Friday, May 13, 2011

Retreat: Day One and Three Quarters we're watching the lightning, waiting for the storm to come when the fire alarms start blaring. It takes us a few seconds to realize what's going on, but we're not too concerned.
They continue...So we go in and roust our fellow retreaters to evacuate, grab our computers and phones and head outside.
Everyone is accounted for.
It's raining. (We are under an overhang)
We're laughing and carrying on, thinking there is nothing of consequence going on. I get sick of waiting, so I run back through the building to the lobby and meet up with another guest. There was an odor of electricity (it does too smell!) near the lobby, but no smoke. We went through one of the exits as other guest were coming from the basement. The dryer downstairs was on fire...
No one had cell signal but me, so I handed it over for the 911 call - which they already knew about given the type of system here. I walked through the rain to meet back up with my compatriots and let them know what was going on.
The fire trucks start arriving....

...and they keep arriving....
And we're getting worried...
The staff tells us it was a dryer fire, but it's out now. We needed to wait a few minutes for the firemen to call all clear and air the building before we can go back we waited...and waited...
Then, they asked us to relocate to the dining hall of the camp they're affiliated with as white smoke and steam fills the air around the facility. Some had their keys and drove, some walked in the rain. I stashed my computer in someone's truck and rode since I had no shoes.
...and we waited some more...
Natalie, Simon, and I trekked through the rain twice to check out the scene. I know I had no shoes, but by then I was so soaked I didn't care anymore. We were really getting worried. It was close to midnight and we hadn't been updated for a while. Then the director arrived and said he wanted us to come and check things out - that if the smoke smell was bad on our floor that they'd pack us up and take us to the Ramada Inn.
Things were fine - even for our most sensitive members.
And this place is fantastic. As Natalie said last night (paraphrased because it was really late and we were really tired): A place can be fantastic, but the true measure of a great staff and facility is how things are handled in an emergency. And the staff here are absolutely awesome. (Needless to say, we are all in love with this new retreat place!)
So there you have it. Our retreat excitement for the year. (I hope that's it!). One more post to get up to date and then I'm leaving the Internet Cafe to get some more work done.

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