Wyoming Works on Contingency Plan If Fed Melts Down; Federal Government Sits on Its Hands

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What would your state do, if the federal government could not get organized after a doomsday event? If you live in Wyoming, there is a good chance that your state will introduce a state currency and rely on its resources to see residents through a cataclysmic event, the Star Tribune reports. Lawmakers are quick to point out that this type of event is "astronomically remote," but there is never any harm in talking through contingency plans.

Did you know that the U.S. used to have a Continuity of Government Commission?

In 2003, the Brookings Institute put together the Continuity of Government Commission. Its doomsday scenario included inauguration day, Al Qaeda and the detonation of a nuclear bomb between the Capitol and the White House. Anticipating a one-mile destruction radius in this event, all three branches of government would be effectively disabled. Highlighting the weak spots of the Constitution with respect to succession, quorum and lawmaking, the commission sought to work out "what if" scenarios that would guarantee the functionality of the United States government even after a disaster. After making its recommendations -- that have not been followed up on within the two-year deadline proposed -- the commission was quietly dismantled.

How the federal government could remain operational (but won't)

  • Constitutional amendments need to give Congress the authority to fill vacancies in the House and Senate after a catastrophe.
  • Taking on presidential succession, the commission suggested extending the line of succession outside of Washington, D.C. Adding governors or ambassadors to the mix could prevent a lapse in leadership if a catastrophe dismantles Washington.
  • Concurrently, congressional leaders not of the current president's party would be eliminated from succeeding him.

Another example of failed doomsday prepping on the federal level

When Y2K was the doomsday scenario of choice, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) took note of "religious extremists, racists, cults and other groups preparing for violence as New Year's Eve approaches," the Washington Post reported in 1999. Officials cited the groups' ardent beliefs in an apocalypse or New World Order conspiracy as catalysts for surveillance.

Interestingly enough, some of the groups the FBI watched so carefully could be today's doomsday preppers and survivalists. "The agents have discovered that in preparation for the new millennium, certain individuals tied to these groups have been acquiring weapons, storing food and clothing, raising funds, procuring safe houses, preparing compounds, surveying potential targets, and recruiting converts to their cause," the publication notes. There is no word what the FBI is doing right now, as the December 21 is the next doomsday prediction that has folks actively prepping.

It is clear that counting on the federal government to come through in case of a catastrophic disaster is going to be an exercise in futility. If ever there was a more compelling reason to get serious about doomsday prepping on a personal level, I do not know what it might be.

Of course, you could always move to Wyoming.