A few months later and another practice disaster is under way. These practice sessions are supposed to take the emergency out of emergency management.
The building’s automated locking system is working properly now. The new security guard provider is more responsive and the guards are performing their jobs in a more professional manner this time around. The performance of the maintenance staff has improved and the ground floor windows are completely boarded-up. Ten hours into the exercise and the generators are running flawlessly. Everything inside the building is working properly, people included. After breakfast, I decided to look for something that is screwed-up.
A Vapour on the Wind
It’s a nice Sunday morning — cool but slightly overcast as the sun rose. I decide to take a walk around the neighbourhood. Not much is moving about this early.
The additional soundproofing surrounding the generators eliminates their sound entirely when standing at street level, even at dawn on a Sunday.
I start to crave another coffee but nothing is open this early so I take another walk around the building. Somebody is up early, that bacon smells better than the oatmeal I had for breakfast.
Now I realise how I screwed-up this time.
Nine Meals From Anarchy
Nine meals from anarchy is an expression coined by Lord Cameron of Dillington who headed the Countryside Agency to describe the precarious nature of Britain’s food supply. If some catastrophe occurs and the supermarket shelves are not restocked, he estimated that they had three full days without food on supermarket shelves before law and order started to break down and British streets descended into chaos. This isn’t far-fetched – it happened in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
The smell of cooking bacon would be very enticing to somebody who hasn’t eaten for three days. If this occurred during a protracted cataclysm, then it would add some emergency back into emergency management. Hungry people, especially normally over-fed but now hungry people, will do almost anything to get food.