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Long Instant is a large, two-panel mural in the Olympia, Washington, Fire Department headquarters. The first panel shows a building at risk under a dark sky dramatically lit by a shattering bolt of lightning. In the second panel, the same building appears under a sky that now has become a detailed map of the fire hydrants in the city—a map every fireman in Olympia is required to memorize. Rather than offering a conventional image of a heroic rescue, the second panel is a meditation on the abstract concept of “preparedness.” In addition to the map, there is a carefully painted collection of neatly laid out fire hoses and a fireman with a helmet that seems very peculiar, until you learn that firemen prepare for situations in smoke-filled rooms by practicing searches with their visors covered in duct tape. The two-panel mural suggests that in a healthy community there is not only inevitable risk but also people prepared to deal with it.