interstate travel

Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by infidel, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. infidel

    infidel Guest

    If there was a disaster and everyone is using the interstate or a financial meltdown, couldn't this result in complete chaos on the roads with people creating roadblocks to rob people? What are some tips to get around situations like this or to travel and avoid people during travel in higher populated areas?
  2. Ineffable Aces

    Ineffable Aces Bad Motherf*cker

    The temptation, IMO, is to flee for refuge alone or with only your family. Then, as now, there is strength in numbers. Travel in larger caravans of people who are trying to reach a common destination. I imagine in nearly any state in the westerly U.S. will have a fair contingent of people fleeing to Alaska. Make sure the group you travel with not only has firearms, but are skilled in using them. You git feeling about leadership will likely not be too far off, so don't hesitate in inwardly questioning the leadership of people with suspicious character.

  3. NappyRootz

    NappyRootz Guest

    Take the back roads.
  4. residentfetii

    residentfetii Guest

    Why would people go to alaska also, what if you're trying to travel to meet up with your family but going from a low population density area to deep within a high population density area?
  5. bkt

    bkt Well-Known Member

    Unless staying home would pose a serious threat to my family, that's exactly where I'd stay. If I were away from home and trying to get back home, I'd take the back roads, fields, any path at all that my vehicle could traverse.

    Carry detailed maps with you when you travel.
  6. TechAdmin

    TechAdmin Administrator Staff Member

    Taking the back roads could be even more of a risk. Easier to road block.
  7. 1984CJ

    1984CJ Member

    This is true. However, the interstates WILL be blocked! There are many more back roads and (in my opinion) the type of people that will be looking to do organized highway robbery are less likely to be familiar with back roads during the first days of a total anarchy situation.

    I have to agree with BKT that good maps of your area of operations is a must. Along with some personal knowledge about how to use them and preferably of the roads themselves.
  8. netandtim

    netandtim Well-Known Member

    The time to work this out is now. If you plan on taking backroads between point A and point B, have you driven them? Do you have more than one alternate path chosen?

    Hubby and I did just that this past weekend while out at the farm. I had searched the area with Google maps and found small dirt roads between A and B....we tried them out to see if they were passable. As a result, we have a alternate route if necessary.
  9. Smithy

    Smithy Outdoorsman, Bladesmith

    The question for roadblocks is not which back roads will they be on, but at which chokepoints? "All roads lead to your front door", so start there... how many ways can you leave your house? 1? 2? 5? Branch out from there, and start mapping (and marking on your detailed map) every chokepoint that limits your options, to and from your home/work/hideaway. Come up with a network of alternatives, assuming Interstates and major state highways become controlled.

    This is where a dirt-worthy motorcycle starts coming in reeeeel handy. Unfortunately, you can't evac a family and supplies on one.
  10. TechAdmin

    TechAdmin Administrator Staff Member

    It's not practical for most but a quality 4x4 and topographical map of the area would be very helpful to determine choke points and bypasses.
  11. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member


    We've had MASSIVE road blocks during every hurricane and serious earth quake, and nothing like that has happened, so something like that is unlikely.

    Interstates will be the LAST place people would try something like that.
    Now, if you want to talk "Road Blocks For Robbery",
    then consider small town speed traps...

    First of all,
    If you are going to rob someone, you want privacy...
    Small road with solid road block so the MUST stop!
    Not a wide open road way with large shoulders and right of ways...

    Secondly, you want to control the situation, and that is very hard to do with lots of people around.

    Third, you don't know who in that bunch is armed.
    Better have eyes in the back of your head and lots of body armor if you try that when people are already panicking...

    Robbers have a sense of self preservation just like most everyone else, and they want loot, not lead!
    Someone is going to start shooting in a situation where they are shaking everyone down and have the road blocked...
    And when the bullets fly, they don't have names on them.

    Much easier to get you on a back street or back road than on a major highway or interstate...

    Just ask our resident 'Sky Is Falling' bunch that are talking about 'BUG OUT BAG WEAPONS' and finding/building 'BUNKERS' out in the boonies...
    They fully intend on having a clear field of fire on anyone approaching, and I can tell you it isn't so they can give you directions, offer you a meal or trade goods with you.

    If you have an operating vehicle with fuel, and it's full of loot, you aren't a lost soul or neighbor going camping to them.
    You are FOOD & STUFF for their bunker,
    OR at least you used to be...

    That's what bothers me about them.
  12. If that's the case then don't travel in wide open areas near rednecks!
  13. wildman800

    wildman800 Well-Known Member

    A couple of things come to mind;

    Robbery via planned ambushes are highly unlikely for the first 2-3 days because the herd will be in a panic to escape. Robbery will occur first by those who never prepared upon those who are prepared but immobilized by stalled traffic, a flat tire, mechanical failure, etc. These will be unplanned opportunities by the unprepared to take what they need.

    During evacuations, the Interstates become parking lots that move between 0 and 25 mph for the most part. The back roads will allow faster movement and will be used mostly by those who are prepared, exercising their Bug Out routes, at least during the first couple of days. The less important the road, the less of the unprepared that will be using it.

    Secondary and Tertiary roads are more likely to have fuel and other supplies along the way whereas the Primary roads are going to be cleaned out by the herd as it is passing through the countryside.

    As 1 poster to this thread pointed out, good topo maps are a must! One of the most common, most easily obtainable topo maps are the Visual Flight Rules (VFR) maps that can be found at your local airport. Many dirt/gravel roads are noted on these maps. Electrical Right-of-Ways can be plotted upon them because the towers are noted on these maps.

    We are actually looking at the hazards and tactics needed for a successful Bug Out. As another poster to this thread has pointed out, it's not the open areas that must feared, it is the chokepoints along the way!

    The most convenient ambush sites along roads by "Bad Locals" would be at almost every bridge. Remember that there is safety in numbers?? The standard military tactic for moving through the countryside (and upon the sea and air) is to put a "point" in front of the main body.

    The "point" is normally 3-5 minutes ahead of the main body. They "scout" ahead for possible ambushes. They approach hilltops slowly so as to see what is on the other side while keeping their sillahouette minimized until they have checked for a bridge or other possible ambush potential.

    A "Tail End Charlie" is also a standard tactic to prevent being surprised from the rear. The Tail End Charlie normally stays approximately 3 minutes behind the main body.

    Communications of some kind is a must. Whatever method of communication is utilized, all comms must be minimized so as not to give advanced warning to locals who may be listening.

    All members in this "convoy" must know that in the event of an attack, trying to drive through the ambush quickly may be the best reaction if that can be done. Backing up and retreating out of range may be the only option.

    After clearing the ambush site, find an open area within a couple of miles to "circle the wagons", establish a defensive perimeter, while any wounded are treated and serious damages can be repaired if possible, or those loads distributed among the remaining vehicles. Gas/Diesel, batteries, etc. would be salvaged from any vehicles that have to be abandoned.

    Mean while, topo maps can be consulted and an alternate route plotted to get around the hostiles.

    Just a few things to be considered.
  14. kc5fm

    kc5fm Emergency Manager

    Evacuation Planning

    Thanks for this interesting question.

    As you have already been told, there's no evidence to support interstate blockades. It has never happened in any disaster. It's too hard to successfully achieve the mission you suppose.

    However, side roads may be of little use. IF there is a disaster and an emergency on the interstate, how will responders gain access to the interstate? Local side roads may be blocked, reserved, if you will, for use by local responders.

    The I-40 bridge collapse produced heavy traffic on local two-lane highways. This would be an example of how highway engineers designed traffic flow around the disaster site.

    Lets think about evacuation.

    1. Decide NOW where you will go. Does Aunt Susie in Toledo really expect you? Once you have decided that, make a trip routing to the location. A GARMIN or TOMTOM would be a valuable supplement to a paper map. This would allow you to modify your route while you are ON your route.

    2. Share your plan with your proposed guests. This is both before you go (during your planning session) and just before you leave. Is Aunt Susie in the Bahamas this week?

    3. If you are planning to caravan, make sure you have communications with all vehicles. Family Radio Service or Amateur Radio Service will help you. The former is just for a few hundred yards. The latter has better range. The American Radio Relay League can help you find a local club to help you with the material you need to know to pass the test and help you find a test session near you.

    4. If you are planning to stop at motels, find those facilities that are most helpful to your needs, before you leave. Are you evacuating with pets? Find those pet friendly lodges. Are you, in some way, handicapped? Find those that offer assistance.

    Keep receipts. IF the jurisdiction is declared a disaster, you may find yourself eligible for individual assistance.

    No disaster declaration? You may be eligible for assistance from your insurance company. This may apply to those who have rental insurance as well. Check with your insurance agent for details.

    Either way, keep receipts.

    5. Are you evacuating to a shelter? Shelter tips abound. Having your 72-hour bag and sleeping materials is a must. There have never been T-bone steak served in shelters during the first 12 hours. :)

    If you have no 72-hour kit, then basic planning is where you must start. Write the plan. Build the kit to support the mission. Guidance is at FEMA or call 800-BE-READY. A calendar to build a kit over time is available.

    In closing, please remember to include your elderly friends, relatives, and neighbors in your evacuation planning.

    I hope this is helpful to you.
  15. ke4sky

    ke4sky ke4sky

    Stay - Evacuate Decision

    Read the Katrina Bugout Lessons Learned Thread!

    If you have the resources to leave, leave early and take the back roads before authorities impose flow and traffic controls.

    [B]Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said, he has ordered a comprehensive plan for evacuating the region.” Chertoff convened a meeting with officials from as far away as West Virginia in addition to Delaware to focus on drawing up an evacuation plan for the Washington area. …..Washington Post September 11, 2006[/B]

    Survey data in the Washington, DC area indicate:

    Residents in the DC area express a relatively high degree of anticipated vulnerability to terror attacks

    Residents express a high propensity to self-evacuate and evacuation destinations are likely to be widely distributed geographically

    Absent available local information, a large proportion of area residents are likely to evacuate

    Residents also express low confidence in governmental evacuation planning on disaster events

    Regional planning to address mass evacuation:

    What are the other state’s planning/doing?

    How do we communicate, command & control

    Deployment of resources should be maximized for effect
    (NO state lines…Regional Issue)

    R&R for Teams
    Families of Responders


    Control Entry Points

    - Primary/Secondary routes “Support is there if you stay the course”
    - Information feed and flow (Public Radio, ITS, checkpoints)
    - KEEP THEM MOVING! Pass-through Movement
    Contraflow evacuation
    - WVDOT Emergency Operation and Personnel Support
    Secondary Routing to Support Emergency Operations
    - Private Airstrips
    - State Secondary & County Routes

    Route Management Issues

    Early Warning
    Traffic Control
    - Choke Points
    - Breakdowns
    - Accidents
    - Flow
    Fuel supply
    Limited Assets
    - Personnel
    - Equipment
    - Highway Routes
    - Capacity
    Time of Year/Weather/Terrain

    West Virginia hosted a regional meeting of states of the region to begin a collaborative process. The State is hosting regional planning meetings to discuss the impact of a mass evacuation on specific areas of the state. States, Federal and local government are continuing work to achieve these objectives.
  16. wd4nyl

    wd4nyl Member

    In my emergency planning I took two approaches. A "casual bugout" which is going with an educated gut feeling that a move is wise before it becomes a deperation move & the other being the "get the heck out of Dodge" approach.

    With the first you have a better chance to avoid hopelessly clogged escape route, gas shortages & other probable situations.

    The second is the desperation move, with many, many panicked, unprepared people.

    One thing I've already considered is routing problems. At my location travel North would put me in the inner city during a breakdown of law & order. East and West are interstates that would be totally clogged. To the South is a mountain range with only two passes & those are nightmares during routine rush hours.

    Hence the "casual bugout" approach. "Get while the gettings good".
  17. KYprep

    KYprep Guest

    The main thing I count on is my triggers. I have a number of sources I check often and if I feel like something is coming I should be to my location ahead of any road blocks. Worst case I’m at most 75 miles from, where I’d want to be when SHTF. My Pack and some walking and I am there. (Sit ops Know your area)
  18. Publius

    Publius Member

    I can talk on the interstate crowding. In 2003 I lived in the Detroit area. I worked in Troy and lived in Canton and it took me about 45 minutes to get to and from work every day. Normal congestion kind of thing. Add a wreck or construction and all bets were off. Now I usually took the expressways as far each way as I could, but also noted and practiced the back ways. Now if you Google map the two cites, you will notice the expressways and how they are laid out. I noted what road crossed the eways without them being an exit (less congestion this way). During the Blackout of August 2003 I never once got on the parking lots the expressways became. I drove through sub-divisions and stop signed roads as much as possible. It took me two hours to get home. A bit more than normal if I had done in during a normal day, which was about an hour and fifteen minutes (I experimented). I think I lived about 30 miles door to door. My sister who lives in Livonia and works at Ford World HQ is 12.5 miles and took four hours. I lived rural and she lives urban. Her work was deep in an urban area and mine was on the outskirts.
  19. dunappy

    dunappy Well-Known Member

    We live near the interstate, but have a couple of alternative routes away from the house. One however also requires an alternative mode of transportation (the horses). If the interstate and the corresponding frontage highway are both blocked, we can travel the road up to the lake, out through the forest service and get to either one of the next towns. However If that road is also blocked we could saddle up the horses and cross over the mountains to the town on the other side.

    But since we also live in an area were there are very few natural disasters in the first place, the only thing that would seriously block our interstate would be.
    1. man made disasters
    2. extreme heavy snow.
    and If it were the second, my best bet is to stay home, put more wood on the fire and watch the traffic get stuck.

    If it were the first, It would also depend on the nature of the disaster. A toxic chemical leak would be a reason to " bug Out" but a blow out of the natural gas pipeline near the interstate would be a cause to stay put. (and that one has already happened locally during my lifetime)
  20. AgentFlounder

    AgentFlounder fan of analysis

    Many times there is any kind of large scale natural disaster requiring evacuation, traffic is an issue. I can't think of specifics but I swear I've seen blocked roads on the news during hurricane evacuations in the southeast. But I wouldn't be surprised if the same were true of folks fleeing forest fires.

    I'm not sure I follow this scenario of roadblocks to rob people. :confused:

    If it's a natural disaster, the robbers probably want to evacuate too. Maybe worry about crime in the shelters or after people return to the area.

    I don't see how you can evacuate and avoid people. There are too many of us :D Unless you leave really early, which means you are more likely to leave for no reason because you would have less certainty about whether evacuation is actually necessary (e.g. the hurricane changes direction).

    It's not like there's going to be some secret road no one knows about. Because lots of people are thinking just like you. Try leaving a major sporting event. All the back roads are full too.