Evacuation Alerts at the Airport
Last week, an employee error caused the monitors at LAX to display a building evacuation order:
At a little before 9:47 p.m., the message read: “An emergency has been declared in the terminal. Please evacuate.” An airport police source said officers responded to the scene at the Tom Bradley International Terminal, believing the system had been hacked. But an airport spokeswoman said it was an honest mistake.
I think the real news has nothing to do with how susceptible those systems are to hacking. It’s this line:
Castles said there were no reports of passengers evacuating the terminal and the problem was fixed within about 10 minutes.
So now we know: building evacuation announcements on computer screens are ineffective.
She said airport officials are looking into ways to ensure a similar problem does not occur again.
That probably means that they’re going to make sure an erroneous evacuation message doesn’t appear on the computer screens again, not that everyone doesn’t ignore the evacuation message when there is an actual emergency.
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