We would all jump up from our desks and march, single-file to our appointed spot outdoors.
The goal of those fire drills was to teach students how to react if a disaster struck; instead of the chaos that would occur when hundreds of kids try to escape from a burning building.
A safe, orderly evacuation would certainly reduce the number of casualties.
In recent years sudden, unforeseen, disastrous events have devastated populations around the globe.
Terrorist attacks in New York, London and Madrid, tsunami in Asia, and hurricanes along the gulf coast have all cost individuals, businesses, even whole geographic regions dearly.
I've seen a number of recommendations to help people prepare for disasters in various media, but every business has to prepare for a disaster also.
If a disaster never hits you, be thankful, but if one does occur the business should be able to reopen afterwards if you have spent just a little effort on contingency planning.
Naturally your planning should include redundant off-premises backups of all computer files to insure you will be able to resurrect inventory records, bank account records, tax records, accounts receivable, accounts payable, human resources, training manuals, etc.
It is also vital to be able to connect with your staff in case of an evacuation or natural disaster.
A business that is well prepared for disasters should be able to connect with personnel using multiple methods - cell phone, land line, email, and all the staff should know how to connect with management so the business is able to continue after order is restored.
All the above plans are not worth the paper they are printed on unless the disaster plan is updated and practiced regularly, just like those fire drills we endured as kids.
The fire never hit my school and a hurricane may never hit your business, but if you have periodic fire drills you will be well prepared and confident the business will survive.