Let's all stop talking about it and DO it!

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"Let's all stop talking about it and DO it!" -Bill Dale

Thanks, Bill, for putting us back on track.

If anyone has any questions about any of these "DO it" activities, contact me: Schumacher@sou.edu

  1. Raise neighborhood awareness by door-to-door visitations

  2. Install a "neighborhood" well with solar panels and propane generator backup power system.

  3. Develop a "Community Garden" at Southern Oregon University Family Housing apartments.

  4. Install a "dry well" with main sewer line valve for use as a home septic system during utility outages

  5. Start a "Y2K Committee" and post minutes on the web: www.rv-y2k.org/prepcoll.htm

  6. Purchase a diesel generator to power the Family Housing Community Building to provide a warm community space for families (especially the kids) to gather, watch movies, games, etc. [I'm still looking for solutions to the problem of adequate diesel storage supply... -or- how do I reserve a diesel tanker truck? Any suggestions?]

  7. Purchase basic bulk food items to provide one "meal" a day during emergencies for Family Housing residents

  8. Set a goal for the year: Family Emergency Preparedness and create a "Family Emergency Checklist with a Y2K Twist" available on the web at www.rv-y2k.org/prepcoll.htm

  9. Include emergency preparedness inserts in the monthly newsletter. So far:

    September: "Why Be Prepared..."
    October: "Fire Safety: Hold A Family Fire Drill"
    November: "Water Storage"
    December: "Food Storage"
    January: "Emergency Supplies"
    February thru June TBA

  10. Speak on Y2K to various groups (So far: Ashland Coalition, Oregon Economic Development Dept, Association of College and University Housing Officers - Apartments/Family Housing)

  11. Visit each University Family Housing resident/household to encourage family emergency preparedness and hand out the "Y2K: Truth or Consequences" brochure

  12. Stay current on Y2K including reading the GAO reports on the "Year 2000 Computing Crisis" available at www.gao.gov./y2kr.htm

  13. Join selected listservs to stay current

  14. Purchase at least "one extra item" each time I go to the store for family preparation

  15. Take another "Y2K GI" (Get's It) out to lunch

  16. Convert Pepsi box containers to water storage containers

    And my latest favorite:

  17. Purchase headbands equipped with flashlight holder to give as Christmas gifts to my brothers (Sshhhh... don't tell!) $4.99 and so comfortable I easily forget I have it on when I go out back to get wood for the fire...causes some odd looks when I answer the front door!)

Let's keep moving along the Y2K readiness track.


-- Wayne Schumacher (Schumacher@sou.edu), December 03, 1998


Thanks Wayne, for your good set of suggestions. In a newsletter I just composed, I am recommending a somewhat similar set, but oriented toward those working in an urban situation. I'd like to include it in this list...

Community means networking . . . getting together with others, and talking about it. And community, in this instance, has to mean the people you live with/near/among. If there already exists such a community for you, fine start working with it. If it doesn9t exist, then you have to start putting it together. Everyone lives in a potential community setting. You discover its full potential by calling a meeting.

Not everyone will come, and that9s okay. You9ll get a few, and it9s all you need for a start. It9s not difficult to find resources for the first meeting. Utne Reader has just come out with an excellent little community-centered handbook, 120 pages for $4.95. Once you see it, you9ll want to order it in bulk: 50 copies or more at $1 each, plus shipping. (These are proffered for fund-raising resale, but that of course is up to you).

After whatever initial and get-acquainted talk is necessary, orient your group toward an action plan. Most group confusion and failure results from the lack of specific and positive directions to pursue. That plan should include, at the very least: goals, organization, individual or committee assignments, and a specific follow-up (next meeting) provision.

Exactly what the plan and assignments are to consist of is up to the group; but here are a few recommendations, using the term, neighborhood, to mean whatever size community you are dealing with: a building, a block, or larger . . .

1. Postering or leafleting the neighborhood with details about the group and its purpose.

2. Getting coverage in the local and neighborhood media.

3. Checking out larger meeting space.

4. Organizing a preparedness storage center, for stocking up on: emergency supplies, warm clothing/blankets, food, water, non-electrical heating equipment, emergency tools... etc. (The rationale for this is that many in the neighborhood will not have prepared, and may have to be taken care of by the rest).

5. Resource survey of the neighborhood: special tools or equipment, information sources (medical or country survival handbooks, etc.), critical skills that could be on call for emergency use (medical, ham radio or CB, repair trades, and just plain manpower).

6. Emergency provision for power failure, including centralized and sheltered group cooking facilities (non-electric, of course); possibly staffing a central canteen.

7. Provision for collective transport, in case of public transit failure and/or gasoline unavailability.

8. Provision for a grapevine system, in case normal communication channels and/or media should fail.

9. Survey of neighborhood shelter space for any potentially homeless (remember, this will strike in the dead of winter).

10. Efforts to link, constructively, with any businesses in the area.

11. Liaison with similar nearby community groups.

12. Whatever linkage can be established with city emergency functions.

13. Considering/exploring the possibilities for providing auxiliary assistance to local emergency facilities (traffic control, street surveillance, neighborhood condition reportage & liaison...).

14. Certifying the extent of any special planning by local emergency facilities, especially those nearby (partly to let them know that residents are alert and concerned).

15. Conducting 3Y2K orientations2 for those who will come late to the awareness.

At bottom, you know, this is nothing more pretentious or foolhardy than utilizing a damn good basis for bringing community process back into our lives, after it has pretty effectively been dismantled by the social forces (consumerism, TV, me-ism, upward striving, population mobility, a nouveau workaholism, etc.) that have taken us down the path of fragmentation and its inevitable by-product: helplessness.

For God9s sake, grab this opportunity, and Be Thankful for it!

-- Irv Thomas (irvthom@u.washington.edu), December 29, 1998.

Y2k week X
week 65

Douglass Carmichael

From weekly notes that are part of a dialog built around an evolving set of scenarios. Back issues archived at http://tmn.com/y2k.


- Report from Nebraska. How to get a community organized easily.

I just got back from Norfolk Nebraska, west of Omaha and about 24,000 people, where we had a town meeting of two hundred for a day Wednesday. It was co-sponsored by the town council, in attendance, the local community college (host), and some local corporations like the main food store, and the local public TV station. which taped it all and will play it frequently over the next three weeks. With Mike Nolan, city administrator in the chair, John Peterson and I presenting (we were invited because we presented together at the World Future society in Chicago a few months ago) in the morning, and then after lunch a panel of the local infrastructure folks, Neb Public Power being one, and USWest, the Bank, the police and fire chief, water and sewer. (they were not arrogant, but mostly presented in the form of "we are 55% done" without any analysis of what was found along the way, nor of what the remaining 45% meant). All the panelists said they had learned a lot from the morning (and, I think, were going to go back to their bureaucracies stronger for it), but the "facts" stirred the audience to greater awareness of the depth of the muddle and the inadequacy of the reporting.

Then came community organizing in a hurry.

I said "We need your help. time is short and I need your leadership, to help get us organized. Mike needs more infrastructure to help cope with the y2k issues. I want you to be thinking of what topic you would be willing to lead a small group around. Here is what we do. When I am done explaining, I'll ask you come forward and write the topic on one of these sheets of paper, sign your name, and tape it to this front wall. Announce the topic in the mike so all can hear, and the rest of you be thinking about what's missing from the topics you've hard so far. When we have all the ideas up then we'll all go to the wall and sign up for which group we want to go to. I'll number the sheets 1,2,.. and when you are done signups then move to the groups. The ones will meet over there (doug points), 2 there , 3. When the group meets make sure you get the name, phone and email for each person and your only other task now is to arrange the next meeting sometime in the next ten days, and we will post the lists of meetings and participants in the newspaper tomorrow."

It led to fourteen groups, one led by the police chief, and the brief meetings were really spirited. That whole process from my beginning to the groups finishing getting organized took 45 minutes.

That give Mike Nolan, the city administrator, an infrastructure for town response that is broader than the normal municipal services. 120 peoplesigned up for groups. Included were the town banker, the head of info tech at the largest food store, small and large businesses

There will (plans can change) be a meeting of the heads of the groups to plan a next big town meeting, with workshops and a plenary, open to the whole town and surrounding communities (there were about ten people there from other towns). The general civility was wonderful, and people were smart.

-- Bill (windrow@mediaweb.gr), December 29, 1998.


Just want to encourage neighborhood organizers to shoot high. All the steps mentioned above show good common sense, but please don't forget to explore ways to make the neighborhood self-sustainable.

The vertical gardening mentioned in the Best of the Best thread is working well in SF in the winter. I have proposed to our local gov't the idea of transporting and storing grains to accessible spots in the city from the silos in the country. Hope to get a positive response in a week or so.

But it is in community self-sustainability, self-resilience where the strength lies, in my opinion, of course.

Tom O.

-- Tom Osher (bagelhole1@aol.com), December 29, 1998.

An interesting note. Here's the trail on it:

from ts to the 2000efn listserver:

"Included is what one person did with apparently pretty good results. Might not work everywhere but who knows if you don't try?"

Which led to the following @ http://www.escribe.com/history/ 2000ad/msg00365.html, (a site that has some lists on or including y2k discussion). This is what ts found in the archives. It's called "Talking to your neighbors."

this came across my screen today from the Santa Barbara SB2K-wise group that has formed recently, and i thought it would be important to share it with the readers of talk2000. this is one woman's intelligent approach to the Y2K issue: -Steve Diamond
"One Day In Peace, January 1, 2000!"
join the worldwide thought-wave campaign....
pass it on..... coming soon to a planet like ours....Earth!


http://www.oneday.net & http://www.oneday.org

- - -

Dear Sirs,

I am responding to your invitation to share ideas regarding preparing the public for the Y2K problems ahead. I have gone through all of the stages that come with dealing with this knowledge ahead of time. When I finally hit the stage where you become active, I searched my heart for ways to become a part of the solution, not the problem.

One of the thoughts that kept coming into my mind was, "If I prepare, I will have to fear my neighbors". I thought about that and realized that if I cared about them, I would come out of my shell on this problem and be bold enough to tell them the facts and offer some solutions at the same time. I wouldn't try to force them to see it my way but instead I would hope to empower them as a group of people by giving them the knowledge they needed to make their own decisions.

I walked my neighborhood and handed out invitations to my home personally. When they arrived, I explained to them that I was not especially wanting them to see things my way. I gave them written information on what Y2K is as well as playing an audio tape about it. We talked and what followed was very interesting. They decided to view their neighborhood like a small town. They are electing a mayor, banker, etc. They identified those who lived alone and those who could not afford to prepare. Those with fireplaces have opened their homes to those who don't have them.

They plan to all take a CPR class and one of the folks there has offered canning classes. Each person was given a sheet to identify their gifts and talents. One person is doing a neighborhood map with name, addresses, and professions. They split up into different fact finding missions such as, can we put a well in, what are the best ways to store water, food, etc. There was a commitment made by these people. One elderly woman asked if she could have a clothing bank for the children since some may not have caps, mittens, and coats.

The approach was to be bold without fear. The main reason for this meeting was to start a program that will branch out into the surrounding neighborhoods to tear down the walls and help people know each other. Now is the time...not later. They elected to have meetings for the rest of 1998 and all of 1999 alternating between homes.

Since then, my phone has been ringing as people from all over want to come. I believe the church is more than a building and I have ears to hear when the Lord says "If you love me then feed my sheep". That is what this is all about. I hope this gives you your own ideas...this may not be new but it came from my heart. It is like telling them "Let's know one another again".

Thank you,
Donna Bosn

-- Bill (2w@bigfoot.com), January 04, 1999.

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