Fears of a Year 2000 global computer crash are creating a new breed of survivalists in the US wilds.
Residents in the mountains around North Carolina have began stockpiling food and water and installing their own generators.
Their aim - to survive Y2K problems and learn to live off the land. Those involved in the communes are nervous of what will actually happen when the clock strikes 12:01am on 1 January 2000, despite statements from governments that all should go smoothly in the technological turnover to the next century.
The ?new age survivalists?, however, are concerned that a large number of computers will not have been reprogrammed to recognise the Year 2000 and will think it is 1900. Consequently, they fear, society will break down as everything from power companies and lifts to banking systems and aviation controls crash.
Black Mountain, the town at the core of the movement, does not think it is being unreasonable. ?If there was a one per cent chance that a deadly hurricane could hit Black Mountain, wouldn't we prepare for it?" commented a spokesperson for the Mayor and for the town?s Y2K taskforce.
Analysts are not viewing these so-called survivalists as crackpots. They claim they are intelligent people who do not believe governments have acted fast enough to alleviate a Year 2000 crisis and are worried that local authorities haven?t actually realised how dependent they are on computers.
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