What is the drill?

Photo by DDP on Unsplash

My friend had an unforgettable day yesterday. She woke up at 6am with a tightening sensation in her chest. She thought it was her heart, so by 7am she was already at the hospital undergoing some tests. It turned out to be a muscle strain. The doctor assured her there was nothing to be worried about. So she went home feeling relieved.

She called me up and we decided to check out this new mall in town. We were impressed with the concept and layout when we were there.

We weren’t there long when we heard this loud announcement over the PA system which went: “Dear Customers, please exit the shopping complex immediately!”

The escalators had stopped moving, and my friend instantly went into panic mode again. She said it felt like it was her “second heart attack” for the day.

We heightened our pace toward the nearest exit. On our way out, a guy approached my friend to ask what was going on to which my friend replied: “We better get out of here quick!” At the carpark, she also calmly warned several people walking toward the mall that there’s been an announcement for people to get out. But most of the people just ignored her and proceeded to the entrance. We were pretty calm because we did not want to stir any panic among the crowd.

OK, until now I don’t know what the announcement was all about but the burning question is, when there is such an announcement, what is the best thing to do?

a) make your way to the nearest exit?

b) hang around to ask what is going on?

c) just ignore the announcement?

My first thought was maybe a fire had occurred while my friend suspected a robbery or a kidnapping.

Some shoppers did (a), many also did (b) and there were also those who fell into the (c) category, so I’m just wondering what is the expected reaction? Should the announcement have included the reason for the evacuation? I don’t know. It’s my first time to the mall, and first time encountering such a situation.

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