By Andy McGivern, curator of exhibitions
With the recent news of all the tornado activity around the country, it pays to prepare for the unexpected. Last week Woodson Art Museum staff gathered to review the Museum’s emergency procedures.
We started the morning by watching a video about fire prevention and fire extinguisher use. We then moved to the Museum’s parking lot for hands-on experience putting out a fire with an extinguisher so that we felt comfortable using the equipment should the need ever arise.
Next, we addressed fire alarm duties, discussing how best to escort visitors to safety and the need to sweep the building to be certain it’s clear. We reviewed the various exit routes and then triggered the fire alarm to practice evacuation procedures and how to silence, clear, and reset the alarm.
Finally, we focused on tornado-warding procedures and where in the lower level to shepherd visitors and take cover.
Although many of the procedures had been taught in the past, it’s important to refresh and review the actions required by staff during an emergency. Safety first, they always say. It was a morning well spent; we hope the procedures will never be needed. If they are though, we’ll be ready.