With the recent hurricanes that impacted Florida and the eastern seaboard, we were once again reminded why we must stay prepared, ready, and have a plan for emergency contingencies. Keeping a full pantry, plenty of ammo, and a bug-out bag ready to go often draws criticism and questions from our less-prepared neighbors like Do you think the zombie apocalypse is coming? Are you one of those end-of-the-world weirdo’s? If you are receiving those questions, you are probably doing something right, and are more prepared than they are for the next evacuation order.
Did you see those jammed up interstates in Florida on the news though? Go figure, you would be that guy with your bug-out bag in the passenger seat, pistol on your belt, feeling good about all that knowledge you have consumed and physical training you did just to be stuck in traffic right next to your fat neighbor who couldn’t start a fire with a Bic lighter. There are multiple ways to get out of Dodge of course; your truck is only one way. Depending on the nature of the emergency, your location, and a variety of other factors, you can have a solid PACE plan for a quick egress from your current location. Some cities will be harder to get out of regardless of what you do though, so if you live in one of the below metro areas – plan accordingly!
Manhattan, NYC, New York. This massive population center is no stranger to emergencies, and long time residents know first-hand what it’s like to bug out. That being said, the millions of people located in this borough of New York City are cut off on three sides by water, leaving only the bridges and tunnels as avenues of escape if moving up-town isn’t an option. What can you do? If you live/work near the bridges or tunnels, you may be able to get across them before the masses arrive. If not, you might consider keeping an inflatable kayak in your residence so that you can conduct a foot movement with it to the nearest waterfront. Once there, inflate it and get out of dodge.
Los Angeles, California. The City of Angels is surrounded by difficult terrain to traverse on one side, and the world’s largest body of water on the other side. If you make it over the hills and mountains, you have nothing but desert and no water waiting for you. In addition to all of this, the city itself is sprawling with notoriously bad traffic on a good day. What can you do? Don’t skip leg day, because moving in to those nearby hills might be your best bet for bedding down until the emergency situation dies down.
New Orleans, Louisiana. NOLA, like Manhattan, knows it’s way around an emergency situation. One might say that they are the most experienced city in the union in this regard. That being said, egress is no simple task. The city itself sits below sea level, so flooding, multiple water obstacles, and a generally swampy terrain are all going to be considerations. In addition to natural obstacles, dealing with well-armed, ill-intentioned gangs may be an issue if the Hurricane Katrina aftermath is any indication. What can you do? Being able to move down the gulf coast may be your best bet to get far away quickly, so some sort of watercraft will be necessary. Barring that, catching a coal train (if they are still running) can also be a consideration.
Honolulu, Hawaii. This one might seem kind of obvious, but it’s also probably the hardest on the list. Honolulu sits on the island of O’ahu, a piece of land that can be best described as ‘difficult’ to traverse and completely surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. You have one major consideration in this scenario: does the situation require you to get out of the city, or get off the island? If it’s off the island, then you will either need to commandeer a small airplane or have a watercraft large enough to get to the next nearest island. If you just need to get out of the city and lay low for a while, then hoofing it in to the nearby O’ahu Forest National Wildlife Refuge may be your best bet. Have a solid topographic map, and again… don’t skip leg day – those hills are no joke!