Plan C for OKC --

The time to build the cellar is before the tornado hits.

When: Saturday, September 20, 2008, 9 AM to 5 PM

Where: Bob's house, 1524 NW 21, OKC

Details: Potluck lunch and refreshments. No charge, but reservations are required, send email to with PLAN C in the subject line. More than 25 attendees will require a larger venue. Besides the planning session, participants will get a tour of the house and gardens and thus learn something about the practical household mitigation of the risks of economic/systemic collapse/decline.


What happens if there is a catastrophic and sudden collapse of the food and energy systems?

There are a hundred things that could happen without warning tomorrow that would stop the steady and efficient working of our food and energy systems -- weather disasters/climate instability, terrorism, war, economic collapse are just the beginning of that list.

How would the one million people in the Oklahoma City metroplex find food and water? What would we do in the winter?

The experience of Katrina and other disasters suggests that there are limits to existing contingency plans of governments and private aid agencies. During the Katrina disaster, a large segment of the local population was effectively abandoned by their local, state, and federal governments. Very large, extensive and long-lasting disasters will challenge existing disaster response structures.

In recent years, there has been a movement towards top-down disaster response. However, in the past, our disaster responses were characterized by wide-spread civilian involvement and empowering communities to help themselves. There is plenty of academic research available which proves conclusively that community-based disaster response is more effective than the top-down models.

We all hope and are working hard for a soft, managed landing through the complexities of the coming years, but prudence suggests that while we work on Plan B (managed soft landing), we should make contingency plans for Plan C (sudden catastrophic collapse, a/k/a "punctuated equilibrium").

The purpose is to empower households, communities, and voluntary organizations to be resilient in the face of what would be almost overwhelming challenges. We will begin the process of writing and publicizing a Plan C Contingency plan.

Thinking about this kind of catastrophic disaster will also give us ideas about ways to increase the general resiliency of our communities and adapt to the more likely scenario of a longer and slower managed decline in fossil fuel availability.

To paraphrase my long-time disaster prep slogan (albeit in a more clumsy and less pithy construction:

The time to develop a local, grassroots, community contingency plan is before the unsustainable system collapses of its own internal contradictions and the stresses of resource exhaustion, climate instability, and economic irrationality.

Bob Waldrop

PS. If this event is successful and produces something useful and usable, I would be happy to "take it on the road" to other areas of Oklahoma, eg Tulsa, Norman, Lawton, Enid, Ponca City, Stillwater, Shawnee, etc.