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Dealing With Emergency Situations

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Dealing With Emergency Situations

Old 09-14-16, 09:59 PM
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Dealing With Emergency Situations

All right ... let's collect some tips for dealing with emergency situations as a car free person.

Emergencies could include ...
-- bushfires
-- floods
-- ice storms
-- other weather/environmental situations
-- breaking a leg
-- coming down with a really bad flu
-- having a heart attack (obviously you'd call an ambulance immediately, but what about after you're released from hospital)
-- other medical situations, injuries or significant illnesses

Emergencies could also include situations affecting others ...
-- parent becomes ill and you've got to get there to help
-- pet has injury or illness

Of course, the list above doesn't include every situation ... we can all probably think of more and that's fine. If you'd like to add to the list, feel free.


But now that we're thinking of these situations ... if you're car free, how do you deal with them?

What resources do you have available to help you? Please post website links if you've got some ... they may help others.

And talk about real examples if you've got them too.
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Old 09-14-16, 10:12 PM
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Machka,

Just because we opt to live car free doesn't mean we're in the wilderness. Most (or close to all) of us live in civilized areas with Police, fire and medical a phone call away.

That doesn't mean we can't fend for ourselves in many situations, and can't, for example, ride the bike to a doctor, hospital or urgent care clinic. Years ago, I broke my toe riding on a trainer. I figured I'd give it a day or two, but when it swelled up to where I couldn't walk, I was still able to ride my bike to the ER for treatment. They thought it was very funny because it was just before Christmas and I'd stabilized to using red cloth tape unwound from my handle bar.

However, the record may go to a friend who started feeling sick on a long ride. When his "indigestion" got bad enough he decided to abort the ride and head for home. On the way, he continued to feel worse, and diverted to the hospital which was closer than home. He rode 12 miles, walked into the ER, and was given emergency life saving treatment for a heart attack.
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Old 09-14-16, 10:22 PM
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During the time I was car free, I burnt my left foot to the bone. I should have called an ambulance, but called a taxi instead to take me to the hospital ... and then took a taxi home again after I was treated.

The next day I had to go to a walk-in clinic. That was an awful experience. I took the bus there and back which was horrible ... and the doctor I saw wasn't very good either. I actually went to the toilet immediately after seeing him and threw up from the pain. Fortunately, a kind receptionist/nurse saw me and quietly called me over and gave me a brochure for home care nurses.

I rang up the home care nurses and made arrangements for one to visit me every day for the next couple months to change my dressing etc. That was wonderful!

For 5 weeks I could not walk or cycle or do anything remotely active ... just standing up caused blood to pool in that foot which caused intense pain. I had burnt the circulation system required to return blood up the leg.

This, of course, posed a problem with regard to getting groceries. Happily, I discovered a home delivery service which worked really well for me. I even used the service once or twice after I was well again because it was just that convenient.

So there are a couple little tips:
-- home care nurses
-- grocery delivery services
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Old 09-14-16, 10:32 PM
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The biggest emergency in my neck of the woods would be a mass evacuation due to a derailment or incident at the tank farm (small oil storage refining facility) and the possibility of a nuclear attack (which is quite probable if Trump gets in). The good news is, is that where I live, the streets are mostly laid out in a grid pattern, so evacuating by bike isn't a problem. That said, wind would be an issue, especially if it's out of the west (it usually is). If one had to evacuate to the west, there's the main road and the dike.

I have my camp gear, garden wagon (one of those heavy duty utility wagons) that I could pull behind my bike. Hills would be a beast, by I can get off and push. I also have a sound knowledge of the region and know where the choke points are, so I could either avoid them, or know how to deal with them. They include a 1 lane bridge and a 1 lane section of road, north of the McLure ferry.

I've only been in one mass evacuation and that was the McLure/Barrierre/Strawberry Hill fire back in 2003. There's a bit of a story as to how I ended up in that.
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Old 09-14-16, 10:33 PM
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Good insurance and a healthy load of rainy-day cash is essential, it would seem.
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Old 09-14-16, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
...

So there are a couple little tips:
-- home care nurses
-- grocery delivery services
Yes, and that's kind of what I was referring to. Possibly the largest issue for those of us who take pride in our independence is to adapt to relying on the various services we believed we'd never need.

Actually my biggest concern living alone in the NY burbs isn't what to do if I get sick or injured. It's what happens if I die ar home suddenly, ie. stroke or heart attack. I don't have a regular job or schedule of any kind, and sometimes a week or more can go by without skype contact with Deb in Mexico. So sometimes I wonder about who'll have the pleasure of breaking into the house to discover my moldy body.
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Old 09-14-16, 10:37 PM
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Some threads which may be of interest ...

http://www.bikeforums.net/living-car...es-topics.html

http://www.bikeforums.net/living-car...n-options.html

http://www.bikeforums.net/living-car...-services.html

http://www.bikeforums.net/living-car...t-injured.html

http://www.bikeforums.net/living-car...thout-car.html

http://www.bikeforums.net/living-car...ane-sandy.html

http://www.bikeforums.net/19035516-post93.html - Rowan's Story


Maybe there are more out there as well.

Last edited by Machka; 09-14-16 at 10:43 PM.
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Old 09-15-16, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
So sometimes I wonder about who'll have the pleasure of breaking into the house to discover my moldy body.
get a dog ... that way the dog can clean up the situation, and also possilby when it gets hungry it will bark and people will find your bones.
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Old 09-15-16, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Emergencies could include ...
-- bushfires
-- floods
-- ice storms
-- other weather/environmental situations
-- breaking a leg
-- coming down with a really bad flu
-- having a heart attack (obviously you'd call an ambulance immediately, but what about after you're released from hospital)
-- other medical situations, injuries or significant illnesses

Emergencies could also include situations affecting others ...
-- parent becomes ill and you've got to get there to help
-- pet has injury or illness

Of course, the list above doesn't include every situation ... we can all probably think of more and that's fine. If you'd like to add to the list, feel free.
Emergencies could include sick/injured children and/or other people in the household who need immediate transportation for health or evacuation services. Calling and waiting for a a cab just might not be a satisfactory answer, except for people who do not have children or other dependents in the household.
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Old 09-15-16, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Emergencies could include sick/injured children and/or other people in the household who need immediate transportation for health or evacuation services. Calling and waiting for a a cab just might not be a satisfactory answer, except for people who do not have children or other dependents in the household.
Agreed.

Having to evacuate someone who is unable to get around is a frightening prospect ... one which does (or should) require some thought and pre-planning, if possible.

That is actually one of the reasons why childcare centres (in the area where I worked for a while) reduced the ratio of carers to infants down to 1:3 from (IIRC) 1:4 back 25 years or so ago. The thinking was that if there were a fire in the childcare centre, staff would have difficulty carrying 4 infants out each, but 3 might be easier.
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Old 09-15-16, 08:09 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Emergencies could include sick/injured children and/or other people in the household who need immediate transportation for health or evacuation services. Calling and waiting for a a cab just might not be a satisfactory answer, except for people who do not have children or other dependents in the household.
Even if there is a car, if it is the driver themself who is sick or injured it may not be usable, so it greatly helps to have back up emergency services. This is why car-light or car-free living is most feasible in urban settings. I had an elderly neighbour who normally drove herself, but I had to drive her to hospital one time - so in effect I was her urgent backup plan, but if it had been an acute enough situation, either she or I would have called an ambulance.
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Old 09-15-16, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
Even if there is a car, if it is the driver themself who is sick or injured it may not be usable, so it greatly helps to have back up emergency services. This is why car-light or car-free living is most feasible in urban settings. I had an elderly neighbour who normally drove herself, but I had to drive her to hospital one time - so in effect I was her urgent backup plan, but if it had been an acute enough situation, either she or I would have called an ambulance.
The car is useful if somebody else can drive it, whether family or neighbor.
Good thing for her you were not car free. Just as your car would be helpful for you OR your wife (or a neighbor) in an emergency requiring a quick response since your family car can be driven by either of you.

Obviously calling an ambulance or emergency service like the police are better than nothing, if a person has nothing else available whether by circumstances or by deliberate choice to be dependent on others.
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Old 09-15-16, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
if it had been an acute enough situation, either she or I would have called an ambulance.
... or another neighbor, or pretty much anyone, because pretty much anyone can drive a car. I'd wager you could put any 12-year-old behind the wheel in an emergency and while you might get some banged up fenders, you might also get safely to a hospital.

Nothing I would recommend for daily use, but if it is literally life and death anyway ....
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Old 09-16-16, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
The car is useful if somebody else can drive it, whether family or neighbor.
Good thing for her you were not car free. Just as your car would be helpful for you OR your wife (or a neighbor) in an emergency requiring a quick response since your family car can be driven by either of you.

Obviously calling an ambulance or emergency service like the police are better than nothing, if a person has nothing else available whether by circumstances or by deliberate choice to be dependent on others.
A call to 911 and an ambulance ride may be highly advisable and preferable to driving. You may get there as fast but the medical team on the ambulance can give various treatments immediately especially when it comes to heart attacks and the like. Plus they can call ahead and get you quick treatment once you arrive at the hospital instead of being faced with a slower screening process for incoming patients that you'll find in an ER waiting room.
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Old 09-16-16, 10:53 PM
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For medical emergencies of the immediate kind, we subscribe to an ambulance service that conveniently includes helicopter service for those times we're too far out of range for a regular ambulance. It's cheap and I hope I continue to waste my money on it by not using it. If it happens at home, we're one minute from the fire station that houses ambulances.

For family health issues, I could get a lift to the airport by a neighbor who regularly has me drive his car there to drop him and/or his family off (his wife is a flight attendant whose family is in Germany and he owns property in France, so they fly quite a bit). I could also use any of several other neighbors, call a cab or just go find the keys to my mother-in-law's car that is sitting in my driveway (to keep it away from her; dementia is taking its toll on her).

The Cascadia fault is considered at high risk of causing a very large (more than 7) earthquake over the next couple of decades. If it delivers, it is possible that we will be cut off for the better part of a month and could have massive flooding (dam failure). I keep our touring gear at the ready so we can be off in less than an hour. Even if the many bridges in the area fail, a real possibility, we should be able to get out of the affected area without too much trouble.

If we start combining these things, like I have break a leg when the fault gives way, then I'm in as much trouble as the non-carfree folks.
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Old 09-17-16, 12:30 AM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
... or another neighbor, or pretty much anyone, because pretty much anyone can drive a car. I'd wager you could put any 12-year-old behind the wheel in an emergency and while you might get some banged up fenders, you might also get safely to a hospital.

Nothing I would recommend for daily use, but if it is literally life and death anyway ....
An ambulance is usually a better option, carfree or not. I don't know many 12 year olds who could drive a car and do CPR at the same time/
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Old 09-17-16, 12:40 AM
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It does seem like advance preparedness is a big part of survival. The family should consider and discuss contingencies before they happen. I'm going to get my family together soon to talk about these issues. Thanks for bringing it up, Machka!

I wonder, does anybody know how to find the disaster preparedness plans for a local community? I want to find out if they have adequate plans for evacuating carfree people.

Also, has anybody thought about the type of emergency faced by my neighboring city of Flint, Michigan? I thought about how difficult it would be to bring home enough water for an entire family without a car, especially for several months. For a time they even had to haul in water for bathing and dishwashing as well as drinking and cooking.
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Old 09-17-16, 04:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
It does seem like advance preparedness is a big part of survival. The family should consider and discuss contingencies before they happen. I'm going to get my family together soon to talk about these issues. Thanks for bringing it up, Machka!

I wonder, does anybody know how to find the disaster preparedness plans for a local community? I want to find out if they have adequate plans for evacuating carfree people.

Also, has anybody thought about the type of emergency faced by my neighboring city of Flint, Michigan? I thought about how difficult it would be to bring home enough water for an entire family without a car, especially for several months. For a time they even had to haul in water for bathing and dishwashing as well as drinking and cooking.
Places like:

Home :: SES

Tasmania State Emergency Service | Emergency Services

Country Fire Authority



Look under:

Tasmania State Emergency Service | StormSafe for example ... see also the selections in the right sidebar.

Plan & Prepare for fires - Country Fire Authority

http://www.alert.tas.gov.au/Resource...s/default.aspx ... scroll down to near the bottom where it says, "Get Ready" or look here: http://www.alert.tas.gov.au/prepare/Pages/Home.aspx


Also, in Victoria and here in Tasmania too, I think, "bushfire preparedness" brochures and information packages are mailed around to homes now and then. These sorts of things: Bushfire Ready Neighbourhoods | TFS BRN


That is, of course, for this part of the world, but might give you some ideas of where to start looking for information in your part of the world.
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Old 09-17-16, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
It does seem like advance preparedness is a big part of survival. The family should consider and discuss contingencies before they happen. I'm going to get my family together soon to talk about these issues. Thanks for bringing it up, Machka!

I wonder, does anybody know how to find the disaster preparedness plans for a local community? I want to find out if they have adequate plans for evacuating carfree people.

Also, has anybody thought about the type of emergency faced by my neighboring city of Flint, Michigan? I thought about how difficult it would be to bring home enough water for an entire family without a car, especially for several months. For a time they even had to haul in water for bathing and dishwashing as well as drinking and cooking.
Water can be delivered in tanker trucks and is in third world countries. It's not usually necessary around here, but presumably people could get some kind of bulk delivery either by contacting a government relief agency, independent charity or private company.
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Old 09-17-16, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Fargo Wolf View Post
.

I've only been in one mass evacuation and that was the McLure/Barrierre/Strawberry Hill fire back in 2003. There's a bit of a story as to how I ended up in that.
You must live in Kamloops or area. I flew over that fire. The land still hasn't recovered from that really. Shame. I think we were the last plane to take off before the airfield was setup for water bombers only. Honestly I think it was an asset management decision by the airline. Avoiding fire/smoke damage to the aircraft. Take off was fun. Had the chance to perform maneuvers and elevation clearances that would usually end in a swift firing.
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Old 09-17-16, 08:59 AM
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In reality there are absolutely no advantages to being car-free in an emergency situation, no matter what the emergency is... In real emergency you want as many options as possible. When you deny yourself vehicle ownership or refuse to use a car because of some ideological reasons you are limiting your options and handicapping yourself...Injuries, physical mobility problems, shortage of food or clean drinking water, necessity to cover long distance or get away from an area fast... all these situations are better dealt with when you have a vehicle and you can always carry a bicycle in the trunk of a car as a back-up.
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Old 09-17-16, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
In reality there are absolutely no advantages to being car-free in an emergency situation, .....
HERESY. How dare you post that here!!!!!!!

What next? Will you claim that it's often faster to run errands with a car?
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Old 09-17-16, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
In reality there are absolutely no advantages to being car-free in an emergency situation, no matter what the emergency is... In real emergency you want as many options as possible. When you deny yourself vehicle ownership or refuse to use a car because of some ideological reasons you are limiting your options and handicapping yourself...Injuries, physical mobility problems, shortage of food or clean drinking water, necessity to cover long distance or get away from an area fast... all these situations are better dealt with when you have a vehicle and you can always carry a bicycle in the trunk of a car as a back-up.
OMG!!! The horror. What am I doing without a car fueled up and ready to go at all times?!
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Old 09-17-16, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
In reality there are absolutely no advantages to being car-free in an emergency situation, no matter what the emergency is... In real emergency you want as many options as possible. When you deny yourself vehicle ownership or refuse to use a car because of some ideological reasons you are limiting your options and handicapping yourself...Injuries, physical mobility problems, shortage of food or clean drinking water, necessity to cover long distance or get away from an area fast... all these situations are better dealt with when you have a vehicle and you can always carry a bicycle in the trunk of a car as a back-up.
There may be "no advantage to being car-free" in an emergency, but that doesn't mean everybody should (or can) always have a car in case they need it in an emergency. There is no advantage to being "ATV-free" etc. either, but that didn't stop you from pointing out it is not feasible for every individual to have every contingency covered, when Walter S (facetiously, I believe) suggested it in another thread. Not everybody can afford a car, but even if they could, if everybody who didn't leave New Orleans because they had no car, had had one, and tried to drive out, the roads couldn't have handled it, which is why it would make sense to have additional options to supplement or in some case replace cars, including buses, trains, planes etc. to evacuate a portion of the population. If it is true that warmer weather and rising seas will make these emergencies happen more often, then civic planning for multiple modes of evacuation, not just cars, would be well worthwhile. In fact, the people who would use the alternate modes, either electively or because they have no choice, would also be helping car drivers get out, by not competing with them for road space.

Last edited by cooker; 09-17-16 at 06:10 PM.
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Old 09-17-16, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
There may be "no advantage to being car-free" in an emergency, but that doesn't mean everybody should (or can) always have a car in case they need it in an emergency. There is no advantage to being "ATV-free" etc. either, but that didn't stop you from pointing out it is not feasible for every individual to have every contingency covered, when Walter S (facetiously, I believe) suggested it in another thread. Not everybody can afford a car, but even if they could, if everybody who didn't leave New Orleans because they had no car, had had one, and tried to drive out, the roads couldn't have handled it, which is why it would make sense to have additional options to supplement or in some case replace cars, including buses, trains, planes etc. to evacuate a portion of the population. If it is true that warmer weather and rising seas will make these emergencies happen more often, then civic planning for multiple modes of evacuation, not just cars, would be well worthwhile. In fact, the people who would use the alternate modes, either electively or because they have no choice, would also be helping car drivers get out, by not competing with them for road space.

Public transit is the least reliable option. All it takes is one terrorist threat to shut down all public transit and strand thousands of people...Extreme weather can also wreck havoc with public transit. How many times have our GO Transit trains and street cars been put out of service because of heavy rain and flooding or extremely cold winter temperatures ??. It happens every year after year after year.
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