Best case/ Worst case scenarios. Your thoughts please? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

OK, I'm new here. And I admit that I'm woefully uneducated about this problem. I hope you don't mind the intrusion; I'm going to try to keep an open mind while maintaining what I consider a healthy skepticism. I'm skeptical about all the doomsday talk, TEOTWAWKI stuff, pack-up-and-head-for-the-hills survivalism, etc. I've read a lot here and most (but not all) seems way off the deep end to me. I know it's been answered here many times on various threads, but this site is HUGE and it might help newcomers to have this answered briefly on one thread by the more-informed regulars here. Or perhaps you can respond by pointing me toward threads that would answer my questions.

My question is: What is your best case and worst case scenario for Jan. 1, 2000 and the subsequent days/years? The more dire predictions of civil unrest, economic collapse, etc. might seem more reasonable to me (and other newcomers) if those who believe they might occur can explain the cause and effect ripples that will build to a tsunami of chaos. For those who don't believe in TEOTWAWKI, what are the reasonable actions you will take prior to Y2K? Right now, my only plan is to visit an ATM in December and take out a little extra cash to carry me through for a month or so....

Thanks in advance for your responses.

-- Skeptic (, January 18, 1999


Better have more plans that that!!! You can't eat what comes out of those ATM machines...only what it will buy...water, food, heat and supplies that you could once easily get and will have to hunt for, pay a huge price for and stand in long lines for. Get shopping and preparing a.s.a.p. Haven't you noticed how long the lines are getting already and that the shelves are bare quite often? Don't be a smart!!! Gia

-- Gia (, January 18, 1999.

Perhaps the best advice would be to contimue education yourself about the problem. Have you read Ed's book? You are asking good questions, but you have me at a loss as to how to answer them " briefly" - they require much more. Maybe another poster will take a stab at it. Here's my two cents: Many of us feel that the best case/worse case revolves around if we have power or not. It is at risk. Life without electricity. Think about just that, not the certainty, the possibility. Prudence will dictate what to do. Act accordingly, and the sooner the better. Good Luck.

-- Rob Michaels (, January 18, 1999.


I have to agree with Rob on this. If you're new to Y2K, you need to do some research of your own. This isn't something that can be condensed into a few paragraphs.

To start out, take a look at the web pages of these two federal government agencies...

The National Guard:

The Federal Emergency Management Agency:

Or read this on how Canada will deal with Y2K: 5108.html

Chicago is concerned about the impact of Y2K on its water system:,1575,SAV- 9901010066,00.html

Read this to see how how many embedded systems a railroad uses:

City government workers' vacations in Denver cancelled due to Y2K:

The best article ever in a mainstream publication on Y2K:

An analysis of SEC Y2K disclosure reports of Fortune 500 companies:

"Y2K: Minor glitch or major disaster?":

-- Kevin (, January 18, 1999.

A correction on that link I said was the best mainstream article ever on Y2K. That's actually an article on early decisions that lead to Y2K.

Here's the correct link: 2000:50034064:50034064&update=1770

-- Kevin (, January 18, 1999.


Prepare for the WORST, Hope for the best .

Is that brief enought for ya ? :o)

-- Mike (, January 18, 1999.

Kevin, above, has provided some great links. For your own sake, I hope you are quickly and rapidly "converted". Personally, for me, there is no "best case" scenario-- as one person's "best case" scenario is another person "worst case". I believe that the "worst case" for which many on this forum are preparing (me included) will not be a "worst case" for the majority of people in American society, but a case of life or death. And without water, food, electricity, and "security", it'll death. Personally, I SYMPATHIZE with the position of just now having discovered the monster-under-the-sheets of "Y2K". But-- it seems by your post that you believe in the practical necessity of carrying yourself through for a month or so. If that is true, then think that through: Do you really think that you'd be able just to walk into your local supermarket and purchase a month's worth of food, water, batteries, T.P., instant fire-logs, sterno, etc, etc? IF you really want to be carried through for EVEN a month: get those preparations together tomorrow-- as if it were that day in December you plan to withdraw that amount of cash that'll allow you to do that. Let THAT be your own personal Y2K-contingency planning excercise. See if it can be done. If it can be, then fine; if it can't, then you'll have some time to "remediate" your own personal contingency plans. . . Good luck. Another (terrible) analogy I use to describe my own view of the "worst case" is that it's going to be like a "Twilight Zone" life-and-death game of musical chairs, and when the music stops, there'll only be (relatively speaking) a handfull of chairs for everybody left standing (in the computerized world). There is no incontrovertible "proof" to give you. Only you can answer the question as to whether or not you want to be in one of those "chairs" [survival]. I KNOW this is a tough and bitter "pill" to swallow; I "discovered" Y2K early last year, and have had to swallow that "pill" every day since, in order to "re-sell" myself on the "terrible need" to prepare to live in a world which cannot be know for certain, but a world whose "terrible outlines" are beginning to emerge in the darkness. . .

-- Albert E. Potts (, January 18, 1999.

I started out a skeptic. In my opinion, I was wrong. I believe that we are not going to make it in time. If the basic infrastructure is not substantially intact, then TSHTF (the doo-doo hits the fan). Read the info mentioned above and more. Do so fast. Should YOU change your mind, you will need time and money to prepare.

-- Sue (, January 18, 1999.

"Perhaps you can respond by pointing me toward threads that would answer my questions."

Perhaps, I can: fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=000Oi2


-- Critt Jarvis (Wilmington, NC) (, January 18, 1999.

Best case (99% chance): 1930's style depression except with much more bloodshed, chaos, burning & looting, thousands die.

Worst case (1% chance): Loss of all modern technology and return to the Dark Ages, billions die.

-- a (a@a.a), January 18, 1999.

My advice is to forget about posting, and learn FAST. Read read read, start with Kevin's links. You'll get the energy and momentum to do so until we hours in the morning because your adrenaline will start to flow. You know, Flight or fight reaction.

Other than that and what's already been said, there's nothing else to say but that you've been warned, and we tried.

-- Chris (, January 18, 1999.


I looked at your message again and noticed you wanted someone to "explain the cause and effect ripples"--in other words, the interconnectedness problem. Here is an analogy that explains it well (the Indianapolis 500), and a brief essay on the steps of production and transportation it takes to get a pencil from the forest to your hands.

Indianapolis 500 Analogy:

"I, Pencil":

-- Kevin (, January 18, 1999.

Best case worldwide economic depression (electric grid stays up in U.S). Worst case some idiot starts a nuclear war or Russia's nuclear power plants all melt down at the same time.

-- Bill (, January 18, 1999.

Here's a good example of a "best case" scenario...

Jo Anne's Scenario: TM

-- Kevin (, January 18, 1999.

Best case: 6.5. Economic recession here in the States. Isolated outages in power/utilities, but for the most part they stay on. Lots of little bugs everywhere making life very annoying. There is a run on the banks, and a few federally-mandated bank holidays. There is a run on non-perishable foods and gasoline this NOV-DEC. The world goes into severe depression and looks to the USA to rebuild it. Things are pretty much back to normal by the end of 2001, although there are tighter govt. controls on the banks, gun ownership, and data exchange interfaces. All in all, we win and emerge into an era of prosperity (and dull uniformity) like 1950-1965. Republicans win the white house and lower taxes to stimulate the faltering economy.

Worst case: 9. At first, there are brief power/water/phone blackouts EVERYWHERE. Things begin to flicker back on through the month of January. Production lines grind to a halt, the trains are a jumbled mess. Terrorists make a HUGE mess in New York City on 12/31. The national guard get called out early--in the first week of December--enforcing curfews and so on. Nevertheless a few things get out of hand here and there but no cities burn to the ground in the States. Crude oil products become 10-20 times as scarce as 2000 drags on. A few rogue militia/patriot groups get fiesty and attack the US govt., but they are crushed in several months by US ARMY regulars. Abroad, wars on every continent erupt and become fierce. Economic depression everywhere lasting 3-5 years laying the possible groundwork for a third world war, which will be extremely destructive but very brief.

The human spirit eventually prevails, though. We dig ourselves out, thankful that this was not a "10" scenario. We have many stories to tell our grandchildren and great-grandchildren about how America survived just as it survived the Civil War and the Great Depression.

-- Harrison Bergeron (, January 18, 1999.

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