It’s seven o’clock on a Sunday morning. We’re all sleeping late after a family party the night before. When the emergency siren first sounds through the hotel we all wake and wonder what the intrusion is. Then, as the evacuation order begins over the speakers, we hurry to put something on over our pyjamas before making our way to the stairwell with a few others on our floor. It’s only when we open the door to the stairs it dawns on us that there are hundreds of people who all need to evacuate at the same time. From the 24th floor it’s a long, slow but orderly descent to the lobby and out onto the street.
Luckily this turns out to be a false alarm – a sensor accidentally tripped in the hotel kitchen; eventually we are allowed back inside and up to our room. There’s no going back to bed though, after all that excitement!