Hotel Evacuation

Typically, people who are staying in a hotel are a long way from home. They may even be in a foreign country. People get evacuated from hotels mostly because the fire alarm has sounded. In some cases, it’s a false alarm, but even if it is, my objective is the same: Get outside quickly and with the items I need to get home. I don’t want to evacuate wearing only what I was sleeping in and I don’t want to waste time in a smoke-filled room trying to find my wallet and airline ticket.

Before I go to sleep in a hotel I assemble all the items I need to survive and to get home: Wallet, passport, cash and credit cards, check book, car keys, some extra batteries, hotel key (in case it’s a false alarm) and cell phone. I put them all in a small nylon shoe bag with a drawstring top and put the bag on the nightstand next to the bed. I put a small, powerful flashlight next to the bag. There is generally a chair in the room and I lay out a pair of jeans, shirt and shoes on the chair. Next, I check the hotel layout diagram on the back of the door or I walk down the hallway to establish where the emergency stairs and fire escape is located.

If the alarm sounds in the night I can grab the flashlight, get dressed, grab the bag and be out the door in about a minute. I know where the fire escape is and I can use the flashlight to find my way if the hallway is dark.