How do you prepare for a Worldwide Depression? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

We sit and debate 2,4,5,12,24 month plans, if the lights go out, if we will have natural gas, will we have to shoot our neihbors, etc... The past week I have focused on what will I do if we have a long 10 year plus Great Depression II? This depression will in my view be caused by an infrastructure breakdown worldwide. There should be opportunities in the rebuilding of the infrastructure and rebuilding information technology. There will be a desire to rebuild what we once had, therefore, I can see the U.S. leading a worldwide rebuilding effort which could take years and years due to the loss of critical industries. The knowledge we have will not be lost in the rollover, only the current databases and control systems. The world will be one screwed up place for quite awhile, but there is always opportunity in fixing the problems. (even in fix on failure cases)

I am not in the chip making industry, but it seems that making replacement chips for proven noncompliant chips would be a great business to be in right now. If all my personal information (ie Visa, Social Security, IRS, insurance, mortgage, etc..) is lost or corupted, won't there be opportunities to re enter all that information? We have bad databases due to the "00" year, but we can rebuild those systems in time. The electric grid may crash, but eventually the generating and distribution systems will come back online. (slowly and bit by bit)

After a forest fire, trees regrow. Look at the area around Mt. St. Helens now. I think we are heading for an economic Mt. St. Helens, but in time there will be a rebirth. The trick is to learn a skill that will help in that rebirth process.(Hell, I wish I knew COBOL right about now. $100.+/hour!) We won't need a war to jump start the economy this time, our desire to fix the coming mess should be enough.

-- Bill (, January 27, 1999


The question is, will those factorys be rebuilt as fully automated robotized paragons of super efficiency, or will some allowance be made for the future employment of the masses?

-- Nikoli Krushev (, January 27, 1999.

One the first items on the re-start agenda would be to scrap all the laws, and start over with only the constitution and the 10 commandments. Also amendments to the constitution to prevent the loopholes and violations by instituting severe punishment for infractions by public servants. Something else, a citizens committee to control the temporary government administrators. No more career politicians. We should be able to learn from our mistakes, but I doubt that we will.

-- Herbert Johnson (HERB87@JUNO.COM), January 27, 1999.

The most important step to living through a depression would be to stay in the United States. Natural resources, good climate, fertile soil,able work force, secure borders, access to third world agricultural labor, world's most extensive concrete and steel infrastructure, home to the world's most productive minds in every field of human knowledge. If every country has its "economic odometer" set to 0000000, then it's a guaranteed bet that the US will be far ahead of everyone else within a short period of time.

-- Puddintame (, January 27, 1999.

Ask someone who went through the last one. I talked to some of them a few weeks ago. They made do. They suffered. They helped each other. They had close family ties and good friends. Some lost everything. Others prospered.

One of my grandfathers had a chemical mfg business during the depression. They made refinishing materials. Apparently, they were in demand. He made $30K a year in 1935.

My other grandfather came from a family of 11 children and worked for the WPA to survive. He says that they often did not have enough food. But they were together and they each did their part. And they survived. Grandpa was also an announcer for minor league baseball. He worked with Ronald Reagan in Iowa. He later became a firefighter and a carpenter on the side.

Both of my grandma's taught school. One sang professionally on CBS radio in Chicago for extra money. She sang with Bing Crosby. I have to laugh when I see his movies or hear him sing a song. Grandma said he did not have a good voice. (technically, perhaps. But I am a big fan.)

Anyone of you folks who says things like "make few friends" for self preservation may be missing something. From what these old guys and gals have told me, they needed those friends and family. In the long haul, no man/women is an island. It might get pretty lonely in that bunker.

-- Me (, January 27, 1999.

I agree with "me" (of course, right)? Family (for those lucky enough), friends and alliances CRUCIAL. But I've always thought the idea of the lone survivalist is mostly media junk. All the real survivalists I know are critically aware of the need for alliances.

The most important post Y2K skill can't be acquired: flexibility. Hopefully, most GIs on this NG already have that as part of the profile.

Excuse the backpat, but I feel lucky having deep computer skills (yes, and will travel, ain't much work in the hills here) and a wife who is a nurse-midwife, especially here (in her case) where the hospital is likely to be toast. Even TEOTWAWKI, so long as not TEOTW, the computers will be cranking along. A big reason I'm posting so much here is to understand/conceive how to redesign and build the systems that make it through *better* (human factors, not just technially either).

If you're worried, it is not too late to learn new skills, guys. Whether growing things, fixing stuff, ham radio, etc. Treat it as a hobby in 1999 but get going. It is an essential part of preparation.

And Bill is right, knowledge won't perish in a worldwide depression though, sadly, at least hundreds of millions of people will. Milne isn't blowing smoke on that one.

What do you know that could help you provide for yourself ... then? What are you good at that you should be translating today into a skill? That's the ball game.

-- BigDog (, January 27, 1999.

Prepare to grow your own food indefinitely. Prepare to grow or to make luxuries for trade. Do not count on a "system" being available to help you out. If you can't acquire a new skill now, buy the books to have available as a reference.

Stock up on warm clothes, tough work clothes, boots, shoes,tools, some raw materials. Remember that children grow fast. How will you clothe them?

Try to gather family together. Get to know your neighbors. Make allowances for extra folks at the last minute.

Stay flexible. Like a plan of battle, none of our "plans" will survive the contact with the real event........

-- Jon Williamson (, January 27, 1999.

Bill - assuming a major y2k hit scenario, with Depression, lasting past a handfull of years, of course there will be a yearning to rebuild.

Big Dog, what makes you think there will not be knowledge erosion?

Technical libraries, universities, industries requiring highly skilled people are generally located in or around urban areas. The hard and soft infrastructures will all be very vulnerable to civil disorder, either thru damage to buildings, or dispersal of skilled labor. And the longer the y2k hit the greater chance of losing skilled labor to disease or just normal actuarial death; the greater the chance that the hard infrastructures be compromised by civil disorder.

Y2k hit until recovery timeframes:

1 Month: No loss of knowledge base

6 Month: Slight loss of physical facilities, some dispersal of personnel

1 Year: Higher potential loss of physical facilities, some death and also higher numbers of dispersed personnel

2 Years: Considerable number of physical facilities gone. Fairly high death rate. Massive dispersal.

5 Years: Most physical facilities unusable or gone. Most of key knowledgebase personnel either dead or living a new life somewhere else.

10 Years: Only the most hardened or remote hard facilities left. Nearly all of key knowledgebase personnel dead or inaccessable.

If y2k hits harder than a 6 month bump, inevitably major life support infrastructures will be compromised. If y2k problems haven't been fixed prior to y2k, when everything was running perfectly, how in the world will they get fixed in a time of even low-medium turmoil? High- tech 1st and 2nd world society existance requires massive amount of capital intensive infrastructures. Even in a low/medium y2k hit millions of small, medium, and large business will cease business - and this alone will cause a capital contraction to a point where I question the ability to accumulate the necessary capital to sustain rebuilding.

If the life support systems of food, water, sanitation, electricity, communications, & transportation are compromised - economics and govt will be at minimum massively impaired - given this one must assume that past a certain level of interconnected failures, catastrophic failure cascades will happen.

At that point life support systems will be unable to sustain anything close to our present populations living in technology supported societies. It is because of this conclusion that I cannot see that there will be anything less than major knowledgebase infractructure erosion, preventing rebuilding of a society even marginally resembling that in which we now live.

-- Mitchell Barnes (, January 27, 1999.

Expect to be self-employed and act accordingly now.

Figure out new skills and abilities and collect the new supplies you may need. Make sure you love what it is youll choose to do. Find something that lifts your heart when you think about doing it. Something that excites you, and keeps you intrigued and interested. (Thats often how people got off-base with their current lives and jobs). Know whether youre a fixer, a doer, an new idea creator/ inventor, organizer or a maker of new things -- as a start. Then join with others who compliment your weaknesses, not your strengths.

Then, when the unknowable challenges come, youll look forward to your new life.

Also pick your community well. Good ones, filled with determined (and good humored) people will re-stabilize quickly, though possibly differently. Look to the basics, built up with local supplies and nearby markets, then be flexible and fluid in flowing with the opportunities, and in expanding from that base. Honor others and help, and they will honor and help you. (And try honoring the earth this time around too).

Also, I submit, people tend to find creative solutions and work- arounds to anything that is broken or appears to be. It is in their nature. Dont expect them to sit quietly saying woe is me. Change is a great motivator.


-- Diane J. Squire (, January 27, 1999.

Mitchell --- good push-back to me, thanks, I stand at least partially corrected! And add to that the knowledge we don't have but desperately need (small-scale old-fashioned farming ..... etc) for post-Y2K.

Everything re knowledge probably depends on the length to recovery, as you make so clear. Like Infomagic's scenario, the problem (and most of don't DGI) is that past a certain point of breakdown, the time to recovery lengthens QUICKLY from years to decades or ??? The Roman Empire is an antique but relevant example.

-- BigDog (, January 27, 1999.

Before you flame, read the next paragraph carefully and THINK!

A required piece of every Y2K survival package should be (where afordable) a laptop computer with a set od CD's including both Grolier's and World Book encyclopedias, as well as a set of the Federalist, and Anti-Federalist papers, and the founding documents of the US.

Now think about this. You can recharge the laptop from solar. You can set the date to whatever the laptop needs to run (who cares what date it says). You can use this as the main research tool to generate most of whatever you are going to need to generate.


-- Chuck, night driver (, January 27, 1999.

Read Genesis.

Seriously, Joseph was able to interpret the Pharoah's dream and then was put in charge of the Pharoah's storehouses.

They had a short time to prepare. Joseph was instrumental in "managing" the famine and even managed to consolidate the Pharoah's power in the land in the final year of the famine, as Egyptians sold their land to the Pharoah for bread and food.

The whole chapter is telling, because you see the effects of Joseph's preparations in the story, as well as how bad things really got. (Even the money failed...)

Biblical truths are eternal, read the Bible...

Glen Austin

-- Glen Austin (, January 27, 1999.


I taught my 4th grade Sunday school class about Joseph this year. I emphasized storing up in preparation for lean times and carefully explained what famine was. I mentioned how the Mormon religion requires storing 1 year's worth of food and why that might be practical. Plant the seeds and see what happens...

-- me (, January 27, 1999.

Chuck - Bingo! also other references as neccessary. I'm including a bunch of theological reference works, and sometimes I have this scary thought about someone hand copying a manuscript from info on the screen of my laptop...


-- Arlin H. Adams (, January 28, 1999.

I'm storing novels. Stephen King and Tom Clancy; I bought a bunch of them 2nd-hand a few days ago at a garage sale (only $5 for 20 hardcover books in relatively good condition!) and have sealed them inside plastic bags, put them in an old garbage bin, and buried them under the house (having already read them, and since I already have copies of most of them). I think those books will be as important as the high-brow stuff, if society fails; to show our descendants what our culture, our people, were like.


-- Leo (, January 28, 1999.

a worldwide depression? We are ripe for it. You don't react. there's nothing to prepare for. each day has it's own measure of badness...the depression of the 30's was different than the US government 5-6 trillion in debt, and with the breakdown of many of the information will be a you will wish you were not on. I'm not concerned about the people on the pages that are sensing what may occur. I'm concerned about the majority who will react...because their senses are so dulled now. You can be sure they won't ask "What can I do around here to earn a loaf of bread?" they'll just take.

I sincerely hope my perceptions of most people is wrong..however, when I watched what happened in LA after the Rodney King trial years solidified how quickly society can go to the depths of depravity...any quick surf on chat rooms can tell you that as well. The hearts of most are cold and cruel, and their search for truth is supplanted by a thirst for animalistic cravings. sound pessimistic? sure does...any reason for optimism?

-- Rick Shade (, February 03, 1999.

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