We had an exciting (or terrifying) day at the office a few weeks ago. I looked out the window from building 1 to see huge flames and an abundance of black smoke as the parking lot next to us was on fire! I called out to the others in the building that there is a fire then proceeded to call 911. As the others were on the move, I immediately looked to my evacuation plan and safety procedures to see what should be done next. However, after checking the evacuation map it says our “meeting place”, in case of an emergency, is the lot across from our parking lot… yes they very place on fire. I could, for the sake of professionalism, say that something rational and cool went through my head, but I would simply be lying if I said it wasn’t profane. We quickly adapted, got everyone’s car moved and all of our employees safe. Firemen were on the scene shortly and the fire was extinguished through some impressive work from the Riverside Fire Department. Overall, the entire debacle went very well considering how bad it could have been.
So my lesson learned is this: I need a Plan B. Not only does my safety plan need a Plan B, but Plan B isn’t bad in my business emergencies either. Things don’t always go the way we plan them, in fact, most of the time they don’t go that way at all. As we approach the daily fires of our work day, we have to wonder why Plan A failed in the first place, and remember that there is more than one way to get something right, even if there are “failures” in between.