an OPB piece on the Cargo Bike Disaster Trials. (BikePortland also covered it - with links to lots of photos. And here's the project site, the Cascadia Disaster Relief Trials.)
Bikes really are well suited for emergency transportation - they can carry loads measured in tens and small hundreds of pounds, they don't require external fuel, and they can negotiate over and around fractured roads, rocks, and other debris caused by natural disaster.
Cargo bikes also can replace a second car - getting a lot of groceries and even small appliances!
Salem has xtracycles and other longtails, but few long-johns, bakfiets, cycle trucks or other big cargo bikes. A few businesses use trikes for delivery, like Salem Weekly and some ice cream vendors.
a nice feature this month.
(Though it's not likely the SJ's error, the bottom photo caption is in error; I'm pretty sure that's Joel Metz, not Ethan Jewett.)