The Sh-t Has Hit The Fan: How Long Will It Take You To Get Out Of Your City?

Getting out of your city when you are under attack

The sh-t has hit the fan and you need to get out of the city real quick and into the wild to escape an attack, outbreak or public chaos. How long does it take for you to escape your city as quickly as possible and get to your bunker, or the woods? Find out.

I have simulated the peak-hour traffic times with the help of digital data company Here to see how long it takes to leave various cities in the United States and Europe and either get to your millionaire bunker, or to the woods to get your survival mode on.

For those that have invested money in bunkers, bad luck. Unless you’ve got a very fast means of air transport or a ridiculously good prior warning system, you’re not going to make your bunker in time for that nuclear blast you were hoping to miss. If you’re looking to escape the fallout from said blast (if you weren’t already in the initial impact radius), you might have a long drive ahead of you. For those thinking of buying a fallout shelter in a regional area, perhaps this research might assist you in choosing where your ideal site is. Should an attack occur, or any other worst-case scenario, you would want to keep your travel time as small as possible.

So let’s take a look at some of the timings I ran through for getting to the nearest woods in different cities. Keep in mind this research was done using statistics that measure peak hour traffic, I think if the fan was well and truly hit with sh-t, these times would be much longer due to the social panic big events can cause. Where mentioned, I have tried to map all routes away from highways as they are a place to avoid.

United States

Peak hour traffic and leaving the city

Image: The Washington Post

New York’s Delaware River is the best part of nearby remoteness for one of the world’s biggest cities, and to be honest, it’s not that far. If we avoid all highways and tolls the start of the Delaware River, just after Port Jervis leaves us at 2 hours and 23 minutes escape time in a car. That’s not bad in comparison to a lot of the others as you will see.

New York to Delaware

The problem here is the craze that you would experience in being a compact city like New York, the streets would be busy and even though you’re staying away from all main roads you are likely to encounter traffic jams frequently.

Los Angeles is a haven for escape as you’re right next to a huge open forest and mountain range with the San Gabriel Mountains. If we’re setting our closest point at the Eaton Canyon Falls, where a lot of hiking routes start from, we’re sitting on an easy 46-50-minute escape during peak time.

For Chicago, you’re out of luck. Your best bet of getting anywhere safe is to hop on a boat and push north into the national reserves. If you’re on car and avoiding highways it would take more than five hours to get to somewhere like Newaygo to head off into the Huron-Manistee.

Philadelphia is not so bad as it has a number of options surrounding it. Close to the east is the Wharton State Forest which if you’re heading to a base town like Shamong you can get there in less than two hours.

American Bunkers

With the booming business in fallout shelters it would be suitable to mention the less attractive idea of making your way to one of them. Pack some lunch because it is going to be a drive.

Vivos XPoint have their large shelter community in Fall River, South Dakota. If you’re in one of the nearby cities you are still not going to be a missile launch from an enemy attack. To the south lies Denver, if you’re driving in peak traffic it is going to take you a treacherous seven hours of driving before you’re there. If you’re coming from the east in Minneapolis sit tight, it’s 10 hours. Omaha is a little bit closer at eight hours.

Fallout Shelter

Vivos Indiana is built a little closer to Indianapolis so it is a suitable choice for American families is the sh-t hits the fan. The Vivos Survival Shelter and Resort in Atchison gives people from Omaha a fighting chance with just over three hours in travel time. For Kansas folk, this one is just over an hour away.

Atchison Bunker

European Cities

Russia’s Moscow has the perfect plan for when the sh-t hits the fan. The layout of the city is easy to remember as everything essentially works in a big circle. For the bugging out of Moscow, just to the north of the city area starts the Losiniy Ostrov, or Elk Island. While this is a smaller national park area than a lot of the other bug-out places mentioned it is a convenient 38-minute drive in peak hour traffic. If you were desperate enough, you could even cycle out of the city in just over an hour.

Escape russia

In London it takes at most one-and-a-half hours in peak hour traffic to get from the city centre to Norbury Park and the Surrey Hills area, however this area is still quite populated. The best part about this quick escape is that your venture south can lead you into a very survivable South Downs National Park. escape london

From the Berlin’s center you can get to the Barnim Nature Park in the north in less than one hour in peak traffic. From there you can easily travel north through the national park lines which are full of hiking tracks and unpopulated areas. The situation is similar for Kiev in Ukraine as a 50-minute drive through peak traffic can get you up into the Zalissia National Park, form here you can venture through Mizhrichynskyi National Park as well.

Berlin Bug Out Kiev bug out

European Bunkers


Vivos has a billion dollar shelter in Rothenstien, Germany called Europa One. It is an invite-only shelter that is said to be one of the best and most luxurious in the world. For its location, it serves a purpose as being near to Germany’s biggest city, Berlin, but still has a drive time of two-and-a-half-hours. If highways are avoided this increases to four-and-a-half-hours. But because it is a European vault, everything else is quite close by. Prague is just under four hours away. Germany’s second biggest city, Hamburg, is an unfortunate four-and-a-half hours away in peak traffic and Munich, the third biggest, is three-and-a-half hours away.

Bunker for berlin

As far as vaults go, this one by Vivos is accessible by the most amount of people in the shortest amount of time.

But While Czech Republic’s Prague has access to Europa One, they also have their own vault which is said to be the world’s largest private apocalypse shelter and part of its security is its location.


Sweden has also entered the race by renovating 350 civilian bunkers on an island in the Baltic Sea. These only sustain half of the local population of Gotland and would most likely be limited to Government officials primarily. The issue with this is it is an island and the barge to transport a vehicle takes quite some time. In the most likely event of a worst-case scenario a mean of flight transport would be used for this one.

Fallout Shelters in Sweden

United Kingdom

The UK has a number of fallout bunkers scattered throughout the country after concerns from past world wars and the risk of attacks. If you are living in London, good news there’s a bunker right near you, the Kelvedon Hatch, it’s currently a tourist attraction. There is also the Kingsway Telephone Exchange which has been up for sale since 2008. But aside from these old museum-like pre-war shelters, no huge projects have been committed to as of yet for the UK.

As you can see, the times vary for escape methods from various cities around the world. When a worst-case scenario occurs, like a financial collapse, public outbreak, or an attack, you want to get away from city hotspots as quickly as possible. Ideally, you want to grab your bug-out bag and get out of there as quickly as possible.

Personally I like Moscow’s or Los Angeles escape timing the best. What this research shows is that the survival preppers, who would rather flock to the wilderness than a fallout bunker, have a very effective and reachable time on their hands. For those retreating away to a bunker, it seems that unless you have air-transport, this retreat is pointless. I will say that in the case of an atomic bomb blast or viral disease, a fallout shelter is the number one ideal.

Why does this information help? It makes you realise that not everything is as easy as getting in a truck like Tom Cruise when there is an alien invasion and retreating to the woods. This is real life and something worth thinking about. It’s small plans like these that is the reason preppers take precautions, just in case things go downhill.

If you know more about any other bunker sites, or if you have pre-prepared escape routes in case the sh-t hits the fan in your area, share them with the community in the comments below.

1 Comment

  1. Adam T


    Thanks for this!

Let me know your thoughts on this topic!