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Monday, July 21, 2008

Another example of community (un)preparedness

As we age in droves and more of us either through intention or poverty cannot get into nursing facilities, we are going to be wanting more in-home health care. How's that work when gas is $10 a gallon or more? When a gallon of gas costs about what the home-care worker is making per hour?

The time to build a functioning mass transit system is before you need it, not after.

Salem and Marion and Polk Counties are very badly prepared in this regard. We're big, and we're sprawled out to the maximum. Low residential density means that old people are going to be trapped alone, far from services, in houses that they can't keep up.

We need to move fast to figure out how to re-integrate people of all ages into society---when energy is scarce and costs are high (same thing), we are not going to be able to just buy the high energy lifestyle we enjoy now. As James Kunstler says, "It's coming off the menu," as in "not available at any price."

Real community preparedness for the new reality

Disaster preparedness isn't about how many freeze-dried buffalo chips you can cram into your basement --- it's about building community so that, when the "life as we know it" starts to look a lot less like TV advertisements and a lot more like the post-USSR Russia (inconsistent utilities, shortages, decayed infrastructure), you have a solid core of people who are already used to working together for the good of the group.