Monday, February 1, 2010

The Philadelphia Underground

In the past few weeks, it has become clear that we need to try to be prepared for just about anything, even things that just break our normal routine.  Some of the things may not be life threatening but I just think of it as training for what's to come or a reminder that I must continue to prepare. This morning a train in front of my train broke down and I had to get off 4 stations before my usual stop and walk 10 blocks to my office. No trains were going to those other 4 stops any time soon so waiting was not an option.

When everyone got off the train they pretty much stayed on the platform like a bunch of herded sheep and did not know what to do.  I decided to not be a sheep and left the platform to make my way to my office 10 blocks away.  It was cold but was sunny.  I then remembered that Philadelphia has several miles of tunnels that connect all the major sections and subways of downtown Philadelphia and even has an old nuclear bomb shelter somewhere in this underground city (I would love to know exactly where the bomb shelter is).  I walked several blocks underground but then I realized I did not know exactly how to get to my office through these tunnels.  The fact I decided to walk the rest of the way on street level showed me that I was not as prepared as I should be.  If I had to bug out of the city by walking through underground tunnels then I would most likely get lost or find myself in an area I did not want to be in.

So to ensure I am prepared to be able to walk the city underground I found the below map of the Philadelphia tunnel/subway system.  The lesson I learned is that we should know all the routes to and from where we work and live because we never know when we have to use an alternate way to get to work or home. 


Live the Motto - Be Prepared!


  1. That is so funny! Sorry to hear you had to hoof it 10 blocks, but it's so cool that you have escape tunnels at your disposal! It's good to know alternate routes no matter where you live, whether it's underground tunnels, backroads or old cow paths LOL.

  2. Thats good thinking, having a plan and a backup plan is the way of a true survivalist.

  3. Cool man! Thanks for the map, it will come in useful some day. You know, there is another set of tunnels under the Liberty buildings. Another underground city all together. Just a thought. Wonder where that old fallout shelter is. I have a friend who is a SEPTA Cop, gonna pick his brain...

  4. Mike P. Thanks. There are probably a lot more tunnels throughout Philly we don't know about. I think the fallout shelter is near the Broad street concourse. You can see a video that talks about it but does not really show the main shelter but it does show one of the supply rooms that still had medical supplies and crackers from 40+ years ago. I was hoping that they at least tasted the crackers! See

  5. remenber when the power went out in new york city! people where trap underground, if I was you, I would carry a small flashlight, I like dorcey flashlights, check out there web site, good prices, I have there big one for outdoors at nite its great! allso there laeterns, excuse my spelling im tired.

  6. Every Philadelphian should keep a few things on them at all times. Flashlight is number one. Make sure it powered by AAA or AA bateries and not the more expensive CR123 batteries favored in most tactical lights. Sams club has a excellent 2 pack of tactical flashlights that run on 3 AAA batteries and are at least 120 lumens. Keep and extra set of batteries handy also.

    Also keep a cellphone with wall charger and a roll of quarters or dollar coins, because in a real emergency the celll towers willl be over loaded. A good folding knife with at least a 4 inch blade. I recommend Cold Steel as a manufacturer. A good LOUD whistle is also good. If you are trapped a whistle will carry much farther than you can yell. Plus you can only yell and cry for help for so long before you strain your vocal cords and go horse. You can blow a whistle all day long.

    A Leatherman's style tool is also a good idea. Very handy and can be used to punch through drywall and cut through cables found in the walls. A center punch is also good to get through tempered glass and even car windows and windshields in an emergency.