Prepare: Doing It For $1K : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I'll divide preparation into several categories, however artificially:

"I only have a thousand dollars." (Category One)

"I can spend up to ten thousand dollars." (Category Two)

"Hey, I made a lot of money in the market. Whatever it takes, Ill do it." (Category Three)

This post focuses on the first group. I should probably also distinguish between city, suburb and rural but that gets a little too weird for one thread. For simplicity, I assume folks in this category need everything (ie, dont have ready access to clean water, energy, etc). Most often, this wont be true for any particular situation. In other word, mileage varies.

While I fall into Category Two (well, maybe more like $15K spent, alas, before were really done), I will be speaking in Florida in a couple of weeks to a group of young people who are in Category One.

This is my best judgment for them and, for some of them, their parents, and it is in order of priority. I very much welcome your suggestions, corrections and advice about prioritizing, item types, items .


Family of four that can spend $1K. I make no particular assumption about long-term intensity of Y2K except that this preparation scenario is finance-constrained. The family could experience difficulties after the first three months in a worst case, depending on how food use (and use of the above-and-beyond cash allotment) is stretched out, ability to barter skills, etc.

===== WATER:

Water drum/cistern (50 gallons) Water filter ($150)

===== WARMTH:

Re-usable emergency blankets Tiny kerosene stove (heating and cooking) Storage for and purchase of clear kerosene and kerosene (50 gallons) ($250)

===== FOOD:

250 lbs beans 250 lbs rice extra supplies of needed staples ($300)

===== LIGHT: 2 inexpensive oil lanterns (use kero above) Long-lived candles Matches ($100)


Crank radio or 3 month supply of batteries for existing device ($75)

===== OTHER:

First aid kit. Medical supplies as affordable for individual requirements. ($125)

===== Additions and Disclaimers:

Rather than place exact dollar figures, since amounts spent on particular items will vary, I focused on the item types with rougher estimates. I believe the total set can be purchased for $1K as of this date. If people are interested, we can follow up this thread with specific items, vendors, availability, etc.

Cash required above and beyond the above: $250.

Some people would put weapons and other security measures on this list. I dont think it can be done reasonably on this budget, although some would put this item above, say, food stores. Make your own judgment based on where you live and your own attitude towards weapons and self-defense.

I have left off wheat berries, grinders, etc, thinking them a little too pricey unless they can be shared with others (very reasonable BTW). Lots of room for disagreement here.


Beyond the dollar items (and this applies to all categories), share preparation costs wherever possible with family, GI friends, neighbors, etc. This makes $1K, especially, go a lot further.

While this is another subject, I believe most people reading this thread can probably spend at least $2-5K. When I began to analyze how I actually spent money so I could secure our preparations last year, I was amazed at how much *could* be made available if I really wanted to be frugal with other so-called necessary purchases that were not truly necessary.

Next, consider the skills you can pick up between now and 1/1/2000 or skills you already have that can enable you to make your way through times to come. Vital for all of us.

Finally, if you fall into Category One (heck, any category) and havent yet prepared, please do it ASAP. Avoid the Christmas rush.

Ideas? Especially from folks who have actually pulled off Category One preparation?

-- BigDog (, January 17, 1999


Thanks for all of the info, I'm sure that it will help a lot of the newer people around here. I was hoping that you could give me some input on my problem. I live in a major metropolitan area. My parents live several hundred miles away in a fairly small town. We've been GI's for awhile and my parents are very close to finishing their preparations. I had always assumed that the problems associated with Y2K would happen on a predictable schedule. It now appears (to me) that things will start to get interresting before December/January, probably fairly soon. What do you think that an apartment dweller would need in the event of a surprise start to Y2K. I'm going to do everything that I can to get to my parent's home, but I'm starting to get very worried.

-- d (, January 17, 1999.

Well, obviously anything can happen in this world, but I believe you will have ample warning, considering you are a GI. Gas tank filled, spare gas tank and readiness to leave on a moment's notice when your intuition-gut tells you to do so will really be enough, I think.

Worry enough to keep the right sort of adrenaline flowing but not so much that you can't enjoy yourself in the meanwhile. Sounds dopey but it works well, especially in long-term, slow-burn crises like Y2K.

-- BigDog (, January 17, 1999.

Big Dog - right on. I'm getting wheat berries, 50# @ $5.60. One pound of wheat is one loaf of bread, or if there is no fuel, wheat can be sprouted. Overall, on food, my budget is $75 person/year. Beans, rice, wheat, sugar, salt, oil. Healthy, and can be made even more varied by a garden. On a tight budget, get frugal. With some left over for a .22 and some ammo for the gophers. It CAN be done for way less than any of the food planners and survival sites tell you.

-- Mitchell Barnes (, January 17, 1999.

Good post BigDog. I have had some luck with Category One folks. The main thing that I have found is that they react with something like "I can't do anything about this so I won't worry about it". With this in mind, I approach them by showing them what they can do - for example, to think of their preparations as a kind of insurance, which is easy to understand. In other words, based on my experiences, the way you approach them is as important as anything else - showing them that at least some level of preparation is within their means. This will at least get them thinking along preparation lines, rather than thinking about "not worrying about it". Good luck to you. Hope this helps, Rob.

p.s. Uh, well, er, you forgot the pet food - Woof!

-- Rob Michaels (, January 17, 1999.

BigDog, thanks for the input. I imagine that you're right. I'm going to add some extra clothes and a few good books to the provisions that I'm already keeping in my trunk. Don't worry about sounding "dopey." The only thing dopey about this situation is the people who refuse to deal with the potential of this mess. I really appreciate your response and, frankly, this whole forum. This is the only thing that keeps me from feeling totally isolated when it comes to this issue.

-- d (, January 17, 1999.

d -

What are you doing to prepare specifically? I was really looking for other suggestions, comments, etc. in this thread, since we are in a separate "Category". Help from other Yourdonites?

-- BigDog (, January 18, 1999.

Big Dog, helpful post. Only suggestion I'd make is set priorty. Even if planning greater(or hopefully not lesser)levels of prep. Ask, if it happens tomorrow what do I need most? Start on those things now (stocked pantry doesn't do much good if you freeze to death or die from dehydration first. Complete that level one prep as soon as possible. Even if you ultimately plan on doing greater prep get level one done - that way if time and/or money run out you at least have a basic plan in place...

-- Proir Planning (, January 18, 1999.

We could save lots of money if we knew others with our level of Y2k understanding that would share the responsibility of stocking important items. Everyone does not need a generator but one on every block would be nice. A group of GI's could allocate specific items to be handled by different individuals. Y2k Tip of the Day.....treat yourself to good toilet tissue - not the John Wayne type (it doesn't take any crap off anybody)!!!

-- tc (, January 18, 1999.

BigDog, there is a thread on another forum from Ole Dog (hey, are you related?)...and gives a food plan for $100/person.Check it out...

-- Prepared Mama (, January 18, 1999.

Thanks, Mama, great. I'm also wondering, guys, if the item types and priorities I suggested make sense? Am I missing anything important? Also remember that the immediate target here is some very real young people (18-25).

-- BigDog (, January 18, 1999.

Mitchell, where did you find wheat berries so cheap? If you could, please provide details on your whole food plan, $75/yr is way impressive.

-- Shimrod (, January 18, 1999.

Other frugal ideas: Yard sales/garage sales/resale stores--adult and kids clothing, blankets, camping equipment and supplies, etc. "One man's trash is another's treasure." Used book stores, libraries-- books on emergency preparedness, cookbooks, first aid books, gardening. Web sites galore--many offering "freebies," recipes, advice... Swap with friends any items you no longer use/need. Raise cash by hosting your own yard sale,

Other necessities: Basic household goods: toilet paper, toothpaste, soap, etc. Basic kitchen tools: manual can opener,good knife,pot, pan, etc. Vitamins: important if eating an unbalanced diet

And finally, the most important thing of all: The Bible--if you have nothing, but you have have everything.

-- Prepared Mama (, January 19, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ