Thursday, August 4, 2011

Emergency, Emergency

Spending time with  my granddaughters and doing OK

False Alarm

Anxiety, Panic & Health     Living with Health, Wellness and Wholeness No one would ever describe me as a calm, passive person.  When things go awry, I have been known to be excitable.  I do not realize I am doing this and think that although my blood feels like it is running through my body at an extreme rate, I am showing no sign of this to the outside world.  I also think that I look like I did at 40, so you see I tend to lie to myself.

Yesterday, while watching my granddaughters, an alert came on the TV.  We were expecting thunder storms so I just thought it was a weather warning that they seem to constantly stream across the airwaves.  They do this so often lately, I tend not to pay too much attention. However,  this was not from the media, but rather an official government warning.  It stated " This is an alert to immediately  evacuate Chester County."  They gave no reason and no information, just get out of town - now.   Since I live in Chester County with a nuclear power plant within 5 miles, and also had my grandchildren with me,  my adrenalin started pumping a little faster.  I looked at all the TV channels but they had gone back to their regular programming.  How could this be since they had just told 1/2 million people to evacuate.  My grandchildren, who were in another room, playing on the computer and watching the Nickelodeon channel,  also saw the announcement and became frightened.  I called my son and husband who were at work in the county and they said they had not heard anything about this.  I have no radio so I piled my grandchildren in the car to listen to the news station and was going to drive around the block to see if there was any movement in my neighborhood.  Again, nothing.   I then knocked on my neighbor's door hoping they would  know what was going on.  They were  aware of the warning and were also in panic mode.  However, on checking the Internet they saw that there was an incident about 30 miles away where a hydrogen tank had partially exploded.  The evacuation was for a few block area in the county and people were asked to leave their homes just around the site.  Along with relief, came anger and some vile words, which I saved for when the children were not around.  How could this happen, how could they make an announcement like that?

Last night I listened to one news program hoping they would explain this incorrect broadcast.  Again, nothing.   So why doesn't anyone apologize for making this misstatement.  I can usually find some humor in situations, but this one I can't.  There wasn't any mass-exodus, no accidents, no one physically hurt, but they scared quite a few people and it certainly doesn't instill faith in our emergency notification policies.


 I am really mad!


  1. I don't blame you being mad - how scary.

  2. Hello Arleen:
    We can well understand your anger, frustration and concern in this situation particularly when responsible for young children who can, very easily, become frightened. What a dreadful, and totally unnecessary as it happens, position in which to be put.

    What, of course, annoys one particularly is the way that, on such occasions, there is never any suggestion of an apology from anyone. Little comfort, but it is the same in the UK.

  3. I would be livid too. However, it does point out a need to be " evacuation ready " at all times doesn't it? Of course, it doesn't help much when you have extra people that will have to be evacuated but at least it's a start.
    I think if it was me I would writing a few snarky letters to the powers that be. It won't help but it will make you feel like you've done something about it...maybe your local paper would like an interview.

  4. I'd contact your local county FEMA and complain. That was irresponsible and potentially dangerous and should be looked into.

  5. That does sound scary! I think I would have re-acted just like you did.

  6. The way this was handled is totally unacceptable. Someone in your local or state EMA screwed up, and should be held responsible so this sort of thing doesn't happen again. I'm really sorry. This must've been awfully scary for you. (Too bad you aren't an amateur radio operator... makes you much more privy as to what's going on in emergency management.)

  7. I read in today's paper, that even though local TV news stations reported there were countless complaints about the notice saying the whole county should be evacuated, the Emergency Services spokeswoman is denying it. She said "The whole emergency services response was flawless." I wrote into the paper giving them my account of their flawless alert. Too many people saw it for them to fib. Whether they corrected themselves afterwards does not matter. Who watched it then, we were all too busy making our plans for escape.

  8. You always wonder how the powers that be will handle emergency situations, but to announce one falsely is a horrible thing to do. You have every right to be angry!

  9. The sky is falling! I hate it when the system sends us into fight or flight mode, esp. when we have precious children. I would be furious.

  10. Oh my - I would have paniced for sure! I dont blame you for being so upset!

    (thanks for your sweet words and your visit - it means the world to me to have the support of my blogging friends. Thank you -)