You should have maps of the local areas, and the areas between where you are and where you would want to go.

I drive from Centralia, WA to Seattle (85 mi) or down to Portland, OR (95 mi) regularly, and as driving entertainment, I think about what I would do if a large earthquake hit. If I were fortunate enough to be on the north side of the Columbia River, I could probably make it home with my 4WD work vehicle in a day or two. Or three.

If I were in Seattle when the same quake hit, I'm afraid that I would be SOL for seeing home soon. It would probably take me at least ten days to get there, or even more if I had to do much backtracking. And youbetcha, it would have to be on foot. Downed overpasses, abandoned vehicles, tons of fallen debris... yuck!

I have a company gym bag in the back that contains a few tools, a first aid kit, emergency blankets, RR crew kits (handiwipes, paper towels, TP, plastic bag) and I've added a few things of my own to fill it out (they didn't even have any duct tape in there, can you imagine? :o)

I usually have a case or two of bottled water in the back, and leave an insulated nylon jacket there, too.

I carry a backpack with all my maps, granola bars and nuts, and some of the regular stuff listed here at ETS, but it isn't full. It WOULD be full by the time I set out, after I added some of the company's and the RR's supplies grin.

TIP: Try to find maps that show the RR lines. I don't know about other places, but there seem to be fewer overpasses, bridges and tunnels where the tracks go. Less traffic, too. Travel along the RR right-of-way on one side of the tracks or the other, not ON the tracks.

I cannot emphasize it enough: STAY OFF THE TRACKS! STAY OFF THE TRESTLES! I don't care what you think the trains are doing, STAY OFF THE TRACKS! And be aware that the trains have a 3-foot overhang on either side of the tracks that could nail you, too.

For you guys who know what hobos were, they not only hitched rides on the trains (very hard now, and very dangerous), but they traveled along the tracks so they wouldn't be bothered, they knew the tracks went somewhere, even in the desert.

I am tempted to take Amtrak from Seattle to Portland, and make notes on my maps as to RR yards (could be trouble there, esp if disaster might involve terrorists), overpasses and trestles, rivers, swamps and low-lying areas that a tsunami might affect (a possible after-affect of an earthquake). Of course, I would probably be dragged off the train as a suspected terrorist... laugh

Another thing that could make or break your escape is knowing (or not) what you are likely to encounter along the way. Doing a dry run by car could be well worth the time and gas. Surprises during/after a disaster could be a .... well.... a disaster.

Don't depend on just one plan. Try to give yourself several options, several directions, several targets. Sometimes getting home right away just isn't possible. Aim for friends or relatives.

The Bronx... sheesh!