How far from a city is safe in 2000? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I am thinking of moving to an urbanized area on the East Coast, but I am considering the possibility (of whatever probability) of civil unrest connected with Y2K. How far from a major city like Boston do people think that one should live to be safe? (You could measure this either in miles or in minutes to drive.) What kind of neighborhood would one seek?

Also, I am curious how likely people consider such civil unrest?

By the way, Boston is only hypothetical, I'm going somewhere else.

-- Peter Vincent Homeier (, May 08, 1998


A good rule of thumb that I have heard on various ngs is: over one gas tank from the city.

-- Bill Solorzano (, May 08, 1998.

The one-tank-of-gas rule is pretty good, but a tank of gas goes quite a ways these days. My wife's minivan on a full tank will go almost 400 miles before choking on fumes. That assumes a clear road and good weather, of course. During a mass urban exodus in a January blizzard with jammed highways and panicking drivers, your mileage may vary. Of equal or greater importance east of the Mississippi, where it's next to impossible to get 350 miles from a major city, would be to avoid major highways. I would think that a tiny, off-the-beaten-path town 50 miles from Boston might be less liable to see trouble than a town on a major I-95 interchange 150 miles from Boston. That's my opinion, of course, and I'd be interested in hearing others.

-- J.D. Clark (, May 09, 1998.

Dear Peter:

Since this is merely conjecture, here goes: I believe that mass panic could set in at some point. If it does, exit from the cities will likely be blocked by road. This level of disaster is the only one that a move to the hills prepares for. If there is no mass exodus, there is nothing to leave the city for at this point. If there is a mass exodus and road gridlock, it would seem to me that the first 50 miles out of any major city along interstate corridors will be the first places receiving refugees. From the interstate highways, then figure a few days walk at about 15 miles per day. As an out of shape Christian minister, I recently completed a 20 mile walk in one day. I was exhausted and my feet were blistered. Desperation could have moved me on the second day, but with my family along, I doubt if we could go much beyond 40 miles on foot? It therefore seems to me that one should look at least 100 miles from a major city and 50 miles from an interstate highway. One should probably also be 10 miles from the nearest road on a Rand McNally road map, in other words, "off the beaten path" and "down the dirt road". I think that this is more important than total distance. It seems that some of these places in the east and midwest might turn out to be safer than most. As I think of my history and how difficult it was to dislodge the Cherokees from the Smokey Mountains, perhaps Tennessee, West Virginia and Western Virginia are not bad alternatives. From my travels, I think the Missouri Ozarks might also be quite good south and west of St. Louis towards Silver Dollar City. Russian tanks had terrible problems with Afghanistan because of the rugged terrain. The Smokey's are similar.

Rev. Stephen L. Bening

-- Rev. Stephen L. Bening (, May 12, 1998.

In the sixties I read a book that contained many graphs plotted along a time axis. One such showed the growth of human population, another one the speed with which man could fly, one graphed the dimensional tolerances of manufacturing machine parts, etc. All these graphs showed rapid exponential growth. They indicated to me that this growth could not continue indefinitely without a major change or disaster. In the seventies, this realization was partly responsibly for our move into the country, away from the big population centers. After a lot of research on the y2k problem, I have concluded that "it" will be the disaster that I have been anticipating. Man's collective stupidity and immorality is about to catch up with him. We live in a small town in Southern Idaho. It is located in the Snake River valley which has a milder climate, as well as good hunting and fishing.The climate and soil are ideal for gardening and we have abundant gravity-fed spring water. We have a few residential lots for sale and land for additional gardening area. Please visit our web page at for more information.

-- A. H. Sutterlin (, July 20, 1998.

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