance of keeping your Microsoft Waterbed patched.
>
>Uh, isn't that Redmond?


Uh, look! A Monkey!

Dorothy J Heydt

unread,
Oct 2, 2001, 9:57:09 PM10/2/01
to
In article <slrn9rm038...@calcium.physiciansedge.com>,

Erik V. Olson <er...@mvp.net> wrote:
>On Wed, 3 Oct 2001 01:23:20 GMT, Dorothy J Heydt <djh...@kithrup.com> wrote:
>>In article <slrn9rlta5...@calcium.physiciansedge.com>,
>>Erik V. Olson <er...@mvp.net> wrote:
>>>On Tue, 2 Oct 2001 22:48:44 GMT, Dorothy J Heydt <djh...@kithrup.com> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>*Richmond CA, about fifteen miles north of us; not VA; just in
>>>>case you wondered.
>>>
>>>I was thinking Richmod, WA, myself, and about to warn you about the
>>>importance of keeping your Microsoft Waterbed patched.
>>
>>Uh, isn't that Redmond?
>
>Uh, look! A Monkey!

How many heads?

Marilee J. Layman

unread,
Oct 2, 2001, 10:31:12 PM10/2/01
to
On 2 Oct 2001 03:56:18 GMT, na...@unix1.netaxs.com (Nancy Lebovitz)
wrote:

>In article <GKK73...@kithrup.com>,
>Dorothy J Heydt <djh...@kithrup.com> wrote:
>>
>>I don't work in an office any more, but I have a basic what-if-I-
>>had-to-escape-from-the-house list. It's not prepacked, but all
>>the components are in easily reached places. It consists chiefly
>
>Your cats are reliably in easily reached places?

Mine are trained to come to a whistle. Smudge is still slow about it,
but he's getting better.

>>of the three cats, in their carriers. Then my medications, Hal's
>>medications, and Sebastian's medications. And some cat food, and
>>some water, and my purse, and it all fits into a shopping cart.
>>

--
Marilee J. Layman
Bali Sterling Beads at Wholesale
http://www.basicbali.com

Janice Gelb

unread,
Oct 3, 2001, 12:25:25 AM10/3/01
to
In article 43cirtkgsfi81rn1c...@4ax.com, Vicki Rosenzweig <v...@redbird.org> writes:
>Quoth Ulrika O'Brien <uaob...@earthlink.net> on Thu, 27 Sep 2001
>06:01:15 GMT:
>
>>
>>And do you have a personal emergency kit packed in a duffel or
>>backpack at your desk, containing things like water, energy bars,
>>a change of clothes (especially sturdy shoes if you don't regularly
>>wear such to work), basic first aid supplies, spare glasses or
>>prescription medicine, flashlight, whistle, space blanket, etc. that
>>you can grab with you in case of a hasty evacuation? If not, it's
>>worth considering, even if you don't live in California.
>
>One thing to consider, though, is what the pack weighs, and
>how far you'd have to carry it.
>

The earthquake kit in my car is in a backpack. The earthquake
kit with supplies is on my deck outside in a sturdy Rubbermaid
box so it's already "outside" in case the building collapses
and I won't have to carry it. (Not good in a fire, I know.)
The stuff I would really, really miss if it got destroyed (photo
album, brag copies of all (yes *all*) my apazines from the past
over 20 years, etc., are in a wheelable suitcase in the closet
right near my front door (also no good in a fire but I'm hoping
earthquake here...)

*******************************************************************
Janice Gelb | The only connection Sun has with
janic...@eng.sun.com | this message is the return address.
http://www.geocities.com/Area51/8018/index.html

"The first Halloween prank ever, played by a group of Druid
teenagers, was Stonehenge. (`HEY! You kids get those rocks
OFF my LAWN!')" -- Dave Barry


Bob Webber

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Oct 3, 2001, 12:42:03 PM10/3/01
to
Colette Reap <col...@lspace.org> wrote:
> jac...@UNSPAM.olagrande.net (Jacque) wrote:

>>Michael R Weholt <awnb...@panix.com> wrote:

>>>This is the second story I've heard of people engaged in desperate
>>>attempts to escape the towers who encountered a locked door on the way
>>>down. I just can't understand this at all. Does anybody know how such a
>>>thing could be possible? Is there some reasonable explanation?

...


>>I've actually run into this, at some convention or other. Probably
>>fifteen or twenty years ago, and I don't remember what city. Very
>>annoying, especially as it forced far more traffic onto the elevators
>>that was necessary.
>>
> IIRC, the main party hotel at Chicon 4 (1982) had that problem. I had
> carefully made a list of all the parties I wanted to visit, arranged
> them in descending floor order and was going to take the lift to the
> highest one and work my way down on foot, but found my plans
> frustrated by doors that could not be opened from their stairwell
> side.

That's quite possibly the one: I have a faint (and possibly false)
memory of being present in a group with Jacque at Chicon 4 when
we discovered that party hopping by stairwell wasn't practical.
The memory's linked to people cussing the hotel as we walked down,
and to my making a reference to "recursive descent."


--
They say that Heaven is like TV: a perfect little world that doesn't
really need you.
-- Laurie Anderson

Margaret Young

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Oct 6, 2001, 12:27:28 AM10/6/01
to
On Tue, 2 Oct 2001 03:30:46 GMT, djh...@kithrup.com (Dorothy J Heydt)
wrote:

>In article <43cirtkgsfi81rn1c...@4ax.com>,

My cats would approve -- notice you listed the cats and their carriers
_first_ and of course their food is specifically included. Your purse
will no doubt be handy in case they need anything else.

We have stickers prominantly displayed on our doors and windows
telling emergency workers that two cats live inside.

Somehow, though, they seem to create more stuff to scoop in the litter
than one would think two cats could produce. Maybe they let their
friends in to use the facilities.

Margaret


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Dorothy J Heydt

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Oct 6, 2001, 1:23:48 AM10/6/01
to
In article <qq1trt4g8i2k2dn7q...@4ax.com>,

Margaret Young <mmy...@umich.edu> wrote:
>>
>>I don't work in an office any more, but I have a basic what-if-I-
>>had-to-escape-from-the-house list. It's not prepacked, but all
>>the components are in easily reached places. It consists chiefly
>>of the three cats, in their carriers. Then my medications, Hal's
>>medications, and Sebastian's medications. And some cat food, and
>>some water, and my purse, and it all fits into a shopping cart.
>
>My cats would approve -- notice you listed the cats and their carriers
>_first_ and of course their food is specifically included.

If there's a disaster and we all have to run for it, there will
presumably be some kind of effort made to feed the human refugees.
(If not, I can damnwell live on my stored fat for a few days.)
But I doubt anyone besides me will expend any effort to feed my
cats.

Your purse
>will no doubt be handy in case they need anything else.

Um, well, if I have any money in it. (Generally I do not.
However, that's on the list of things to get sometime when I have
the opportunity)


>
>Somehow, though, they seem to create more stuff to scoop in the litter
>than one would think two cats could produce. Maybe they let their
>friends in to use the facilities.

I hear you. Every day mine generate a bagful about the size of
my head.

Kevin J. Maroney

unread,
Oct 6, 2001, 2:27:11 AM10/6/01
to
On Sat, 6 Oct 2001 05:23:48 GMT, djh...@kithrup.com (Dorothy J Heydt)
wrote:

>If there's a disaster and we all have to run for it, there will
>presumably be some kind of effort made to feed the human refugees.
>(If not, I can damnwell live on my stored fat for a few days.)
>But I doubt anyone besides me will expend any effort to feed my
>cats.

Actually, the ASPCA was running rescue missions into the Forbidden
Zone in lower Manhattan last month.

--
Kevin J. Maroney | k...@panix.com
Games are my entire waking life.

Dorothy J Heydt

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Oct 6, 2001, 10:56:56 AM10/6/01
to
In article <gs8trts359h5qertm...@4ax.com>,

Kevin J. Maroney <k...@panix.com> wrote:
>On Sat, 6 Oct 2001 05:23:48 GMT, djh...@kithrup.com (Dorothy J Heydt)
>wrote:
>>If there's a disaster and we all have to run for it, there will
>>presumably be some kind of effort made to feed the human refugees.
>>(If not, I can damnwell live on my stored fat for a few days.)
>>But I doubt anyone besides me will expend any effort to feed my
>>cats.
>
>Actually, the ASPCA was running rescue missions into the Forbidden
>Zone in lower Manhattan last month.

I'm glad to hear it. There was one woman interviewed on the tube
who lived in an apartment house near the disaster area, had been
evacuated, and it had been four days and her animals were still
there and she was hoping to get back to them soon.

Margaret Young

unread,
Oct 6, 2001, 11:27:19 AM10/6/01
to
On Sat, 6 Oct 2001 05:23:48 GMT, djh...@kithrup.com (Dorothy J Heydt)
wrote:

>In article <qq1trt4g8i2k2dn7q...@4ax.com>,


>Margaret Young <mmy...@umich.edu> wrote:
>>>
>>>I don't work in an office any more, but I have a basic what-if-I-
>>>had-to-escape-from-the-house list. It's not prepacked, but all
>>>the components are in easily reached places. It consists chiefly
>>>of the three cats, in their carriers. Then my medications, Hal's
>>>medications, and Sebastian's medications. And some cat food, and
>>>some water, and my purse, and it all fits into a shopping cart.
>>
>>My cats would approve -- notice you listed the cats and their carriers
>>_first_ and of course their food is specifically included.
>
>If there's a disaster and we all have to run for it, there will
>presumably be some kind of effort made to feed the human refugees.
>(If not, I can damnwell live on my stored fat for a few days.)
>But I doubt anyone besides me will expend any effort to feed my
>cats.

And seriously I am glad you have thought about this. Lots of people
don't seem to realize that in an emergency their furry dependents will
need looking after.

Last time we made/revised our wills our lawyer was telling us that
people get angry when he suggests that they make sure that provisions
have been made to have someone look after their cats and/or dogs
and/or other dependent animals should something happen to the people.
Both of ours are on expensive special diets (one of the side effects
of cats living longer is they become cranky senior citizens who
dietary needs are not nugatory). We actually set aside a trust fund
for them so that if anything happens to us the good people who take
our cats will get some monetary assitance with the care of them.

Margaret

>
>Your purse
>>will no doubt be handy in case they need anything else.
>
>Um, well, if I have any money in it. (Generally I do not.
>However, that's on the list of things to get sometime when I have
>the opportunity)

I have a sneaking suspicion that at least one of my cats has figured
out what credit cards are for. If she masters the art of web-surfing I
fear for health of my credit limit.

Margaret Young

unread,
Oct 6, 2001, 11:32:45 AM10/6/01