February 17, 2003
Some things are unexpected.
"Witnesses of the 1993
Michigan-Wisconsin football game remember the tragedy that resulted
as fans tried to rush the field at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison,
causing 73 people to be seriously injured....Following Wisconsin's
victory over Michigan on Oct. 30, 1993, Badger fans in the student
section became stuck between the crowd rushing forward and a fence
blocking them from the field. Six people were critically injured."
Greg Bamford said that within 10 minutes of Limp Bizkit coming on
stage, the 60,000-strong crowd had surged forward and a number of
people collapsed to the ground. Among them was Ms Michalik, who
was trapped underneath and crushed to death."
Monday morning, February
17, 2003, 2:23am CST:
"Chicago night club stampede kills 21... Witnesses said a fight
broke out between two women, and a security guard
used a crowd control agent, perhaps pepper spray or Mace, to break
it up. Patrons began to flee the fumes and were told they had to exit
down a steep front stairway. Some of those trying to flee apparently
tripped or fell in that stairwell, causing a human avalanche. Bodies,
living and dead, piled up behind a double glass exit door that was
apparently jammed shut by the crush. Patrons said only one door was
open to prevent people from sneaking in without paying....Fire Commissioner
James Joyce told a news conference there were 21 killed and at least
30 injured. Hospitals reported more than 50 injured....Most of those
who died, however, were killed at the bottom of the main front door
You are in a club (or at a football game, at a concert, or even at
school) and a fight breaks out. While the temptation is there to join
the crowds watching and cheering, there are reasons not to move closer
to the action. You and many hundred of your closest friends all decide
that you want to be in the same place at the same time. Then there
is trouble (a gun, a nice, pepper spray). Where do you go? What do
you do? How do you get away from this already volatile situation as
it escalates? Fights can get worse in many ways, in this case, as
the violence was stopped, the panic began.
You are in the crowded room (could be a club, a basketball game, a
concert, or even in the halls at school), and you don't know that
a fight has broken out. There are a lot of people, and there is a
lot of noise. Then, you find it difficult to breathe. You see a crowd
rushing, and you see that they are all having trouble breathing, as
well. Panic. Is there a problem? A problem with the ventilation? Is
it terrorists? Is it a prank gone bad? Either way, you want out, and
the only place you know leads to the outside is the way you came in.
In the ideal situation, this
club in Chicago would have been up to code. All exits would have been
accessible, and people in the club would not have had to all try to
get out the same way. Those who found other exits would not have met
locks and blocked doors.
In the attempt to balance
preparedness with paranoia, is it possible to go out and have fun
in today's world without being worried about what might happen? While
it is not only possible, it is imperative.
Questions of the Week:
How do you mentally and physically preparing yourself for the unexpected?
How do you relax and have fun after you have thought about what might
go wrong? How do you balance being prepared with being paranoid?
Please email me with any ideas or suggestions.
Note: Due to increasing amounts of SPAM sent to this account, please include "QOW" in the subject line when sending me email.
I look forward to reading
what you have to say.
Health Community Coordinator
Access Excellence @ the National Health Museum