Sirens were wailing and a mechanical voice was telling us this was an emergency and we needed to evacuate the hotel. I had been in a deep sleep so it took me a moment to realize what was happening. I quickly called to my children that we needed to get out of the room. As we were leaving the room I grabbed my purse and then we walked down the ten flights of stairs with the rest of the half-asleep guests. As soon as we were safely outside I began to relax a bit. I was feeling pretty proud of myself for remembering to grab my purse. I knew that if for some reason we wouldn’t be allowed back in to the hotel at least I had my wallet and my car keys. But then it hit me, I wear contacts and I had taken them out before we went to bed. If we weren’t allowed back in I would be stuck, unable to drive our car. How would we get home?
Luckily we were soon allowed back into the hotel. An air-conditioning unit that had overheated had caused the alarm but it was shut down and did not pose any danger. I was so relieved that we were able to get back in! As we headed back in with all the guests I started to think about how awful it would have been if we had been unable to drive anywhere because I wasn’t wearing my contacts. And then I saw a long line of people at the desk and realized they were asking for room keys so they could get back into their rooms. I was happy to find that I had a room key in my purse but at that point I was starting to think of what I would do in the future so that we wouldn’t be in a similar situation should this ever happen again. I decided that from now on I will keep the following important items right by the hotel room door so that if we ever have to leave a room quickly we will be prepared.
Items to Keep by Your Hotel Room Door in Case of Emergency:
- Wallet or Purse – This is important for two reasons as you could need personal identification, such as your driver’s license, and money or a credit card.
- Car Keys – If the hotel is damaged you may not be allowed back inside the hotel thus having your car keys will give you the freedom to drive home or to another hotel.
- Room Key – Having your room key will let you get back into your room quickly and easily if the hotel is deemed safe.
- Glasses or Contact Lenses – If you need these to drive you’ll be stuck without them.
- Prescription Medicines
There may be other items that are important to you or your family that you will want to put on your list. I know it’s not practical to keep everything by the door that you might need in case of an emergency but the items listed above would make things much easier if you are evacuated.
And one last tip – when you first get to your hotel room, take a quick look on the back of the door to see where the nearest emergency exit is located. You may never need to be evacuated but if you do, you’ll be thankful you know which direction to head as you grab your things and go.