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#175738 - 07/07/09 07:12 PM Evacuation - neighbors without cars
Dagny Offline

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1913
Loc: Washington, DC
One of the contributing factors to the suffering Hurricane Katrina caused in New Orleans, was the fact that about one-third of the adults did not own a car.

An even higher proportion of residents in Washington, D.C., where I live, do not own cars. Many of my neighbors walk, bike or Metro to their jobs and have chosen to not spend money on a car. Some made the "green" choice not to own a car. Several rely on car-sharing services such as "Zipcar" for major errands. Or will rent a car if they want to roadtrip somewhere. Meanwhile, I have always paid to own a personal vehicle.

Were a category 4 or 5 hurricane aiming for the Chesapeake Bay I'd be loading up my SUV (gas tank always kept above half) with gear for me and my dog -- and heading toward the mountains with food, camping gear, etc. (In 1989, Hurricane Hugo was feared to be such a threat and the federal government closed as a precaution to keep traffic down).

DC is, of course, also the major trophy for terrorists.

Anyone here given thought to what you'd do if you were presented with the choice of transporting carless neighbors or your own survival gear and provisions?

Some of us choose to be prepared. Others don't.

In such a scenario, it has occured to me that it would be helpful to have someone riding shotgun, with a shotgun. In normal times, carjacking is commonplace here.

Don't know what I'd do. My instinct usually is to help people. But I would resent having to leave supplies behind because my neighbors chose not to buy and maintain their own vehicle.

#175739 - 07/07/09 07:32 PM Re: Evacuation - neighbors without cars [Re: Dagny]
comms Offline

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Mesa, AZ
In all things--PLAN AHEAD, don't prepare for stragglers, prepare for your success in your best interests.

Your instincts are correct in wanting to have someone to ride "Shotgun". Work it out with someone to partner up in your retreat. This person should also have a fully equipped Bug Out kit. This person should be able to help you and vice versa.

Since there are so many people you know that don't have a vehicle you have a great bartering tool, they get a free ride to safety and you get someone to do some driving and security, splitting the expenses.

I would not rely on picking up someone(s) that you do not know to help you in any way. They most likely have nothing that you need for your trip/retreat and will probably be mooching off your equipment.
Don't just survive. Thrive.

#175741 - 07/07/09 07:38 PM Re: Evacuation - neighbors without cars [Re: Dagny]
TeacherRO Offline

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2265
interesting. I'd consider pre-planning who to ask along as well as carrying a sturdy bicycle on the rack - highways may be gridlocked.

#175744 - 07/07/09 07:45 PM Re: Evacuation - neighbors without cars [Re: comms]
Tom_L Offline

Registered: 03/19/07
Posts: 690
"Car" doesn't equal "preparedness" in my book. A car is just a tool. It might not be available. It might be impractical. It might end up being a liability in fact.

Looking back at Katrina, I'm not sure whether more cars would do any good. From what I've heard, traffic congestions were bad enough already.

In any densely populated area there is a limit as to just how much traffic the road network can handle at any given time. In an earthquake, major fire or something similarly destructive, the roads are likely to be blocked. Panic could take road rage to a whole new level. An SUV may look cool and has plenty of space for survival gear but it's pretty much all show, no go. If 4WD is a real necessity an old school Toyota or Land Rover will beat an SUV any day. In an urban environment though one might be better off with a smaller car, maybe even a bike. A big car needs a lot of room, not ideal when everyone owning a car is trying to drive the heck out of dodge at the same time. Just my 2 cents.

#175751 - 07/07/09 09:06 PM Re: Evacuation - neighbors without cars [Re: Dagny]
Russ Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4776
Does one of your neighbors who doesn't own a car have a shotgun (and ammo)? Are you and this neighbor on good terms/friends?

Is this person likely to be an asset or a hindrance in an evacuation? Are his/her bags packed and ready?

Sometimes you're better off solo.

#175753 - 07/07/09 09:28 PM Re: Evacuation - neighbors without cars [Re: Dagny]
Loganenator Offline
Bike guy

Registered: 05/04/07
Posts: 151
Loc: Sacramento, CA, USA
The DW and I don't own a car. Our bug out gear is touring bike ready and our multiple planned routes out of town include bike paths and roads compatible with bike travel. Our average travel speed on the road is around 18 - 20 mph. Our freeways around here are backed up daily at rush hour I would hate to be stuck on one of them during an emergency evacuation.

Not owning a car does not necessarily equal being unprepared. wink
You must be the change you wish to see in the world - MK Gandhi

#175755 - 07/07/09 10:00 PM Re: Evacuation - neighbors without cars [Re: Dagny]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3077
One of the contributing factors to the suffering Hurricane Katrina caused in New Orleans, was the fact that about one-third of the adults did not own a car.

I thought it was because the authorities in charge of the evacuation really couldn't give a damn about that one-third when the 'Everyone for himself' evacuation order went out when the balloon went up. They couldn't even be bothered to organise any buses. The fact that after Hurricane Katrina passed though, the levees broke and New Orleans was flooded out then the armed road blocks went up around the city to stop those even attempting to get out by foot didn't help either.

#175756 - 07/07/09 10:11 PM Re: Evacuation - neighbors without cars [Re: Dagny]
philip Offline

Registered: 09/19/05
Posts: 639
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Of course you should help your neighbors.

If you're leaving town because of a hurricane, it's not like you're going to be surprised, is it? How many days can you see a hurricane coming? If you wait till the last minute, take all the neighbors you can; Drive west for a day: are you then going to be in a jungle? Some hinterland where you'll hunt for game and worry about shelter? Or will you be in Kentucky or Virginia or some other state where there are hotels, motels, B&Bs who'll be helping the crowds leaving the coast?

Louise and I happened to be in Arizona and New Mexico when the Rodeo-Chediski fire happened, and in the West neighbors helped each other out.

> because my neighbors chose not to buy and maintain their own vehicle.

Um, I live in an area where people choose not to buy cars for a variety of reasons. Many people can't afford insurance, gas, and maintenance, not to mention the car itself. Sometimes it's not choice. Others choose not to buy because we have very good public transportation, and having a car is a waste of money. Some don't own a car because they're California fruitloops who think they're being green or something.

I cringe when I read your query whether to transport carless neighbors or your stuff. Take your neighbors, hon. They can help drive, pay for gas, pump gas in the hurricane rain, run in for food at the store while you guard your precious vehicle, and in general take care of you while you take care of them. I'm glad I'm not your neighbor.

#175757 - 07/07/09 10:22 PM Re: Evacuation - neighbors without cars [Re: Loganenator]
comms Offline

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Mesa, AZ
Having multiple routes of egress is key. If you're preparedness minded its easy enough to watch traffic patterns around a holiday weekend and extrapolate that for a mass evacuation.

What main freeways were crowded going out of town last weekend for the holiday weekend? Those would certainly be areas to avoid. Also getting a Thomas Brothers guide or Google Maps and pre-plan alternate routes around those congestion areas.

One of my evac plans calls for dirt road that cuts through a national park that puts me scores of miles out of town before hitting the highway system. Its one of many plans I have for getting out.

Especially if your plan is just to get out of a danger zone, consider going in the opposite direction and then figuring a way to loop around. It may add a couple hundred miles but better than being stuck on the side of the road with 60,000 other people.
Don't just survive. Thrive.

#175763 - 07/07/09 11:47 PM Re: Evacuation - neighbors without cars [Re: philip]
Dagny Offline

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1913
Loc: Washington, DC
Originally Posted By: philip
I'm glad I'm not your neighbor.

You just had to get personal.

Edited by Dagny (07/08/09 01:26 AM)

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