Saturday, February 12, 2011

Top Secrets Revealed!

I finally got the skinny on the big secret meeting they had the other night. I'm glad I left early that night because the participants were told not to talk about it and that would have aggravated the poodles out of me.

Apparently they chose the participants pretty much at random. Just so they got a good cross-section of the people who worked here. They wanted one lieutenant, one sergeant and four CO's.

The scenario was that a 6.4 (or so) earthquake hit centered on the border of one of the neighboring states. It lasted for about 35 seconds or so. A little while later there was an aftershock almost that large. This happened during mainline.

Both dining halls and part of the control center collapsed. 10 house and 28 house were on fire and the stairwells had collapsed. The smoke stack from the power plant collapsed onto the laundry building and while the biggest water tower was still standing, the main outflow pipe was cracked and spewing water at a phenomenal rate.

The shift commander is dead and both the phones and the radios are out. I never heard if the fences were still intact or not.

I was apparently killed in the comm room when the upper floor collapsed. Now way to get to me or the armory. The whole floor was inaccessible. That left us with two shotguns with 15 rounds each out in the P-cars as our only available weapons.

Lots of inmates dead. Lots of staff dead. No way to call for help and with that kind of disaster going on, not much hope of getting any outside help anyway. And more people were killed during the aftershock.

Quite the ugly little scenario they had going there. Why they thought that we were required to go over something like that I have no idea. Most of the people who heard about it when the participants were allowed to talk just shrugged and said "We're screwed."

Which kinds of sums it up in a nutshell.

They say that we passed, which I guess is a good thing. The people that survived kept their heads and did the right thing.

On paper, anyway. Reality often tends to be something completely different.

Me, I guess I got off easy. Being dead, all that was required of me was to lay there and ooze a bit now and then. I can do that.

I guess I can list that experience as one of those that I hope never happens but on the off chance it does, I hope it happens on my day off.

So! On to happier things. Tomorrow, aside from being Lincoln's Birthday, is also National Plum Pudding Day. And Sunday is another twofer: Get A Different Name Day and Dream Your Sweet Day.

Sunday sounds like it's gonna be a good day. I hope I get a decent name out of the deal. With my luck I'd get stuck with an odd handle like "Alphonse" or "Fabian" or something like that. Pfui.


  1. You're right. We would be screwed. One could only hope that some staff would start digging through the rubble looking for shotguns and a the few good leaders we do have step up and become great ones. My number one concern in that scenario would be the multiple code 13s there would be. Radios out? Maybe they should give us our whistles back as back-up.

  2. But if you aren't at work when it goes down then it throws the whole scenario off because you are supposed to die so then the whole system will go haywire and they won't know what to do! :)...So, now one thing you haven't said is the nickname YOU have been given at work.

  3. When I worked at the aforementioned salt mine, we had to go to this safety seminar one a year. It was eight hours of mind-numbing boredom after I'd already been up all night. One of the things they spent a good deal of time on was the evacuation procedures if the nearby marsh caught on fire (which it does, quite frequently.) There was a whole concern with smoke getting into the ventilation system and contaminating the air down in the mine, as well as several other issues. We had to all be on our toes and ready; lives could be at stake.

    Well, a few weeks after one of these annual seminars, the marsh DID catch on fire. I got to work that night and asked how the evacuation went. There was no evacuation. I guess the management didn't want to cut into that valuable salt-mining time. They said the fire didn't get close enough to the plant, but I also heard that there was thick cloud of smoke drifting over the property. Sounds really healthy, right? I'm sure none of it got into the intake vents, right? I'm not sure why the union didn't make anything out of this, but what do I know?

    So anyway, yeah, that class was certainly time well spent, learning an evacuation procedure that no one apparently ever planned to use.

  4. Drew- If that actually happened, we would just be screwed, there's no doubt about it. I hope I'm happily retired and out of the state when this happens.

    Misty- If it's all the same to you, I'd rather not be crushed by concrete blocks. And I've been called a few names, but I don't use language like that here. If I have another nickname, I don't know what it is.

    Bryan- Your preparedness drill sounds alot like our was. Nothing like reality. All these years I've talked about going off to the salt mines and never really ever been near one. That would be different, I'm sure.