Panic in America what will it look like?greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Just think about it remember what it was like during Christmas people in line standing for an hour and when it was your turn the price would not ring up and you had to wait a little longer or when you got to the store it was out of what you needed. Finding a place to park will give you a stroke people pushing and shoving to get some little nothing that will be forgotten a week after the holiday. Just picture it in your mind what it will look like at Wal-mart -- K-mart the mall 280 million people trying to make up for lost time. Traffic on the road will be a nightmare people will kill each other it will be one big jam bumper to bumper everybody at one time trying to get there before everybody else. The only people who are ready are people like you and me we will be at home watching on tv. I would like to hear what you have to add to this how bad will it be to see your fellow Americans in the panic to buy what they need. I do not think that many people will prepare till it is to late the lines will be around the block.
-- Bubba (Badhabbit@world.com), January 29, 1999
It will look like the fall of Saigon, but there won't be any choppers to whisk us away.
-- Spidey (email@example.com), January 29, 1999.
It would be the closest thing to Hell that any of us will ever see this side of the grave.
-- Hardliner (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 29, 1999.
It's hard for me to picture a pre-1/1/00 event that would trigger what you describe. What sort of event would do that, anyone?
Assuming such an event occurs, I think it would be like this:
Day 1: Crush like you describe. Avoid if possible.
Day 2: Store shelves are bare, ATM won't spit any more cash, banks are out of it. Latecomers are angry, isolated small riots happen.
Day 3: The government halts trading on the stock market, declares bank holiday, announces ration distribution centers. Locations, limitations, procedures announced on all TV and radio stations.
Day 4: Hastily organized distribution centers start operation, most are poorly organized, more riots. Checks are refused, since they can't be verified. Credit cards are accepted in the better-organized centers, cash is OK everywhere. Deliveries of goods to centers is haphazard, storage is inadequate, theft is rampant.
Day 5: Most banks are re-opened with strict withdrawal limitations. Some distribution centers are relocated, some are closed. Enforcement of purchase limits and curfews, protection of deliveries made possible by arrival of military troops.
Day 6: Delivery redirection to original recipients starts as more troops are deployed. Cash withdrawal limitations softened as banks get cash from distribution centers and fed. Stock market re-opens for several hours, then halted again. Limitations on purchase quantities less restrictive. All TV networks are begging people to calm down, everything is working fine, things are getting straightened out.
Day 7: Lines eliminated, cash is readily available, store restocking begins, withdrawal limits eliminated, troops withdrawn from most areas. Sales remain brisk as people prepare for possible genuine bugs later.
NOW, if this is on or after 1/1/00, things are very different. In this case, the panic is caused by real rather than imagined difficulties:
Day 1: Power goes out. Banks, stores all closed. Phone lines dead. It's Saturday. People wait for power to return, start thinking about keeping warm.
Day 2: Power still out, people are getting very cold. A few stores are open, selling for cash and keeping records with pencil and paper. By the day's end, there isn't a heater, bottle of propane, generator, or stick of firewood left. No deliveries are made.
Days 3-7: Riots start bigtime. Stores smashed into, all shelves cleaned out. First troops arrive, with limited effectiveness. Some are shot. Delivery trucks hijacked at gunpoint. Fires started to keep warm spread because water pressure is gone. Government hires trucks with loudspeakers to urge calm, these are ignored. Hospital generators run out of fuel, deaths from hypothermia start rising. Police and military become primary predators, law enforcement is non- existent.
Well, you get the idea. Is that doomy enough for you?
-- Flint (email@example.com), January 29, 1999.
Flint what you have written sounds about right buy i think it would be in weeks maybe months not days. The government is slow to act even if they have planned it out it will take time. Who knows what will happen. During times of disaster in a small area it takes them forever to react. They will face the same problems as we will. Reaction teams have families to take care of first this will take time. I think it may take 6 months to get back to some type of normal life i hope i am wrong people will be in shock they will not believe what has happen even after they know it is true. I do not know what would trigger this maybe a national emergency broadcast on tv. If it is on tv people tend to believe it they are brainwashed robots with buttons to push.
-- Bubba (Badhabbit@world.com), January 29, 1999.
And people on this forum ask "why do I need to move to the country?" If you are stocked up and ready to go, you won't need to venture out of your house. You home will be your sanctuary for ever how long it takes. What's going on in Columbia is a glimpse of what will go on here in the cities but more widespread and it will be nationwide. Don't depend on the government for anything, and the sooner people understand this, the better off they will be. I won't be standing in line for anything. As a matter of fact, I have weaned myself from going into any grocery store but once a week. Soon, it will be every two weeks, and then once a month. We all need to get use to the idea that what we had before will no longer be there.
-- Bardou (Bardou@baloney.com), January 29, 1999.
Bubba, you're probably right. I was factoring in the various mobilization exercises, and other (unpublished and unknown to us) contingency plans I can't imagine the government NOT doing.
My bottom line is: If panic is premature and not yet justified, it will peter out fairly quickly because all of our systems are fully operational. If panic results from genuine systemic crashes, all bets are off.
-- Flint (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 29, 1999.
For a preview of a panic scenario, check out the current news reports from Columbia -- riots, crowds of hungry, thirsty people breaking into food depots and Red Cross warehouses, troops moving in to restore order. then multiply by two orders of magnitude, at least, and add guns.
-- Cash (email@example.com), January 29, 1999.
A friend of mine went through the dock strikes in Hawaii and marshal law in the Philippines. What has been described here is pretty close to what actually happened there. She said there were store limits on what you could buy and lots of things were hard to find. With marshal law there was someone out side the door with a gun that told you to stay inside after 10pm. My question is could the April ,1 rollover for Japan, Canada and New York City wake JQP up? Tman
-- Tman (Tman@nowwhat.com), January 30, 1999.