Assuming we get through the disruptions, then what?greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Assumption for this thread: Your expectations are that Y2K will bring moderate to severe disruptions, or worse.
We need to survive from now until 2000. We need to survive through whatever disruptions Y2K and the year 2000 bring. We also need to survive the post-Y2K disruption period.
We spend a lot of bandwidth on surviving the actual transition period, based on our individual expectations and assumptions of just how severe (or minor) the problems will be. Since this is important, it is warranted. But assuming we get through to the post-Y2K period, then what? What I haven't seen a lot about is the post-Y2K period. Granted that this entails more guesswork than anything else, but the relevance of this may be proportional to the severity of the problems that happen. Many of us have posted that our supplies are mostly for getting us through the disruptions or transition phase.
Nobody knows how long the transition period will be, nor do we know how severe the disruptions will be. But we have done research and thought about it, and have developed our expectations, and where possible our preparations, accordingly. If you are expecting moderate or severe problems (or have given some thought to this subject) I would like to know what you think about it, and how you are preparing for this post-disruption period. This may turn out to be just as important as surviving from now until the rollover, and then surviving the actual Y2K disruptions themselves.
What I am mainly interested in is if you have thought about this and reached any conclusions, especially with regard to preparations. I realize that what happens with our governments and the economy and many other aspects also plays into the scenario, but would like to start out (if possible) concentrating on the preparation aspect and your thoughts about "then what" in general.
Two cents: Self-sufficiency, together with preparation on a community-wide basis, is a key. The higher the level of both, the higher the chance for survival. The skills and knowledge that we may be learning now, or brushing up on, will also become invaluable. If Y2K is really bad, preparation will be needed to survive not only the disruption phase, but also afterwards.
What do you think?
-- Rob Michaels (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 14, 1999
Rob - You might want to clarify what kind of time frame you had in mind for the beginning of the post-Y2K phase. If I could take that to mean what happens after the lights come back on after the first few weeks (optimist that I am!), I am very worried about backlash from a trashed economy and third world markets and international shipping. In particular, I am thinking that even if the rollover is relatively uneventful (in the U.S.), that by spring we will be seeing a sharp reduction in imports, particularly oil. I would just as soon do what I can (short of something useful like finding a job within walking distance) to avoid long lines at the gas stations. I am starting to talk with my town and environmental activist groups about beefing up the public bus system. To me, it is an obvious contingency plan, but one I expect to be dismissed until needed, when it will be too late to ramp up.
-- Brooks (email@example.com), January 14, 1999.
I have thought quite a bit about the long term survival of a total loss of water and power. I occasionally slip into wishful thinking that I will be wrong about this, but if it does not happen right away, I suspect that North will be right about the domino effects coming from so many factors, it appears likely to me that one of the crucial dominos will fall. So I have based most of my long term thinking on this scenario.
Living in a suburb in Southern California as I do, I realize that I need to relocate to a place where water is not a problem. I also realize that without plumbing the sanitary conditions and disease will be a problem in high density areas. So I am looking for a community where the homes have space for composting toilets and gardens and wells or other water sources. This is not an easy task in itself.
Once water and sanitation and space are achieved, the immediate task is to have enough open pollinated seeds that can be planted and the seeds saved for next year which is not possible with most commercial hybrid seeds. So planning for food production and the tools and information to begin a small farm are another project I have going.
I do feel that community will be essential and that community organizing is very important. However, I believe that when some people attempt to stay in the city and organize, they are assuming the water and power will return and that jobs of some sort will still be available and that the systems that produce and deliver food and products will recover. In this case it may foster a false sense of security that the city or suburb community will work together and share and get through this like many other bad times. I simply do not agree with their assumptions. So I hope to find a compatible community where knowledge and skills and support will be available. Culture and compatibility are very important. I don't want to be isolated and I have children to think of.
I have been gathering information about sustainable living, permaculture, biodynamic and organic gardening, and the tools and skills of previous eras in case we need them. I know how to weave and spin. I am also trying to learn survival skills and acquire the clothing and tools to live without a home if that happens. I am also taking kung fu and I am in very good physical condition. I am almost to the place where I can defend myself and expect to consider getting guns for defense and hunting. I have studied herbalism and the use of essential oils to take the place of the many medicines and household products that I expect to be very scarce. I have been working on these areas of health and ecology for about 2 years.
The problem I am having is that other people don't agree with me and especially my partner, so until the whole thing falls apart or gets much worse, I wont be able to relocate or buy well drilling equipment or grain mills or any of the farming tools I would like to have. As in so many cases, much could be done if actions were taken now, but the nature of this problem means that most people wont take these actions until too late.
I need a vehicle to carry whatever I am able to get together to a new place. I am hoping to at least have several places in mind when the time comes. Sometimes I wonder if we will be able to go anywhere if I have to wait until the 3rd week of no power and no water. It may take a couple weeks for the dominos to fall so I am imagining that it will be February before the real disaster.
I hope this does not happen, but I have researched this for 2 solid months and read hundreds of pages of articles and I just can not believe things will get better in 3 or 4 weeks when so many systems will still need months of work, even years, to fix. So many companies just woke up this month and don't even know what work is ahead and many of these are power companies. There are so many facts such as this that add up for me. So that is my long term plan. What do you think?
-- Lora Ereshan (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 14, 1999.
I have thought alot about the quality of life, after the transition period. Since no two people think alike, this is my opinion only. Because of the disruptions and collapse of the market, FEMA will be in full swing PROTECTING the people from themselves. Civil liberties will be suspended, and a marshal law atmosphere will prevail. Guns and extra stashes of food will be confiscated for our protection. Militia groups will be targeted as anti-gov. then smaller community groups that start to speak out. Because of the free hand that "law enforcement" will have,it will become very dangerous, as power corrupts. Those of us that ran off to hide, and didn't do an excellent job of it. are now systematically being ferreted out. The Govt will need a scapegoat to rally whats left of the masses behind it. That's us boys and girls. We are were always-will-be the problem. Since money of any kind won't be worth squat. The Govt will come up with a debit system to restart commerce. Since there are devices that can mark skin so that only infrared can read it, already available, FOR OUR SAFETY we will be urged to be marked in liew of a card, or money, that can be stolen or forged. If it is TEOTWAWKI, no govts (can't see that one) we all get tribal in a hurry, and start this nonsense all over again.
-- sam (email@example.com), January 14, 1999.
Your comment on the government going after the militia seems to be on target. They are at this time sending hundreds of agents to compounds in N.C. and the northwest probably hoping to provoke the militias into action. Common sense seems to be that these hundreds of federal agents would be no match for the militias. So why are they doing this? Maybe a to create a Waco in reverse? It sure won't solve the Y2K bug.
I am told by people in a position to know who are not in a militia that the militias in our area are by far the largest armed force around and that includes the NG. They seem to be ahead of the rest of us in preparing for Y2K and related. I am not involved with militias myself but in talking with some who are I find them to be very decent people and I tend to feel that they will be a great asset when Y2K comes down. Sorry I can't say the same about FEMA, FBI, ATF, etc.
-- Nick (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 14, 1999.
If the situation does go badly, I don't think that the National Guard, FBI, CIA, etc. are going to organized enough to do much of anything. All of these people have families that need to eat just like everyone else. My largest concern is that members of the National Guard, who haven't prepared their family, will go rouge with automatic weapons (I've known a few Guard members that I wouldn't trust with anything). The government needs the media to do their scapegoating for them (or with them). If there is still a media machine in 2000, then Y2K probably wasn't too bad. If Y2K leaves us fubar, then they'll probably have their hands full with looters, riots, and fires. Then again, maybe I'm wrong.
-- d (email@example.com), January 14, 1999.
Brooks: I left the time frame open since each of us may have a different one and therefore would think and prepare based on that. You have done so, by stating your "optimism" regarding the lights being back on after the first few weeks. I agree that shipping and transportation are a significant wild card, especially since over 90% of the tonnage gets here that way, including the blood of our manufacturing industry (what is left of it), oil. As far as the economic backlash, I look for things to deteriorate this year, well before the rollover, and continue to slide with unemployment going up. I also remember the gas lines of the 1970's, and it was not pleasant.
Lora: What a post. Thank you. We are thinking quite a bit alike regarding the importance of a long term plan and the "it appears likely to me that one of the crucial dominos will fall." Regarding your plans to re-locate, I too feel the need to but find it impossible at this time. Instead, I have two places that I can bug out to and stay with relatives or friends that get it and are preparing. (Both are in a rural area). Have you considered this? This may be a viable alternative, in light of your partner not going along until things fall apart, which is all too common. If you can talk with someone (about bugging out) who "gets it", like close friends or family, that is in a potentially safer place than where you are now, then you may feel a bit better.
Sam: Don't dismiss the idea of the "no government" so readily. While it may not be lkely, I wouldn't rule it out. I think you are right about the masses clamoring to be saved, and the government coming in to play the part, but I question their ability to actually do it. They are also reliant on the same non-compliant power systems, telecommunications, etc. Heck, just last week we found out about operation COMEX/MOBEX - the test effort to try and mobilize without telecommunications.
Nick: They go after the militias already. I may be wrong, but perhaps the militia feel that Y2K is Just the latest reason to be ready for trouble.
-- Rob Michaels (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 14, 1999.
"FEMA will be busy protecting us from ourselves." The way I read the tealeaves, FEMA is hard at work trying to come up with ways to protect FEMA and friends from all of us. Or at least to not have to associate with us.
You don't think that Joe Q. Public is going to be invited to spend the worst days of next winter and Y2K in one of those zillion-dollar FEMA bunkers we've paid for do you? You know the ones, stocked for ninety days of locked-down operations and another year or two using outside, untreated air and water? Equipped to withstand a nuclear war or ride out at least year one of the Y2K crisis, your tax dollars at work.
If he's lucky FEMA will have room for him at one of its shelters, a high school gym pressed into service as a mass bunking location. And maybe he'll get two feedings per day, meals of what I don't want to hazard a guess at. And of course if you're a real pessimist, you believe FEMA has these "camps" where some folks will be invited to spend at least part of Y2K at...
FEMA's main mission has and is **continuity of government**. Anything else is just to give it a smiley face to the public. Their full-time job is to ensure that government continues in its current form. And a huge bueracracy has developed to protect the bueracracy that is our government. You and I and everyone else is "just another taxpayer" to them.
You've got to be special to be on FEMA's protected facility guestlist. Why, you've probably got to be at least a Government Service employee at grade 15 and higher to qualify for "steerage" accomodations. "Freinds of Bill" and Senior Executive Service get second class quarters. You get the picture by now.
FEMA protect us? They might send the public scraps from their dinner tables. And maybe the general public will be allowed to huddle around the exhaust portals of the bunker generators to stay warm.
Plan and act now to protect and care for yourselves during the crisis phase and have provisions for carrying on in post-Y2K recovery. If you're planning to go into a new trade, be sure to have the proper tools and supplies to perform that job by hand for a year or so.
Me? I'm going to work on the farm and do electrician work on the side. A good, hands-on technician is going to be worth a lot more than any engineer will be. Y2K recovery is going to be about restoration and repair, and not about designing and testing new systems for quite some time.
-- Wildweasel (email@example.com), January 14, 1999.
I've been thinking about this a lot also. I had plans of another website called "Beyond Y2K". But time hasn't permitted my launching it. I do have several thoughts about life Beyond Y2K, however, assuming (as you said) that the outages are longterm. My main concern is what I call "Beyond Survivalism". Most of us who take Y2K problems seriously have spent many weeks and months by now preparing for our own survival. For example, we have several months of food, fire wood, fuel, a generator, and so on.
But I've imagined myself sitting by the woodstove sometime in February of 2000. My muscles are sore because I've split a couple cords of wood, pumped several gallons of water from our handpump, and been out hunting for food on our acreage. My seven kids are all warm and fed. My wife is fixing socks in the chair next to me.
But is that all there is? Will my life have significance and purpose over the long term if all I care about is my survival and the survival of my family? What about my neighbors next door? Sure, I'm warm tonight, but what about them? They don't have a wood stove. Our stomachs are full, but what about them? They didn't plant much of a garden last summer. And what about the young couple that just moved in? There's no way they have any cash for barter or purchase.
You might say, "That's their problem. They had as much warning as anyone else." But I don't think I can live my life that way.
That's why I call the problem: Beyond Survivalism. You see, I believe we must look beyond our own immediate survival and begin preparing for the survival of others.
And you thought personal survival preparation was a big deal! Imagine developing contingencies for your entire neighborhood.
But before you blow this off, remember, civilization itself cannot survive without community. And community cannot exist without neighborhood, and neighborhood cannot continue without good will and generosity.
I hope in all your personal Y2K preparation you consider those around you. If you don't, you'll never be able to live with yourself. If society deterioriates to a survival of the fittest mindset (what I've termed "survivalism"), there will be *no* life beyond Y2K--at least not worth living.
-- Jim (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 14, 1999.
I refer you to a thread here called, ah, "A few facts on Martial Law" or something real similar. Interesting discussion. Probably won't change your approach to the subject but JUST MIGHT broaden your horizon a bit!!
-- Chuck, night driver (email@example.com), January 15, 1999.
D: I also question the ability (not the intent) of the National Guard to implement their mission - due to them having families of their own to worry about (for example), but had not seriously considered them going "rouge with automatic weapons".
WW: I agree with your advice regarding plan and prepare now for the post-Y2K disruptions. I'm not sure how many people are thinking this way, which is one reason I started the thread.
Jim: In the question part of this thread, I posted "Self-sufficiency, together with preparation on a community-wide basis, is a key. The higher the level of both, the higher the chance for survival." This was a deliberate linking of the two because I think of survival as needing both, especially for the post-disruptions phase. Some, perhaps many, would disagree, and only look at their own self-sufficiency when considering survival. It is this belief that makes us try and work with our community and organizations, which we both are doing. Unfortunately, I have had limited success here in my own area, but refuse to give up - survival of the community is too important.
-- Rob Michaels (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 15, 1999.
Is there life after y2k? That is dependent upon what your definition of life is. My husband and I are in our early 60s. We have lived in the wilds of Alaska and have farmed in the Cascade Mtns of Washington State. We have lived y2k. We know how to do things and we have the tools to do them. We had our knowledge and tools before we ever heard of y2k. You can choose to sit and wring your hands and say "poor me" or you can choose to meet y2k as a challenge. You must have knowledge. Buy books and read them. Learn to REASON AND THINK!! Don't have a grain grinder? How about soaking the wheat all night and then using a hand potatoe masher on it in order to make bread. Just don't add as much water as the recipe calls for. Bread is made by "feel" and experience anyway. Need a dehydrator? How about a window screen, or two of them, and make them into a sandwich with your food in between for drying in the sun. Yes, by all means plant a garden. But gardening takes skill and as with all skills needs to be practiced. Get a book...be careful what you plant and where. You can start out with non hybrid seeds and because of where you located your plants, you can produce your own hybrids. Knowledge and wits are the key here. I feel that the first year or so will be the toughest as people either make the transition or die off. There is safety in numbers and if you have the opportunity to be part of a like minded group, do so. But remember, all must contribute in some manner, be it with a hoe or knowledge. You might find that you get some real benefits of a sense of satisfaction that you have never experienced before. There IS life after y2k and I for one am hoping that it will make us all gentler and kinder people.
-- Judith (JHaral2197@aol.com), January 15, 1999.
Judith: Thanks for the tips (wheat and the dehydrator), it sounds like you will be fine, since you already have much experience with many things that, until a little while ago, most of us were probably not even familiar with. One of the first things that I did was to start what I call my Y2K library - books and other materials that are instructive, and I think it is equally important to read and learn from them before they are actually needed. I have long thought of both knowledge and skills as being essential to the survival effort, or as you said they are "a key".
You also wrote "Is there life after y2k? That is dependent upon what your definition of life is". Certainly, our expectations of what the post-Y2K world will be like are all we have to go by, and it may not include much of what we have taken for granted or think of currently as "normal". The psychological factors involved are quite interesting. Another thing which I think of as a key, in this context, is the combination of flexibility and adaptability. We will need to have both in what may be an unstable and ever-changing post-Y2K world.
-- Rob Michaels (email@example.com), January 15, 1999.
Community preparation seems to be one of the most important considerations in the Y2k problem and there are many discussions on it. Here is a partial list, approximately chronological.
Community Preparation Discussions
Independence vs. Interdependence
Assuming we get through the disruptions, then what?
You can create a community web page for your local area
Long/Short Term Prep
An Open Letter And A Call To Action For Marketing Y2K Preparation
Sample open letter to neighbors about forming community Y2K preparation committees
How To Y2K "Nudge" An Unaware Nation
If you were put in charge of your towns Y2K plans...
Community Survival vs Personal Survival
Raising Neighborhood Awareness
Forming Survival Groups
Thoughts on Community Organization
Community contingency planning: not for the faint of heart
The Coming Anarchy
-- Jon (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 15, 1999.
To add to your fine list Jon, how about the Cassandra Project, which is at http://www.millennia-bcs.com, and also the thought provoking commentaries provided by Joesph Foreman at http://www.y2kchaos.com
Having become interested in self-sufficiency as a result of Y2K, I sometimes think that if we manage to get through all of this crap, that I will just keep going on in that direction. It seems to me to be a worthy goal, to continue on this path and help to draw others to it. The idea of self-sufficiency coupled with a strong sense of community, whose members who are also self-sufficient, shouldn't stop at Y2K. For me, it won't, regardless of how difficult to attain this currently seems to be. Even if we do not succeed completely, there are our children to teach, and then their children, while the planet continues to turn and the tides of fate flow.
-- Rob Michaels (email@example.com), January 15, 1999.