The wide ranging impacts of hurricane Sandy got me thinking. I'm not in the impacted area, but on the fringe... yet even here, we can feel the wind. As I was bicycling before the weather turned for the worst, it got me thinking... if I had to evacuate, and assuming I had time to pack the car, what would be the best bike to take as an emergency form of transportation? I could put it on our bike rack and in the event of the car breaking down, or hitting an impassable road, at least I could continue on bike partway. Or if the roads proved impassable for evacuation via car, you could bike to the nearest shelter or muster point for mass evacuation later.
But what would be a good bike to have on hand then? I suppose anything that works well on two wheels is better than nothing, but I'm sure most of us have more than one bike for different purposes. What would be the scenarios you would typically face? My first thought would be something like my old hybrid: decent on roads and dirt, broken paths. Good enough to do the job; not so expensive or specialized to fix, or in the worst case, worry about if it was damaged or even stolen in the chaos of an emergency. What about a touring bike? A cross? A mountain bike? Anybody with first responder or emergency management experience who could comment?
Perhaps idle speculation, but the power of the hurricane dwarfs what we as society think we can really do... I sure hope everybody on the east coast is managing well given their circumstances.