Go to Minnesota Childrens Museum website Watch us on YouTubeBe a Fan on FacebookShare photos with us on FlickrKeep up with us on Twitter
Minnesota Childrens Museum Blog

Five to six times a year, we practice emergency evacuation.  Although we haven't had to actually evacuate the building in over six years (quick, knock on wood!), it is really important that everyone know exactly what to do.  As you can imagine, it isn't like evacuating a normal building- someone has to crawl through the anthill, peek in the bathrooms, and check all the nooks and crannies in the Museum. 

All of our practice evacuations take place before or after normal hours, so to make them as realistic as possible we tape up paper people around the building.  Once the alarm sounds, the staff have to "save" all the people and regroup in the lobby where we check our time and success rate.

Because we have to be prepared for any situation, we will often throw zingers in the mix- telling the staff they can't use a certain stairwell because of the fire, putting obstacles in front of the exits that they have to clear, or setting off multiple alarms for investigation.

The craziest situation we ever had to deal within real life was one busy Saturday many years ago when we not only had to evacuate hundreds of visitors, but also get Elmo and Cookie Monster down the stairs and out of the building without them taking their costumes off.  And for those of you who have ever wondered- that was the day we turned the coat rack motor off for good.

As for today's drill, we are happy to report that everyone made it out alive.

-Jessica Turgeon, director of organizational development and visitor services


Post a Comment