On This Day Pre-Y2K

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

May 14, 1999 Permalink

Conventional disaster relief planning is as you describe, to prepare folks for the several days it will take aid agencies to arrive from other parts of the country.

In wide-scale disasters, like wars and massive earthquakes, such disaster relief is impossible.

Why not prepare to be on one’s own for at least 30 days? A quick calculation of the costs shows it to be economical, as we have discussed so many times. So why don’t people do it?

Because they don’t think about tomorrow. They live day to day, week to week. They eat up their food and drink up their booze and _then_ they go out shopping. They spend what they don’t have. A week’s worth of food would get eaten up the first time they ran short in a month....

Those with the willpower to save money, to forego current spending for future security, to stock our larders with several months’ worth of food, and so on, well, we are a rare breed. Most Americans will not stock up. This is just reality.

The burn off of useless eaters will be a glorious thing.

—Tim May, comp.software.year-2000, 05/14/99

Frankly, the DoD can barely handle the three missions it has in Central America (Haiti, Mitch, C-drugs), the three it’s running in Iraq (2 no-fly-zones + maritime embargo) and four-and-counting in Balkans (no fly in Bosnia, Bosnia refugee support, bombing Serbia, and Kosov refugees). They are stretched so thin right now that even the notion that they’re planning domestic stuff is laughable--there’s no one at any command right now who’s not too busy with other stuff to even discuss Y2K in their theater much less worry about what may happen here.

Domestic show is FEMA + Nat Guard + local cops and 50 governors all looking to make a name for themselves. Polls say most people expect world’s biggest party, with only a small proportion expecting bad stuff or expecting to do bad stuff. We’re talking every local cop on duty and Nat Guards drilling that weekend and that’s it.

—barnettt, comp.software.year-2000, 05/14/99

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