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Final Thoughts about 9/11–Lessons we’ve learned

Sunday, September 11th, 2011
Twin Towers Memorial

Allied Universal, Inc will never forget the events of 9/11.

Part 4 of a 4-part series

In honor of the 10-year anniversary of 9/11, we have devoted three of our past four blog posts to discuss the 10 lessons the world has learned from that fateful day. We have tried to use our voice as experts in safety and disaster training to recommend emergency precautions that you should take now to give you and your family, friends, employees and colleagues the best chance of surviving another terrorist attack. In this, our fourth and final installment, we’ll cover the final lessons we’ve learned since that fateful day.

Remembering 9/11:

The September 11 attacks were a series of four coordinated suicide attacks by al-Qaeda upon the United States on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. On that morning, 19 al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four commercial passenger planes. The hijackers intentionally crashed two of the airliners into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, killing everyone on board and thousands of people working in the buildings.

Both towers collapsed within two hours, destroying nearby buildings and damaging others. A third airliner was crashed into the Pentagon. Hijackers redirected the fourth plane toward Washington, D.C., targeting either the Capitol Building or the White House, but were diverted when passengers tried to retake control. The airliner crashed in a field in rural Pennsylvania, leaving no survivors.

Nearly 3,000 victims and 19 hijackers died in the attacks. Among the 2,753 victims who died in the attacks on the World Trade Center, there were 343 firefighters, 60 police officers from New York City and the Port Authority, and 8 private EMTs and paramedics. Another 184 people were killed in the attack on the Pentagon. The overwhelming majority of casualties were civilians, including nationals of more than 70 countries.

Lessons about terrorism we’ve learned from 9/11:

  1. Clean-up could take many months and cost millions. Counting the value of lives lost as well as property damage and lost production of goods and services, losses associated with the events of September 11, 2001 exceed $100 billion. According to the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, “The loss in stock market wealth—the market’s own estimate arising from expectations of lower corporate profits and higher discount rates for economic volatility—the price tag approaches $2 trillion.” The best way to prepare for this type of hit is to try to prevent attacks. As a nation, over the past 10 years, we have improved security on many levels. As a building owner or property manager, make sure you take precautions to beef up security.
  2. Public fear, fed by extensive media coverage, may continue for a prolonged period of time. As a result, workplaces, government offices and schools might be closed. According to the Huffington Post, television stations broadcasted more than 3,000 hours of 9/11 coverage. And while much of that coverage was desirable and understandable, portions might have been unnecessary and contributed to anxiety…especially among children. If another large-scale terrorist attack occurs, monitor the amount of associated television programming you allow your children to view. Likewise, try not to watch every televised minute of disaster coverage, yourself. While you will benefit from information about things like restrictions on transportation, make sure you take breaks from the madness to eat and rest and talk to people in the real world.
  3. Terrorism has many faces. Racial profiling is not only unfair but insufficient because terrorists come in all shapes and sizes. Consider terrorists like the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, Timothy McVeigh, Clayton Lee Waagner, Irv Rubin or the two females who have been blamed for the Twin Metro Blasts in Moscow. Terrorists don’t always wear turbans and speak Arabic. So pay attention to anything out of the ordinary and report it to local authorities.
  4. The world was forever changed by the events of 9/11. Time Magazine writer Nancy Gibbs wrote that we, as Americans, now share: “a sharp resolve to just be better, bigger, to shed the nonsense, rise to the occasion.”

As you honor the innocent and brave folks who died on that fateful day in September 10 years ago, give note to portraits of courage, self-sacrifice and hope instead of focusing on images of the jets and the flames. Paying homage to the brave will encourage us all.

When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives.  For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact Allied Universal, Inc. Our new Version 2.0 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. Visit rjwestmore.com for more information and remember to BE SAFE.

Approaching the Eight Year Anniversary of 9/11

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

Blog Twin Towers Pic

Thousands of lives and both of the Twin Towers were lost on the now infamous day of September 11, 2001. The disaster gave Americans an uninvited lesson about the necessity of developing a comprehensive high-rise evacuation plan. It also shed light on the fact that, to be effective, disaster preparedness plans have to be taught to the people most likely to need them…all of the occupants in a building.

Fire Life Safety

One of the unavoidable risks of working or living in a high-rise building is fire. According to NFPA, the National Fire Protection Association, the following factors are unique to training for fire safety in high-rise buildings.

High-rise

  • The multiple floors of a high-rise building create the cumulative effect of requiring great numbers of persons to travel great vertical distances on stairs in order to evacuate the building.
  • The physical demands of evacuation made on occupants often exceed the capabilities of many.
  • The process of evacuating some of the largest high-rise buildings in the world may take upwards of two hours.
  • The fire and life safety systems installed in high-rise buildings today, including automatic fire sprinkler protection, are designed to control a fire and therefore lessen the need to totally evacuate all occupants.
  • Typically, the fire floor and the floors immediately above and below the fire will be evacuated. (Depending on the city where you live, there could be as many as five to seven floors within the building.)

Also according to NFPA, the key elements of emergency preparedness include:

  • Early warning (typically through an alarm or voice communication system)
  • Adequate means of egress (exit routes)
  • Occupant familiarity with the plan through knowledge and practice.

The Allied Universal Training System provides unlimited access to building-specific, web-based emergency preparedness education to the folks who need it most. Using an educational, entertaining and user-friendly format, the system has been approved by all of the major fired departments across the United States. It was most recently recognized and approved by the Los Angeles Fire Department as one of the first approved online training systems to comply with the newly implemented LAMC 57.33.19 high-rise fire code. Simply stated, the system saves lives.

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