Rural Planning : LUSENET : Millennium Salons : One Thread - long thread on preparation in a rural type setting.

Harold Walker brings in some new thoughts. A few questions arise. Since the working farm you describe, while defenseable, still has a lot of infrastructure to protect, it would seem that during the initial phases of y2k you might have problems. Civil Disorder is usually the top concern on the list, but in my list Civil Disorder ranks further down.

Having been ranch and farm raised I know the amount of physical labor involved and yes, ideally it takes more than just family members, especially in a y2k situation where there will be a lot of untrained labor with everyone under considerable stress. Have you given thought to productivity ramp-up curves over time, and to injury ramp-down curves over time? If you have a farm large enough to warrent the additional labor then, you must need it now, I assume. Could you describe your program of recruiting for your small village/hamlet? Would you please describe your ideas on training non-farm folk to be productive farm workers? Do you have a program in place for the acquisition of boots and clothing appropriate to farm labor, or do you expect those who join to already have this gear? Do you expect most of those who will be living at your village to join prior to y2k, during the 3-6 month chaos period, or later than that - and does your minimum timeframe of two years hold for each of those periods? During turbulent times how are you going to keep people from just walking away?

On the top of my y2k concerns list are Famine and Plague. If you have enough food stashed you can avoid famine. Do you have an optimum number of people you are planning for? How does this affect the farm's stashed food and fuel supply? Avoiding famine, as long as you have sanitary hygene and water, helps you avoid the plague. But plagues come from diverse vectors. Perimeter patrol might keep out predators, but it will not probably be able to keep out many of the epidemic diseases. What are your preparations to deal with the probability of in-village plague illnesses and deaths? Will you tell us about your quaranteen set-up? Are you planning to have any sort of "hospital" facilities? Are you recruiting EMT or medical practicioners or dentists (I know a good vet can deal with some of the human traumas)? Would you talk a bit about the prep involved in dealing with bereaving family members and burial? Are you going to have anyone on site who knows enough about infectious diseases to be able to guide people as to whether or not the ill or dead are contagious and the method of contagion?

What is your plan for dealing with people who make it to your farm who are two or more weeks into famine? Most likely they are not going to be able to work for a period for their food. Most likely some will be plague carriers or ill? Have you given thought, and could you share with us, a humane method of dealing with and assessing incoming famine and plague victims, without unnecessary exposure to your perimeter patrol?

Civil Unrest and Preditors. I am assuming civil unrest to begin ramping up later this year. I am assuming that that ramp up will be pale in comparison to the probable magnitude of the civil unrest outbreak between the New Year and April 1st. Have you created defensive positions to guard roads and paths? Do you plan on blocking roads? Do you plan to have patrols? Are you assuring that your patrol members have necessary weapon training for effectiveness? If you plan on taking on people during this chaotic timeframe what are your thoughts on a workable ratio of longtime members to newbies in order that your skilled people do not become too diluted? How are you planning to deal with non-violent predators, ie. those who want a handout, but who do not want to work, and, who will not just "go away". How do you plan to deal with violent preditors? Are you planning to, or do you have current outreach into your local EMTs, police, HP, or Fire Departments? Are you planning to use radios for communication? Many are predicting a relatively rapid die-off with the survivors forming bands beginning sometime post heavy chaos. Have you a plan on dealing with survival bands and if so, how many years out are you planning for the need of patrols?

How many years are you planning for in terms of fuel, supplies, food, medical supplies, ammo. Are you getting, or have you the gear necessary to farm "by hand"? What are your cooking methods, and are they sustainable for the long run in feeding the numbers which you see probable as your village population?

Social & Psychological Problems within the Village. How are you planning to deal with scared people, angry people, people in deep shock, people who are coming down from the variety of Dr. prescription drugs? How are you planning to deal with a husband who just lost his wife to birthing problems? What support are you considering for the family survivors when a death occurs with a loved one? What thoughts have you on dealing with angry mates when external to marriage hanky panky happens? How are you planning to deal with bunking of the different sexes? How are you going to deal with couples who fall in love and wish to be married. How are you going to deal with homosexual matings of either sex - when people first arrive, and later if homosexual relations, casual or not, arise between adults, and finally if there are children who are homosexual in orientation and manifest this during their teen and early adult years after growing up on the farm or even new arrivals? How are you going to deal with couples of mixed race? Will you allow people of another race besides yours to join your farm? What will be your policy about religion? What will be your policy on alcohol and marijuana use? How are you going to deal with the need for quality "alone time" and "spiritual needs"? Are you planning backup training against the eventuality of losing key people, & in the process, experiencing group knowledgebase & experience erosion?

Social Organization. Do you have an organization in mind which will provide structure for interpersonal interactions involving the group as a whole, ie. a type of government? If you are the landowner, what will be your reaction to a group decision that runs counter to your wants and desires? If you will not let this happen, what do you suppose are the maximum number of people you will be able to keep on farm and still have all under your control?

Anyway, just some morning thoughts, hope you can answer some of these questions Mr. Walker!

-- Mitchell Barnes (, March 11, 1999.

-- Mitchell Barnes (, March 11, 1999

Moderation questions? read the FAQ