All They Needed On CSI Miami Was An Evacuation Checklist…


Have you seen the episode of CSI: Miami called “Blown Away”.   Well if you haven’t, see if you can catch it on demand or on Netflix, because it was one of the best episodes they’ve ever done.    We put a teaser for it above, to whet your appetite.
Jerry Bruckheimer and the gang should be proud!  The basic plot?  Ryan and Walter (deftly played by Jonathan Togo and Omar Miller) were called to a mobile home community to investigate a dead body.  Just as they were nearing the home, the skies darkened and a funnel cloud appeared.   In a race for time, the boys tried as hard as they could to reach the scene before the funnel cloud, became a full-fledged tornado. 
Fighting gale force winds they stumbled into the home, and trying valiantly to preserve the crime scene – which by this time was only the few inches of carpet surrounding the young woman’s body.  Walter began cutting the carpet around the body.  Ryan tried to loosen it and roll the girl up for safekeeping, but before they could lift her and run for safety, the tornado struck.
Seconds later they were fighting for their own lives, as Ryan grabbed on to the only thing Walter could find to help keep him from blowing out of the wind ravaged doors – a string of Christmas tree lights.  Walter had to let go of the lights when they began cutting his hands raw.  Ryan flew out the door, only to be discovered about ten minutes later, lying in a heap outside.  Eventually Horatio and the rest of the team were on scene and discovered the girl’s body in a tree.
Yes, everyone was all right, despite having risked their lives to maintain the integrity of the crime scene.  It was a great start to a fascinating episode.  
But then right in the middle of the action, writer Brian Davidson slipped in a critical lesson in evacuation planning.
As we find out later, after the girl’s parents saw the tornado watch and then warning, they spent about half an hour getting ready to evacuate.  A flashback showed them grabbing family photos, their vital documents, asking each other if they had everything they would need.
But the one thing they didn’t do, is the one thing that cost their daughter her life.  You see, their daughter was away at college.  What they didn’t know, is that she had an argument with her boyfriend and decided to spend the night in her own room at home.  She probably slipped in after they went to bed.
The parents grabbed what they needed to start over again, in case their home was destroyed – which it was.  They asked each other if they had everything – which they thought they did.
What they didn’t have was an Evacuation Plan or even an Evacuation Checklist  like the one we have in our newest book/program The Backup Plan 3.0.  We also have one here on the blog.   If they had, they would have known that they needed to double check every room in their house before leaving.   As it was, they must not have grabbed any of their daughter’s keepsakes or anything that might have been important to her.  Granted she was away at school and has most things with her, but like most college-aged people, she probably had quite a few things that she would have wanted to grab for safekeeping.
All it would have taken was creating an Evacuation Plan or Checklist with their daughter, and they would have known what she wanted them to grab and take with if a tornado or hurricane were to strike.  And if they had gone into her room to get those items, they would have seen her.  That Evacuation Plan would have saved their daughter’s life.
So the next time you update your Evacuation Plan or check over your Evacuation Checklist, make sure that you include a line that says “Check Each Room Before Leaving House”.  You never know what or who might have been left behind.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! We’ll talk later…
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