Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Emergency Preparedness

I remember back, years ago, the first time I ever set foot in the control center. I was nervous and I had questions. Since this was the nerve canter of the whole place I figured they had the answers.

"What do we do if there's a fire? An escape? An earthquake? A power outage?"

"The answers are all right there in the big red book."

"Oh. Can I read it?"

"NO!!! Do not touch the big red book!"

"But... why?"

"Because something bad will happen if you touch it! DON'T TOUCH THE BIG RED BOOK!!!"

"Okay! Jeez! Don't have a litter of kittens. I was just asking..."

Even back then I thought that was a little extreme. And definitely paranoid.

After all it was marked very clearly "Emergency Manual". It was bright red so it would stand out from all of the other books. And it was pretty humongous. Bigger than all of the rest of them. It must have the answers that I wanted. And they couldn't answer my questions, but they said it was all in that book that I wasn't allowed to touch.

I wasn't back up there for many more years. Until just recently, anyway.

This evening I was poking around in some of the other books and found one marked "3rd Shift- Important Stuff To Know." I picked that one up and flipped through it. It had alot of the basic procedures down in pretty simple formats. How to do outcounts and releases, death notices, count, etc. I found out there is alot of things on the computer that I need to learn how to do and don't have access for. Gonna have to fix that.

One page that talked about releasing an offender from the institution told about the checklists and who to notify and how to clear him from the computer, etc. At the bottom of the page in big letters, surrounded by asterisks it said:

***Offenders are not allowed to be released in state greys or naked!***


Well, there goes my plans for the weekend.

Did I really need to be told that? What the snap ever.

When I finished flipping through the book Stubby said "There's more stuff down there in the emergency book if you want to look at it. I don't care. Some scary stuff in there."

At some point in the intervening years the manual had gone from one humongous book to two completely ginormous books. Volumes 1 and 2. Each about eight inches thick.

So, daring fate to make something happen, I dragged them out and thumbed through the pages. Between the two of them they covered almost everything you could imagine happening except and alien attack and the coming zombie apocalypse. Fires. Power outages. Earthquakes. Terrorist attacks. Riots. Violent deaths. Evacuations. You name it and it was in there.

It was all phrased in the repetitive legalese that they write everything in and you had to look real close to actually make any sense of it at all. Lots and lots of redundancies Tons and tons of notification lists. Who to contact in case of this and that. Contact numbers for everyone from all of the CO's to E-Squad, the Major, the Warden to all of the utility companies, hospitals, railroad lines, local and state law enforcement, the local and state media, state representatives, DOC hierarchy all the way up to the Governor.

And I hope I never have to look at that thing again. At least not in any sort of official capacity. I would much rather be on the inside dealing with the nuts and bolts on the ground than up there trying to sort it all out.

And guess what? I not only touched the big red book I thumbed through the whole thing and nothing happened! Paranoid twits. Sheesh!

So Wednesday (Comm Calm Room) is going to be National Trail Mix Day as well as Love Litigating Lawyers Day.

I'm a much bigger fan of trail mix than lawyers. Let's just say I know which one leaves a better taste in my mouth if you know what I mean.

Dang. That just doesn't sound right.


  1. I cannot believe how many manuals leave out "alien invasion"! We are more worried about zombies than those human-like bad asses from Falling Skies? Preposterous! Have you not seen the multitude of signs out there that foretell of the coming invasion?

    When you become Sargent, I insist you update this manual.

    Safeword: ingstshi

    Woof...OK. Um...What Sushi will become in about 30 years, when we perfect instant transporting technology. "Straight from the sea, try Kensui's new Dynamite Ingstshi rolls!"

  2. Omg........what have you done. Those who have touched the big red book in the past have either faced the wrath of the big bird or unleashed unthinkable horrors. The big red book is the ark of the covenant in the control center. Your lucky your face didn't melt like those nazis in Indiana jones when they opened the ark.


  3. Seems a little odd to find superstition in a of all places. And exactly what good does an emergency manual do in an emergency if it's never been read? If there's a fire, who on earth is going to have time to run up there, pull the book out, locate the fire section, and skim it in a way that doesn't take all day and so that he can understand what he's supposed to do?

    That seems extremely silly.

    I'd just read the stupid things anyway and then call them all idiots when they say you've jinxed everything. There's no room for silly superstition when lives are at risk.

  4. LMAO The red book. Next time I get up there I will spend a whole shift reading them from cover to cover. I really think that they should be read more often than they get moved. They probably don't have a section on Alien Invasion because it already happened. Look at what they have done to the staffing. They are making way for their own.....

  5. THERE IS NO PLANS FOR THE UPCOMING ZOMBIE OUTBREAK!!!! That's it I quit! But, on the other hand, Rev and Sarge would be reanimated to dominate the masses of walking maggot sacks....just like the old days. haha
    Safeword: derin
    What a redneck says when he does something "daring".

  6. Scott- Aliens and zombies were the first thing I checked for. Can you believe this?

    And whatever that word was, I couldn't pronounce it without spitting on myself!

    Ghost- I guess it's a good thing I'm a heretic at heart and don't believe in any of that. And if my face melted off I'd just get pretty.

    Chanel- I didn't understand it back then either. But they threatened to throw me out if I touched the stupid book so I just gave up. And about the only thing that book was good for would be bashing someone over the head with. It was confusing. I'd like to see someone write one that a regular person could understand.

    Phoenix Tears- I think you're right. Snap! Now they're on to us both!

  7. FlyinMonkey- I know! Can you believe that? I think you should write the part of the manual that covers it. I'll do the part with the aliens.