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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was putting around on YouTube and came across an interesting episode of "Doomsday Preppers" called "Escape from New York."


As far as I am concerned, this particular episode is full of really bad advice, but has a few nuggets of useful info. The one thing that really struck me is that they said all of the bridges and tunnels out of New York were closed within 36 minutes of the attack on 9/11. Think about that for a minute.

There are some 30 million people living in the general area, and over 8 million in NYC itself. I am guessing they closed the bridges because they were afraid of additional terrorist attacks, but there might well have been other reasons too.

Obviously, that general area can't produce enough food to feed 30,000,000 people. Would the outlying communities really allow 30 million hungry people to rampage across their countryside? I think not.

In a large scale, long term SHTF scenario, I would expect nearly all of the bridges leading out of major population centers to be guarded or blown. I would expect nearly all of the bridges leading into less populated areas to be guarded or blown too. If your plan is to bug out, I would suggest you have some sort of plan for crossing rivers. If you plan on using a vehicle, I might humbly suggest you take a hard look at your plan.

36 minutes... damn, that's not a lot of time, is it?
 

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Bridges are one of our worst nightmares in a bugout situation, especially if it is across a major obstacle like a large river/lake or gorge.

If you think about it for a few minutes, there are only approximately 220 bridges that cross the Mississippi river. That sounds like a lot, but considering the hundreds of thousands or even millions of people who might try to cross after a SHTF situation, that sure isn't a lot.

Even smaller bridges are a hassle or a boon. In my bugout locations area there are LOTS of small streams/creeks that have small bridges over them or fords build across them, these will be keep choke points for anyone who would want to approach the area.
 

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If you're smart you'll try not to live in a major metropolitan area. As for the people there, I honestly hope most will stay there and die there. The reality is their not welcome in the country and won't be anything but trouble for people in the country. The government knows this and will try to contain them in the cities where they can be controlled from doing damage and being out of the governments control of course in my thoughts on it. Don't come to where I live or my BOL, that's for damn sure. I'm ready to put bullet, blade and bat to good use.

As for crossing rivers and lakes where bridges are knocked out, you're going to have to leave vehicles behind if you're in them. And make flotation devices from whatever you can find. Depending on where you're at there is actually a lot of things in this world that float. America after a major event will be a scroungers heaven too. It will just take creativity, knowledge and work to make them. I know in moving across country with no raft, I can easily make one from wood and vine. It just take the time to make it. If I'm on foot bugging out with BOB and rifle/gear as I would be on foot bugging out, I'd look for a place to ford, make a raft, or swim across with my rifle and some 550 tied to my pack and than pull it across when I'm on the other side as I can't swim with the pack. It's too heavy. My M1A, yes, but not the pack.
 

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The smart people in the country know what to do to bridges and such if the S were to HTF!!! You want to make it as hard as possible for people as you can to get into your area!! On the flip side, you will also be cutting yourself off.. I am fine with it to make it harder for people to get to our area.. We are over 60 miles from the closest town anyway..
 

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Bridges scare me. We have a bunch to cross to get to our BOL. My hope is that we have enough warning to high tail it before the SHTF. If a collapse comes swiftly we'll be in trouble. If it's a natural disaster (New Madrid fault) we may all be stuck where we're at for a while. We can survive in our bug in location for about three months now on our stores (still adding).
 

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I moved from a place that you couldn't go more than twenty miles without having to cross a bridge. Two lakes and five major rivers and darn few roads around the lakes - and they had bridges over the rivers. Now the nearest bridge is over 50 miles away and it is on a major highway. The streams we have go underground often and back up. The roads that cross them don't really have bridges as such and if you go down a block the creek is back underground.
 

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Bridges are definitely potential choke points. However think about an urban area with a major entertainment event. Extra cops are on duty to manage traffic not grabbing their loved ones and heading for the hills. The crowd is trying to get to a show not running for their lives and trying to steal what they didn't prep. I have seen traffic backed up from the Maricopa Indian reservation all the way to East Phoenix over a rock concert. This road was a designated evacuation route in the event of nuclear attack. The reservation was supposed to be where the evacuees gathered. The Russians had a saying about a nuclear attack on an urban area that applies to a major event. In the event of an attack wrap yourself in a shroud and proceed slowly towards the morgue. Why slowly? So you don't panic the others. SHTF long distance travel not advised.
 

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Unfortunately I am currently living in a large metropolitan area right on the east coast, and my bug out plans involve going far west, to my family. My husband is active duty military, so we don't have a choice about where to live for the time being. He gets out in a year, which we are both excited for. The idea of trying to get across a bridge in my area in any type of scenario is daunting, there's constant traffic even now. Which is why I have multiple routes planned that do not involve any of the major bridges. But the fact is, we would need to cross a bridge eventually, at which point I would be prepared to ditch the vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Assuming the bridges were still intact, I can see 4 possibilities...

1... The bridge is blocked by traffic congestion. This isn't that much of a problem, you might just have to move slow and more or less wait it out. It would, however, add a lot of time to your travel and you would burn a lot more fuel, perhaps not leaving enough to get to your destination.

2... The bridge is blocked by police, National Guard, or regular Army units. It would be almost impossible to talk your way through this kind of block, but at least they wouldn't shoot you on sight. It would be equally difficult or impossible to force your way across.

3... The bridge is held by a local militia. You might be able to talk your way across if you had skills the town needed. For example, a surgeon would almost certainly be allowed to pass, a lawyer... well, probably not. If you tried to barter your way across, the odds would be pretty good that they would just seize your supplies and turn you away anyway.

4... The bridge is held by band of thugs who would just as soon shoot you and take your stuff. You probably wouldn't be able to reason with them, but might be able to force a crossing. This is where the precision rifle would come in handy. :)

So if your plan is to bug out by vehicle, you should at least have some ideas of what to do if you find your way blocked at a river. This will almost always involve abandoning your vehicle and most of your supplies. You should probably choose your items with an eye on their weight, even if your main plan doesn't involve traveling on foot because you might well find yourself on foot anyway.

Consider adding a 5 gallon collapsible water jug to your bug out bag. They don't take up much room when empty and are light weight. Nobody wants to lug 5 gallons of water around, but you don't have to fill it all the way either. In a pinch, fill it with air and use it as a flotation device. For example, you could fill it with air, put it in your pack, put the pack on your chest, and breast stroke your way across even the widest river.

As for myself, I have more or less decided my current location is unsurvivable. I have neither the desire nor the intention of putting myself through all that drama. If all goes well, I will be moved into a more secure location within the next 6 months. My new motto... Bug out now while it's still easy! Yay!
 

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Unfortunately I am currently living in a large metropolitan area right on the east coast, and my bug out plans involve going far west, to my family. My husband is active duty military, so we don't have a choice about where to live for the time being. He gets out in a year, which we are both excited for. The idea of trying to get across a bridge in my area in any type of scenario is daunting, there's constant traffic even now. Which is why I have multiple routes planned that do not involve any of the major bridges. But the fact is, we would need to cross a bridge eventually, at which point I would be prepared to ditch the vehicle.
Aye, I am stationed in East VA as well. It's either N to a bridge, WNW to one of 3 bridges, S to swamps. Unfortunately my BOLs shortest route takes me over 3 large bridges and that isn't really an option. Hence I will have to travel a few extra days around on foot. I feel the transit to the BOL will be the most dangerous time of the SHTF scenario, so many unknowns, so much movement to get yourself in a pinch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
One of the guys had or found an inflatable boat and would probably have made it out. The woman planned to walk out and would have been stopped. The other guy planned to get out by car and would have been blocked too. According to the show, all bridges and tunnels out of the city were closed 36 minutes after the attack on 9/11.
 
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