The unrealistic 30 day scenario : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I am not a programmer. However, like most of us, I am a student of the human condition and my fellow citizens, just probably not a very astute one. I was on a plane out of Houston last Sunday when we were forced to "deplane" (is that really in the dictionary) because of a fuel leak. People were rattled. 3 got feisty and were wrestled to the ground, handcuffed, and carted off by airport security. I wondered: what is going to be the reaction of people to a succession of such incidents, even if they are only really inconveniences and not immediately life threatening. Will it take just 2% to freak out for a "4" technologically to become a "9"? I guess the real point of this post is that I do not understand the decisional calculus that leads one to prepare for a 30 day crisis. Isn't that just an incredible gamble? Once there is a breach in the dam do the people of this country lend themselves to a 30 day fix and then back to normal? Help me with this. I am a big city lawyer preparing my family to cook food over wood in firepits for an extended period and I wish I had a rational basis for doing something less. Help!

-- Mark (, December 25, 1998


Mark....I agree, if you plan to prepare for any period of time...3 days, 3 weeks or 3 months then you accept the premise of y2k related problems and should prepare for the worst....this y2k game is really sick and is no fun and I want to quit and go home! Well.. we are now entering the home stretch...T minus one year and counting. Once you "get it" about y2k there is no turning start preparing with no idea as to HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH..and almost every waking moment you are involved in self talk questioning your own personal stability & sanity. If I am "border-line nuts" then Mr. y2k may be all it takes to push me over. Mark....there is no rational reason for you to do LESS.... Happy New Year!

-- ronbanks (, December 25, 1998.

Mark, We started preparing for a 3 month has now turned into a year....even if you prepare too much you will have some available to help others...that may alleviate some of the panic.

-- Moore Dinty moore (, December 25, 1998.

Mark I am a 53 year old lawyer. As a person who deals in facts everyday, you must be able to look at the evidence you have on y2k and come to a fairly evident conclusion. What you will never know until the date arrives, is the predicted outcome. Personally I have bought a retreat in the Rocky Mountains, lots of water and wood. I've sent away for my non hybrid seeds and plan on having one years' supply of food. It's pretty hard to do less, when your heart and head tell you that less is not enough. God bless you.

-- Rick Reilly (, December 26, 1998.

Im just a self-employed regular guy trying to make sense of an unreal sounding problem. I have discovered that looking to experts for advice will not help you decide completely, since just about all of them agree that nobody really knows.

To me the idea of only 30-day shortages makes absolutely no sense at all. Like some kind of Y2K Fairy could come along and repair things in one month, when systems couldnt be fixed in 1-2 years. Once you admit to yourself that there IS a serious problem, you must then decide the duration of the effects of that problem. IMHO if things get screwed up to the point of creating shortages, it will be a tough thing to reverse because:

Jack will need supplies from Joe, who cannot supply his customers while waiting for Manny to send him stuff from Moe, who is having a tough time filling orders because he gets stuff from Jack!

That is highly simplified of course, but thats the gist of it. How does something that screwy get solved in thirty days. Jimmy Bagga Ds stated elsewhere on this forum (not an exact quote) We will win because we geared up to make lots of aircraft in WWII He ignores the fact that we had substantial manufacturing capacity gearing up well before the beginning of that war. None of that growing capacity was chilled or halted by enemy bombing. If the Germans or Japanese had been able to damage or destroy all of that manufacturing ability on the first day of that war, things would have turned out VERY differently.

If this bug is so bad that you admit to yourself you need to store 30- days worth of stuff, methinks youll feel uncomfortable till you have much more than that.

-- Uncle Deedah (, December 26, 1998.

(Alert: Another long Arnie post - scroll past now is desired :-)

Address these issues first: Location, Water, Food, Heat/Shelter, Security -- the other things will begin to fall out from there.

I can't tell you how much is enough. Wish I could. We all continue to be tortured more than a little by this. If De Jager's latest prognostications are correct (I don't personally believe that they are), you could probably get by with with an extra Snickers bar and a spare blanket.

On the other hand, if Infomagic is correct, then most of us on this forum are probably not going to make it anyway.

Fact is, neither one is correct...yet.

I'm shooting for somewhere in between these two extremes.

The point is, a clear pattern of evidence has emerged which suggests that at least some disruptions are likely and thus at least some personal preparation is prudent.

I'm currently shooting for a one-year supply of food, water, and fuel. I'd like to think that was overkill -- I pray that it is -- but I can tell you that once I reach that goal (which will be soon), I will continue to build my reserves as long as possible within my means.

Mrs Rimmer and I were discussing this the other night and we looked at the money we were spending. I told her that, for 75% percent of what we were doing, it was not so much spending as it was putting food in our food bank, water in our water bank, fuel in our fuel bank, winter clothing in our winter clothing bank, etc. These resources will not be wasted no matter how Y2K turns out. But if it turns out that they were needed, the money we put into these 'banks' will have been worth more than its weight in gold.

I am a programmer and network administrator with 20 years experience. I take Y2K very seriously. I do not pretend to know precisely what will happen but I can tell you that a great many programs will not be fixed in time and a great percentage of the 'fixed' ones will have serious errors.

Having prepared for the past several months, I am no longer personally worried about short to moderate duration outages of essential services. If the power goes off or I can't get propane or the stores can't get food deliveries, I have no need to be especially concerned - I'll simply rely on my food bank, my water bank, my fuel bank, etc. I'll be able to do so for at least a year if need be. That also gives me a pretty good window of opportunity to figure out how I'm going to restock my 'banks' before they run out.

What causes me the greatest concern is the reaction of people who will not listen, will not research, and who will not prepare for even the most minimal of disruptions. None of the disruptions which might occur needs to be life threatening, but they do require preparation. Looking at the average Christmas shopper or the average driver in my area does not give me a great deal of confidence that the general population will 'rise to the occasion'. Indeed, I think they would rather get angry than put any effort into preparing whatsoever. They think that if something goes wrong, it must be somebody's fault. Somebody should have to accept responsibility. Someone should have to pay for this.

Frankly, it's really much too late for that kind of thinking.

There is nothing in Y2K so scarey that it cannot be overcome by simple, though time-consuming preparation. This is not an asteroid. This is not a death sentence. We know it is coming and we know roughly when (i.e over the next 12-24 months) and while the precise details are not clear, the pattern we see is not comforting.

The real problems will come not so much from the disruptions themselves - anyone can figure out both short-term and long term work-arounds to loss of electricity, telecommunications, banking, etc if you're willing to start early and put a bit of planning and effort into it -- no, the real problems will come from a population of people who will not take personal responsibility for the problems which may occur. When problems occur, whether they are short or long in duration, significant or insignificant, those who are unprepared will react badly. Very badly. They will most likely forget their manners.

They will scream in anger and look for someone, anyone (other than themselves) to blame. But it is they who will make the fixing of even the simplest of Y2K problems a much harder task than it needs to be. Blame, at that point, will be useless. Worse than useless really as it will only add to the troubles.

More than anything else, Y2K is about accepting responsibility for the health and welfare of your family and those around you. It is not the government's responsibility. It is not the utility company's responsibility, it is not your employer's responsibility and it is not the bank's responsibility. It is not even your community's responsibility. It is yours and yours alone. Having accepted all this though, you will be in a much better position to work with and help your local community should you have the opportunity to do so.

People who are prepared have no reason to be frightened. They have no reason to be angry. And they have no reason to cause problems for others around them.

If we, as a society, are prepared for disruptions, are prepared to work together to find solutions, then we could make it through Y2K with just a few scrapes and scratches and Infomagic could be seen as just one more pessimistic, unrealistic, doomsayer. But as of 12/26/1998 that is simply not the case. And the hour is very, very late.

We have it within our power to prove Infomagic wrong. But it will take a lot of hard work and people accepting responsibility for their own well being. It is an opportunity that we can rise to if we choose to do so. I pray that we will.

You are doing the right thing, Mark and I wish you and your family the best.

-- Arnie Rimmer (, December 26, 1998.

If you are single and adventurous, go for 30 days and a gun. If you are single and adventurous with a brain, ditto but make it 1 year. If you have a family to look after, do your job.

-- Andy (, December 26, 1998.

Thanks guys for the best posts I've read about being prepared past 30 days. From the first, my husband has been of the same school of thought. But.....most men I know have been rather condescending skeptics. They have implied that anyone who prepares for a "computer bug" is a "weinie baby," or a "wuss" (wimp + puss.) In fact they seem to feel that, real men don't store beans. And I can't tell you how many posts I've read, on other forums, from women who are worried, and their husbands are either, angry, disbelieving, disinterested, condescending, or worse; it seems almost to be a macho thing.

This, IMHO, is one of the best threads I've read to convince a man who refuses to prepare. I'm printing the whole shebang to give to those with ostrich husbands. So, what if you should be proved wrong. Hooray! As Arnie says, you have a bank account of useable goods.

-- gilda jessie (, December 26, 1998.

Please keep some points in mind if you are preparing to go into small scale agriculture to feed yourself and your family.

A. We are not necessarily experienced at this. We will make mistakes. If you are worried enough to plan on full scale gardening, you should plan on a two year grain supply to supplement the first year's crops.

B. Also, people are going to show up you will feel obligated to help. It may be family, friends, neighbors, or total strangers with hungry children and/or usefull skills. If things go bad, we will need groups to work with. This won't be a nuclear family scenario. Doubling or tripling the number of people reduces the length of time stored food will last. You MUST have food to make it until at least the start of the next harvest, or you will all start to get very hungry.

Myself, I started out buying grain from a food coop, and am about to go back to a feed mill source. Buying it from a feed mill, I can store enough food for one person, grain, soy beans, vitamins, and flavorings (bullion, spices, etc.) for less than $25.00 per person per month. Probably quite a bit less, but I'm still working out the details.

To summarize, if you are worried enough to store a month's supply of necessities, then a year's worth really makes sense. BUT, if a year's worth makes sense, then quite a bit of extra of the most basics is not that expensive and makes even more sense. I sure hope I won't need any of it..........

-- Jon Williamson (, December 26, 1998.

We had a long talk about this subject after enjoying a wonderful Christmas dinner. We were at our friends whom have a 6 month supply of food. We too are approching the 6 month supply level. The end result of our wine assisted conversation was, "If y2k causes power to be out past 6 months, the results will be so bad you may not want to keep going." We were not talking about lack of convinences (hot showers, grocery stores, etc...)

We went straight to "Road Warrior", bodies on the fencelines, etc... No law and order. Starvation in the streets. Crop failures due to lack of seed, gas, fertilizer. Colapse of democratic government. Worldwide, long term economic depression. Posible nuclear war due to mistakes or crazed dictators. Could Infomagic, be a pollyanna?

Six month supplies gets you through winter and spring. After that if Safeway, Costco and Walmart aren't reopened, the world may become a hell none of us want to continue to live in.

Some would argue that there are many countries that don't have Safeways, etc... and that life continues each day. I would argue these countries benifit from US food aid, the world economy and most are still fairly agricultural based economies trying to produce food for their people. We are not that type of people anymore. If you think the US population can turn on a dime 01/01/2000 and return to a self sustaining lifestyle, good luck.

Sick old people without their SS checks, medicine and families nearby will die. Yuppies with thier SUV's, Eddie Bauer cargo pants and Holland over/unders will be too late to loot, so they will drive to their brokers demanding their stock positions be liquidated and payment in cash, good luck. The inner cities will burn. Life in the country so peaceful and idylic, ha, ha. Mother Nature can kick most peoples asses. Country life takes forever to "learn" and even then you can get a little staff infection, your appendics can burst, food poisioning from poorly canned food, etc... can take you out.

Six months folks, that's my magic number. Please someone show me how a year or three years is going to be better. And that my family will be safer and look forward to the future, if we only had 200 more lbs. of rice and 10 more cases of food.

-- Bill (, December 26, 1998.

Well put, Arnie!

More than anything else, Y2K is about accepting responsibility for the health and welfare of your family and those around you. It is not the government's responsibility. It is not the utility company's responsibility, it is not your employer's responsibility and it is not the bank's responsibility. It is not even your community's responsibility. It is yours and yours alone.

Wish our government powers would take heed and HELP everyone to take personal and community responsibility, by helping us with truthful Y2K information. It can be done without creating the panic you guys so fear (said to the government lurkers here). Better start now rather than wait until the end of next year. Country-wide preparation is prudent. Mis-information is not. The consequences of not preparing, could well be devastating to the country.

Wonder if anyone is considering a Y2K class-action suit against the government? What would motivate them to get it?

Mark, what helps me to plan is saying What IF the electricity NEVER came on again? How would I choose to live, and what would I need to know, do and have to continue thriving? Sustainable, alternative and off-the-grid preparedness seems prudent for this whopper of an uncertainty. If nothing else, developing that knowledge is not a waste of time.


-- Diane J. Squire (, December 26, 1998.

Bill, I too was in a conversation about Road Warrior recently, at a Christmas Eve party. Perhaps because none of us were totally sober (between two and six drinks each) and maybe because the people I meet socially are younger than those you know, but if it came to that situation..

I don't think any of us would want to die voluntarily. I remember making the repeated point that it would be better to be killed in combat trying to make things better, than to simply let yourself die. Suicide is the stupidest possible thing that anyone can conceivably do. Death in combat is one thing, even as a result of un-neccessary bravery. Death by intentional starvation is totally different.

My friends, in effect, agreed. Better to go down trying to change things.


-- Leo (, December 26, 1998.

Three (and a half) points, if I might:

If as Mark suggests panic should move a 4 in the direction of a 9, it still doesn't mean that it will either be a 9 everywhere, nor that it will be a long term problem at that level (i.e. 'roadwarrior') for everyone. We need to consider several factors here:

1. Here in the northern hemisphere y2k will occur in the dead of winter. I hate to be this, er, cold blooded, but any large scale riots will rapidly become self-eliminating problems due to the fact that the people will destroy their own infrastructure, which will NOT be immediately replacable (due to other y2k malfs messing up the national level systems). This in turn may in many instances result in the incapacitation and/or death of many/most of the rioters due to exposure, lack of food, lack of water, and so forth.

2. the real "road warrior" scenario will most likely occur within about a 200-300 mile radius of major urban areas, centered along axis that will be identical to the major portions of the highway grid. In other words, what will happen will be that Bif and Buffy yuppie will eat up their two or three days of supplies, then load their goodies, his sporting clays shotgun, and her .380 purse gun into their $40 grand SUV and head on down the road with the heater on full blast. At that point it's only a matter of time before they either run out of gas, or are forced to abandon their vehicle due to the road being blocked by other vehicles that have run out of gas...and of course *then* they will have to deal with the folks who got there before them, and who are even colder, more hungry, and more upset than *they* are. Again, considering the weather, and the general lack of preparedness on the part of most urban yuppies, the weather will soon eliminate this problem as well.

3. If one is in a remote rural area, either small town or out in the countryside, the judicious removal and/or demolition of a few selected off ramps and highway culverts could pretty much insure that all of this remained well away from the local community. Thus eliminating the need for anything more than an increase in armed security patrols, in order to scoop up any stragglers who happened to make it that far.

If your rural community can make it to the end of the next growing season, with appropriate food storage techniques you should be okay past that point...given no external interference by the "we're from the federal government and we're here to help you" folks...

just my 2 cents' worth, Arlin

-- Arlin H. Adams (, December 26, 1998.

It is a litmus test bringing out true colors. Socialist or Libertarian. Do you wait for someone to pull your ashes from the fire, or do you deal with it yourself. Y2k doesn't even have much to do with it, it has to do with how _you want to live - now and in the future.

Y2k prep is relatively easy and cheap.

Prep for a post y2k world involves much more thought and action.

-- Mitchell Barnes (, December 26, 1998.

Sorry, Mark, there is no rational reason for doing any less. Start with 3 months and when you reach it go for six, then 12, there may be extra people you haven't counted on.

You hit the nail square on the head. In all the "official" reports no mention is made of the domino theory. Also no mention is made of the psychology of people nowadays. My aunt seems to think we will hang together like the people did in the depression. Ain't gonna happen! This is the days of gang rape,road rage,date rape,drive-by shootings, ect,ect. That is not to say there aren't good communities and good people but the people who don't prepare are going to panic. So prepare for as long as you can.

-- Sue (, December 26, 1998.

To all buying seeds. Remember to buy NON- Hybrid seeds if you can Hybrid seed will not reproduce correctly . Mike :o)

-- Mike (, December 26, 1998.

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