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  1. #1
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Hypothetical: How would you evacuate?

    I was talking to a coworker and I mentioned that in NYC, in a mass evacuation, with about 24 hours of warning, the best way to get the hell out of the city would be by dirt bike, followed by motorcycle, then bicycle (preferably a cross bike). Anything else would be stuck in traffic for more than 24 hours when you suddenly try to evacuate a city of 10 million.

    Granted some people have family and possessions to take along. If I had to make a checklist of stuff, it would be:

    2 water bottles, a small water filter, batteries, radio, handheld CB, a 9mm, extra ammo, bag of balance bars, extra change of clothing, reflective mylar blanket, first aid kit, small tool kit, fire starter, high volume hand pump + co2, my 2 DVD+RW's of backup data, all my ID and cash, cell phone + charger, and sunglasses, easily fits into a backpack.

    I can't see anything else that I would need considering I only need to get about 100 miles away, anything more and we're talking apocalyptic war of the worlds type destruction.

  2. #2
    UareFASTjustNOTfastENOUGH MasterSezFaster's Avatar
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    Well, being in CA. I/we are prepared to survive for a while if "The Big One" ever hits. We are also prepared to evacuate in case of fire since we live in a high risk area. We keep gallons of water, cases of canned food, first aid gear, ham radio (in the truck), extra gallons of gas and any other necessary items/valuables are all kept close to each other so they are quickly packed. 9/11 is a completely different beast though. If you were in the middle of it then there is nothing you could have done to evacuate unless you were one of the lucky ones to survive. There is no warning for events as that.

    I could not use my bikes (motorcycles) to get out because I have the kids, wife and the mutt. I do have a few back road routes that only an off-road truck could get through (no need for a 4x4 but a good long travel suspension).

    I posted to this because I was just this minute discussing this subject regarding LA. I know when we had to evacuate because of fire (which was about a day away) I had the truck loaded up in advanced just incase the wind changed and if we had to leave all we needed to do was get dressed, jump in the truck and leave. So I am wondering, the people of LA had a few days warning so why not load up what they need in advance so if the time comes and they need to leave they are ready to? Same goes for any area that this could occur. Even if there are numerous warnings throughout the year I would still be ready to leave every time.

    I do feel bad about what happened in LA and have already contributed but in some ways I do not feel as bad for the people that lost but had the means to get out in time and elected to wait until it was to late.

    I am not talking about the residence that have no way to get out but the ones that do. No matter what area we lived in I would always have things ready incase of an emergency/disaster because I will always do my best to protect my family. It just seems to me that a lot of folks have the attitude of, ďThat wonít happen to us. We will be fine.Ē




    p.s. Yeah I got my flame suite on so have at it if you wish. Or just explain why some people are not prepared.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    I'm in Southern California. Not in a fire area. Floods are not an issue at all. we have a swimming pool and I have water purification equipment for camping. I do a LOT of our cooking on an outdoor charcoal burning BBQ anyway.

    For anything I can think of I'm better off staying. No food, no water, no power. I can sleep in the car and keep good food on the table for 2 weeks at least and more than adequate for 2 more.

  4. #4
    52-week commuter DCCommuter's Avatar
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    On 9/11 Washington, DC was partially evacuated -- everything was closed and everyone was sent home, which means the city lost about 75% of its daytime population in about 3 hours. Traffic was utter chaos. I was on my bike, my normal transportation, and it was a pretty good way to get around until I was hit by a car. The driver didn't even stop. Fortunately I wasn't hurt.

    Many motorists consider allowing cyclists to use the road a gracious act on their part, not their responsibility. In a real emergency, people get scared and angry, and graciousness quickly goes out the window. For several days after 9/11 I found cycling and even walking to be quite hazardous in the city, as drivers were markedly more agressive than usual, which is no picnic to begin with.

    Just something to keep in mind.

  5. #5
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    if it was just me - i would pack all the food and water i could. i have a box of clif bars which would provide a few days of food. then head out on the bike to the next town with my credit cards. the tricky part is protecting yourself. if some guy tackled me off the bike, stole my back pack and wallet, then it would be a bit more difficult. i don't own a ***.

    further adding to the difficulty would be trying to coordinate this with my GF (wouldn't want to ditch her). If i had kids then it would be about 100 times harder. also, you gotta remember that cell phone service probably wouldn't be working (remember 9/11?) so it would be very very confusing.

  6. #6
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    I agree that as you start to consider evacuation with a family it is a lot tougher. In the post 9/11 world we, like a lot of families around DC, built a survival kit to support us either on the road or at home without services for a week or more. So if need be we can load a plastic tub, a few gallons of water and some sleeping bags and move out.

    It would not be possible for us at this point to evacuate by bike, although I think in general bikes could work. It would take more careful packing and organization as well as bikes equipped for a little bike tour. I think if you were going to evacuate by bike you should plan on camping out since resources as you leave cities will get more sparse and will quickly be overtaxed. This is particularly true if the weather is bad like in a hurricane or blizzard where warm dry places to stay will quickly be in short supply. Self sufficient camping for a few days is relatively easy to achieve and frees you of dependency on overstressed supply systems.

    In the event of an evacuation I have no doubt that people will be more rude and frazzled, but I doubt real violence is an issue. Accidents with vehicles will become more of an issue as people hurry to get out or wherever, but not so different from a bad rush hour in bad weather. As the days stretch on and the situation gets more desperate, then problems may arise as we are seeing in New Orleans. But since evacuating would get you outside of the danger zone, short of an armageddon scenario I doubt violence would be a major concern.

    Katrina does serve as a reminder to us all that spending a little time and money on supplies for an emergency is a very good idea.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    After DCCommuters post I remembered I have been on the road twice during evacuationlike conditions. Once was during a fire and misleading news reports made it seem like Calabasas was in danger. (They said the Motion Picture Hospital and Calabasas Highlands were both being evacuated. Both true, but the hopspital was ding it because they had many senile patients and felt they needed 24 hours to evacuate and if the wind shifted that was all they would have. The Highlands is a gated community and the only road out was on the side towards the fire.) Traffic was crazy. Card were going 60 on streets with 35 mph limits and speed bumps. Luckily we only had a couple of miles to deal with as this was near the end of our ride. But when we made it to the first persons house we decided to sit things out for an hour or so until it got calm. Even being on the fringes of the madness was a good way to get killed on a bike. The other time was when there was a fatality accident on the 134 freeway during or a bit before rush hour. After 7 I went out for a bike ride. It was insane and I turned back but still had some unsettling experiences.


    Thinking of this and just how far it is to anywhere one would evacuate to I don't see any way that using a bike to evacuate makes any sense here.

    Other side of this is that after the Northridge Quake we had no contact with my Grandmother in Hollywood for a couple of days. Phones out. But so were bridges and roads. It was just about to the point where it was going to be my job to start in my car with my bike inside and check up when phone service was restored. For that a bike is very useful, you can be sure of getting through. (and previous social rides provide the knowledge to use alternate routes).

  8. #8
    Senior Member RocketsRedglare's Avatar
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    I'm in the same camp as MasterSezFaster. Many of us in Southern California kind of expect the "big one" to hit. Without notice.
    I have all my camping gear (including propane tanks, small cook surfaces propane lanterns, water purification devices) foul weather gear, of clothing, personal hygiene kits, first aid kits, a few gallons of bottled water and prepared packages of dried and non-perishable food all neatly packed and ready to throw in your car within 10 minutes. As a back-up, our boat is relatively also well stocked in case of any emergency. We also keep small survival packages in our cars. Sadly although many of us are prepared, Most (mainly the poor and /or lazy) are not.

    I know its easy to play monday morning quarterback: could've, should've, would've in retrospect., But knowing my personality, I would have probably opted to stay. I've been through two relatively minor hurricanes and even those left us with no electricity or water for two weeks. Tthe people of the gulf coast get hit every year by two or three, they were probably thinking its just another hurricane. There are also those that simnply did not have the ways, means or health to relocate or evacuate.

  9. #9
    Senior Member af895's Avatar
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    slvoid: I've wondered about this myself. My answer depends on how FAR I had to get away from the city. I don't live in NYC (I probably wouldn't have a car if I lived there) so my answers may be different from others.

    Short distance, packing light with the intent of returning: touring bike, packed only as if I were going touring (minimal clothes, Trangia etc) and my longbow with arrows.

    Get waaay the heck away in a hurry (like, imminent attack) - same bike but head to nearest small airport and take a plane - ANY plane. (I can hotwire a Cessna if they won't give me the keys - otherwise I'd "plane-pool" with other pilots)

    If it were a more leisurely exit probably for the longer term (eg: New Orleans type situation): all the stuff I tour with + extra clothes + tool boxes + laptop.

    This passage seems apt:

    "It is desirable that a man be clad so simply...and that he live in all respects so compactly and preparedly that, if an enemy take the town, he can, like the old philosopher, walk out the gate empty-handed without anxiety."

    - from Thoreau's "Walden"
    Download it for free here: http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/205
    Last edited by af895; 09-02-05 at 06:03 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member biodiesel's Avatar
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    For those with families, bring the bikes. You may wind up walking out and having a bike to put some luggage, a kid or a wounded person on as a makeshift litter is handy.
    Small enough kids and the trailer could get you out of the city where they might not be able to walk nor you carry them for long. And when you get to where you're evacuated to you'll have a form of transportation.
    Older kids too young to ride, have them sit on a rear rack. They'll hold the weight or a little while.

    Bikes are great transport in tough times. You can move faster than on foot, yet are still light enough to carry accross obstacles, can carry hugh ammounts of weight and have no engine to break no gas to run out of and even with flat tires can be made to work for miles. (Guy on the cruiser ride the other night rode 20 miles with a flat held on by duct tape!) They run under deep water and arn't swamped like cars.
    Bikes take less energy than walking on level terrain and with all the pictures from LA of people being evac'd in shopping carts etc could be a great assett.

    If it was me, i'd put the lady on the bike with one of the kids. Or pile two backpacks of food water and supplies on the bike, slung on either side of the seat and walk out.
    I'm a little practical about survival. Remember when you get to the red cross shelter there may not be lots of food or water few blankets and little in basics.
    Last edited by biodiesel; 09-02-05 at 06:04 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by slvoid
    2 water bottles, a small water filter, batteries, radio, handheld CB, a 9mm, extra ammo, bag of balance bars, extra change of clothing, reflective mylar blanket, first aid kit, small tool kit, fire starter, high volume hand pump + co2, my 2 DVD+RW's of backup data, all my ID and cash, cell phone + charger, and sunglasses, easily fits into a backpack.
    What about you're checkbook, Debit card, credit cards and birth certificate? I guess the looters will love all those! ;-)

    If there was a way to take a train, (ANY TRAIN) I would pack my folder and go. All the other bikes would have to be sacrificed for I will curse the looters for sure. Being in the New York Metro, where would you head to? Pennsylvania? Upstate New York? There's no way I would head out to Long Island because that would be a swamp! I guess you would have to cross the GW Bridge and head out to Jersey. On second thought those hills will require a tripple so I may have to take the touring bike and leave the Folder at home!

  12. #12
    Senior Member phinney's Avatar
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    I'm already there.

  13. #13
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    I'm preparing to purchase an emergency kit for all my family members just in case. Red Cross has some great ones: http://www.pcxhost.com/store/st7/tp8...&source=launch

    Anyone interested in being basically prepared for a disaster would fare well getting something off that website.

    Koffee

  14. #14
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    I would also take my folding bike, which comes with the suitcase that transforms into a trailer. For my brother, he would probably insist on taking his car, but I'm going to talk to him this weekend about packing up his trunk with basic necessities in the event of some local or national disaster. All we would need is a meet up point, and we'll be fine, provided we all have our cell phones on us.

    Koffee

  15. #15
    Sensible shoes. CastIron's Avatar
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    Local protocols here call for "shelter in place" based on our, erm, available threats. I'm prepared to do it for ~5 days. Living equidistant between two downtowns it's really my only viable option.
    If I had a cat 5 bearing down on me? Load up the u-haul and use a topo map to literally go the high road.
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  16. #16
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    I definitely think if the hurricane's already hit, a bike would be ridiculous.

    BUT with enough lead time, leaving by bike can be advantageous, as long as you know the path of the storm. We've all seen those news clips of congested highways, bumper to bumper traffic, while bikes sail through. This is when bikes are advantageous over cars anyday.

    Koffee

  17. #17
    semifreddo amartuerer 'nother's Avatar
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    We go camping a lot and have all of our equipment and some food ready to go at nearly a moment's notice. Conveniently much of the camping gear can also be used as "survival" gear.

    The Big One is frequently on my mind too, much more so this week. Though with any luck we wouldn't have to evacuate so much as make do with no power (easy) and limited food & water. We effectively do this when we go camping anyway as we tend to go out in the sticks, not "citizen" campgrounds.

    As to the OP: I'm not sure I'd evacuate via bicycle, but I'm pretty sure I'd take one with me if I had to go. Probably the trailer, too. I have a 4WD pickup which could get me through a lot, but when the gas runs out, the bike would come in handy

    I guess I'd try to get in on the earlier waves of evacuation rather than waiting to the last minute if possible, but that's probably easier said than done.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member biodiesel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by koffee brown
    I definitely think if the hurricane's already hit, a bike would be ridiculous.

    BUT with enough lead time, leaving by bike can be advantageous, as long as you know the path of the storm. We've all seen those news clips of congested highways, bumper to bumper traffic, while bikes sail through. This is when bikes are advantageous over cars anyday.

    Koffee
    I don't know, how many people walking and swimming out right now? Cars are swamped in the high water and people are trying to walk many miles to get out of town. Saw a pic on the news of a guy riding through almost waist high water. Still useful.
    And if you were trying to get out of town how many miles would you have to go? Now try walking them. Even slow it's easier on a bike. You might take all day to cover 20 miles but walking that... oof.

    Your thinking of bikking in a North American way. I'm thinking of third world country style with no tires on the rims, single speed with baskets lashed to the frame with ridiculous piles of food and gallon milk jugs of water dangling from the frame. Of 25 year old rusted frames delivering goods on dirt roads and pairs of bikes turned into cargo wagons or dragging garbage can trailers.

    Watching 100's walking mile after mile of highway without help or relief i'd hope i'd be the guy riding back and forth with a trailer of bottled water.

  19. #19
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    I'd drive down the middle of the road hitting anything or anyone in my way until I go to Virginia

  20. #20
    UareFASTjustNOTfastENOUGH MasterSezFaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by koffee brown
    All we would need is a meet up point, and we'll be fine, provided we all have our cell phones on us.

    Koffee
    I would suggest a good CB rather then a cell phone during any sort of catastrophe. You can have a mobile unit in your brotherís car and you could use a hand held. The air ways get way too congested and you can not always get through with a cell phone. The air ways on a CB will also get a bit congested but you can still get a message through between conversations and not all channels will be crowded.

    You can also get some FRS radios that have a 12mi range and many private channels so it would be even easier for you and you brother to get in touch if you are with in that range.



  21. #21
    semifreddo amartuerer 'nother's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MasterSezFaster
    I would suggest a good CB rather then a cell phone during any sort of catastrophe. You can have a mobile unit in your brotherís car and you could use a hand held. The air ways get way too congested and you can not always get through with a cell phone. The air ways on a CB will also get a bit congested but you can still get a message through between conversations and not all channels will be crowded.

    You can also get some FRS radios that have a 12mi range and many private channels so it would be even easier for you and you brother to get in touch if you are with in that range.


    I agree . . . cell phone coverage is not as ubiquitous nor as bulletproof as we're led to believe. And it always seems to go out of service just when you need it most . Those little walkie-talkie deals are great, and cheap. And despite the 70s "keep on truckin'" image, CB is still a great way to communicate, especially in an emergency.
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  22. #22
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    From where I am in north Portland, on the peninsula right between the Columbia and Willamette Rivers, I wouldn't bother taking the freeway. It takes up to an hour to get out of town at rush hour. I would bank on the one car bridge to the west of me being open. If it's not, I can grab my bike and cross the railroad bridge, then head northwest, where I'd have several options and not too much traffic. My parents live about a days bike ride away, and have enough food for at least a month, not counting cows still on the hoof.

    If it came down to it, I personally have enough food in my house for at least a week, and could use the water heater to store drinking water.
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  23. #23
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MasterSezFaster
    I would suggest a good CB rather then a cell phone during any sort of catastrophe. You can have a mobile unit in your brotherís car and you could use a hand held. The air ways get way too congested and you can not always get through with a cell phone. The air ways on a CB will also get a bit congested but you can still get a message through between conversations and not all channels will be crowded.

    You can also get some FRS radios that have a 12mi range and many private channels so it would be even easier for you and you brother to get in touch if you are with in that range.


    FRS radios really only have about a 2 mile range, and I haven't found them to be very reliable. You could rig up a directional antenna if you know where someone else is and probably double or triple the range. That's technically illegal, but I that would hardly matter in a pinch
    "The internet is a place where absolutely nothing happens. You need to take advantage of that." ~ Strong Bad

  24. #24
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Helicopter...

  25. #25
    Senior Member TwoTyred's Avatar
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    Hot air ballon... :-)
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