Surviving Y2K in the Suburbs : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

There has been quite a bit written and discussed regarding survival strategies and our location during Y2K, especially for rural and urban areas. I haven't seen very much though about the suburbs, where millions will be. Perhaps the very definition of what constitutes a suburb, in a Y2K context, is variable. They can be close to a city, or close to a rural area, or anywhere in between. This in itself can lead to confusion. From a Y2K perspective, if we live in a suburb close to either an urban or rural area, than a lot of what has been already written and discussed can apply, right? But then there is the "sprawling suburb" that is really in between: it has no big city very close to it, and is not really very close to a rural area either. It is, for the most part, surrounded by itself.

Perhaps survival here is as simple as a blend of the urban and rural survival strategies, but I don't think so. It seems to me that while some similarities can be shared, there may also be unique aspects to suburban survival, both pro and con. At least some differences - both problems and opportunities. What do you think?

-- Rob Michaels (, January 24, 1999


Generally, cities worst, suburbs bad, rural better. The one positive wild card for suburbs, not often discussed is that 90% (?) of movers and shakers live in "suburbs" (< 75 miles from metroplexes). They have vested interest AND the ability, taken as a group, to see that critical services are targeted to suburbs as post-Y2K priority.

So, under that scenario:

cities: martial law (even if that term is not used). Keep the homeboys at home.

suburbs: a mess but variable levels of security available and big push to restore services.

rural: a mess but far more self-sufficient percentage of people and communities. Services restored far more slowly but less actual chaos than cities or suburbs.

National problem with this scenario:

Lots of dead people in the cities (thousands? millions?)

If rural areas aren't supported, no food for cities-suburbs.

If cities are more-or-less nonfunctional, may not be able to keep industrial machines functioning to restore services to suburbs anyway.

-- BigDog (, January 24, 1999.

Lay low, have supplies and a shotgun to defend them. Plan a bug out scenario just in case. Plant fruit trees and a garden, if you have some room. Don't tell your neihbors about you preparations. People in the burbs will be really pissed off, too. Watch the middle class in action at the airport when their flights are delayed, or at shopping malls when Furbys are in stock, .... They can be just as ugly as your urban brothers. A 6 foot wood fence around your backyard will help keep your garden, water storage (cheap above ground pool) and fire wood safe from prying eyes. Hope Paul is wrong about the 7-11, because the burbs are full of them.

-- Bill (, January 24, 1999.

We're going to be in place in a suburb at game-time. Lots of fruit trees and gardens, but too much of a TV-centric population here. (I hate TV). Anyway, it's an important issue, maybe you'd like to check out:

Suburban Self-Reliance


-- runway cat (, January 24, 1999.

BigDog: Interesting scenario.

Bill: Yeah, I was thinking about the 7-11 too but decided to leave it out of the original question . RC: Thanks for the link - never saw it before - is that newsletter one you are familiar with - any good? I also thought there would be more interest in this subject - just goes to show that ya never know! Also, I would very much like to know your thoughts regarding two other recent threads that I think you will find interesting - assuming you see this message and are so inclined - The first is "Forecasting Shifts in Mass Psychology" and the second is "TBOTWAWBI". Rob

-- Rob Michaels (, January 24, 1999.


The suburbs, where I am, are most likely to "create community" since they tend to already do so. Small rural towns too. Urban "city block" sections often have a strong sense of silent community as well.

I have some high-powered Executive neighbors who ARE moving and shaking Silicon Valley behind-the-scenes to "get Y2K business ready." Reminds me, I need the post-Christmas update.

In the "burbs" my biggest concern is water. Even though we are near a large reservoir, I can envision troops "on guard" against water looters. Conversely, I can also imagine neighborhood bucket brigades fully sanctioned by the local town council.

I can envision the local county park converted into community gardens -- right next to a lake with a good water supply and good for irrigation. People, IMHO can be pretty resourceful and pull together in crisis situations. The same area did in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. And that was relatively unexpected. They can do it again. Especially when prepared.


-- Diane J. Squire (, January 24, 1999.

Diane: I too see he community as key, and your thoughts regarding building community and Y2K awareness in the suburbs parallel my own. To me, this is the greatest of hopes that we can have, but it must be done ahead of time and as widely as possible. The more successful this effort, the better people will be able to cope and help each other.

We are not going to eliminate human nature - there will always be some that are dangerous to themselves and others - especially if they feel backed up in a corner so to speak - the key here is to have something in place that people see can help them, so they can make a good choice. In the absence of a community-wide effort that provides for this choice, we in the suburbs could have it a lot rougher.

-- Rob Michaels (, January 25, 1999.

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