Boats: alternative Emergency Evacuation vehicles

Hi, friends! Urban Girl here, ready to talk about emergency evacuation. In many of our posts on the topic, we here at Emergency Essentials talk about including alternative routes and various modes of transportation into your plan. Have you ever thought about an emergency evacuation by boat? Since many of our nation’s major cities are built around ports, water may be your only option to get out of the city quickly if other escape routes are blocked. On 9/11, many people were able to escape from Manhattan using private and commercial boats and ferries to get to safety. Check out this video of boat captains and crews coming together on 9/11 to evacuate 500,000 people out of Lower Manhattan. (Have tissues ready.) But you don’t just have to live by a major city port to use water to evacuate. If you live near a body of water, consider including a boat as one option in your emergency evacuation plan. Depending on the type and severity of the emergency, it could be a great option for getting out quickly, safely, and without too much traffic (one can hope). The distance to safety, the conditions in the water, how many people you plan to evacuate, and your physical condition should all factor into your decision when selecting a boat—as well as if/how you’re going to use it in the meantime. If it’s just you and you’ve got the physical strength, a kayak is a pretty great option—easy to maneuver (relatively speaking), lightweight (again, relatively speaking), and not as costly as a motorized boat. A canoe would also work if you’ve got a family member or two to bring along who can help you paddle. If the thought of rowing yourself to safety is less than savory, or you’ve got family/friends/neighbors that will also need to evacuate, you could get a simple motorized fishing boat. If you don’t have a boat, don’t want to make that kind of investment, or don’t want to worry about where to store a boat, talk to a nearby neighbor, friend, or relative that has one. Ask if they would be willing to evacuate you and yours on their boat if needed. Whether you live by the water or not, take the time to think out 2-3 routes and modes of transportation to get you from your work, home, or school to a safe location in the case of an emergency. Also, becoming familiar with local evacuation plans and procedures will also give you peace of mind and help you to evacuate safely during an emergency. Just something to think about. Happy prepping! --Urban Girl

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