|Photo from Bike Portland/ Ethan Jewett|
In any case, I think that the potential for bikes as part of a disaster response, and not just as part of an individual's preparedness is an interesting concept. One of the rationales that is often used for over-sizing roads in a way that is not bike and pedestrian friendly is to allow for the passage of "emergency vehicles" which in turn get bigger and bigger until they won't fit through existing road infrastructure. Rinse, lather, repeat. I don't know how viable bikes would be for fire-response, but for a lot of first aid, and the distribution of supplies to displaced or stranded people, they could really be useful in a catastrophe.
*although you read stories like this, and the amount of weight you can carry by bike is pretty incredible.