What should I be doing now?

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

The problem with Y2K as I see it is:

Depending on how bad you think it will be, you need to make different kinds of preparations.

Let's start with worst case:

Absence of central government, general mayhem, cities destroyed from looting and rioting, "Russia" like local government mafia emerges in big cities. Cities become "hell holes" of destruction. Standard of living goes back to pre-1880 (before electric or gasoline powered automation).

My preparations for this would be to move as far away from civilization as possible, NOW. Find cheap farmland in a remote, but fertile part of the country. Or find a small farming community to live in, finding some work the locals feel is valuable. Converting cars to run on alcohol, other similar activities. Learn basic survival skills like those taught in boy scouts (how to tie knots, how to start a fire, how to hunt for food, etc.) A Boy Scout Field Guide might become a valuable book. Any suggestions of similar books? Personal preparations would be as many warm clothes and warm sleeping bags as possible for me and family. Learn to hunt and fish. (Canned goods aren't going to last forever. Gasoline will go even faster.) Buy bicycle parts and perhaps a trailer. Purchase bikes for the kids (all but 1 already has a bike). Pedal power can get you a long way. I call this my "Civil War II" scenario.

On a 6-7 scenario with continued government support, civil unrest, some martial law, but no banks, poor availability of goods. I might still consider the move to a small town, but could probably survive in the city. Then I would be thinking more along the lines of keeping cash under the matress, stockpiling food and essentials. I'd keep my cars, but I'd still backstock bike parts and buy the trailer. I'd probably get all my money (that I could) out of the bank, convert to "barterable" items. (I call this the Great Depression II scenario.) I would probably go ahead and sell the house now, and move into something "paid for", then repurchase at the bottom for a bargain.

On a 3-5 scenario, (power remains on, banks don't collapse, but food supplies are spotty, return to life in the 1950's, maybe 1960's for 3-5 years), I'd stay in the city. I'd buy less food and bike parts, but I'd buy some. I'd still buy the sleeping bags, but I wouldn't waste my time with primitive survival skills (hunting fishing). I'd backstock food and water, but a lot less. I'd keep my house, cars, everything that I could afford to. I call this the "Info Crisis" scenario. And I believe it's the most likely.

Right now I'm preparing for the 3-5, with a reassessment before April. If signs are really bad, I'll go all the way to 8-10, if signs are mixed, go to 6-7. Otherwise, I'm on course.

Any thoughts? Any other scenarios you think might come about?

Glen Austin

-- Glen Austin (gdaustin@aol.com), January 08, 1999


What ever changes you choose make it a lifestyle change. Even this turns out to be a bump in the road the next thing might not. Where would your family be most safe if terrorist attacked? etc...think about those things too.

Re: books. Back to the basic (Reader's digest) is great. Backwood's magazine is good. It is alot to learn so the quicker you get started the better, especially if you are considering moving. You want to meet your neighbors and make some bonds there before bad times hit!

-- Moore Dinty moore (not@thistime.com), January 08, 1999.

I disagree with your 'fine tuning' premise that your preparations can be adjusted to probable risk. As Mr Spock would say, there is insufficient data to come to a firm conclusion as to the ultimate scenario. Things could look relatively mild up through and including first quarter 2000 and then fall apart. Joanne Slavin favors the slow collapse theory as large industries slowly implode. My advice is prepare as best you can for a 8-10 scenario and be pleasantly surprised if its less. The window of opportunity for cheap, easy preparation could close overnight without warning.

-- RD. ->H (drherr@erols.com), January 08, 1999.

My problem is that I have lived in major metropolitan areas most of my life.

I know that I'm unprepared for "country" life. Actually, after living in one of the 20 largest cities in US, the slower pace might be refreshing, for a time.

If I were confident of the 8-10 scenario, I'd move and adjust. I've been thinking a lot about it lately.

But it goes against everything in our lives. We just bought our nice home in the suburbs (actually, we're about 50 miles from a 1 million person city, with about 3-4 million people in the metro area). Our town has 20K people, but is growing rapidly.

That's my problem. A really bad Y2K means we need to be living in a town of about 5000-7000 with no large cities within about 150 miles.

Glen Austin

-- Glen Austin (gdaustin@aol.com), January 08, 1999.

I have not sold my house in the city. Although I am only 5 years into a 30 year note, the house has appreciated considerably and I could make a tidy sum by selling it. But I want to hang with my job as long as possible (and my marriage).

My plan is to buy (am closing next week) a place in the country and begin preparing it for self-sustaining agriculture. It will be hard to make 2 mortgages, but I am only concerned with the next 11 months. If Y2K is a 2, I've got a vacation property I can sell. If its a 5 and I lose my job, I will have to move in with Mom, because the bank will probably foreclose on both properties. But if its a 7 or more...I'm set. I lose my investment in the house in the city, but I shouldn't have to worry about the banks taking the cabin.

Whatever you do though, keep in mind time is very very short now.

-- a (a@a.a), January 08, 1999.

If we assume, on a (1-10) scale, our industrialized world is currently at 0 point. And we are viewing the combined conditions of economic, social and political factors from the macro perspective. Is there any reasonable way to conclude, if for ANY reason we should slip to (1-2), that our world would not proceed immediately to (6-7), only glancing at (3-5)on the way by?

-- c (c@c.c), January 09, 1999.

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