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Are You Ready for an Emergency?

Amy Campbell

October 20, 2008

2 Min Read
Are You Ready for an Emergency?

While shopping at Lowe’s yesterday, an interesting thing happened. My husband and I were headed up the main aisle near the entrance when we noticed half a dozen employees standing around. As we got closer, we saw a man laying on his back at an odd awkward angle with several potted plants underneath him. Obviously, the man took a tumble. At the return counter (we were returning a leaky faucet), the cashier filled us in.

Allegedly, heated words were exchanged between two men, then one pushed the other, and the man tumbled backward over a display of potted plants. As he lay there, the Lowe’s team flew into action—calling 911, roping off the area, phoning the man’s wife and making sure he didn’t move. They also cornered the alleged pusher and parked him near the customer service desk.

The police arrived and asked questions. A few minutes later, paramedics examined the fallen man and determined he was OK to get up. And the alleged pusher was handcuffed and carted off to jail.

While we’ll never know what really happened between two men who didn’t know each other before yesterday, the incident serves as a good reminder about what can happen when tempers flare. As a self-storage manager or owner, I’m sure you’ve seen your share of out-of-control tenants. What’s your responsibility here? Do you step in before someone gets hurt or stay out of it? It’s an interesting question.

One element of yesterday’s incident not up for debate is the Lowe’s team’s response to what happened. They didn’t move the man. They detained the pusher. They cornered off the area so customers could only gawk from a distance. They called in emergency responders. The employees were likely trained to respond in exactly this manner. They weren’t standing around asking each other, “What do you think we should do?” No, the store had an emergency plan in place and the employees knew exactly what to do.

Do you have an emergency plan? Are you prepared for a tenant disagreement, a fire, a natural disaster or even a robbery? Here’s an article from the ISS archives by Jeffrey Greenberger about creating a solid emergency plan.

You should also check out the Self-Storage Training Institute’s legal classes, which cover a variety of topics, including homeland security and other hot legal issues.

Don’t wait for an emergency to happen. You and your employees should be trained and ready for anything. If you already have an emergency plan in place—or experienced an emergency— and you'd like to share, please post a comment below.

About the Author(s)

Amy Campbell

Editor, Inside Self Storage

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