A Nurse with a Gun

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bicycles in a Disaster Zone

With the opening of hurricane season this year, I was reading an internet article penned by a person considering escaping a hurricane zone by bicycle. The writer listed the advantages, and there are some. However, as much as I love bicycling, I consider a bike to be best used as a secondary mode of transport, one strapped to the exterior of an enclosed vehicle that offers some protection from the elements and from looters during evacuation. Cars can carry more, they can be used as shelter, and if well maintained and used appropriately and in a timely manner, they are vastly superior to a bicycle. Remember, you may be going 300 to 400 miles, with your family in tow, and probably setting up a temporary residence elsewhere. Give yourself the best chance possible.

A bike comes into it's own as a secondary vehicle. It requires no fuel, it can travel over and past things a car cannot. Bikes are great for taking a five mile trip to a gas station, scouting ahead of traffic jams for better places to turn off congested highways(use a partner on the bike and communicate with the FM walkie talkie things), and to get around campsites crowded with evacuees.

If you use a bike to go back into the disaster zone, I recommend a heavy chain lock and a U-lock for when you leave it unattended. A basket is great, and I would run kevlar belted mud grip tires. Roofing nails will be more common than broken glass in the disaster zone. Strap a gallon jug of water to the back. It’s going to be hot and humid. Know your routes.......And alternate ones. Wear gloves and a helmet. Do not travel alone. Carry a gun.
"The debris on Lake Catherine was more interesting and varied as well as more plentiful, to the pile I crossed in Slidell. Besides the usual stuffed animals and TV sets, I noticed a shotgun in a plastic carrying case, bottles of Vodka, Scotch, and J.D., a nearly complete black Naugahide bar with matching naugahide stools, and believe it or not, a dildo. I was in Orleans Parish, after all. They don't call this town the "Big Easy" for nothing."
Here is an informative website about using a bicycle to get around the disaster zone. Remember that you may be the only human life for miles. Give yourself the best chance possible.

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