I was wondering if anyone who has lived in halls could give me advice/suggestions, or just general suggestions from anyone that might work.
I live in a large uni hall with almost 500 students. I'm on the top floor which is normally fine as there are lifts. I live in halls because of my asthma and other needs, which the halls staff are very aware of (they've had to call out the green men a few times) and generally pretty good with (well after a LOT of education!!).
The big problem I'm having is with fire-alarms, these happen every week to two weeks, and happened today. Because they are not drills but are caused by students smoking/cooking/whatever, everyone has to evacuate and the fire-brigade have to come to make sure the building is safe.
We have to go down the fire-escapes/stairs as the lifts can't be used and often the halls staff/senior students are there making sure everyone leaves and quickly. We have to go outside where the air is at this time of year very cold (especially compared with coming straight from inside and without preparing with scarf etc) and the assembly point is (ironically I think) also the smoking point and the first thing a good half of the students do is light-up. The trouble is smoke, cold-air and exercise (all the stairs!) are major triggers for me and, as happened today, they're so keen to get us out I forget to take my inhaler (I always keep them in my bags to have them when going out, but obviously don't have my bag when there's a fire-alarm going off). Often it's left me struggling a bit, but today (perhaps because my asthma's not great at the moment) it caused a pretty bad asthma attack - one of the hall managers noticed and let me sit away from the smoke, but I didn't have my inhaler, and the firemen wouldn't let me or anyone in to get it and they take a while to check the building. Cue hall manager starting to panic, never good when I'm trying to stay calm!!!
I'm okay now, feeling a bit post-attack bleugh (if that's the right technical term!) but wondering what I can do to prevent this happening? Obviously taking my inhaler with me would help, but I need to remember to do this when the alarms are going off and we're being told to evacuate. Also the actual situation causes problems - lots of stairs (and people tend to run and I tend to go quickly so I don't get pushed by others), cold air and particularly the smoke. Any suggestions?