Joel Skousen moderates my Forum on RELOCATION. He was recently featured in FORBES.COM, an electronic publication of FORBES.
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Joel Skousen is a consultant who has designed high-security, totally self-sufficient residences and retreats in every state of the Union plus Canada and Central America. Most of his clients have been wealthy people who either live in high crime areas or possess vacation homes in forested land where electricity is not available. But he has also designed safe havens for Christian conservatives "who have significant concerns about the future of government and society."
To help people figure what to do should there be an economic meltdown caused by the Year 2000 computer bug, Skousen has self-published a book entitled Strategic Relocation: North American Guide to Safe Places. He provides detailed advice on where people should relocate to wait out the millennium bug problem.
"The Y2K problem will cause serious short-term problems but not a total economic meltdown."
However, Skousen doesn't recommend that everyone pack up and move -- which is why he also offers strategies for securing existing homes, stockpiling food, creating electricity sources and staying out of harm's way.
For those opting to stay put when we usher in the new century, Skousen, who believes "the Y2K problem will cause serious short-term problems but not a total economic meltdown," has some recommendations:
Withdraw two-to-three months' worth of cash no later than mid-1999. Waiting any longer could be a problem if the Federal Reserve decides to dampen any run on the banks, although Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan has stated that he plans to make sure that they have extra cash on hand. Also, keep copies of your banking statements in case computer malfunctions cause disputes with your bank over the size of your assets.
Stockpile essential equipment and supplies to allow you to live without electricity if need be. He recommends purchasing a generator, nonperishable food, water and medical supplies.
Don't bother forming safe haven communities, since they often break apart when there are personality conflicts. Do it on your own or with your family, he advises. If you're stuck in an urban area, do your best to secure your residence from intruders. If you have a vacation home in a rural area, use it. In general, he opposes stockpiling weapons, instead recommending that people build hidden rooms to avoid thugs.
For those presently residing in urban areas, Skousen's book lists a number of "safe rural counties" in each state. In general, Y2K refugees should move to temperate areas more than 90 minutes away from any urban centers with populations over 100,000. . . .
Any other tips? "Don't live anywhere near or downwind of a nuclear power plant," he says.