Tuesday, February 5, 2013

10 Things You Need to Know if You 'Self Evacuate'

Photo via MetroForward

Yesterday,  I ran into another person stuck below the Anacostia River last Wednesday, and while their tale is not quite as harrowing as Scott's, they recount fights breaking out, sweltering conditions, darkness and absolutely no information from the outside getting to the passengers.

"It would have been so much better if they'd just told us what was going on," they said. "They didn't say anything."

They said that at one point, a rider used the emergency intercom to contact the operator who answered that they, too,  knew nothing. Later, once people started self evacuating,  the operator came over the intercom and said something to the effect that self evacuation was riders' call.

Later, the operator came through the train with what appeared to be their personal belongings. They said nothing to riders.

Self evacuation is certainly a last resort, and not something to take lightly. I can't really say how I'd react in the conditions described on the Green Line that fateful Wednesday.

But should you ever decide it's the right move for you, here are some things to think about. They provided by a Metro source with considerable experience walking Metro's tunnels.

1. Text only if you have to communicate. The cell phone signals in those tunnels are very weak, and your cell phone is going to be burning battery trying to connect to the cell tower. Which leads to #2

2. Airplane mode your cell phone. Save battery.

3. If you must walk, the catwalks are full of overhead hazards. Keep your eyes open to them. There are also areas where water intrusion has made the place slippery. With no trains running, it is safer to just walk down on the bed between the catwalk and the rail away from the third.

4. Do not bunch up. You won't be able to see any tripping hazards, and if someone slips, there will be a domino effect. Also, if you must look back, stop and look.

5. Use those phones on the catwalks. If you dial zero, you will contact central. Call them and ask them to run the exhaust fans to circulate the air in the area. You'd be surprised how much they forget. With that said, those fans are huge and loud. Don't panic when they come on if near you.

6. If you have no sense of direction, there are markers every 100 feet. If you see the numbers are increasing then you are walking away from downtown.

7. Always have a flashlight, and some spare batteries. Also, a small bottle of water.

8. Without any reflective gear, it will be very hard for you to be seen from a distance. A few bucks will buy you either a reflective vest or some reflective tape at Home Depot.

9. Don't get cute touching equipment on the wayside. Third rail may be down, but there are other subsystems that have electricity. Those rails are still carrying current.

10. Realize that by walking the tracks, you've now made it much worse for those who cannot walk them, like the elderly or handicapped.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License.
Site Meter