The alarms went off at The Cloud Factory yesterday afternoon. The Cloud Factory is what my son calls the Limerick Generating Station, better known as the Limerick nuclear power plant. And I’m one of about 300,000 people who live within 10 miles of it. Actually, our house is no more than two miles from The Cloud Factory, thus the interest from my son.
How did it come to be called The Cloud Factory? Well, when he was much younger, my son asked me what it was, and I gave him the same response I give to all “tough” kid questions: “What do you think?” It buys me some time, gives me insight into what he already knows, and often makes further explanation completely unnecessary. He said, “I think it’s where they make clouds, a cloud factory!” It stuck. By the way, this tactic worked beautifully when he asked where babies come from.Me: What do you think?
Tano: The hospital.
I’ve started using this on inquiring co-workers too. And it’s given me some great information about what they think I do. You might consider it. But anyway, back to the alarms…
When the local nuke goes big bad bells and whistles, it’s not the kind of thing you ignore. The last time it happened, I was pretty close to panicking, but this time, I was ready because of the Patch. No, not the cigarette substitute (I don’t smoke, but I wish they’d come up with a patch for chocolate!). The Patch is the local Limerick online newspaper. There are Patches springing up all over; click here
to find yours.
Patch is the ultimate in local news. It reports on everything you need to know about your town, from local government to school news to what to do with your family on the weekend. And your local Patch makes it easy for you and your neighbors to connect and post news and events too.So, when something happens, I turn to the Patch. And they had the story: “Limerick will be performing a site evacuation alarm test today at 1 pm. This is a site wide test only; no emergency sirens will be sounded. However, due to the length (typically 90 sec to 2 minutes) and volume of the test, the sound may carry offsite, which could result in questions from residents.” Whew! Kind of odd to do it on the anniversary of the Three Mile Island disaster
, though.My point in telling you this is to encourage you to check out your local Patch and tell your employees to do the same. It’s a great place to get information (like last week, when I discovered the town wasn’t
burning down, but the girls’ basketball team had
won states and were getting a police and fire escort). It’s also a great place for businesses to share news about potentially scary exercises and simulations your organization may be conducting. Patch also welcomes bloggers. What a great — and free — way for some of you to get the word out on continuity and preparedness!Thanks to the Patch, I’m sitting pretty and not panicking. I also discovered that the country’s largest alligator (14-foot-long, 800-pound Mighty Mike) is on loan to a nearby aquarium and that a 19,000-square-foot trampoline park just opened nearby. It’s a great weekend for living dangerously!
Director of Communications