Before the “Pray
for Our Air campaign could finish the final draft of ourneighborhood emergency
preparedness survey, ExxonMobil had another spill requiring a shelter in place.
to turn to for emergency information is WJBO.Last time there was a spill the
discussion was deep into the Michael Jackson verdict and I never heard a word about the spill.This time by the time I remembered to tune to 1150am the Ed Buggs show was in full flight on a compelling subject of
EBRP student athletics and grade point averages.
I live in a
frame house with many, many air leaks around the doors and windows so as usual although it is not advised, I grabbbbbbed my
purse to head for the hills.Along the way I saw two of my neighbors with their
doors opened.Each was playing music and did not hear the alarm.I informed them of the spill and headed on hoping that everyone else had cable and was better informed
than I was.
I heard the
muted sound of the alarm.I knew it was Monday so it could not be a test however
although improved the voice was not understandable without me opening the door.I
held my breath opened my front door and heard the familiar shelter in place alert. I called my daughter to let her know there
was a problem at the plant.I turned on the television.Once again Channel 9 gave the best information mentioning flares and a sulphur leak, shelter in place and
after a few minutes said the CAL
alert system was in place and would be making calls in a one half mile area of the plant.
As I head to the car,radio is the best link to news that I can hope for,as I beelineto the suburbs. I realize that I have only a
bit of change in my purse, no cash, no cell phone and no updated information.I
debate with myself on if I should use 50 cents of my meager resources to call WJBO and let Buggs know he is my only link to
vital information and beg for an update although I am not in their demographics.I
pulled into an ExxonMobil Station and asked the clerk if she had any news of the spill.She is unaware and is concerned that they do not have any instruction or any way to get news if something major happens
I go back to the car
and the discussion continues about the student athletes on WJBO.Inotice a friendly UPS man in his un-air conditioned truck.At the light I roll down my window and inform him of the spill,warning
him not to go down Scenic Highway with his windows and door opened.He gave me a big thank you and wepart.
I focused back on myself figuring Ineeded to decide where
to go and what to do.I headed for the publiclibrary, I’m unsure why.On the way I am ticked off as I think about
all the money ExxonMobil spent on its last community newsletter without one word about the last spill.Finally just as I pull into the library parking lot WJBO announced the news coming up at the top of the
hour.I held my breath
as they talked about international news from the Fox network, followed by news from Gonzales about the Bass Pro Store, then
news from Prairieville.There is an advertising tag about the station we ”depend
on” when Buggs himself announces before the weather that the shelter in place was lifted 20 minutes ago.The weather lady tells the temperature and sympathetically remarks that it would be tough to be with out
air.Buggs remarks that it’s better that the shelter in place was early
in the morning.By this timeI am
at my wits end athow we do thingshere
in Baton Rouge.Is it just
me, or are we just a little too casual about leaks, spills and a well known plan of action?