Tuesday, April 26, 2011

E-Mail Call

A very informative site!  Keep up the great work.  As a fellow New Yorker I often wonder about how to actually "bug out" if things really go bad.  I live in the West Village with my wife and son and can't seem to figure how we would actually leave Manhattan if there were a situation that warranted that type of departure.

I remember when the bridges and tunnels were locked down during 911.  I kept wondering what I would do in the event that things became worse.  I recall that I had the crazy notion to loot the kayak launch at the Hudson River park to head west  (not that I would ever do it).  As I indicated before we live in the West Village but keep our car in Long Island so being able to "bug out" by car is out of the question for us.  We do have bicycles but the though of going through the city during a "hostile" situation with my family scares me.

I have "prepped" but the thought of moving all of the gear without having to cache up the Henry Hudson to make my escape without a vehicle is daunting.
In any case I thought you might have suggestions on how to leave the city if it decided to shut down access.

Again, great site!

Hi PF,

     Thanks for reading.  Like you, bugging-out is a topic I have thought about on many occasions, and is something I have wanted to address on the blog.  I definitely have many suggestions and ideas on what would be my preferred course of action as I have been researching the concepts of how people living in Manhattan would deal with bugging out for my book, and for the blog.

     As there has never been a large scale disaster forcing the entire population to bug-out in our city, or any other major American city for that matter, there is no hard data.  In addition to the lack of information, there is also the issue of “what type of disaster?” changing many variables, and courses of action.  So that leaves us with educated guess work, our imaginations, and some historical accounts.  With these three things we can form a series of plans (i.e. plan A., plan B.,) and we can prepare with full knowledge that even the best laid plans are doomed to fail, forcing you to constantly reassess, and revise.

     So to answer your question about what I suggest to New Yorker’s, or anyone for that matter, considering their bugging-out options would be; plan and prepare to the best of your ability.  Gathering from your e-mail, you are already aware of this, and are well on the way.  One thing I will point out, and it is something I have talked about on the blog a bit; never underestimate a well formulated plan with multiple back-ups, making sure everyone in the family knows the plans inside and out.  A plan will allow you and your group to make precious use of something all of us won’t have much of; time.  It works great for the militaries of the world, and would serve us as well.  Now that doesn’t mean I will leave you to ponder this somewhat philosophical answer, pretty much stating “figure it out for yourself”.  I, like you it seems, have a very active imagination, and come up with many scenarios and solutions while I walk our beautiful streets.

     First and foremost, I think your idea on “borrowing” a kayak was actually brilliant, and shows me that your thinking process is already on the right track.  One of the things people need to put into a bit of perspective is that the lines of right and wrong will be blurred, and you will be forced to do things you would not normally do in order to save you and your family’s lives.  Try not to forget that this “blurring” will make many situations much more dangerous for you and your loved ones.  It is truthfully one of the main reasons why I try and raise self-reliance awareness to the masses; the more people are prepared, the more likely the loss of lives and chaos will be reduced.  If you want to take the ‘legal’ route in the above situation, consider buying an inflatable canoe that fits you and your family members.  If that is a bit ridiculous, and out of your price range, maybe consider buying a bolt cutter (those “borrowed” river boats will be locked,) saving you space and money. 

     I agree with you that the situation could become "hostile" quickly, so you should consider a way to protect yourself.  I am working on a series of posts about self-defense here.  I will be writing a post soon about my beliefs on owning a gun, and how to acquire a hand-gun, and long rifle permit in NYC.  The subject of gun ownership for New Yorker's is a touchy one, and will probably always be.  I am trying to give the people who don't beleive in our Second Amendment right to protect ourselves and our families options on how to realistically defend themselves.

     When you mention that getting to your car in Long Island is pretty much impossible, you are unfortunately correct.  The only time it could be useful to you for bugging-out, is if you were somehow able to realize before the masses that the situation required a ‘bug-out’ and you reacted before them.  I think you will agree with me that the probability of that working out is highly unlikely.  This leaves us with motorcycles, bikes, and our good old two feet.  I rode a motorcycle for a few years in my youth and can tell you that although they are agile and fast, they are dangerous.  You and your family would probably be at more risk of dying from a motorcycle accident, then from the actual disaster.  You also can’t carry that much while on them.  The next option is a bicycle.  I ride a bicycle around the city often, and believe that it is probably one of the best options as you will be able to get out pretty fast, but they are also more situational.  You won’t be able to carry much with you on a bicycle either.  You also need to have high proficiency to ride a bike around people, and obstacles quickly.  That leaves us with our legs.  By far the safest option, and you can defiantly carry a lot if you have a good B.O.B. for each family member.  Walking is unfortunately slow, and requires each person to be in fairly decent shape, especially if there packs are heavy.  Walking (and possibly biking) allows you to travel “the road less traveled” as I mention in a post here.  You can also place caches at different locations along these routes if you would like.  I personally think caches are a pretty good idea for people who can’t carry much, or for people whose B.O.L.’s (Bug-Out Location) are over a four day walk.  I personally would not cache supplies, but I can’t argue their effectiveness.   

     Each option has pros and cons and you will have to see what best fits your needs.  I don’t mention a car because it would not be a good choice in my opinion.  You will defiantly be able to ‘out walk’ any car attempting to leave the city.  There are over two million of us on this island, and grid lock would be atrocious.

     Your question asked for bug-out suggestions, and I hope I gave you a few ideas.  My personal feelings about bugging-out are a bit different.  I feel that although bugging-out is feasible, it should not be our main concern.  The survivalist community has it a bit wrong IMO when it comes to how city dwellers need to concentrate on a good bug-out plan because we live in such high population areas.  They feel that gangs, and “The Golden Horde” will clean the place out, killing everyone in their path.  They obviously don’t live in a major city, and just don’t understand the dynamic.  I believe that we need to put much more concentration on bugging-in.  By staying put we will have shelter, provisions, and will not be following the masses.  If you are stuck in the masses, you are The Golden Horde!  Just like most things in life, when you don’t follow the sheep and think outside the box, you have a much better chance of happiness, and in the case of a mass bug-out, survival.  Take for example 911; you mentioned you were thinking of ways of getting off the island, which was a good thing to be thinking because no one at the time knew what was going on.  The smartest thing to do in retrospect was to bug-in though, as it was actually a bug-in situation.  Leaving was not possible, and a bad idea at that point anyway.  I plan on talking more about this in the future on the blog, giving more examples of why I believe in forming a solid bug-in plan.

     I will also briefly mention that I hope you have a decent B.O.L. and it is as prepared, and stocked as your apartment in the city.  If you have any questions about B.O.L.’s, feel free to ask for my thoughts on that, or any other survival related topics for that matter.

     Thanks again for supporting the blog, I’m a bit long winded, but I hope I got some good points across.  Good luck to you and your family on your self-reliance journey.


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