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I have been hearing of rumors of massive tunnel systems under most large cities such as San Fransisco, New York Los Angeles and Las Vegas. This made me wonder, in areas where bugging out may be nearly impossible due to the traffic and possible violence that may be occurring in the streets, would these tunnels be a good evacuation route?

Of course, there would be many possible dangers. Tweakers. Homeless. Getting lost. Being injured with no one around. Disease ridden needles. But if you are smack dab in the middle of LA and the LA riots part II are starting up, I would take this option over conventional methods.

If you mapped the tunnels out beforehand, went with a buddy, and had a firearm with you, I am sure you would have no issues whatsoever. You could even leave a bread trail of fishing line as you go along as an added measure.

What do y'all think? I don't know much about the tunnel systems or where any of the entrances are. If anyone knows where the entrances are in San Francisco, I would be very interested!
 

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Nunquam Non Paratus
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I'm not familiar with any under those cities but I think most of what you would find is sewer and drainage, not any real usable tunnels. At least in the area I worked I'm not sure you could effectively navigate them safely. Methane, lack of oxygen, etc are all dangers from what I was told by firefighters and the guys that did the work in the sewers.
 

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spirit animal / unicorn
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It's going to end up becoming the domain of last-minute preppers who are weird or left-leaning, maybe antifa types.

It's going to be a strategy that helps prolong your life without the exodus from the city, but it's not going to be for regular guys.

That said, it's worth learning the practical basics about. Just knowing where the entrances are, who's currently living in the tunnels, how many people are there, and who's interested in them. That type of stuff.

Edit: I'm not talking about San Fran in particular. I've never been there. The above is just my guess for metropolis tunnels in general. They're supposed to all have big homeless populations. It's definitely a real phenomenon, but I think NYC reduced it a bit from what it once was.
 

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spirit animal / unicorn
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Imagine an exciting, old girlfriend who's your fond, favorite idea of someone to go hunker down with when shtf. But, she's had too many boyfriends, especially too many scuzzy ones. And they all have the same idea about going to her apartment if there's ever a big emergency. If you went to see her when the lights went off, you'd find that 5 or 10 troublesome losers end up showing up, one by one. "Oh my God! _____, are you ok? We haven't seen each other in a while, but as soon as the power went off, I thought of you..."

That's what the tunnels are going to be like. That old girlfriend's place.

It's sort of too-clever-by-half.

Definitely not saying you're never going to need them, but... I don't want to go there!

Supposed to be pretty bad, even without the apocalypse.
 

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This had me immediately thinking of Cincinnati. Cincinnati legitimately has an abandoned subway tunnel with a few limited access points along a 7 mile span. Way back in the day, Civil Defense even had a fallout shelter setup down there. I'm sure plenty of people would think about that tunnel system and try to make good use of it. Already today, the homeless setup shelter just inside the northern entrances of the tunnel. The tunnel isn't wide-open-there's a large water main running through a significant part of it-but it is navigable on foot with portable lighting. If you were trying to flee the city using this tunnel, you'll probably just get yourself trapped in. As it was, it's only good for getting you from downtown at one of the entrances you'd have to force open, then running out one of the NW exits a few miles down the line.
 

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Wrong Side of Heaven
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Unless the tunnels are designed for continuous occupation, I would advise against it.

H2S - hydrogen sulfide, will settle in low and closed spaces. I am not going to dump the PPM stats here.

It has killed many people. It smells like rotten eggs at low levels, at high levels it knocks out your olfactory (smell) and you dont know its there until you black out and die.

if you plan to tunnel rat get an atmospheric tester. Something with O2/H2S/explosive at a min. Definitions of confined space is broader and more complex than just egress and entanglement.
 

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Swift Justice = 2950fps
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I was born and raised in Los Angeles and I can assure you the there is an extensive tunnel system under the city. Some “speakeasys” operated in the tunnels during prohibition and LAPD officers worked as bouncers. Los Angeles also has a tunnel system of huge storm drain tunnels. In SHTF, I’d rather stay above ground.
 

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last thing I would do is go around in abandoned and disused tunnels as you may not get out ..

and I doubt rhw mass 3rd rail system will likely be turned off so playing around rail tunnels may see the loss of life

In a tsunami or flood tidal event you be best to own something that floats.

t6he shock to the system in flood events may kill you quicker wading in the water to get out..

If you are planning to put in a shelter system and wait out the storm system hitting you in low lying areas, you may need to consider an 8-12 tidal flood plain option for escape..

something you may need to consider if you live in low lying areas prone to flooding ..
 

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Nunquam Non Paratus
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Also, while there are videos like the one linked above, that describe people living in the tunnels, etc. The reality is that most of them live just inside the mouth of these tunnels to use them for shelter. They are not using them as thoroughfares to get around underneath the city. No doubt there are exceptions in some areas, as my experience is in one urban area with relatively small drainage tunnels, not subway tunnels, etc.

On the note of poisonous gases in tunnels as I mentioned in my first post on this topic, here is a link to a post where the author talks about these gases and how quickly you can be overcome. I know of one case where two people died in one of the tunnels under the city where I worked.

https://www.survivalistboards.com/showpost.php?p=18939348&postcount=44
 

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Dodging bat clap
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Depending on the storm drain system, it might be OK, but you'd need to be equipped for medical aid in case of sharp objects, drop-offs, diminishing 'healthy' air, rapid water if rain occurs while you're in there...

Yeah, I've thought about it. https://pw.lacounty.gov/fcd/StormDrain/index.cfm Hasn't gone much past that. You might consider a web search for 'urban exploration'; those sites tend to have warnings/gear/photos/what to do if you're caught etc.

I believe there was a sub-plot in "Patriots" by James Wesley Rawles, where several of the group used tunnels under (?) Chicago to bug-out to their predestined location.
 

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It's called the sewer...


Seriously, I doubt any coast city will have them (for what you are thinking)... too high of a water table. Vegas maybe, anywhere in the mountains is possible and probably guaranteed.
Hate to Disillusion you but as recently as about 25 years ago (about how long since I've been down there) there is a big tunnel system under down town Houston. Not sewer systems but big tunnels that have businesses in them, Restaurants, clothing stores, barber and beauty shops... most anything a office worker might need. It extends about fourteen blocks as I recall and had access from all the main down town high rise buildings.
 

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Don't know why I didn't do this in my previous post. It's more extensive than I remember, linking more than 23 building.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Houston_tunnel_system
The Houston tunnel system is a network of subterranean, climate-controlled, pedestrian walkways that links 95 full city blocks 20 feet (6 m) below Houston's downtown streets. It is approximately 6 miles (9.7 km) long.

The Tunnel is a series of underground passageways that, with above-ground skywalks, link office towers to hotels, banks, corporate and government offices, restaurants, retail stores, and the Houston Theater District. Portions of the tunnel contain gift shops, newsstands, banks, technology centers, flower shops, copy centers, dry cleaners, and food courts similar to a major shopping mall. They are widely and heavily used by office workers and tourists.
 

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Tested in the Wilderness
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My response to the title of this thread: "Tunnels Under the City"

I immediately thought of subway tunnels, even though I have never seen one in person since I hate cities. I have driven through quite a few big cities but never spent a day or more in one.

When I have watched some disaster movies such as in NY one of the latest was when Superman was fighting the other super alien but I wondered Why people did not go underground into the subway?? Or at Least inside but deep down in a subway tunnel surely would be much more protective than staying above ground?? Even in nuclear war, fallout, dirty bomb etc etc?

Here is a link telling about various city subways, especially abandoned tunnels. > https://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=mcsaoffblock&type=E111US714G0&p=are+subways+tunnels

And one pic out of many, this is an abandoned subway tunnel in Toronto >

 

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Tested in the Wilderness
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I don't know much about the tunnel systems or where any of the entrances are. If anyone knows where the entrances are in San Francisco, I would be very interested!
I did a quick yahoo search. I find a great deal of info just doing a search the times I really want to know something. Many links about tunnels etc. under San Francisco ( one of my least favorite cities for many reasons. Although I pretty much hate any city with a population of more than 10,000 for obvious reasons. Obvious to me anyway.

Here is the yahoo link with secret entrances and much other info about San Francissco tunnels etc. >>> https://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=...nows+where+the+entrances+are+in+San+Francisco
 

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Crazy Cat Lady
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I see Bob already covered the Houston tunnels. I thought they were so cool when we came to visit in the early 90's. They do tend to flood.

But I have walked around in them, they have restaurants and coffee shops all over, underneath. They are a nice alternative to walking around above ground and dealing with weather and traffic. They even have large maps on the wall.

Of course this was all back when he could walk, I am unsure how they would rate for wheelchair access now.
 
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