Evacuation Plans - What's Your Route Outta Town?

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I've placed a couple of posts that were a bit lighthearted but this is one I've struggled with. For the folks in the Seattle/Portland area do we really only have three routes out of town?

If you needed to leave Seattle/Portland during an emergency, what route would you take and where would you go? In the Seattle area the passes have real delays on any given weekend. Holiday traffic along I-90 or I-84 is horrendous. In an emergency these roads would be impassable.

Assuming you were staying off of the main highways do you have an evacuation plan that would get you out of town? Are there lesser known roads that you could depend on if you had to leave your home and avoid the masses?
 
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I'd say everyone should have a dirt bike or bicycle stashed in his bug-out vehicle. At least keep a folding bike, ready to toss in the trunk. Chance of getting out by car is slim. Likely conversations:

You: "Hey your car is blocking I-5. Can we push it out of the way?"
Them: "Oh man, I ran out of gas. The station wouldn't take my card!! Can you believe it?"
You: "Yeah. Well let's move your car."
Them: "Sure, how about just give me some of your gas and I'll move?"
You: Ok
Them: "Dude, I'll need more than that. How will I reach home?!"
etc

For Portland, choke points are fairly obvious, and have been discussed here before - Columbia, Willamette, Cascades. If your retreat is southwest, that leaves you with hwy 99 and it's parallels as the safest option. If things look rough, I'd consider quietly biking out by night. Consider NV goggles to scout for roadblocks.

Pack light enough to carry your bike over small creeks and fences. Yeah, it sounds stupid but I think the roadblocks and "tollgates" will go up within hours. :s0131:
 
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being as i come from a place where evacuation can be an annual event i would say its unlikely you will see any road blocks on top of that its likely you will see toll gates opened up for faster passage for evacuees. in florida during hurricane season if people have to evacuate an area all toll gates are opened for everyone to pass freely. as far as other problems there really isnt much you can do about general congestion on the hwys. just try to mitigate by taking side streets and back roads that may likely also be a bit congested. being as portland and seattle are bike friendly cities it may be your best option, unless of course you have a motorcycle.
 
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Planning ...

If you are metro centered. Your early warning caution list should be exacting and followed same.
People who think freeways are routes of escape will be parked in an inescapable gridlock or funneled roadblock.
Routes must be low traffic backroads devoid of freeways, passes or bridges. (Or the lowest safest number of them.)
In some cases bike trails paved or not.
 

Mark W.

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Portland Oregon. You can exit to the east but depending on where you start out you could have the Willamette River and 20+ miles of suburban country to pass through. But many routes leading to the mountains (if that is your goal)

South is the big problem with only 3 bridges to cross the Willamette river (I 205, Old Oregon city bridge, and I5 Boone's ferry) So to exit south your going to hit a choke point. And if an earthquake is the reason for exit all bridges could be out of commission.

West limited routes and a huge amount of traffic (with choke points at the tunnel on 26, And the narrow canyon routes)

A lot of this will all depend on what is the reason for exit. Any man made cause short of a Nuke attack people won't be leaving in mass all at the same time. As different people will pay attention at different rates. So your most likely looking at a Natural disaster and depending on what exit could be very difficult. If its a Volcano driving could be near impossible as could riding a bike or even walking due to air quality and dust. If its Earthquake big enough to require exit then the chances the bridges would be passible is slim. And remember not only bridges but over passes would also become road blocks.

makes for an interesting puzzle.
 
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Evacuation Plans? What's Your Route Outta Town?

We'll just run around in circles with our hands above our heads screaming as loud as we can!!!!!!!!!!!!


Really though, I would do my best to drive us out with our supplies. But while I would hate it, I understand that we may have to walk out of the city on foot. It would suck.
 
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Portland Oregon. You can exit to the east but depending on where you start out you could have the Willamette River and 20+ miles of suburban country to pass through. But many routes leading to the mountains (if that is your goal)

South is the big problem with only 3 bridges to cross the Willamette river (I 205, Old Oregon city bridge, and I5 Boone's ferry) So to exit south your going to hit a choke point. And if an earthquake is the reason for exit all bridges could be out of commission.

West limited routes and a huge amount of traffic (with choke points at the tunnel on 26, And the narrow canyon routes)

A lot of this will all depend on what is the reason for exit. Any man made cause short of a Nuke attack people won't be leaving in mass all at the same time. As different people will pay attention at different rates. So your most likely looking at a Natural disaster and depending on what exit could be very difficult. If its a Volcano driving could be near impossible as could riding a bike or even walking due to air quality and dust. If its Earthquake big enough to require exit then the chances the bridges would be passible is slim. And remember not only bridges but over passes would also become road blocks.

makes for an interesting puzzle.

The Boone Bridge is the only one up to current earthquake specs and I think it's only rated to 7. You'd just as well figure the other two would be gone.
 
If/when SHTF, I will proceed out my front door and head north approximately a half a mile in my car. Once I have reached the gas station I will use the ATM and fill up my gas tank. Then I will travel roughly .2 miles west by car where I will arrive at Albertsons. There I will stock up on provisions using my ARC (Albertsons Reward Card). I should save ~ %10.
After that I will head next door by foot (approximately 100 yards) and I will buy any last minute survival gear from BiMart.

Finally I will travel ~ 2 miles via the main roads to MCD (McDonalds) and buy myself an emergency BMM (Big Mac Meal). Then I will head across the street to the local HIE (Holiday Inn Express) where I will enjoy cable, wifi, and continental breakfast until the situation is fully resolved.
 
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Well having worked a number of years in Tacoma,Seattle and the east side and having driven through Portland at various times and days,my oppinion still stands that you will not be evacing the city post SHTF of any kind.

If you aren't leaving town when some "event" looks imminent,then as soon as it comes about,the roads will be shut down and become parking lots.
Even on Sundays at church time,one little mistake can screw the traffic,so imagine something happening in the middle of the week.
There will be no exit The people will all be leaving at the same time and plug the freeways.

Think about it. With all the talk of 'bugging out' everyone will want to give it a try.And if it gets serious,then panic will ensue.

So if you are planning on bugging out when some sort of SHTF scenario happens,you need to be watching the news and have EVERYTHING ready and everyone on cue.
Even if you just do a trial run.Head for the bug out point and test your plan. Then return on a slow pace to make sure it isn't getting worse.

Cause,I don't care what your plan is or what route you think your taking,if you don't get ahead of the pack,you may as well wait for a bit.
 
I'd head straight to my dad's house (15 minutes away), only stopping to throw my generator and guns/ammo in my Jeep. Between he and I, I think we'd do just fine ;)
 
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Don't forget the Willamette and Columbia rivers and in Seattle Puget Sound. I'm sure that all of our waterways will be crowded but nothing like the highways. Other options are bicycles. We are well equipped to flee on bikes but our recent health setbacks have made that a last, last, last resort. We are determined to never become refugees! The histories of refugees is grim.
 
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Being in Vancouver, if SHTF in the form of a normal disaster options may be fairly limited. You can't count on getting too far north by vehicle with the various rivers to cross. You certainly can't count on going south towards PDX and I'm guessing you'd want to go nowhere near there even if S ISN'T HTF. So I'd think the escape route will be to go as far east as possible.

Or I'd just go to Walmart and stand in line for water rations because the normal thing to do is not prepare at all. I'd then blame FEMA and Bush for everything that happens from that point on.
 

Mark W.

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The Boone Bridge is the only one up to current earthquake specs and I think it's only rated to 7. You'd just as well figure the other two would be gone.
Pretty much my point. We have made other plans in case the wife happens to be north/west of the river when she needs to get home. Sorry but I sure ain't sharing.
 
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Not in town to begin with is a good start. Keep a good map of the forestry/logging roads and small county routes to head east or since I'm not in town, sit tight until things settle down and reassess at that point...
 

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