Arkansas Community Repsonse Tornadoes : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Began this post around 2 am this morning. However, due to more tornado warnings being issued, had to take cover. Happy to report in the light of day that me and mine are all okay. One friend lost her house, but she and her kids are uninjured.

Looks like Arkansas is gettin' a little Y2K practice. Today there were 30 tornadoes ripping through our state. At least 6 confirmed tornadoes touched down (I believe this number has increased). At this time, there are 7 confirmed dead statewide. In Little Rock alone there are 45 reported injuries. No way of knowing extent of structural damage across the state yet. There are 75,000 without electricity, and at least two small towns have had their gas cut-off because of damage that can't be fixed until the crews can get the roads cleared to reach the problems.

TV stations report the National Guard will be helping clean up. The American Red Cross is working with different agencies and volunteers to get disaster relief to victims. In the Little Rock area, among the damage was the Governor's mansion, slightly damaged and the grounds were littered with toppled trees. One of the fatalities was just a couple of blocks from the Governor's mansion. The Governor immediately went out into his neighborhood "on foot" to help find victims and assist in efforts to help.

Amazingly, even though the lights were out and police and other emergency personnel were very busy trying to locate and dig victims out of the rubble, the residents of these neighborhoods did not go in and grab their guns to protect their "stuff." Rather, they grabbed flashlights, chain saws, and cell phones and began going door to door to check on their neighbors. Residents placed white sheets on their doors to indicate "all accounted for/no injuries." Another victim said that each block became a family. One victim, a former tv news reporter in Little Rock said when asked if he had electricity or water that he didn't and neither did most of the folks in his area, but they didn't care, because everyone was alive.

I realize this isn't the same thing as Y2K, but I believe there is enough to make an analogy. Is there hope for us yet?

-- Other Lisa (, January 22, 1999


Lisa Ward, yes, there is hope! But remember ppl do not tend to get as angry at "Acts of God" as they do about avoidable man-made disasters. Congratulations to Little Rock for pulling together. Lisa, your city officials may be ready to implement Community/Neighborhood Emergency Response Team training now, sponsored by FEMA and taught thru your local Fire Dept. Urge them to offer this right away and take it. Started in San Francisco after officials noticed citizens are eager to help and actually do @ 85% of rescues in a huge disaster where the professionals are spread thin. Here's praying for your continued safety and well-being.

Ashton & Leska in Cascadia

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx

-- Leska (, January 22, 1999.

I suppose the main reason I posed the question is because of my own recent problems in considering what community response would be in my area. I have seen soooo many postings and comments with references to protecting one's own property and I've not seen the balance of helping others (or maybe I haven't looked hard enough). Nonetheless, to me it seems that the "property protection" posts far out number the "love thy neighbor" posts. Will it be an all out riot, "I, ME, MINE?" Or is it our nature to help those around us? After last night, I have more hope the latter will be the case. Maybe I'm a Pollyanna, but I don't think we are going to have "total failures all at once," but I do see that possibility, just don't think it is the most likely "at this time."

Thanks for the advice Leska and Arc Angel. Will continue to "prepare, inform and hope."

-- Other Lisa (, January 22, 1999.

If people, after only a few hours after experiencing an event was clearly an act of nature were to resort to looting and violence -- in rustic Arkansas no less -- then I would say that would be very worrisome indeed! As we would expect, however, things are going as well as you would expect as people work together.

Now, try weeks instead of hours, a problem that was well known in advance but never solved, and someplace like New York or LA. Got the picture?

-- Jack (, January 22, 1999.

Jack, I get the picture. The longevity, nature, and preparedness for Y2K related breakdowns combined with the reaction of citizens in any given locality will all determine the outcome. The blame game may even factor in there somewhere. However, I still believe that there's hope found in the community reactions of Arkansas and Tennessee in dealing with the second round of tornadoes in the past week. Many are displaced for an undetermined amount of time. They are being taken in by friends, family and shelters. They are coming together. My uncle, his wife and his 4 children, who live in the town of Beebe, which was leveled last night, will be staying with relatives. My friend and former room mate who lived two blocks from a grocery store (leveled killing one), had a neighbor killed, and saw her house destroyed around her as she ran with child in her arms to the basement, will be staying with her sister. My neighbor across the street is taking in her relatives that were displaced last night. My ex-husband is working in conjunction with his employer (a private company) to distribute generators to those in the hardest hit areas. I have contacted neighbors to collect clothing, food, repair tools, etc. to be dropped off to the central Little Rock victims. The local media are setting up emergency alert stations as collection points for water and other supplies needed. Granted with Y2K there's a strong chance of infrastructure breakdowns, including communication, which applied to what we are experiencing here would pose some serious obstacles. However, I maintain Joe Q. Public would respond in a neighborly way "for the most part." If it were to last more than a couple of weeks, on a global scale, I am coming to believe the people I need fear the most are those who already feel disconnected from their neighbor and society and cannot see the good in the human race. Anyway, guess we'll just have to wait and see. All my pontifications are useless at this point with the possible exception of planting the seeds of community in the minds of those who have no sense of it.

-- Other Lisa (, January 22, 1999.

Lisa, pontifications are actually very useful as mental rehearsals. Pondering this problem and all its implications is good mental/emotional/spiritual preparation. Of course it's never happened before so we don't know some of the odd things that will occur with systemic failures, but just reading and posting on this Forum, rolling other's thoughts around one's imagination, will help greatly when response action is necessary. Plus, it sparks the motivation to 'just do' one's individual preparation, getting home & family ready.

After thinking thru many scenarios each day, Ashton & I pray for peace and upward resolution, and send good positive strengthening energy out to YourDynamites and global community efforts. If the humanimal element can be spiritualized and reconnect to soul's gold, the fear element will melt from the Y2K equation and be replaced by now's-the-time opportunity to reclaim a community spirit.

Ashton & Leska in Cascadia

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx

-- Leska (, January 22, 1999.


My disaster experience suggests that you are seeing the normal response to a short onset, localized event. So long as it is short onset and locallized, you get this type of response. I have very good friends who were responsible for one of teh tent cities in FLA for Hugo (?). They describe a very different dynamic after about day 14. Since the event at that time took on a more "Who knows how long?" aspect, the people became, let us say, less amenable to the thought of helping in their own relief. It became "You got a Red Cross on, You go get me this! You feed me! You go get me mo paper! etc."

The tent cities became Skinner Boxes, with way too many rats.

(See B. F. Skinner's research into overcrowding)

Just a point to consider, in the larger scheme. Chuck

-- Chuck, night driver (, January 22, 1999.

Thanks for the report Other Lisa,

I'm with you, for the most part, that people generally help one another in a pinch.

As to duration issues, in most natural disasters, people ARE NOT PREPARED for longer "time out's." Y2K can be different. IF all communities and individuals planned longer term, then remaining a cohesive community will be easier. Y2K impact will all be local, and chances are, so will the solutions.

Be well!


-- Diane J. Squire (, January 22, 1999.

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