Thanks for the info!greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
I just wanted to express my thanks to all of you who participate in this forum...and to those who took the time to answer my question about what kind of generator to buy in particular. You were a great help to us in trying to quickly educate ourselves! I have found this to be an informative forum, and a source of solace too in a strange way. It's comforting to know that others are going though the same range of emotions as I am.
At any rate, we found a 7.5 KW Diesel generator (slightly used, but running great) and now are moving on to the next step of getting our electrical panel setup so we can connect to the house.
My grown children are still in varying degrees of denial....which I understand, because for the young, who are just starting out in life and getting families and careers going, it must be dreadfully defeating to imagine that the future is not going to be the bed of roses that they have been looking forward to...
One last comment....I have two teenagers still at home....17 & 18. One of the things I DREAD most about Y2K is having to deal with them when it hits!!!! I can't imagine what life is going to be like for awhile when they find out they can't have 2 or 3 LONG showers a day, when the phone (their lifeline!!) is out of commission, when there is no gas for the car and no afternoons at the mall! *SIGH*
I find so many of the posts on this forum to be thoughtful and interesting....hope you all keep it up! I must say I find some of the sarcasim unnecessary though...
Thanks again! Sheila
-- Sheila Ross (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 14, 1998
If and when Y2K hits, I think this will reunite families into becoming closer to one another. My children are grown, and as teenagers, their lives evolved around their friends and school. They may become more frightened, and they may not want to listen to what you have to say. And, I would imagine if and when it does get bad, that they may even blame you for it! I've purchased at thrift stores jig saw puzzles and games that will help pass the time. There's a garden that will need to be planted and tended to. A good supply of books are also good to have around. I have purchased a BayGen radio, it requires no batteries you just wind it up and it runs for 30 minutes so there will be sound other than your voices. If there's civil unrest, you will need everyone's cooperation in protecting yourself and your property. As for the showers, ration the water out immediately. Just tell them that's life in the big city and no water means no life, they'll understand! Good Luck.
-- Barb-Douglas (email@example.com), July 14, 1998.
Hello, All! I, too, appreciate the contributions here; they are helpful in so many ways. I've been brainstorming off and on about things that can be done on a community level, and I could use some input from parents and teachers. Maybe, I was thinking, we could find a way to get schools to present a basic explanation of the potential challenges facing us to kids and put their creativity to work on coming up with things they could do to help. Maybe they'd think of things like planting and tending gardens, helping with getting the elderly and homebound informed and prepared, making lesson plans for kids in lower grades in case schools weren't open, becoming bicycle messengers for the community...who knows? Letting them develop ways they can contribute will help lessen their fear, tap their unlimited creativity, and put their unbounded energy to work for the community. How could we go about getting something like this going in our schools? Who would you approach? Any ideas?
Thanks in advance, Faith
-- Faith Weaver (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 14, 1998.
Man i hope its going to be all that peacefull and quiet, lots of people think sence they have a big genarator that there life will be real good. how much fuel are you planning to put back , and how much noise is that going to make , is that a good thing having the only lights on where ever you are . this is a accross the board change that will happen , why are we putting all our hopes on the fact that our kids can be bike messangers. you need to realy look at the fact that with such a change that there are bound to be some deaths,there is a sinnistar dark side that i know a lot of people are avoiding , Is having a genarator a bad thing , no i guess not , but is that engery that you are expending on this one peace of equipment worth , all the provisions that you could have bought, like i said i hope that its going to be this peacefull , mongo
Ps keep your powder dry!!!
-- ron(mongo) (email@example.com), July 14, 1998.
Mongo, I understand your concerns. To be honest with you, I think the cards are pretty well stacked against us right now. If we don't take leadership ourselves, in our own neighborhoods and communities, to get people working together in every possible way we can stretch our minds to imagine, we will be able to meet the coming chaos with nothing but fear. When people get to know each other and practice working together, they are a lot more resourceful and helpful to each other when the chips are down. And frankly, I'd rather go down TRYING to make it better. I'm hoping when my community gets organized, we have a healthy group of men like you who ARE keeping their powder dry, by the way. That's a role that we may very well have to ask people to play. But it's only one of the roles a community will need to keep itself going. The more roles we can identify and prepare for, the better off we will all be. We have a precious window of time here to act to make a difference. As one writer I read said, we might be able to turn the tide enough so that instead of being chaotic, it's merely painful. Preparing for the worst means preparing with as many as possible. Hoping for the best means believing every positive step we make now will make a difference when it counts.
-- Faith Weaver (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 14, 1998.
Since you may be the only one in the neighborhood with a generator, I think it would be nice if you invited the neighbors over for fun and games every night. Maybe you can have each neighbor store in their garage a 50 gallon barrel of diesel fuel to help out with fueling the generator since I am sure you will be sharing with them. Also, they should bring their own means to dispose of their own waste since there won't be any garbage pickup, you won't want to be stuck with that mess. Also, they'll have to bring their own water or favorite beverage to drink since you only have enough for your family. If they have to use the bathroom, they'll have to go home and do their business since there won't be any toilet flushing going on. A nice bondfire maybe in the backyard would be a good thing for the children. They can pretend that they are camping and everyone can sit by the fire and tell stories (this would save on generator fuel). Have some Jiffy Popcorn, (hey, this is a way to get rid waste from dinner, burn it). Of course each neighbor would bring a dish of food over to share with everyone (SPAM over rice, aka SPAM ala king). After the bonfire, the children could do their homework and the parents and neighbors sit around chatting how wonderful it is that we can get together like this and discuss real issues of our day. Yes, it could be a great community outreach. The kids cold get on their bikes and go door to door telling everyone that you have open house every night, (because you have the only generaotr and lights in the neighborhood), with bonfires, popcorn, fireside chats, potlucks! Man, they'll love you for it!
-- Barb-Douglas (email@example.com), July 15, 1998.
Barb-Douglas....I don't really understand your response to my attempt to post a little thank you note to those who took the time to give me some advice concerning a generator. Was it my comment about some of the sarcastic remarks on the forum that irritated you? If so, I'm sorry.
You really shouldn't jump to such conclusions about the circumstances surrounding each individual's preparations however. We do not all live in apts. in the city. I happen to live on 150 acres of wooded/farm land, have a creek in my back yard, 1000 gals. of diesel, 1500 gals of propane, a well, and a tiny village of 3rd and 4th generation friends. There is a WEALTH of knowledge in the older generation of how to survive without power, telephones, cars etc., and we expect to benefit greatly from it.
Many of us however, have never faced life without power, and our homes are not built to operate without it. We need power to operate our well....perhaps not on a daily basis, but when needed. Same with the furnace....we live in a cold climate, and NEED the furnace. Certainly we won't be having the house toasty warm as usual, but power is a necessity here.
As for sharing with neighbours....I not only expect to, I look forward to being able to. And in return, I expect to benefit greatly from their expertise, talents, and simple labor. Each and every person has SOMETHING they can contribute to a group, and the only way we are going to get through the rough times ahead is if we begin to understand that and work as a team.
You also mentioned toilets and trash....we have an outhouse under construction made with a toilet from a motorhome, connected by pipe directly to the septic tank. A barrel of water will be next to it, so we can "flush" by simply pouring a container of water into it. We have a "burn barrel" where we burn most of our trash and will continue to do so.
We expect our large house to be filled to capacity with neighbours and expect each to bring with them whatever they have to contribute. One has an old fashioned wood cooking stove, complete with hot water resevoir, another has a wood burning heating stove. Many of the men here hunt. Most of the women make preserves etc. We will need lots of help with the large vegetable garden etc. However, we do not expect life to be just one big disaster.....Life will go on, and there will be plenty of opportunities to have campfires, sing-songs, social gatherings, dances, music making and fun. My great grandparents lived in this area without all the trappings of modern life, and the people around here STILL talk about the wonderful parties my greatgrandmother was famous for.
We moved here a few years ago from the city, and have no down-to-earth knowledge or survival talents to share, but we do have the means to procure a source of power and the fuel to run it, and the room to provide shelter to many, and the foresight to stock up on food and supplies for as many as possible. It seems to me that it is the least I can do, and I'm sorry for making you waste your time writing your condecending post by not explaining all of this in my origional post. I just didn't think everyone would want to wade through all the details of our preparations.
-- Sheila Ross (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 15, 1998.
First of all, you don't have to explain anything about what you have and what you are setup for. Sounds to me like you are really prepared for the worst and are hoping for the best. For people that are looking at things in a realistic manner, certainly aren't thinking in the same terms you are. I doubt very seriously if any parent will let a child on a bike peddle around town handing out flyers. It's even dangerous in a time of peace to do that! I doubt if teachers will be sitting down writing out lessons for their students if there's no way to get the lessons to students. No, lights, no transportation, no telephone. They will be sitting at home fretting and worrying about where their next bottle of water is going to come from and how they can turn Tuna Noodle in a box into something minus the tuna. If what is predicted comes to pass, it does not matter how well protected you think you are, how many acres you sit on, and how many gallons of fuel you have. There will always be someone coming around trying to take what is yours. I live on acreage too. I am prepared too. There are people around too. But I certainly don't see bonfires, and dancing and music making. I see me and my family practicing different scenarios on how we are going to protect our home and stash. Cleaning our guns so we make sure that they are in good proper working condition. Making sure our inventory is good in case we have to run for our lives! You live on a mountain top so do I, it only takes one person to setoff a fire to burn you out. Where are you going to run to? There's just some people whom I think are in La La land.
-- Barb-Douglas (email@example.com), July 15, 1998.
Barb-Douglas, I have to tell you that I appreciate the way you use your lively wit and humor to underscore the seriousness of the y2k situation for readers of this list. But I have to join Sheila in suggesting that you may jump too quickly to conclusions about other people's attempts to prepare. Each circumstance is unique, and an idea that may not make sense in your situation still may be valid in someone else's.
My own circumstances are such that, without the coordinated efforts of my little rural community, my neighbors and I have little hope of making it through a worse case scenario. We have a lot of senior citizens here, living alone. We have a lot of very poor families, supplementing their minimum wage jobs with foodstamps. As far as I know, I may be the only person here connected to the Internet. If they have noticed mentions of y2k at all in the mainstream media, I imagine most people here think it's a "computer problem" having no bearing on their lives.
I just lost my job because my utility-related company closed its doors. The only viable job market is in a city 50 miles away. My mechanic says my car won't pass inspection next April, and can't be repaired. A third of the income I just lost goes to support my institutionalized husband, who can't be moved, who believes that y2k will be fixed by human ingenuity and that my view of an impending possible crisis is "radical." My son and his pregnant wife live serveral states away, near her family. If a worse case situation does develop, my husband may not survive, and it's possible I may not see my son and daughter-in-law for a very long time. I have no other close relatives.
I can't sell my house. I'm buying food and nonhybrid seeds with my severance pay. I have space for a garden, a water supply, a wood burning stove and a little woods nearby. But unless my neighbors prepare, too, these will do me little good. My only chance is to try to get my community prepared. I figure I have a small window of time in which to do that. Working and commuting ate up most of my hours the past few years. This is not my hometown. I don't know anyone here beyond a friendly nodding acquaintance with a couple shopkeepers. I'm not a member of any community organization. So I have my work cut out for me.
Tell you what, Barb, this is tough, and scary. But despite the fact that people on these forums say it's next to impossible to educate others, despite the fact that my husband wants me to stop obsessing on these doomsday possibilities so I won't be so sad, despite the fact that you think its unrealistic to ask school kids to help with awareness and preparation, I'm going to give community organization my best shot. The only real asset I have now is a determinedly positive belief that I can somehow make enough of a difference here. I imagine I'm not alone in that. I imagine many of us have little going for us but courage, community, and creative thinking. A little less disparagement of our efforts from those who are in more favorable circumstances would go a very long way about now.
-- Faith Weaver (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 16, 1998.
Faith...I wish we lived near each other and could attack this thing together! I too am trying to get my small community aware and prepared, and am making some head-way, but it is a slow and tedious job to break through the ignorance of the problem first, and then the denial, and finally get people to prepare.
I know what you mean about perhaps not seeing your son and daughter-in-law for an extended time. My grown children live clear across the country from me....that's one problem that I simply can't solve or prepare for other than inviting them to come and spend Christmas '99 with us. Other than that, I've just put it in God's hands and trust that somehow He'll take care of them for me. (After all, they are HIS children, not "mine"! :)
I have found that one approach to educating people about Y2K which has worked for me concerning the older people, is to start conversation with them about life in the "old days". This gets them thinking about the way things were, and then you can slowly slip in a few references to power failures etc. and how dependant we have become on technology. Then I tell them how GRATEFUL we will all be to have their experience and knowledge to draw on if it becomes necessary and how USEFUL they will be. This seems to side-step the natural reaction of fear, since we all like to think we are "needed" and "useful". Actually, I've found the older people more open to accepting this whole scenario than the 30 - 40 yr. old group!
Good luck with your preparations!
-- Sheila Ross (email@example.com), July 17, 1998.
Shelia, Thank you for your encouragement, and especially for your suggestion about a sensitive approach to seniors. The less fear we generate as we awaken people to the seriousness of the challenge, the more likely we are, it seems to me, to enlist their help in creating local solutions. I sincerely appreciate your empathic support. Thanks again. I'm ready to go at it again now!
-- Faith Weaver (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 17, 1998.