Inside In The Dark
By Nina Adelman Stolar
On Wednesday, May 18, about 8:00 a.m.
people found themselves literally in the dark throughout the Lab. Most
headed outside to see how wide spread the problem was and find out what
(CEF) stands on the fallen tree. (Photo courtesy of CEF)
The SLAC community was very
cooperative and responsive during this genuine emergency. Staff were
dispatched to survey the site and began hooking up generators where
there were critical needs to keep systems alive. According to Frank
O’Neill (RD) “The CEF group really took a major role in securing the
O’Neill said, “We
identified a number of critical areas and systematically went through
the whole site.” The CEF department took great care to work safely and
efficiently to provide temporary power where needed. When the decision
was made to clear the site mid-day, there was no time estimate for
throughs had to be done building by building to be sure equipment and
facilities were secure before people could reenter. The security
officers were of great assistance, going through each office as
buildings were cleared. According to Simon Ovrahim (SEC), “On Saturday,
we had four security officers on shift and from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
we opened every office as buildings were cleared. We turned off coffee
pots, heaters and the like.”
David Burke (TD) was stationed in MCC, holding meetings in the mornings,
assuring that critical operations people were on site to bring the
Laboratory back on line gracefully.
People really came together in this crisis. They waited
to see how long it might be--standing outside, watching to see if it
would begin to rain. Once PG&E surveyed the damage and provided an
estimate on repairs, the decision was made to release the staff.
Seemingly insignificant things can become problems in this situation. A
simple problem like a leaky fridge pooling water in a hallway is
magnified when it is too dark to see barricades. Some staff members put
flashlights in or near restrooms, with one fellow bringing
battery-powered lanterns from his car.
Ziba Mahdavi (BLS) handed out the SLAC telephone hotline
number to everyone she could reach. The messages were recorded by Lee
Lyon (HR), who said “We exercised the hotline, updating the message when
firm information was available.” People could call in from anywhere to
check the status, know when to expect the next update and to ask what
was up with the paychecks.
Many people worked throughout the power outage and the subsequent days
to assure your work place was ready for your return. As the weekend came
to a close, the SLAC hotline gave the word: Everyone, come back to work