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Alternative Transportation

Alternative Transportation in an Emergency


Modern transportation relies heavily on computers and power which monitor distances and enable gas pumps and traffic lights to work. Depending on the nature and duration of the emergency, you may need alternatives to gasoline-powered autos and public transportation.


Additionally, fuel may be in short supply or unavailable, and gas stations may experience electrical or electronic problems. However, storing gas is extremely hazardous and is not recommended. It's a good idea to keep your gas tank at least half-full at all times. You may have to pay cash if problems using credit cards arise.


Buses, trains or airplanes may also have problems. Several airline companies have announced that they may not fly if they are not confident that EVERY aspect of flight control, monitoring, and communications will function correctly.


Some transportation alternatives you may want to consider include:


Bicycles (with carrying racks)

Bicycling is one of the most efficient means of transportation allowing you to cover fairly large distances at reasonably fast speeds and with minimal expenditure of energy.


You can also haul a fair amount on a bicycle or motorcycle if you have a transit rack and/or saddle bag type panniers. Your survival stash should include a good well-maintained bicycle for each member of your family along with the tools and accessories needed to keep them running smoothly, including a tire repair kit and pump. It is also a good idea to stockpile extra tires and inner tubes.


Motorbikes, Scooters and ATVís

If you have a motorcycle or scooter you will be able to get more miles out of each gallon of gasoline that you are able to scrounge up during an emergency. As soon as the filling stations run out of gas, you will want to park your car and use your motorcycle instead. A siphon hose suitable for gasoline should be a part of your survival stash. For as long as it lasts you can use the gasoline in your car as your supply for your motorcycle. But conservation is important.



If we see gasoline shortages we will no doubt be doing a lot of walking. Each family member should all have good well-fitted walking shoes and/or hiking boots appropriate for each season. An extra pair or two in your survival stash along with plenty of good socks are important too.


You should also have good walking boots suitable for freezing and wet conditions along with thick wool socks. Unlike many other materials wool provides good insulation against the cold even when it is wet.


Pack Animals

Unless you have a farm or ranch and already enjoy horseback riding, this option probably will not work for you.† Pack animals take a lot of care and other consideration such as a food supply are important as well.



Canoe, skiff (with oars or small outboard), sailboat, yacht, fishing boat you name it, all of these may be used to get to a long term survival retreat.


Gasoline Storage

Do not stockpile gasoline, at least not more than perhaps one or two 5-gallon cans. It is too dangerous. Gasoline also does not keep well. It starts going bad after about a year in storage. If you do choose to store a small amount of gasoline be sure to rotate it out, using it in your vehicle and replacing what you have in storage every 6 months or so. Gasoline additives are available at automotive supply stores that help stabilize gasoline, increasing its storage life somewhat. Diesel oil is much more stable than gasoline and more suitable for storage. It is also less volatile and therefore less dangerous to keep around. But even diesel fuel should not be stored for more than a few years.


In Case of Evacuation

When an evacuation is recommended some people choose to leave right away while others wait until the last minute. And of course if the threat does not appear too great many people choose to stay. Many store shelves are emptied as people stock up on emergency provisions at the last minute.


In a large scale evacuation, people in a panic can and will do crazy things. Automobiles, engines idling for hours, will run out of fuel and lanes and exits will be blocked. Others will try to drive around slow or stalled vehicles, perhaps even using their cars as battering rams. Accidents will be everywhere and some people will become violent and dangerous. It will not be a pretty picture! If you are on a motorcycle you will be in a better position because it will be easier for you to maneuver around stalled vehicles.


If at all possible, you should batten down at your home rather than evacuate. In most circumstances you will be much better off in the safety of your home, along with your preparedness supplies, rather than in the streets battling it out with desperate people in a panic.


Do not ignore evacuation orders, especially when the threat is dangerous such as a forest fire. Know that every emergency is different, and you should use your own judgment when deciding on the best course of action, rather than relying entirely on government officials. Be well aware of what you may be facing if you choose to hit the streets.


If you absolutely have to evacuate, your family will be ready with your well-stocked 72 hour bags. Each family member will grab his or her bug out bag, throw it in the car, and off you will go ahead of the crowds. Hopefully you will not have to stop for fuel, for the lines will be long. That is a good reason for always keeping your vehicle's fuel tank filled, rather than running around all the time with only half a tank or less.


Have a plan. Know where you are going. But don't count on finding a motel room for they will be booked solid. Ideally you will be making your way to the house of a family member or friend, where someone will be waiting for your arrival. You do not want to become a refugee of the state.


Be prepared to leave your vehicle if you absolutely have to. That is why everyone has his or her own individual bug out bag, so each person can carry some supplies. Everyone should also be equipped with good walking shoes and plenty of clothing appropriate for the current weather conditions.


Have a portable shelter, such as a small tent, or at least a small tarpaulin or sheet of plastic with which you can make a lean-to shelter. Leaving your car will be an absolute last resort, but you never know what you will be facing when you are forced to hit the streets. You should be prepared for even the worst case scenario.



†††††††††††††††† Transportation Checklist

†††††††††††††††† Alternative Transportation Options

[†† ]†††††††††† Motor Vehicles ( cars, trucks, SUVís, dual sport

†††††††††††† motorcycles, ATVís, snow mobiles)


[†† ]†††††††††† Bicycles for each family member


[†† ]†††††††††† Boats (canoes, inflatable rate with oars/ paddles

†††††††††††† and gear, sea kayaks, rowing vessels, powerboats,

†††††††††††† sailboard, live aboard cruisers)


[†† ]†††††††††† Pack Animals (horses, mules, donkeys, llamas, goats)


[†† ]†††††††††† On foot with a backpack


[†† ]†††††††††† Other


†††††††††††† Travel Necessities


[†† ]†††††††††† Maps and GPS stored in vehicle


[†† ]†††††††††† Good walking shoes (for each family member)


[†† ]†††††††††† Siphon hose suitable for gasoline


[†† ]†††††††††† Transportation to do list


[†† ]†††††††††† Fix a flat or Slime


[†† ]†††††††††† Self Vulcanizing plug kit


[†† ]†††††††††† 12 VDC Air Compressor


[†† ]†††††††††† Hose Clamps various sizes and hose wrap or duct

†††††††††††† Tape


[†† ]†††††††††† Extra fluids (oil, coolant, transmission fluid, washer

†††††††††††† fluid, etc.), fuel filter


[†† ]†††††††††† Funnels for fuel and other vehicle fluids


[†† ]†††††††††† Flares and emergency road equipment


[†† ]†††††††††† Full sized spare tire


[†† ]†††††††††† Tool kit, stored in vehicle


[†† ]†††††††††† Fire extinguisher


[†† ]†††††††††† Jumper Cables


[†† ]†††††††††† Recovery strap / tow rope


[†† ]†††††††††† Vehicle first aid kit


[†† ]†††††††††† Thermal Blankets


[†† ]†††††††††† Mini pump or hand pump


[†† ]†††††††††† Mat or plastic sheet


[†† ]†††††††††† Work Gloves


[†† ]†††††††††† Flashlight


[†† ]†††††††††† Fully stocked vehicle bug out bag


†††††††††††††††† Transportation TO DO List


[†† ]†††††††††† Get in shape by walking or bicycling regularly.


[†† ]†††††††††† Plan escape routes and destinations in case we

†††††††††††† have to evacuate the city.


[†† ]†††††††††† Keep all vehicles and bicycles in good repair


[†† ]†††††††††† Keep vehicles filled with fuel


[†† ]†††††††††† Have extra fuel in storage for at least one full tank

†††††††††††† of gas

Text Box: Text Box: BICYCLE


Extra fuel

Text Box: MOPED
Text Box: COMPASS