A brief update and future plans along with a BIG thank you to all.greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
I have been very busy over the last few weeks with preparations so haven't had too much time to catch up on all that's been posted and post much back in return.
Over the last two weeks I have been growing increasingly more aware of the importance of community preparedness and planning if more people are going to handle whatever may happen.
This coming Thursday I am attending a free Briefing by National and Local Experts called "Meeting Our Y2K Challenges Together" at the Washington National Cathedral. John Koskinen shall be providing an opportunity for Q's and A's. (I know - big deal!) However, it should be interesting. Anyhow there are a host of workshops offered and I have signed up for "Organizing Your Neighborhood" and another on "Public Safety".
I am hoping that the workshop on "Organizing Your Neighborhood" shall provide me with enough of a springboard action to provide me with the courage to dive off and set about bringing about some community awareness and necessary preparation. I am also hoping that by attending the briefing I shall meet and network with other groups already operating in the area that can help advise and offer support.
I am already aware of a few neighbors that are preparing. However, at present it all appears to be on an individual basis. I feel strongly that an effort needs to be put forth to try and bring the neighborhood together with the hope that we can then reach out on a wider community level. Through one of my neighbors I am aware that another neighbor - a police officer - has bought a generator and has been advising preparation to close friends. We also have two programmers, two doctors, two nurses, (that I am aware of) and other professionals in our immediate neighborhood.
Both my husband and I have noticed that there seems to be an increasing awareness of the seriousness of this problem. We attended a Y2K Community Preparedness meeting at the Washington Post Building in Washington last week. I found out about that meeting from this forum. It was surreal to us to find ourselves sitting amongst 150+ other people most fairly well to do and obviously not of the fringe element (if you get my drift) in the Washington Post building in Washington, D.C. awaiting to hear about Y2K community preparedness from reputable officials. Well the Red Cross official gave the party line twaddle about expecting a winter storm and having preparations for 72 hours, etc. However, as we had already discovered prior to the start of the meeting there was another Red Cross official there sat three seats away from us in the audience. It was this official that made a very heated statement about the fact that he thought it disgusting that FEMA couldn't have provided someone from their ranks to also be represented seeing as they had been invited. He also posed the most explosive question of the evening. Before he asked the question he let everyone know about the sorry Y2K status of the medical establishment in the nation and then he asked if the Red Cross relied on hospitals in disaster areas to assist them. Well, the other official made noise about being put on the spot and then proceeded to admit that yes this did indeed pose a very real problem for them as they do rely very heavily upon hospitals and that they were aware that the medical establishment was facing considerable problems with Y2K compliance and what problems this might pose to them was unknown.
At the end of the meeting we heard unofficial recommendations from these same Red Cross officials that were definitely not along party lines. I have hesitated posting this before because of the fact that I can't prove it.
We left that meeting with a lot to mull over.
Now I find myself attending this Y2K Briefing at the National Cathedral that Czar John Koskinen is honoring us with his presence which to me gives some credence to the fact that this thing indeed is somewhat more important than an expected snow-storm. I can't help but think that if they really felt that there wasn't anything to be concerned about that they wouldn't be bothering to endorse these type of activities with their very presence. My train of thought is that they hope that some of the population that are somewhat more savvy and aware shall take some sort of an initial lead quietly and help to get others more aware and prepared and so it builds from there. Mind you I might be wrong. I also feel that this is a whole new ball game for everyone to be dealing with and they are basically flying by the seat of their pants in how to deal with it.
I really don't know what to think. All I do know is that this free Briefing seems rather an extreme effort for just a bump in the road and the three day wonder that official announcements would have us believe that is the most we may expect the outcome to be.
Anyhow I wanted to let you know a little about our efforts. I imagine that in the following weeks and months I shall be pretty busy so may not find as much time as I would like to visit with you all.
I also wanted to thank you all for your invaluable information location prowess along with your insights into everything that is written. It has certainly been a learning experience for me and continues to be.
A special thank you goes out to Mr. Ed Yourdon and his daughter, Jennifer, without whom this forum wouldn't exist.
It is now my turn to contribute what I can to this effort and hopefully make a difference in some small way for the better like you have demonstrated to me.
-- Carol (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 09, 1999
Thanks for your thoughtful post, Carol :-)
You will find to your surprise that you will be able to follow the meeting with lightbulbs and synapses flaring like a fireworks show in your brain. You will also discover you have a good start out of the block and could easily be a natural leader on the Y2K community prep front.
Knowledge and quick critical thinking is power. You may be able to ask pointed questions in a polite firm manner that will make certain czars squirm and spill a fact or consideration edgewise. These officials are desperate to know just how ppl are feeling/wondering/reacting to the Y2K growing mushroom cloud. They attend these meetings as photo ops, survey ops, pulse ops, track record CYAs, and anesthesia blanket squirt ops.
Your op is to be so alert and non-lulled that you can inject reality as truth serum and extract confessions to jump-start the attendees -- but even more, you can plant ideas and seeds to the people about planning and preparing. We will all be on the spot in very short order, so thinking outside the box NOW is esssential.
OF COURSE the current plans, following old guidelines, will not execute smoothly! The medical profession is NOT ready to handle itself, let alone evacuees, shelters, relocations, tent cities, sore walking miles of people searching for better conditions, etc. The medical mess is so flea-bitten with a couple decades of backbiting, rule changes, money squeezes, insurance hijackings, bottom line pressures -- they are too flogged and bitter and weary to tackle the Y2K debacle.
I think right now, the best service one can give at a meeting is to briefly and emphatically encourage *all members present* to stop relying on old methodologies and immediately start deep-thinking, alone & quietly & individually with conscience, about how they can offer every last ounce of their life skills towards helping their neighbors survive a radical disruption of life, with no outside help and no support constructs available.
This assumes one has individually prepared to the point one's self and family are safe. This is a monumental task, but the road is blazoned on many Web sites and especially this Forum -- now we have to spark the larger consideration picture of collapse conflagration and get our fellows mentally revisioning a practical rebuilding of existence continuity starting over from scratch.
Pulling official teeth of little possibility statistics at these meetings is now a waste of time. Get all thinking about reconstruction! It is not going to be just a little patch here and there or somewhere else. Delve deep into individual resources and pool the courage of those willing and able to start anew.
As a great revered much-accomplishing soul [Paramahansa Yogananda] encourages:
THE NOBLE NEW
Sing songs that none have sung,
Think thoughts that ne'er in brain have rung,
Walk in paths that none have trod,
Weep tears as none have shed for God,
Give peace to all whom none other gave,
Claim him your own who's everywhere disclaimed.
Love all with love that none have felt, and brave
The battle of life with strength unchained.
The best of fortuitous spark, purpose, clarity, and initiative to you, Carol!
Ashton & Leska in Cascadia
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-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (email@example.com), March 10, 1999.
Good luck at the meeting and with all your neighborhood efforts. Try, if you can, to meet Steve Davis there.
He sent out the following e-mail:
The Washington National Cathedral will host a free briefing, Meeting our Y2K Challenges Together, on March 11. The event begins a 9 AM (ECT) and will begin with a Q&A session with John Koskinen, chair of the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion.
At 10:15 Margaret Wheatley, organizational consultant, will be featured. I will be representing Coalition 2000 on a panel following Meg that will discuss "What Might We Face?".
The morning session will be webcast live from ...
This webpage also offers information on the program. In order to participate, you must have the RealAudio player, available by free download.
Regards, Steve Davis
-- Diane J. Squire (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 10, 1999.
It would also be great if someone would provide a synopsis of the meeting on this board. Even more wonderful if someone would tape it and use an automatice translation program (Dragonspeak naturally, etc.) to transcribe it. Just a thought. :)
-- FM (email@example.com), March 10, 1999.
"At the end of the meeting we heard unofficial recommendations from these same Red Cross officials that were definitely not along party lines. I have hesitated posting this before because of the fact that I can't prove it."
Carol, It would mean a lot if you would share some of the "unofficial recommendations" with us. Meanwhile, thanks for the report on last week's meeting.
-- Brooks (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 10, 1999.
In answer to your question. They are expecting it to be very bad. They recommended that we move to somewhere with lots of acreage. I was flabbergasted and asked if they were serious. Yes, indeedy they were..... "We're talking about having chickens, and bicycles for transportation here," was a direct quote. And no they weren't joking. The message was loud and clear along these lines. Now whether this is just their own humble view or whether this view is held on a wider scale within their ranks I don't know. It has certainly thrown my husband for a loop. He only really went with me to the meeting because he didn't want me wandering around D.C. late at night on my own. We have been preparing together, but he has just been going along with my say-so and relying on what I think about the situation and how much preparation we needed to make. Since that meeting he has certainly taken a more proactive role. He is taking this a lot more seriously and making a lot more noise about it at work. In fact yesterday he received an invitation for the both of us to have dinner at the home of one of his co-workers to discuss Y2K further....
-- Carol (email@example.com), March 10, 1999.
Whoa, Carol, land, chickens and bicycles from the mouths of gagged officials!
Since that's what I've always wanted anyway, guess we'll start praying for it now. So little time left for such a move, and we don't have money or country skills! Oh well. May the farmers live, prosper, and rule.
Gives GI couples something to talk about in the middle of the night ...
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-- Leska (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 10, 1999.
Sorry I forgot to acknowledge your post. I shall indeed be on the lookout for a Steve Davis.
-- Carol (email@example.com), March 10, 1999.
Sounds like the movie "Americathon". Oil products are gone, the economy is shot, the government is bankrupt, everybody living in their cars and getting around on bicycles. John Ritter was the lead but I can't recall who else was in the movie.
Of course if things get that bad, we had better think about doing things like holding a "New Continental Congress". Start the rebuilding process, prune the deadwood government agencies and restore some semblence of "limited federal government".
File it in your memories, folks. It may get to the point it's needed.
-- Wildweasel (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 10, 1999.
Carol -- I'm in DC too -- over by Eastern Market. We've been prepping for several months now. Please feel free to e-mail me. It's good to know other folks in DC!
-- Libby Alexander (email@example.com), March 12, 1999.