I wrote about the tremor incident I experienced two days ago. One thing that amazes then was the fact that the bank that is located on the ground floor of my office building looked like it was operating as usual.
Staff and customers were still transacting as if it was just a typical business day. I thought surely, banks are not exempted from emergency or cautionary evacuations. Last night, I texted (AKA SMSed) some of my friends who are working in banks. I asked them if they ever went through a fire drill or similar evacuation exercises. Their answers shocked me!
I asked the question to five friends, and none of them had gone through any sort of practical emergency evacuation exercise. None! And mind you, these friends of mind aren’t exactly new to the banking sector. On average, they’ve been in the banking industry for six years, with the most senior having worked 11 years.
One guy did say remembered being briefed once about emergency evacuation; and it was purely a theoretical exercise.
Their responses got me assuming that Malaysian banks generally don’t have proper evacuation exercises. Why? 5 out of 5 negative response couldn’t just be coincidence. Are you working in the Malaysian banking sector? Is your bank located within a high rise building? Have you gone through a real (not theory only) evacuation exercise?
Anyway, if you’re going on holiday to a country with volcanic or earthquake activity, it wouldn’t hurt to get travel insurance just to be on the safe side.