At the beginning of one recent weekend, one of our neighbors sent out a group chat to everyone in our little neighborhood reminding them that if the snow storm is as bad as some forecasters would predict, then don’t forget to fill the tub or buckets with water in case power is lost – for cooking, washing and flushing. It was a reminder to prepare in case of emergency.
Well, the storm hit a bit later than expected. Saturday had been a non-event, but Sunday started with some accumulation and bigger flakes and continues heavy all day. By Monday morning, we had well over two feet. Luckily the snow blowing that Ted and Devin had done had stayed in place and I was able to get out of the driveway. Fortunately, part way through the storm, a neighbor in the hood -with a plow, had made one pass around our little Circle Drive. There was still maybe eight inches of snow in the swath he had previously cleared, so it was a bit like four wheeling on a thin one lane path, but I was able to make it to the main road.
I tell you this to set the scene that it was like this all over, so I knew that we would have people calling out from work that day.
One of my newer gals had just started working Saturdays and had taken her work computer setup home for the weekend, so we had agreed, she could just stay and work from home on Monday so that she wouldn’t have to brave the roads. She, along with my other work from home crew should be enough to cover with the brave hearts who did make it into the office. Soon after my arrival to the office, I received a text from my weekend gal that she had lost power to her home, so she was going to load up and come in. That was 6:45 am. She doesn’t normally start till 8:00, so in my head, I figure that gives her time to dig out her car if it hasn’t already been done.
The roads are mostly plowed, but as time rolls by and she doesn’t show, I shoot off a text asking if she had changed her mind and is just staying home? I get nothing in reply. The entire day is a blur as we have just a handful of people covering for all those who couldn’t make it in or were at home without power – she hadn’t been the only one to loose electricity. I send her a message that I hope she is okay and that we will see her tomorrow . Still crickets.
Tuesday comes along and everyone else is back to work except my weekend warrior. I call several times, send texts, but still no answer or response. She is not the type to quit without a word, or to just not show up without a word, so by end of day, one of my other managers said she would swing by her address to check things out. I provide the address and show her what car is hers – thankfully google had a shot from the street view with her car in the parking space.
I later receive a call from my team mate that she had been by and the car was there, the window blinds closed, and no answer at the door. She asked if she should call the non-emergency police line and ask them to check on her? I agreed that she should and to keep me posted. Better to be safe and embarrassed we had overstepped personal boundaries than sorry was our thinking. Well, it took them several hours – in which time we had already conjured up many scary scenarios, but they called back saying that they had found her at home, in a not very conscious state and she had been there for the past two days and she needed to be checked out by doctor. The paramedics were there, and could not find anything obvious as to what caused the semi-unconscious state. We where just happy that they had found her at least somewhat ok.
I received a text the following morning from our missing gal, thanking us for calling the cops and paramedics. She said she was in the hospital having all types of tests run on blood, body and brain. We realized in this semi-emergency, that we had failed to gather everyone’s emergency contact person and number when they were hired.
As with so many reminders, it comes after a near tragedy instead of the part of proper planning.
I haven’t seen the employee yet as she was not cleared for work until Friday and I had taken Thursday and Friday off for skiing.
I almost was heading up to ski alone as our NC and MO friends had all cancelled their trips and Ted said he had to work. As I prepared to head out, I decided that it might also be a good idea to put some emergency contact numbers in my jacket pocket just in case something happened to me on the slopes.
Turns out that I didn’t need it since Ted’s plans changed just before I was going to leave and he was able to join me for a beautiful powder day on the mountain.
So, this is just a reminder to check in on one another if you get concerned and get an alternate contact on those that you need a backup contact for.