Ten minute test
Special Report: Ten minute test
Katrina, Rita, Wilma down south and the Taunton dam closer to home.
All of these events had residents running for cover. Peter Judge from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) says, "Evacuations occur all the time in some form or another around the Commonwealth."
But are we really prepared? We put two families to the test: a ten minute evacuation. First, the Pomodoro family - both mom and dad have trained for emergencies. And second, the Shuman's - they own a restaurant in Brookline. Who will get what they need, and get out?
Phil Lipof warns, "Ten minutes, go ahead."
Bob Shuman tells his wife, "Ok, Holly."
Brian Pomodoro gets his sons ready, "All right gentleman, we need your backpacks."
The Shuman's pack their dogs, while the Pomodoro's take the bare essentials, Brian Pomodoro advises, "Grab as many socks as possible."
After a minute, the Pomodoro's pack medications, a flashlight/radio and a first aid kit. The Shuman's carry out photo albums, important documents and their computer.
Bob Shuman remembers and asks for the cell phones and Holly replies, "By my pocketbook."
Just less than three minutes and the Pomodoro's are out the door. But what about their dog Max? Brian had to break the news, "Oh Max! Sorry Max, we're leaving you behind."
Meanwhile, the Shuman's bring water. Holly Shuman asks, "You got the address book?" "Yup," her husband replies.
Phil Lipof warns, "Okay, five minutes, you're halfway through."
Holly Shuman thinks, "Maybe this ax in case trees are down." Her husband Bob checks some warning lights while she gets candles.
Phil Lipof calls out, "Two minute warning guys."
Bob Shuman says, "I'm closing this up, and getting in the car."
Itís crunch time - blankets and food! And they're done - just in time. Both families did very well in our test. One family was prepared and evacuated in 3 minutes. Brian Pomodoro says, "The more complex the plan, the more chance of something going wrong."
And their dog Max came along, after all. "Come on Max," Pomodoro says.
Peter Judge from MEMA says, "Being prepared is key on this. You always should be somewhat ready to evacuate."
The Shuman's were not as prepared- but they thought quickly on their feet, and passed with flying colors. Holly Shuman says, "I started to get really nervous. You start to think this is my only 10 minutes and you're going in 40 different directions."
Important things they packed: photo albums, legal documents, tools, food and water - they even remembered a can opener. Bob Shuman says, "This is really going to create a sense of urgency. I don't think we ever thought at this level before."
How well will your family do in this ten minute test? The experts say, only you will know what your family really needs in case of an emergency. So take time to draw up a list, and set aside some essentials so that youíre better prepared. I'm Phil Lipof, 7 News.
These links to FEMA will help you get started.
(Copyright (c) 2005 Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)