On This Day Pre-Y2K

Confused by any of the jargon you see below? Check the Y2K Glossary!

January 24, 1999 Permalink

I am trying to assess the situation in the UK. My husband’s parents live on a small farm in the north of England. They have lived there for 50+ years and know every other farmer around. They have been retired for the past few years so the farm is non-working now. There is a well that has not been in use for years. However, we have ascertained from them that it won’t take much to put in a hand pump that they have. I have purchased a Brekensefeld water filter to filter the water. We plan to have the water tested. They also have their own septic tank. When they first bought and moved to the farm they lived without electricity and running water for a while. They have lived through the rationing and hardships that WWII brought. They, therefore, have valuable know how and resources that we don’t have. They, however, don’t have the strength and stamina that might be needed if everything does go belly up. We really need to be there.

Our thinking is that it might not be too bad where they are. Of course, panic, rioting, and looting shall happen but not on such a wide scale as where we are now. We are thinking that it might be easier for ourselves and surrounding farmers to pick ourselves up and get on with what needs to be done to survive and help surrounding villagers in the process. The distances are not as great as in the US to outreach with grown produce to outlying villages, towns, and cities. Also, there are farms scattered throughout Britain unlike in the US.

The problem that we have is that we’re not sure how seriously they are taking this situation. I don’t suppose for one moment that at their time in life they want to contend with a problem of this magnitude. Also, being relatively simple people (and I mean that in the nicest way possible) living a realtively simple life I don’t think they are really aware of just how much the interconnectivity, and interdependency of technology has slowly crept into their lives. As I said the farm is non-working at present. To get us through we shall need some sort of preparations and provisions.

We have made the decision to try and be there for the big event. We had actually planned to be there to celebrate the millennium anyway!! We have also started making preparations for a 3 month supply of food and water at this end should we be unable to get over there. We don’t know if things will stay stable enough until the middle of December when we intend to fly. It is a difficult situation to deal with because life still has to proceed as usual. Because of the unknown factor you sort of have to contend with the fact that things might go belly up or things might go without a glitch or snow-storm at worst. So my husbnd plans to take leave at the end of the year into January and be in the UK and see what transpires.

—Carol, Time Bomb 2000 Forum (LUSENET), 01/24/99

Some people may remember December’s Y2K Council meeting where Koskinen dropped his little bomb that he was most concerned about oil production and maritime shipping. Recently a second heavy hitter, Lawrence Gershwin of the NIC said the same thing: Oil imports are going to be highly vulnerable to the glitch. The above story you posted, Whit, is the second corroborating story (of Koskinen’s remarks) about this issue over the last month. Three different sources, all recognized, all saying the same thing. Can any sound thinking person ignore this issue? What good are itsy bitsy “we’re compliant” stories in the face of an oil supply that is about to belly up? Are we to think the power companies can generally feed the grid what it demands if the oil supply is interrupted or reduced? Are we to think that itsy bitsy, teeny weeny Wall Street computers, or Federal Reserve bank computers can operate more than a few days or weeks without central power? Who the hell are we kidding, anyway? The oil story is bigger than any other story out there, IMO.

—phinias_t_foobar, comp.software.year-2000, 01/24/99

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