Where are all the relocators?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I have a y2k survival website, Y2K Survive, (www.y2ksurvive.com), one of the more comprehensive survival sites, which I have tried to fill with as much personal and family survival information as possible. I get a lot of e-mailed "thank you" notes so I know I'm doing some good with this.

There is a rural real estate exchange page on the site, on which I have listed many y2k-secure properties for sale, from raw land in Tennessee at $15,000 to $400,000 upscale retreats--something for everybody. I get a lot of inquiries about the different properties but considering how short a time we have left, I do not sense any real feeling of urgency from most of them. It's as if they want to give a nod to the possibility of relocating but they so often seem to find some reason why they can't do it just now, and these are the people who should be fully aware of the looming catastrophe.

Is this just another kind of denial? Any thoughts on this?

-- cody varian (cody@y2ksurvive.com), December 15, 1998


its just so difficult to relocate .. especially if you have a family to support also. but then again, its all the more reason to consider moving to a more sustainable location.

-- lou navarro (lanny1@ix.netcom.com), December 15, 1998.

Cody, correct me if I am wrong, but I am figuring 2 months tops is what it takes to get a piece of land, build a simple self sufficient home, etc. And, I think that a lot of people (based on other forum postings) are waiting for 1999 to kick in before cashing out on their 401k plans, etc. So, I suspect that a lot of people who have been thinking about it will in fact be doing it before TSHTF.

But, of course, most won't. Thats why I believe, even at this late date, it is still possible to prepare for Y2K at the personal level.

-- Jack (jsprat@eld.net), December 15, 1998.

You may be right about most people waiting until 1999 to cash in and get relocated but I think you are being overly optimistic about the time needed to buy a piece of property and build something on it. Even doing this in a very basic way will probably take 3 or 4 months for most people. Also, most people with families want to live in a house of some kind, not a wilderness lean-to or whatever, and this takes time to find and purchase.

With all the possible 1999 y2k problems, it's very risky to wait any longer than necessary.

-- cody varian (cody@y2ksurvive.com), December 15, 1998.

This may be a form of denial, but it isn't the simple "I refuse to believe anything bad will happen" form. The issues you raise strike me as very complex and difficult. Some points to consider:

First, the variety of ways that y2k might play out is limited only by your imagination. A rural location is by no means the 'best' place to be in many of these. You may be isolated, vulnerable, and too far from necessary materials, you may be in the last location to receive help if there is any. While it's probably true in general that the more self-sufficient you can be, the less y2k upheavals will affect you, simply moving to a rural location doesn't by itself make you self-sufficient.

Second, most of us have limited resources, and relocating consumes those resources in a big hurry. Anything I spend on a rural property is money I no longer have to spend on food and water, supplies, tools, alternative sources of light and heat, and so on and on. A rural location may be better than where I am (and it may not), but I'd need it to be MUCH better, and guaranteed, to justify skimping or doing without all these other resources I'd better have on hand in sufficient quantities. Otherwise, it's a poor tradeoff.

Third, I cannot do without my income (for as long as it lasts), and I am not a farmer or general handyman, and cannot learn to become one in a few months. (Not counting the investment in equipment, materials, livestock, and God only knows what else, which is hopelessly beyond my means in any case). Like most of us, I can't relocate beyond feasible commuting distance of any possible opportunity to make a living. So for me, the idea of having some escape pod, heated, lit, safe, well-stocked with all I need, to run to if the need arises, is only a daydream. As it is, I could miss one paycheck and probably scrape by. I can't miss two paychecks.

Yes, if I had a crystal ball and knew for a fact that my only hope of survival is to start learning to forage for nuts and berries today, and that the collapse will be so complete that I can run up a mountain of debt I could never ordinarily pay off and it wouldn't matter, maybe I'd cross my fingers and pray that rural is better than where I am. So in effect I'm betting that there will be some semblance of an economy I can contribute to within a year, and some continuity to most of our lives. Is this denial? If so, packaging and selling rural properties to whoever panics probably qualifies as another form of denial.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), December 15, 1998.

Gary North had an article on Nov 4 called "29 reasons why Y2K-informed people won't move out of the cities". It is in the Introduction category. The url is http://www.garynorth.com/y2k/Detail.CFM?Links__ID=3022

29 Reasons

-- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), December 15, 1998.

Cheers for you Flint. Realizing that the worst of all possible worlds is very unlikely to happen is not a form of denial - it is a form of maturity. I could be killed on my way home from work. I could be struck by a meteorite. It is very unlikely these things will happen. And it is very unlikely that Y2K will be at the level of a '7' or greater. My own bet is a '4' or less - how much less would depend on what is done in other countries more than what is done here - assuming we don't all down tools next week and say the heck with it - another very unlikely thing. You have to plan for what seems most likely - not for the absolute worst - because the absolute worst gives 90%+ of the human species no chance of survival. Under THOSE conditions survival becomes more a matter of chance and less a matter of planning.

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), December 15, 1998.

Flint: You don't have to learn to be a farmer or a handyman to live successfully in a rural area. I've lived in one for years and other than a family garden I don't do any farming and I'm no more of a handyman here than I was in the city. Actually in many ways life is pretty much the same in a rural area as it is in an urban one, with the exception of crime, traffic, violence, high taxes, dangerous schools and that sort of thing. Some people seem to think that moving to a rural area means living in a drafty log cabin and eating unripe corn all the time; it's not like that at all.

The bare fact of the matter is that people in rural areas are not nearly so dependent upon the reliable operation of life-supporting computer systems as are people in urban areas. We have our own wells and septic systems, woodstoves are common in many houses, firewood is all around, there are rivers and lakes and ponds to fish in, everybody has a garden and there is a tradition of canning food so many families have a food supply that will easily last them a year or more. It's simple common sense to realize that if Y2K is really bad or even fairly bad, life will be much better in a rural area.

-- cody varian (cody@y2ksurvive.com), December 15, 1998.

Paul: the more I learn about the complexity of the y2k problem, the less optimistic I become; it doesn't get simpler as you delve into it, it gets more complicated. What specific reason have you for thinking it will not be at least a "7" in its intensity and its effect on all of us? What are your grounds for saying that it will be only a "4" or so? If it's a case of your guess being as good as mine, I'm going with a "7" at least.

-- cody varian (cody@y2ksurvive.com), December 15, 1998.

Ok, guys, here is a "rustic" testimony to country living to avoid the coming Y2K calamities if there ever was one! Fresh from the GN "Relocation" forum:

Going Country

-- Jack (jsprat@eld.net), December 16, 1998.


Answering your question calls for a book, not a post. I will try, keeping it as short as I can, and to everyone else, I apologise for the length of this.

To understand my take on Y2K, you have to understand that I have a somewhat unique perspective due to having 'real world' experience with most of the critical fields that contribute to the essential services that must continue, if we are to hold together the fabric of American life. I was born on a farm in the Western Kentucky coal fields, and was raised there. We raised cattle, sheep(for a while), hogs and tobacco - corn for the animals, huge gardens (several acres), chickens for eggs and meat - ducks and bees because I liked them, canned and froze literally TONS of food - had both tractors and mules - big lake we fished and had parties at - a pretty nice place to grow up if you didn't mind working your A** off all the time. Lived there till I got married at twenty five years old. May I say that I have some idea of the farm problem?

I went to Western Ky University and studied Physics and Astronomy. Partly because I was very tired of school, partly because the Nixon administration had shut down the physical science support for the US, I left with just a couple of hours to go and went to work as a Lab Technician (quality control) at the largest coal company in the free world. Worked at several different mines - hard to say how many because sometimes I would be at one for just a few weeks before being sent somewhere else. When that settled down, I started taking night classes in Computer Science at University of Evansville. I also did some programming for the mines, including some PLC type work. Spent seventeen years doing this kind of thing. And part of the time I was working just outside the main gate of the TVA power plant in Paradise, KY - and in fairly close contact with my opposite numbers on the inside. So I really think I have a pretty good idea of the 'real world' workings of the power/fuels problems from the inside.

When the coal mines played out - I went back to school full time and got my CS degree from University of Evansville - which gives a BS in CS, not a BA. That is an important point. The BS means you got your degree through a college of engineering - not a college of mathmetics or arts and sciences. So I was given considerable exposure to PLC innards, low level programming etc. In fact I used to help the EE and Computer Engineering students with their PLC programs - most are written in a 'C' like language (for the cheap ones students use - industrial models are different) - and debugging is very primitive. Since I had some experience they were grateful for the help. And I have been a junior COBOL programmer - a network manager - and a database administrator since I graduated - with a 3.51 overall GPA I might add. So I know the computer side of the problem as well. And currently am trying to track down a bunch of laptops and test them for Y2K problems!

As for my 'connections', they are pretty good. My brother is a wheel at Mitre - if you want their take on Y2K check Yourdon's home page - he has a link. One of his kids (we talk a lot) is moving up quickly at Sun Microsystems. So the folks I talk to are not exactly ignorant of computers and system problems. Also, I work for the Corps of Engineers - so I see a lot of professional engineers and computer workers on a daily basis - and Y2K is a fairly common topic of conversation.

And the reason for the above - I am neither bragging nor complaining - this is what you need to know about me to realize just how and why my opinions about Y2K are formed. To be blunt - I am not some guy who is incapable of hard work - nor am I just full of 'book smarts' as we say in Ky. I have 'been there and done that' for a lot of things, and what I have seen I have tried to understand. Believe me I have left out a lot - like being a crack shot with a rifle - summers working for an oil/gas distributer - lots of stuff. So here is my take on the Y2K problem - based on what I have SEEN AND DONE MYSELF.

The coal to power plants thing - coal will be produced. Period. The first thing a mine super does is to redesign the place. I have looked at the original engineers drawings for several coal tipples and such - they bear no resemblance to the place 5 years later. The reason for the redesign - reliability. And that meant being able to run by hand anywhere it was possible. These guys are nasty about anything that might prevent their plant from running. Gimme 5 bucks for every time I have seen an electrician walking up a long series of conveyor belts throwing bypass switches and starting things by hand when the computer systems were down - and I will have enough to have me a fine old time down here in the casinos! So in the case of the coal mines - and most of the really basic raw materials industrys are the same - they trade key personnel around like some sort of game tokens - the bypass to run by hand will already be there.

The power situation - most of the panic seems to be over the national grid going down. Could happen. BUT and this is a really big BUT - there is the national grid and there is the local service area. The national grid being down does NOT generally prevent the local service area from receiving power from a LOCAL power plant. AHEM. This point is overlooked - can you say deliberately? - by one H**L of a lot of people who demand TEOTWAWKI. Guess how long you would take to cut the LSA off the grid entirely - two or three days - hmm - sounds familiar doesn't it? That matches the time the govt. and some others have predicted for power failures. Could be they expect national grid troubles.

As for the generation of power - there is not much in a generating plant that is dependant on computers for production of power. Billing, yes - check the charter from any of the public service commissions - you will find that messed up billing is not a reason to stop providing service to everyone. (Individuals who don't pay their bill, yes, not to everybody because the company has a problem.)

The 'hidden date' PLC problem is not a real problem, BTW. Someone always brings that up when you talk about power. If we are talking about a real PLC, not some 'one of a kind' special order thing - if it has a hidden date - that means you can't set the date on start up. That means the PLC must start on the factory default date. Which means its calendar is off. Which means that whatever other problems it may have, it will not fail on 1/1/2000 because it will not 'think' it is 1/1/2000, but some other date, probably years in the past.

Farms and food - farmers are much more dependant on computers than was the case just a few years ago. They control sprayers and much other equipment to minimise costs. But plants won't quit growing because the computer has a problem. Moreover the Dept. of Agriculture is pressuring farmers to get compliant - esp. dairies as they are the most dependant on computer controlled equipment. So the food thing will probably be more a problem of distribution than production - though production may well suffer we produce a large surplus - so cutting down on the surplus will not mean we starve.

Distribution - what can I say. This field I have not worked in. A friend who spent years working on the railroads would have had some important things to say - but he died in 96. So I can't say much except that I expect their problems to involve higher costs rather than becoming incapable of moving anything. A unit train is a train loaded with only one product - coal or grain usually - all going to the same place. Such a train could be switched by hand if need be and would get through. Many modern trains are made up to go to a dozen different destinations. This is very computer dependant - and will probably fail. Outside of this stuff - which I consider pretty obvious - I can't say much about the rail.

Financial markets and the banking system. They are working on the problem - as all they own is numbers in computers that represent a fortune one would presume they regard the problem as serious. But I doubt they will fix it all. Bank problems are bad news - but won't kill us quickly if at all. It takes loss of vital services to do that and money, while needed if we are to get back to normal, is not vital to life.

A '4' on the scale I am familiar with, is not a 'bump in the road'. It is a serious national problem that will require great effort to overcome and get by. It probably will not cause great loss of life, but suffering may be pretty high. Govt. checks will go undelivered, power will not be reliable for some time, banks will be pretty flakly, and there will be a lot of bank mergers as banks whose systems have failed are taken in by banks whose systems are working. Shortages will be very annoying in many areas - esp. computer parts as what is in production will be sent to remediation efforts. And the president will probably get the blame. The political ramifications are enormous. Incidentally, I am not betting on a recession - if the US is in much better shape that most of the rest of the world, which is entirely possible, our goods and services may well bring enormous prices abroad during the remediation effort worldwide.

OK - as I say I have seen most of what I talk about and worked with it myself. What I don't know from experience I either stated I did not know or did not discuss. Who ya gonna believe, the guy who has been there, or some guy who has never left an office and just reads reports. (And BTW, Yourdon has been in the trenches enough that I don't put him in the latter category, though as far as I know he has never been in the fuels or transportation industries, outside their computer systems anyhow. He does have a better overview than most, however, which is one of the reasons I hang out here.)


-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), December 16, 1998.

Paul, as always, you give a well thought out answer, based on sound experience. And, personally, I always believe you, its just that I usually think that you are wrong.

I invite you to take a big step back and re-read what you wrote, looking at the "big picture" rather than specific details. As you re-read what you wrote, constantly keep two concepts in mind: 1) interdependent, multiple, simultaneous problems; 2) risk of not preparing for a worst case scenario, even if the probability of a worst case scenario is small (for the sake of argument; personally, I think that the probability is high).

Personally, when I apply these two concepts to what you wrote, I find that it actually tends to validate doom-and-gloom concerns.

-- Jack (jsprat@eld.net), December 16, 1998.

How strange, Cody's description of the 'rural' setup is an EXACT description of my SUBURBAN neighborhood: We have our own wells and septic systems, woodstoves are common in many houses, firewood is all around, there are rivers and lakes and ponds to fish in, everybody has a garden...

So that means, the difference between suburbs and rural comes down to one thing and one thing only: population density and troublemaking people per square mile. For that my only answers are: armalite, colt, glock, h&h, steyr, bennelli, and remington.

Paul Davis: thank you for a fantastic posting. -RC

-- runway cat (runway_cat@hotmail.com), December 16, 1998.


I noticed you have an implicit assumption on electricity, and that is that the local area systems can handle whatever needs by separating from hte grid. i suggest that you take a look around and ask how much of the power in any given area is wheeled, and how much is locally generated. Cleveland has two power companies. One, owns a large nuke generating facility. The other no longer generates any of it's own power. If/when the grid goes down, about half of the city will lose power. The other half is almost totally nuke powered. The greens are trying to have the nukes shut down, requiring that the power they generated be replaced, of course by wheeling more in from somewhere. this requires a grid up and running.

I believe, without a real survey it's only going to be a belief, that there are a number of other cities who have set up municipal power corporations and do all of their business through wheeling power. This might put a different perspective on things.

On Distribution, research the recent merger of 2 railroad giants and the active gridlock that was in evidence in the West this past year because the two computer systems were so incompatible that they were unable to exchange data in any way. The gridlock was so bad that we were very close to having product outages on the East coast for about 3 months and the tracks in the West were full.


-- Chuck a night driver (rienzoo@en.com), December 16, 1998.

And another thing....(I still don't have MaryLou's smile but we'll get over it)

YOu probably ought to bet on a recession, as those "goods and services" are primarily manufactured in other countries, or are manufactured using sub assemblies made outside the US, as far as the goods go. Services, in other words our people and their talents, will probably not go out of the country as they will be needed here. Also, it may be impossible to convince someont to go to a country which is experiencing a society changing event, based simply on the safety issue, alone. Not to mention the inability to provide for living conditions for the contractors.


-- Chuck a night driver (rienzoo@en.com), December 16, 1998.

Jack, Chuck, I expect problems. I just don't expect TEOTWAWKI. We are going to have massive problems - but I do think, based on experience, that we will have power, water and food. That is the basis for going on.

Chuck, you are quite right about the cities where the Greens have forced pollution and power generation in to other areas. The thing is that the cities will be shutting down many factories and office buildings trying to keep homes warm - thus huge business losses until the national grid comes back on line. BTW - I was told that the Sears tower in Chicago pulls just about as much power as the entire city of Rockford, IL. Never checked it out, but the guy swore it was true.

And note what I said about trains carefully - I think unit trains will go through - pretty much a given. But short loads are gonna be backed up forever.

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), December 16, 1998.

Paul: While I respect your experience and credentials, I can counter every point you make with an equally plausible opposing point, but since we certainly know both sides of most of this pretty well, I'm not going to take up space on this forum in a point-by-point debate. I simply think you're not considering the domino effect of y2k. If you factor that in, your points tend to support my position of a scale 8 or worse y2k scenario.

The General Motors vendor situation is a good example of the domino effect. GM has well over 50,000 different vendors it buys parts from. We know from several surveys that many small businesses do not take y2k seriously and are making no attempt to get their computers compliant. Common sense tells me that a significant number of GM vendors are very small businesses and that a fair number of them are likely to be unable to function in 2000, which will almost immediately shut down the GM assembly lines, putting thousands of people out of work and soon shutting down the compliant vendors who will not be able to sell to GM, putting more people out of work, etc. etc.

Just-in-time inventory control requires almost flawless delivery, which is totally computer-dependent, in order to work. Many computers will not work in 2000, which will put a major whammy on JIT inventory, which will shut down the manufacturers. How long? Who knows? Depends on the power grid, on fuel delivery, on parts availability (many of which are imported, by the way), on telecommunications, on railroads, on oil tankers, on oil refineries, on damn near everything you can think of. This problem cannot be fixed in a few days in January, 2000. It will feed on itself and grow geometrically.

I don't think we're headed back to the Middle Ages for a century or two but I do think we will see a total global reshuffling of the deck, with a lot of pain and a lot of people dying in the process.

-- cody varian (cody@y2ksurvive.com), December 16, 1998.

Cody - the trouble is that you are missing my point. Basic industries - food, fuel - power, transportation - are not dependant on just in time deliveries in any signifigant way. A coal mine - once set up - does not require much in the way of deliveries. Parts and new equipment, yes, but this is not a constant thing. And they keep a lot of spare parts on hand - and most all have one HECK of a scrapyard where they get old part when the new ones are slow coming in. Power plants are much the same - the law used to require 3 months supply of fuel on hand for coal fired plants - now I think it is 6 weeks or a month - though most of them keep quite a bit over that anyway. And much more in the winter or when they are expecting trouble. Rumours of rail or coal strikes - or contract talks coming due - and the stockpiles go up. I have seen a stockpile at TVA that was 4 million tons. That was really the largest I have seen - though I did see several at various places over 1 million tons. At 26 million BTU per ton - that is one heck of a lot of power! You would have several weeks before most coal fired plants would have any problem with fuel - some could no doubt run for months - just depends on their contracts and whether or not they have had some down time. For the type of basic industry I am talking about - you are not at the center of a web of supply. You are the end of the pipeline - the end that keeps getting filled up! Farms are much the same way - there are some confinement operations that need deliveries - but most have lots of storage on hand. Shucks, most grow the major part of what they need - the others are somewhere like the sugar beet country in Colorado. Steers really like the beet pulp - or so I am told - never been there myself. In Ky where I was raised - you could raise hogs on distillery mash. To the distillers it is waste - to a hog it is heaven on earth. Of course hogs will eat anything - they even like a little coal now and then - never did figure out why they liked eating what amounted to soft rock - but they sure will eat it! So the confinement operations dependant on someone else may have trouble - but they are not the major part of agriculture by a long shot. Every pipeline has a beginning - and the beginnings are what concern me. GM and Ford may falter until the infrastructure comes back on line - but the suppliers of food, fuel and power are where my concern lies.

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), December 16, 1998.

Paul: I don't know a lot about coal fired power plants but I have been communicating with several men who work in the oil industry and they are not encouraging. There are many, many embedded chips in oil refineries and drilling platforms and there is no way they can all be checked and replaced in the time we have left, not to mention that some of them are a mile or two under water or otherwise difficult to access. What about all the oil-fired power plants?

For that matter, 40% of the power in the East is provided by nuclear plants, which are likely to be shut down as a precautionary measure by the NRC in July. We cannot run a modern economy on coal alone.

Then there are all those oil tankers, which the maritime industry has admitted are chock full of embedded chips. It's simply not reasonable to assume that each of them will be pulled out of service and completely checked and corrected in the next 12 1/2 months. There are surely going to be very serious supply problems for the electrical power industry.

We live in a world that is totally supported by computer systems and those systems are going to be severely damaged, all at the same time, in 2000. To me, this is almost surely going to be far worse than a "4" on a disaster scale of 10.

-- cody varian (cody@y2ksurvive.com), December 16, 1998.

Cody - we have enormous strategic reserves of oil, same for many basic metals and materials. The govt. will certainly release these reserves for use if Y2K causes shortages widespread enough to threaten the fabric of US society - that's what the reserves are for. Do a search on this link for strategic petroleum reserve - and have the acrobat reader loaded - all govt. documents are stored in PDF format because of the very wide variety of govt. computers.

BTW - would everyone please call them embedded controllers? Embedded chips is misleading and inaccurate, and is starting to grate on my nerves.

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), December 17, 1998.

Paul and Cody, I think that both of you have had / are having one of the best debates that I have ever seen on any Y2K discussion forum regarding the pros and cons of what may happen, and why. But the question that I must ask is: What are the tradeoffs if I take a Paul- based approach rather than a Cody-based approach? I think that the obvious conclusion is that if I take a Paul-based approach and Paul turns out to be largely wrong, then I am largely dead. If I take a Cody-based approach and Cody turns out to be largely wrong, then I have made some sub-optimum choices for my life, but clearly not anything that cannot be undone (e.g., stored food can always be donated to charity).

And for me, this is the only way to approach Y2K.

-- Jack (jsprat@eld.net), December 17, 1998.

Jack: The Boy Scout motto works for me: Be Prepared!

Paul: This is turning into a debate (respectful and friendly, but still a debate) and there's no way either of us can prove his case--not until January, 2000 rolls in. My position is: Our way of life is dependent on reliable computer systems; the fundamental computer code is flawed; to fix it sufficiently to avoid a disaster of historical proportions takes more programmers and far more time than we have until the deadline hits; therefore we're in deep, deep trouble. I can't prove this without a doubt but I cannot avoid this conclusion based on all the information I have at present. Having said this, it's time for me to get back to work.

-- cody varian (cody@y2ksurvive.com), December 17, 1998.

Jack, Cody - preparing for an emergency - yes, yes, yes. Quitting my job and trying to go back to farming (or in the case of most city folk - learning an entirely new set of skills) seems very extreme. The Boy Scouts say be prepared - they don't tell you to try to drag the entire hospital along every time you go off road.

And I have to get back to work myself.

So long for now - Paul.

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), December 17, 1998.

Well, guys, see, thats the problem with Y2K -- it is an entirely new event, nothing like anything that we have ever had experience with before. So its tough to know "how much" is "enough" in terms of preparation. If I knew that Y2K was going to be a 23 day affair, that the power would be up but the banks would be down, that I would lose my job but my wife would keep hers, etc., etc., etc., then I am sure that I could come up with a real nice preparation plan. But it does not work that way.

You pays you money and you takes you chances.

-- Jack (jsprat@eld.net), December 17, 1998.

Paul, Cody - Just wanted to thank you both for an excellent discussion: well-framed, well-supported, and no trace of ad hominem ("attack the speaker") tactics. More reinforcement for hangin' out here (as if I needed any.) Thanks.

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.com), December 17, 1998.

Jack, your point is a reflection of mine:

"So its tough to know "how much" is "enough" in terms of preparation. If I knew that Y2K was going to be a 23 day affair, that the power would be up but the banks would be down, that I would lose my job but my wife would keep hers, etc., etc., etc., then I am sure that I could come up with a real nice preparation plan."

This drives me batty at times (more than not). In fact, I go further, in that I have come up with a plan to get my family through a 6 month meltdown. It is that which I suspect about late 2000 and up to about 2005. That is why we are thinking (only now) about relocating. I don't think my location is the best place to be beyond May or June of 2000. I would like to see my family somewhere rural before the real turn down begins summer of 2000 and beyond.

I like something I saw that Milne wrote somewhere on this forum:

"If you prepare, no matter what, there are no bad consequences. If you don't need it, so what. If you do need it, you have it."

Think of what happens to those who choose a preparation that is not adequate. I'd rather "over prepare" than "under prepare." Granted, I am not near the kind or type of preparation of a North or a Milne. We do what we can or can afford. But don't take the easy out. IMHO


-- Joska (Joska@Hunky.com), December 17, 1998.

Clarification: I am not waiting till 2000 to relocate! I intend to relocate in a month or two. Got to be where I want to be before spring, so I can get my gardens going.

-- Joska (Joska@Hunky.com), December 17, 1998.

Feet on the ground for a moment...

Planting a garden is the key item in relocation for Y2K. For me a garden takes 3 to 4 weeks around the Spring of 1999 (your Autumn).

So, my move out of the city will be completed by before (mid August 1999).

In the northern hemisphere I would want to be moved by the end of winter which means you have about three-four months to get your act together.

Understanding why people don't act in the face of a known threat will take you deep into cognitive science and the study of human responses the Natural Hazards. Or, if you prefer an historic example you could look into the literature about the Jews of Europe facing the Nazis in the 30s and 40s.

References about Hazards offered off-line..

-- Bob Barbour (r.barbour@waikato.ac.nz), December 21, 1998.

Cody, here's your name in the news :) !

http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/354/metro/In_th ese_woods__Y2K_fears_reside+.shtml

In These Woods, Y2K Fears Reside
Computer problems expected in 2000 have some in region packing
By Kathleen Burge, Globe Correspondent, 12/20/98

The real estate ad paints a tranquil scene: a three-bedroom house in the Maine woods with a Jacuzzi and river views, a spot to relax or retire - or to wait out a year or so of global chaos.

There's a diesel generator to make electricity when public utilities collapse, as some predict they will in 2000. The property comes with a 1983 Mercedes-Benz, built before the installation of millennium-flawed computer chips. And the pantry is stocked with a year's worth of nonperishable food.

''It has everything you would need to be secure, to be safe, for over a year,'' said Virginia businessman Cody Varian, who lists the $117,500 house on his ''Y2K Survive'' Web site.

With the days dwindlings down until Jan. 1, 2000, many New Englanders quietly are beginning to prepare themselves for the worst. When computer networks switch to the year 2000, known as Y2K, and read it as 1900, some fear that mayhem will erupt.

Some call it TEOTWAWKI, or The End of the World As We Know It. Jim Majka, who publishes a Y2K newsletter from his home in Fort Kent, Maine, thinks people who aren't preparing are in denial. He predicts six months to three years of ''complete trouble.''

Majka recently bought a wind-powered generator to make electricity and hopes to add a few solar panels to augment his supply. He rigged his water pump to run off his homemade power. And he already has amassed enough food to feed his family of five for at least three months. ''Every single trip I make to the grocery store, I just pick up everything from canned soup to sugar to coffee to toilet paper,'' he said.

This approach may be problematic. ''If this thing goes severe, I'm going to be the only one on my street who has anything.'' he said. ''If someone knocks on the door, what am I going to say? `No'?''

Winifred Flint, a stay-at-home mom in Lowell, is more optimistic, predicting that consumer disruptions from Y2K probably will not last more than a few weeks. Still, her background in computer software made her nervous that there was so little local preparation. She helped start a group that has hosted weekly round-table discussions for business owners.

''We found that we really wanted to be an alternative voice to those who said, `Oh my god, Y2K is coming,''' she said.
Flint is stockpiling food and hopes to install a wood-burning stove in her home. And, she warns, people should stock up on medication and contraception. Otherwise, she said, ''We'll be having a lot of Y2K babies come September.''

Varian, who says he has sold about 30 Y2K-ready properties, just listed the Maine house this week. It was furnished by a retired minister as a retreat from Y2K mayhem. But the minister moved south for his health. Now Varian has proclaimed it his best buy.

He also has about a half-dozen houses from New Hampshire - more than from any other state. Recently, he said, a West Coast software executive inquired about one of them.
Varian has been urging readers of his Web site to move. ''It may save the lives of you and your family!'' he writes on his Web page. ''Pardon me for shouting but GET OUT OF THE CITY!!''

Unlike some survivalists, Varian promotes small towns over wilderness. ''You're going to need a doctor, you're going to need a dentist,'' said Varian, who lives in a small Virginia town. ''You need to be among other people.''

He tells people to start packing now, so they will have time to settle in and get to know their neighbors before the chaos begins.

But if people are heading to the hills in New England, they're doing it more quietly than some in other regions. Except for those on Varian's Web site, few of the Internet Y2K retreats are in New England. Even for survivalists, winter in the North Country may be daunting.
Philip Lamy, a Vermont sociologist who studies secular survivalism, has been intrigued by the converts brought by Y2K fears.
Traditionally, survivalists - people who prepare themselves for societal disruption - have come from religious and paramilitary groups. Now, Lamy says, it's going mainstream.

''I think Y2K has created a new trend in survivalism,'' Lamy said.
''They're not so much worried about the new world order as the problems Y2K may create.''

But where some see chaos, others see cash. Steve Geiger of Wilmington has created a Web site called ''Y2K Doom'' that sells an $89 Survival Kit, which includes a ''replacement computer with no electronic parts or silicon chips.''
Too good to be true? It's an abacus.

This story ran on page B01 of the Boston Globe on 12/20/98.
) Copyright 1998 Globe Newspaper Company.
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-- Leska (allaha@earthlink.net), December 21, 1998.

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