Well, That Was Different! | Emergency at FAB Headquarters

After 40+ years in business I had my first ever mandatory evacuation by the Little Rock Fire Department.

It was late morning on Tuesday when everyone in our conference room started smelling gas. Before long, we were all standing in the hall wondering, “Where is that coming from?” and claiming it’s worse in our room than anyone else’s.

Pipeline Problems

Word trickles through the company that the Little Rock water department, while digging up the street outside, has hit an unmarked gas line. Pretty soon, firemen are inside our building, walking around with what looks like Giger counters designed to measure gas load and toxic exposure. They assure us it is not dangerous. We jokingly ask for that in writing.

Not 10 minutes later we get the instructions to evacuate the building and to shut down our computers because they are turning off the electricity so as to eliminate any chance of igniting a fire.

That got our attention. Out the doors we fled. Then came a man from the gas department who moved us along the sidewalk, away from the front windows, saying, “Just in case there’s an explosion we wouldn’t want you to get shattered with glass.” What?!

Back to Business

Being one who is always up for a new adventure, I stopped enjoying the novelty of an evacuation and began thinking like a business owner. Do I have enough insurance? Is our off-site backup working? If need be, where would we set up temporary business?

By 5 o’clock, just in time for closing, the utility companies had everything back on. I learned about the term “loss of Income” and got the names and numbers of people in both the water and gas departments so I could later call and file a claim. Of course, they both say it is the other’s fault (This ought to be fun … NOT).

By now, everyone from FAB is long gone. Grady and I team up to peruse the property, turn off lights left on during the evacuation, then lock up. The next morning, I vowed to check my building insurance provisions and back up protocols.

All’s well.