Thoughts on Community Organization : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Hello All, I'd like to hear some of your thoughts on community organization. I live in Virginia (DC suburbs), and am not leaving. I do think that things are bad enough that I AM preparing with several months of food, water, etc. I read something recently about organizing the community (on a different site). I live in a large apartment complex, and would love to help my neighbors prepare - have us stand together, strength in numbers, etc. Unfortunately, when speaking about Y2K to loved ones, only about 1 in 10 will even consider the possible consequences. The rest think I'm a lunatic. I'd like to hear your thoughts on the following; If I try to arrange a community preparedness to Y2K, and the bulk of the people scoff, wouldn't that make me a marked man when TSHTF? If things get really bad, and people are starving, I think it would be extremely dangerous to be known as someone who prepared with a large stock of food and other essentials. Even if I never have to defend myself with violence (as I am prepared to do if my life is threatened), I would find it almost impossible to turn away a parent with starving children on my doorstep. Of course, enough starving children, and I starve as well. On the other hand, if enough people do feel it prudent to prepare, my little community could survive. I am really torn over this. Advice?

Douglas Malcolm

P.S. Another thought: When the millenium hits, I will still be an Inactive reservist for the military. If things go poorly, might it be better or worse to be in a known location by the government which could force me back to active duty?

-- Douglas Malcolm (, July 12, 1998


Doug: Go to Max Dixon's questions (it's two above yours). "More Info on Embedded Chips. It's a must to read! Also on the same website, there is another article that is a must to read called "Year 2000: who will do what and when will they do it? Toward Actions by Douglass Carmichael. This is the one that addresses question about community. Both articles are about 20 pages long, so print it out, it's easier to read! I'm not giving it to anyone sensitive to the issue to read.

-- Barb-Douglas (, July 12, 1998.

Hello, Doug and All--After wrestling with some of the same concerns you have expressed about community organization, I finally concluded that helping my neighbors as best I can is my only option. Both from a practical and moral standpoint. Although a lot of people aren't open to hearing about the problem yet, increasing media attention will eventually have its impact. Start a dialogue going among those who are ready, and others can join when their awareness rises. The Cassandra site ( has stories from others who are beginning community organization, as well as some pamphlets and materials you can download for distribution. Also, there is a very thoughtful and encouraging discussion about why community organization is the best answer, what the challenges are, why people react as they do, and techniques for getting the ball rolling at Everything about y2k is fraught with risk. But knowing you are doing everything you can to be a part of meeting its challenges is empowering and helps you sleep a lot better at night besides. Good luck to you.


-- Faith Weaver (, July 12, 1998.

It seems to me that the job in front of us is like trying to convert people from their religion....a religion that worships the status quo, Dow Jones, mutual funds, success from hard work, technology, Wal-Mart, fast food, their automatic ice makers, etc. Dont be surprised if you make some people very agitated, just as if you were attacking their most sacred belief systems when you suggest that Y2K might mess this all up. Dont be surprised if some want to pick up stones to try and kill the prophet that brings such a message.

We have had it so good in post WWII America, that the part of the brain that deals with serious hardship is atrophied, if not completely dead in most people. Bless em, they may not be able to see it no matter what you say. Not till a run on the local bank or a line to get into the grocery store, or black outs....

I wish I could say I have been successful waking up my community. I have not. I email a little newsletter around with the latest news and links each week. A few people are starting to prepare a little bit. But I cant get the community to talk about anything obvious such as emergency services without normal communications and electricity, let alone talking about the really tough things like what if Denver unzips, starts pouring east and we have Y2K refugees all over our yards.

Like trying to eat the elephant, I have had to take alerting the community one bite at a time. I just pray it wont be too late when enough people finally get it.

No great words of wisdom here, Douglas. This might not be popular to say, but if you cant get anyone to listen to you at all in your neighborhood, for your own safety and that of your families, consider making bug-out plans. You seem to have a servants heart, and can be of great service farther from the city as well. And there is a good possibility you will have to leave anyway, as an infrastructure collapse refuge. Even in the suburbs, you could be completely steam rolled over in a worst case y2k stampede.


-- Timothy Rebman (, July 12, 1998.

I have a question. Why does everyone conclude that people will leave their homes and become refugee's. If the problem is nationwide or at least regional, where ya gonna go. Most people think people will head for the hills. If you are not prepared, thats the worst place for you to go. Most people have only one real shelter, the one their living in. I do agree that there will be displacement due to fires and civil unrest, but if you have no camping equipment or skills why would you head for an area where no shelter exists. Most people do not have a clue how to survive in the woods. Even well prepared, things start to get rough real fast in the hills. If it is winter, multiply that by 1000 for a reading on the old "pain in the ass" meter.



-- j (, July 12, 1998.


Y2K refuges is, admittedly, one of worst of the worst case scenarios. If the electricity is out, the grocery stores empty, no water coming out of the tap, and no way to flush the toilet, the old homeplace could seem pretty unlivable in a matter of weeks. No food and water would drive people out of the city pretty quickly.

I have a half dozen friends who will leave their city homes and be on my rural doorstep in a week if the infrastructure completely collapses. They know what lots of people know--there is food (meat, eggs, vegetables, milk), private water wells, and they can go to the bathroom along with the bears in the woods if they have to. We have big bins full of grain, that might not be able to be shipped because of the non-compliant railroads. If its an extreme situation where the food and water cant come to the people, there will be a strong temptation for the people to go to the food and water.

I know, this is an extreme scenario, and not a most likely to happen one. We are talking total domino theory infrastructure collapse here. But not so extreme that we shouldnt think about it, or make plans. Many rural communities could absorb quite a few city cousins for weeks or months if a little thinking and planning were done before B-day. I know I have thought about how many I could house if necessary. I hope Im not alone in my thinking.

j, thanks for all your thoughtful writing.


-- Timothy Rebman (, July 12, 1998.

My husband and I were talking about the very same issues. However, at what point do you stop feeding people if TSHTF? We have been working very hard to store up, box up, prepare, plan, etc. We have warned people around us, and our family. I have one sister who has listened and is preparing, my mother is listening and preparing, but we know that she will have to be with us because she is elderly. No problem. But when your other siblings tell you to your face that you are nuts, and were always nuts, well then, when they show up on my door steps that's all their going to get, is a can of peanuts that have their name on it.

How many people have come to your door step preaching the return of Jesus? Telling you you are going to burn in hell for sure if you don't follow what they are saying. How the Lord has sent them to reveal God to you? I basically tell them they are nuts! Because we each have to take responsibility for our own selves. So, in the same way preaching to someone about the possible EOTWAWKI is a waste of your time and effort. You are better off using the time to read and prepare yourself mentally for what the next few months will bring. Now, I will stop preaching!

-- Barb-Douglas (, July 13, 1998.

I just bought a house, am preparing for retrofitting, and have already made the guest list of family & friends-- comes to about 20 people, including 5 young children. I'm finished explaining Y2K, like barb-doug says, I feel like a Jehovah's witness. They'll show up when the power goes down, anyway, as I'll have provided for them- they know my plans.

Oddly, I already view the present in the PAST TENSE, and plan for a return to the old ways, having completely dismissed normal life-growth things like promotions, new cars, fantastic vacations, etc. Having lived in "the hills" for 20 out of 31 years, I'm actually more interested in helping the city folks out, and worry about THEM.

The point I'm trying to make is the faster you CYA (Y2K ass, that is), the sooner you'll feel compelled to work on other people's problems, and the more hope you can muster. I just hope there are enough country cousins to absorb the city mice.

One thing I was considering: quit talking and start mailing can openers to people who don't want to discuss the rollover's disturbing their plans. They won't throw it away, and might give the topic more daily thought (mail them canned goods coupons, too.) Godspeed and good garage-saleing, Lisa.

-- lisa bucher (, July 13, 1998.

I have been aware and reading the net on the y2k issue. 8 months ago I moved into resolve. I felt compelled to bring it up with my neighbours as I was thinking about our 43 houses that could work together to come through this ordeal. You can tell where I am at since I think Ed Yardeni's now 70% chance of a recession is a lead pipe cinch. My neighbour on one side has no T.V. or internet. The wife is interested in learning more, but the husband is not. I will speak with them again if they are interested. The other neighbour adjacent to me are both computer programmers. She works for an oil company, he is a self-employed consultant after selling his previous software business to a big 8 consulting company a 6 years ago. She was aware of the problem and that her company was spending a lot of money on the problem, her husband was not much interested. I gave them some websites to look at, but a month later when I talked with them, they were totally in denial and that they felt their industry IT would solve it. Another neighbour is an engineer with an oil company and he told me they have big problems, but he had no concern, but very little direct knowledge. The bottom line is that it is very, very difficult to get any community involvement going. It is difficult enough getting your spouse on the same wavelength. I get the odd letter published in a few of our newspapers in the country just to focus awareness. Most perceive you as a worrywart or lunatic, which completely amazes me, since most respect the work I do in my self employment as a lawyer. The majority of people who post on sites like this, seem to have made their own independent assessment of the coming millenium. They are obviously intelligent and express their thoughts. Their posts allow them to vent some feelings, get information and reassurance since in their other lives, they are basically scorned. Eventually you keep your opinions to yourself, rather than be a shot messenger.

I have the city house up for sale. My wife designed this house, we raised our kids in it, it is our home. It has been a tough time for my wife, but she is more concerned about the general economy deteriorating and recognizes that y2k will exacerbate the coming collapse of the world economies with a resulting depression. We have decided to relocate to the country. Neither of us wants to leave our house, but we recognize that it is far too difficult to heat (Canada) when the electricity goes out or only on periodically. We would all be better off if the communities we live in banded together. As you can tell from the Answers, just like remediating y2k, should this sample of the population be any different? I think you better focus on you and your loved ones more than your community,but I wish you the best of luck with the community if you can stand the rejection.

-- Rick Reilly (, July 13, 1998.

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