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AbnMedOps
08-23-2009, 12:10 PM
Not sure if this is the best place for this thread, but lacking a "survival" or "readiness" forum, I'll post here.

In event of "end-of-the-world"/riot/earthquake/etc scenarios, we have plenty of discussion of E&E packs/bug-out-bags, etc, for the long walk home from the smoldering urban ruins. However, it is infinitely better to be able DRIVE home, listening to a golden oldies station, and maybe even offering a ride to a hot survivor-chick who might otherwise be eaten by cannibal mutants.

We can't all drive a Land Rover or be as cool as Mad Max, but what are your informed thoughts on tools/tactics/techniques/proceedures to keep rolling and avoid having to abandon the vehicle?

Imagine: Solid traffic jam on the Jersey Turnpike as Manhattan burns. Yet mere feet away is an unused access lane. What tools/time will it take to dismantle a section of steel guard rail and drive across?

Or rappel a car (without a winch) down a steep embankment or collapsed elevated highway?

Or breach a chain link fence or locked gate? (I put a Harbor Freight bolt cutter in my vehicle).

Operate a gas station pump when the power is out?

Or deal with / bypass road blocks? On 9-11 there was what seems to a knee-jerk reaction to essentially blockade Manhattan to vehicle entry/exit, by "the authorities". Cars were stuck for weeks. It is also reported that after Katrina, officious jackasses in various law enforcement uniforms took it upon themselves to decide that only "official" trucks could enter. So they turned back, at gunpoint, authorized convoys sent by the most capable logistic operations in the nation (WalMart, etc), prolonging the crisis.

BrooklynBen
08-23-2009, 02:34 PM
If you're talking about Manhattan... you're (we're) already behind the proverbial '8-Ball'. It's already been demonstrated that the automatic governmental SOP is to shut down all bridges and tunnels in reaction to any major "event". On top of this, even if they didn't, the log jam of traffic trying to use these venues (most with regular 1 to 2 hour waits on 'peaceful' days) would be a nightmare of road rage and carnage.

On top of this, Homeland Security has already instituted a universal plan where entire areas will be 'boxed', with nothing entering or exiting without permission. These "boxes" can be used to contain biological outbreaks or outbreaks of civil disorder. With the quiet suspension of the Posse Comitatus Act a couple of years ago, the full force of the US military is available to enforce and maintain these "boxes".

So I think you can expect that if something (G-d forbid) significantly bad happens, most travel options out of the area will not exist.

Personally, I think OPTIONS (= knowledge, skills, assets) are always the best thing to focus upon before and during desperate times. Simply put; examine those threats you feel most likely and work on expanding your potential options in response to such events. Some of the options you mention are definite possibilities. Don't overlook other subjects such as medical ("Ditch" medicine) skills and/or sustainable communications/information alternatives (a critical need often overlooked).

The list is obviously endless, but you're definitely accomplishing the most important requirement; you're thinking! Keep up the good work and good luck.

moho
08-23-2009, 03:15 PM
Those are some serious challenges. Seems to me that in many of the scenarios suggested, restrictions by LE / Govt are likely to be among the most significant factors besides totally impassible roads.

I'm inferring that in many disaster scenarios, favorable attributes for a vehicle might include: reliability, repairability, inconspicuous appearance, fuel efficiency, decent ground clearance, 4WD, modest size but with reasonable carrying capacity. It is a myth that an EMP will fry modern ignitions, so something relatively new and in good repair has appeal as long as it isn't too glitzy. Something you could sleep in.

I often carry big bolt cutters and a small hack saw, plus bush-worthy tools and repair materials (stuff for hoses, a spare belt, plumbers strap, wire, etc.), a medium duty come along, about 20 feet of chain and a serious tow strap, 80' heavy nylon rope, inflator tool and a can of tire repair goop. I don't carry them routinely but have some good steel jerry cans that I keep full. I've always got some space blankets and an old-but-workable MSR stove, and water, except in winter. .

I once saved my Toyota truck from tumbling into a ravine by belaying it to some trees above the road cut when an old mine road soughed away. I basically kept tightening the cables with the come along, gradually creeping onto solid ground. But it was marginal at best and very scary. And it's hard to immagine an urban or suburban analog. Can't imagine truly rappelling a vehicle anyway without some very serious mechanical assistance and big cables.

The notion of somehow working gas pumps sounds like a good idea too, though I suspect most modern pumps would want some reasonable current before waking up to ask for your credit card. Perhaps a small 12V pump with some suction hose could be useful. Or just find a street urchin who can do all that stuff already.

Bypassing road blocks? If anything might work, my first guess would be PRESS credentials and a roll of $50s.

lmalterna
08-23-2009, 06:50 PM
Just another option is an ATV. I am very fond of my Honda 400 Rancher. Fairly quiet- option of sliding a second muffler on in minutes. Can use railroad track or just go cross country... bypass traffic jams.

Light enough I could repel it down steep clopes but strong enough to carry me and 2-300 lbs of gear if needed...

Not fast but can maintain 30mph over fairly smooth ground for quite awhile on a tank of gas.

2Door

BrooklynBen
08-23-2009, 07:18 PM
It is a myth that an EMP will fry modern ignitions, so something relatively new and in good repair has appeal as long as it isn't too glitzy. That would be great news. Would you happen to have any references for this?

Like "lmalterna", in some dire situations, I've been thinking (hoping) that the rails might offer a possible option, although I wouldn't try to use them to escape from NYC

Ralph
08-23-2009, 07:38 PM
No matter where you are my bet is that 90+% of the people will be on the major roads, if only because they know no other way. The objective is not to get jammed up with others. Get a good map of your area and go exploring alternate routes including tertiary roads. Most folks won't know these and even "authority" either won't know them or won't have the manpower to try to block a road seldom used.

Back in the day one of the best survival/emergency vehicles was the air-cooled VW. Good mileage, inconspicuous and if you knew how to drive it was almost as good as a 4WD in mud, snow or other miserable conditions. If, like me, you rarely have more than one passenger you can pull out the rear seat to create cargo space. One way to conceal cargo is to loosely toss a grubby old tarp over the stufff - create the impression there is a pile of junk back there. People see what they expect to see. A beaten up old car with a million dollar drive train is ideal for utility without attracting attention.

moho
08-23-2009, 08:38 PM
Ben -

http://www.empcommission.org/docs/A2473-EMP_Commission-7MB.pdf

See page 115. There are other reports too that I recall referencing in an earlier thread but nothing shows up when searching. Anyhow, all the actual science and testing data I've found indicates that unless you're pretty much blown up, the main problem with cars and trucks witll be stalling in a very strong field, requiring you to restart. Long conductors like power lines, phone lines, some antennas and the like will build potential and fry attached electrical devices, which will be bad enough. Sounds like you could anticipate traffic delays....

Thommo
08-24-2009, 02:27 AM
Believe it or not this is something that I have given thought to on several occasions. More along the lines of Post Armageddon, long term survival.

I think the priorities for a vehicle need to be:

Survivability: A full chassis 4x4 (real 4x4 NOT SUV) ideally a steel chassis an aluminium body would be good!
Reliability A vehicle without complex electrical gadgetry (even if you are techno savvy, will the parts be available?) something that the average mechanically inclined person can fix.
Simplicity: Something that does not have overly complex ergonomics and can be "up armoured/modified/converted as required". Must be capable of high GVM (up to a couple tons would be nice)
Versatility: A PTO to use as power source for numerous tasks required post Armageddon (becomes your tractor if required). A PTO Winch would also be desirable? (NOT electric). Also the ability to run on various fuels including possibly "home brew fuel of very low octane"
Repair-ability: Something that can be repaired with a 10" shifter (wrench) gaffer tape and fencing wire. A engine that you could crank start (gee I am showing my age hey) and possibly run minus a serviceable battery. Running a generator rather than an Alternator would be good in these situation also.
Economical: as much as a 4x4 can be as fuel sources will be an issue.

I could go on but you get the idea..........

Very few vehicles would fit my criteria:
Pre 1970's full chassis truck based 4x4's would be ideal.
My personal pick would be a series 2A Land Rover (don't laugh) but they are getting a bit thin on the ground now days.
Alternatively a later model stripped down 4x4 with a basic diesel motor even retrofitted if required. Don't rule out using a VW motor if necessary even as a power source (Australian Army use to use VW crank start motors to power 2.5 KVA generators in the 70's).

Gee I have been thinking too much about these things haven't I :o

rambler_wannabe
08-24-2009, 09:55 AM
Australians take their vehicle reliability seriously :)

Kalidas
08-24-2009, 12:17 PM
Thommo you should look into a L60 Nissan Patrol (late 60's era). There were only 2300 or so imported to the states, but they are quite popular down in Australia. Talk about a bulletproof vehicle, great as a 4x4, basically it's an old I6 tractor motor with more torque than hp, and a crank-start option. Sounds a lot like what you are looking for.

one-eyed Bob
08-24-2009, 02:47 PM
Sounds to me like you need a school bus.

David in OR
08-24-2009, 03:14 PM
Second Ralph's emphasis on route-finding. When Rita was about to hit the Texas coast, some friends of ours prepped their house and bugged out. Having good maps, they avoided choke-points (all major roads) and turned their journey into a relatively pleasant experience, making good time north and even indulging in some outdoor recreation.

Thommo
08-24-2009, 03:20 PM
Thommo you should look into a L60 Nissan Patrol (late 60's era). There were only 2300 or so imported to the states, but they are quite popular down in Australia. Talk about a bulletproof vehicle, great as a 4x4, basically it's an old I6 tractor motor with more torque than hp, and a crank-start option. Sounds a lot like what you are looking for.

Thanks Kalidas, this is the type of vehicle that would be suitable and if one was found they would make a good base, unfortunately most of the early Nissans surcome to the dreaded rust and are now a fairly rare species.

My comments are mainly "food for thought" as it is unlikely we would all be able to find the "exact" type of vehicle required/desired.

Lightfighter
08-24-2009, 03:28 PM
BrooklynBen -

You have a rare scenario

I suggest that you have enough food and water to last you 6 weeks and / or that you exfiltrate via the water.

Personally, I would stay put or hide unless forced to leave and then I would do everything in my power to not join the rest of the herd

I am sorry to say that, despite their best intentions and their own sacrifices, First Responders, especially under a mythical 'Posse Comitatus' scenario are not your friends and when push comes to shove they will do their best to follow their orders to keep You wherever 'They' want you.

Unless you wear a badge yourself you're on your own

AbnMedOps
08-24-2009, 08:06 PM
Lightfighter (and BrooklynBen),

Exiting Manhattan by water is something I've mulled (although I'm usually 2 or 3k west of NY). Aside from the ferries (which is the best option - if you can get aboard), I see two main options: use of your own boat (keep a Zodiac rolled up under your desk at work?), or arranging a pick-up by your chum, Carruthers, from the Yacht Club. I also would mention the float plane I daydream of having one day...

In either case, ACCESS to the water is a key problem. Most everything I saw was high and steep, and/or fenced and gated. You will need to coordinate RV times and locations, keep the milling crowd from stealing your boat, and gain access to a launch site. And then there is the water...the Hudson is a powerful river, populated by big boats with big wakes. At the New Jersey side, the problem becomes finding a suitable landing site, where you won't be inside chain link or forced to reenact the Rangers at Point du Hoc.

You know, on a nice, calm, sunny, VFR day like 9-11, a powered parachute might have been just the ticket to fly out..

Doc
08-24-2009, 08:23 PM
Believe it or not this is something that I have given thought to on several occasions. More along the lines of Post Armageddon, long term survival.

I think the priorities for a vehicle need to be:

Survivability: A full chassis 4x4 (real 4x4 NOT SUV) ideally a steel chassis an aluminium body would be good!
Reliability A vehicle without complex electrical gadgetry (even if you are techno savvy, will the parts be available?) something that the average mechanically inclined person can fix.
Simplicity: Something that does not have overly complex ergonomics and can be "up armoured/modified/converted as required". Must be capable of high GVM (up to a couple tons would be nice)
Versatility: A PTO to use as power source for numerous tasks required post Armageddon (becomes your tractor if required). A PTO Winch would also be desirable? (NOT electric). Also the ability to run on various fuels including possibly "home brew fuel of very low octane"
Repair-ability: Something that can be repaired with a 10" shifter (wrench) gaffer tape and fencing wire. A engine that you could crank start (gee I am showing my age hey) and possibly run minus a serviceable battery. Running a generator rather than an Alternator would be good in these situation also.
Economical: as much as a 4x4 can be as fuel sources will be an issue.

I could go on but you get the idea..........

Very few vehicles would fit my criteria:
Pre 1970's full chassis truck based 4x4's would be ideal.
My personal pick would be a series 2A Land Rover (don't laugh) but they are getting a bit thin on the ground now days.
Alternatively a later model stripped down 4x4 with a basic diesel motor even retrofitted if required. Don't rule out using a VW motor if necessary even as a power source (Australian Army use to use VW crank start motors to power 2.5 KVA generators in the 70's).

Gee I have been thinking too much about these things haven't I :o

You just explained why the Land Rover has been the choice of the ADF (and others) for 60 years.
If you are serious about it, my series1 diesel has to go. I can't drive it since the accident (manual) so I need an auto. I'm thinking of a HiLux dual cab auto. Not what I would class as serious off road, but better than most SUV's.

BrooklynBen
08-24-2009, 08:38 PM
Ben -

http://www.empcommission.org/docs/A2473-EMP_Commission-7MB.pdf

See page 115. There are other reports too that I recall referencing in an earlier thread but nothing shows up when searching. Anyhow, all the actual science and testing data I've found indicates that unless you're pretty much blown up, the main problem with cars and trucks witll be stalling in a very strong field, requiring you to restart. Long conductors like power lines, phone lines, some antennas and the like will build potential and fry attached electrical devices, which will be bad enough. Sounds like you could anticipate traffic delays.... OUTSTANDING moho! Thank you - great information.

BrooklynBen
08-24-2009, 10:28 PM
Lightfighter - all my first inclinations (and training) would be to get out fast. But my son is part of the FDNY and I couldn't see leaving him behind. Besides, I have some other obligations to stick around.

However, if there's a complete and total collapse of society here, I've come to many of the same conclusions that AbnMedOps suggests. The big difference would be that I will most likely be looking at crossing the Long Island Sound. The waterways will be patrolled so it's going to have to be a stealthy crossing. So dry-suits could be very important kit to have and usable in a number of other situations. A great situation would be to have a storage garage across whatever waterway needs to be crossed, filled with camping gear, re-supply and some type of transportation.

With a large cache outside the City, I've given some thought to 'two wheeled' types of transportation as having distinct advantages. Motorcycles and bikes can snake through all sorts of situations other vehicles can't.

evanhill
08-25-2009, 10:43 AM
BrooklynBen, your craft for evacuating via water is this one:
http://www.alpackaraft.com/store/index.cfm?CategoryID=53&do=list
And yes, it could be kept under your desk at the office.

I think two wheeled transportation is spot on. A bicycle with a bob trailer can carry 70+ pounds of cargo quietly and in relative ease. I'm intrigued by those little engines that mount on a bicycle and get something like 100mpg. The bicycle still functions as a bicycle, or you can spin up the engine and be doing 20mph without working.

duckear
08-25-2009, 02:21 PM
The most important planning tip is NOT putting yourself in a no-win scenario and expecting everything to be 'okay'.

Living 'in the big city' adds a layer of risk that cannot be undone by human planning. You can plan and equip only so much. And 99% can't afford to do what is needed. Such as stash a zodiac and outboard at the waterfront and have a vehicle and supplies waiting on the other side.

It reminds me of a call I heard on Dr. Laura years ago. Caller wanted to know how to make her teenage daughter to get along with her live-in, abusive, alcoholic boyfriend. The answer was "The only way is to get out now". Of course that solution was unpalatable to the caller.

BrooklynBen
08-25-2009, 10:34 PM
BrooklynBen, your craft for evacuating via water is this one:
http://www.alpackaraft.com/store/index.cfm?CategoryID=53&do=list
And yes, it could be kept under your desk at the office. Yes sir! I've been looking at a Alpacka Explorer for a while now. One of the things I'm trying to accomplish is adding gear that has dual use, such as gear I would use and enjoy on an adventure while also offering potentially important 'options' in a emergency situation - such as those we've been discussing. With this criteria in mind, the Alpacka Rafts are great stuff.

The only problem (as I see it) is that I doubt the Alpacka raft would have much chance of evading the thermal/infrared cameras some or all the potential patrol crafts pulled into the area to help seal off an area.

I've also looked at bicycle motors. But since I know zero about them I've wondered if the electric ones are anywhere near as good as the gasoline motors? Since I already invested into a good military lightweight folding solar panel, I'm particularly interested in the electric motor options. I also remember a year or two ago finding a bicycle wheel hub that can actually work as a small electrical generator when a bicycle is coasting or rolling downhill. I'm also assuming that an electric motor would be quieter than a gasoline engine.

BuckarooMedic
08-26-2009, 07:36 AM
BB,

That's what I was going to suggest; one of the new electric bicycles. The new ones are quiet and have pretty decent ranges from what I've seen. If you have a solar panel; you charge the bike during the day while in your hide and travel at night.

I'd bet that if the rear hub also charges the battery while coasting, one could figure out a way to turn it into a charging system for other electrical devices.

Armadeli
09-25-2009, 09:10 PM
I'm currently running an '84 GMC 4x4 LWB in 6.2. I don't have a banks turbo on it, but it'll get the job done. I also have dual 20 gal fuel tanks. If I can get the funds for a DRZ400 to throw in the back I think I'd be pretty happy with my options. The only problem I see is, you probably will not be able to go home and pack if something unexpected were to happen. That means I will probably have my second string gear handy and the good stuff setting at the house for someone else to enjoy.

LMT66
09-26-2009, 12:38 AM
I think the number one thing, or set of things to have should you decide to use your vehicle to escape is a hand operated siphoning pump with extra hose for both ends and a 5 gallon gas can or two and a 5 gallon water can. You can siphon fuel from other vehicles, above ground storage tanks and possibly below ground with enough extra hose.

rambler_wannabe
09-26-2009, 07:31 AM
I think the number one thing, or set of things to have should you decide to use your vehicle to escape is a hand operated siphoning pump with extra hose for both ends and a 5 gallon gas can or two and a 5 gallon water can. You can siphon fuel from other vehicles, above ground storage tanks and possibly below ground with enough extra hose.

Modern vehicles with plastic tanks, it is much easier and faster to just punch a hole in the tank an use a catch pan.

gruntinhusaybah
09-26-2009, 08:32 PM
for whoever it was that said the Hilux isn't really a serious off-road vehicle, I'd beg to differ. There are used extensively throughout Afghanistan, and that's about as rugged as it gets

Busto963
11-11-2009, 06:36 PM
Nothing beats a motorcycle for simplicity, range, or cross country capability!

Doc
11-11-2009, 07:56 PM
for whoever it was that said the Hilux isn't really a serious off-road vehicle, I'd beg to differ. There are used extensively throughout Afghanistan, and that's about as rugged as it gets

It was me, speaking for my experience both at home and deployed.
The HiLux is a nice car, for sure. Not in the same league as a Landrover, Unimog, Pinzegauer or Hummvee by any stretch of the imagination.


The HiLux does have air-con and a radio, if that's important... ;D