Thursday, February 03, 2005

Warning Signs Too (Two)

Two posts ago, I asked whether or not you would tell anyone...warn them, rather...that something bad was about to happen if you had received indication of the event.

It does not matter whether or not you know EXACTLY what was going to happen. What matters is you JUST KNOW something BAD was going to happen.

What are BAD Things?



These are just some of the examples that we have recently faced on an international scale. Recently as in "the last five years". By "international scale", I mean, the entire world heard about it.

Ok, meanwhile - the people at the scenes...what were they doing?

I am talking about everyone involved...

...from the leadership (i.e. governing authorities, regulating authorities, authorities of any even the bosses of companies with any kind of information)... the working class (i.e. people working in the installations or companies that have knowledge of these events about to happen and then just average people working at the time who kind of have an idea that something bad just happened)... the tourists (i.e. people just visiting, taking in the sites, relaxing, and trying to simply enjoy their time away from home and work in another city and/or country).

I am of the opinion that when someone learns or discovers a life-threatening situation, then they have the awesome responsibility of reporting it to someone who can do something about it.

And if that someone who can do something about it does nothing about it, then go the next step and tell someone else who may not be able to do anything about it but would be willing to get a whole bunch of people who can do nothing about it to act upon it so that they're not hurt by it.

Heck, call up all the local TV news networks. Call the cable news networks. Call the radio stations. Get attention focused on this one simple fact: SOMETHING BAD IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN.

But first, evacuate yourself, eh?
You're no good to anyone dead. That's why the airlines have them stewardesses stand in the middle of the aisles at the beginning of take-off and teach you to put on your oxygen mask before putting one on the infant/child in your care. If you don't take care of yourself, then you cannot take care of anyone else. Common sense, eh? And a lot of wisdom there. Think about it.

So then...
Get to higher ground - in the case of the tsunami.

Get to flat, stable ground - in the case of the Twin Towers.


Ok. Let's stop here for a moment. Back up. To the part where I asked what are bad things. Those two events (the tsunami and the twin towers) are lessons to be learned. That is why I bring this up.

Think about it.

When the towers were hit, some things were going on prior to that...and during that...and after that.

But here is what happened prior that I was made aware of by watching accountings on TV, reading articles in various publications, and listening to the radio...

  • There were fighter planes in the sky looking for an unidentified aircraft flying too low. The fighter planes happened to be out on an exercise so there was nothing unordinary about seeing them in the sky flying around. That's a shame. But just the fact that there are fighter planes in the sky around Elmendorf AFB makes me look up.
I think the lesson to be learned here: Look up.

Stop walking around in self-absorbtion with your own life.
Get your head out of the clouds.
Don't look down at the ground all the time.
Take notice of other things around you such as...the airplanes in the sky - what are they doing? The big trucks driving by - what are their markings and license plate numbers? (Try to remember license plates by making their letters into words. For example, EAB516 may be Echo Alpha Bravo 5-1-6...or can be Eat At Burgerking 5 plus 1 equals 6.)
  • The first plane hit the first tower.
What was going on in the second tower? Did anyone notice from the 2nd tower what occurred to the 1st tower? Did they evacuate Were they even warned? "Well hey now looky there. The first tower had a plane crash right through it. Maybe we should evacuate just in case, eh? I don't know about you, but I'm going to leave anyway. Find out what happened from the ground level." That's a good way to excuse yourself from the building...act like you're going to go get more information. Or a smoke. "I need a cig. Wanna come?"

What about those in the first tower? Were there people inside who walking around in their offices with papers in their hands, reading, who suddenly stopped in their tracks and just kind of looked around asking, "What was that?" upon impact? Was there a working P.A. system that was accessible to announce overhead throughout the building, "Get out of the building as fast as you can!"

Did anyone, who made it to the street, have a cell phone on them and numbers available to call offices inside the building to make sure people KNEW to evacuate?
Maybe the lesson to be learned here: If something hits or shakes, you might prepare to run.
Just a thought.

What I really want to get at is this:

Damage happened. And it didn't happen without warning. Someone somewhere knew something about it.

In the case of the Twin Towers, there were government officials and FAA folks and FBI agents who knew. Did they call any of the CEOs in the Towers to warn them?


Not even to just say, "Uh, hey. This may sound a bit far-fetched to you, but you just have to trust me on this. Something is going to happen to the Towers. Not sure exactly what, but it's going to be very bad. So could you calmly begin evacuating your employees from the building? It might be an inconvenience, but better yet - it might save a lot of lives doing this."

At least an attempt was made to get people to safety first.

How about the tsunami? There were officials who knew the tsunami was coming. But did they warn the tourists and citizens?


They didn't want to interrupt the tourist industry. Just let them all die instead. Great way to promote tourism, eh? Oh yeah, like now I'm really going to feel safe in the hands of such trusted officials when I visit their countries. (*drip, drip, drip* Can you just hear that ooze with sarcasm?)


They knew the tsunami was coming, but they couldn't take a moment out of their time to tell the people on the beach, "Uh, can I have your attention please? Yeah, ok. Thanks. So...there was an earthquake earlier. Some of you may have felt it? Well, in about...five minutes...the ocean is going to swell and a very large wave is going to drown this entire area. So you may want to just start leaving the beach and head inland...preferably to higher ground. Not sure how high the water level will reach, but it's going to be very bad."

In both cases, in the end, with this kind of warning, many people's lives would have been saved and a big "thank you" would have been in order for caring enough to simply give a warning to begin with. Whether or not people heed the warning is up to them. At least someone tried. That's what matters most.

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