Wanna know what I saw at Lowe's hardware store in Raleigh today?

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1. A wall full of Dyna-Glo kerosene heaters. (About 28 to be more precise.)

2. About a dozen five-gallon plastic fuel containers.

3. About a dozen vent-free propane heaters of various BTU capacities.

4. About nine 100 lb. propane tanks. (I noticed the first one at this location about a month ago. I've never seen any there before, but maybe I just never noticed.

5. Several dozen empty enamel-coated one gallon paint cans with lids.

6. Four pull start Tecumseh-powered 5kw generators. Note: The salesman said they had no generators in stock until this week. He said the manager called all around the country (whatever that means) and finally located these four generators in Illinois. (Maybe he was just trying to close the sale on the dude who was eyeballing them.)

Conclusion: Critical mass has not been reached. Sheeple still calm in the Tarheel State.

Prediction: Chances of panic in *anticipation* of something bad happening remain low.

-- Puddintame (dit@dot.com), January 22, 1999


Since you are in the area that I am, you may have forgotten the run on the stores for generators and survival supplies when hurricane Fran came through. Most everyone in our neck of the woods already have generators, etc.

-- Mr. Kennedy (y2kPCfixes@MotivatedSeller.com), January 22, 1999.

Mr. Kennedy, I haven't forgotten. I'll never forget standing in line at Northern Hydraulic on Rock Quarry Road for 3.5 hours to buy my little Homelite 4kw genset. Thankfully two truckloads of generators arrived from Greensboro while we were waiting and most of the people in line were able to get one, although many had to buy a lot more generator than they wanted because of the selection.

If the point of your message is that Lowe's inventory doesn't mean much with regard to preparations, you have a point. I'm shopping for a woodstove. I saw a Vermont Castings advertised in the News & Observer the other day. The guy laughed at me when I called. He said he had over twelve offers on it the first day and two guys ended up getting in a bidding war over it. (It must not have been much of a skirmish because the unit sold for $150 with the buyer.) As a final point, I've got a generator, but it seems to me that that's really about the last thing you need in an extended emergency. It's nice for running the washing machine every now and then, but I can definitely live without 120voltAC in my house as long as I have a woodstove.

-- Puddintame (dit@dot.com), January 22, 1999.

Try these folks. They had no shortage when I called in December, in fact they were willing to ship right away.


-- cozy and (warm@home.now), January 22, 1999.

Yes, Fran was quite some frenzy. Even the yuppies in North Raleigh have generators already. We went to help some family clear trees with our chainsaws and it sounded like a full blown industrial plant when we drove into the subdivisions.

During the aftermath of Fran, we went without baths for days at a time and cooked with wood outside on the grill. Luckily (but not really by luck; we bought our 10 acres 12 years ago and specifically looked for land with running streams)we could get good supplies of water by hooking up the garden trailer to the lawn tractor and putting the kids huge rubbermaid toy box in the trailer to fill up with water. Buckets are still the best thing since bread. Needless to say, the emergency water plans are much better than that now.

Much to my surprise and delight, there is a Northern Tool and Equipment Co. store in Raleigh. I'll be surprised if you don't know about it already, however, we are ordering our woodstoves from them. Delivery is already estimated at 2 months wait. Let me know if you don't have their info - they do have a mail order catalog. These woodstoves are not in stock in Raleigh. We tried to pick one up around Thanksgiving, but they only had a small 35,000 BTU rated model in stock. We ordered one 200,000 BTU rated and one 96,000 BTU rated.

Next project is knocking out the walls and half the ceiling at the south end of the house, installing 5.5mm greenhouse panels, and creating an "in-house" greenhouse. Time to get started on those seed starts for this year, you know.

-- Mr. Kennedy (y2kPCfixes@MotivatedSeller.com), January 22, 1999.

Puddintame - forgive my obvious lack of memory there. Of course.....Northern Hydraulics is now Northern Tool and Equipment Co. The change of names did not register with me at the moment. Well, I'm quite sure you already get their mail order catalog!

-- Mr. Kennedy (y2kPCfixes@MotivatedSeller.com), January 22, 1999.

If y'all have problems finding emergency supplies, try calling Durham stores (Lowe's, Home Depot, Durham Hardware). I don't think there are more than three people in Durham who Get It, and I'm one of them. Got some great drinking water containers from the local bottling plant today, 1 x 55 gall and 5 x 5 gall. Can always get buckets when I go to a supermarket, although last weekend I was told a couple of other people have been requesting them at Kroger. If you'd like some gently used large plant pots for your gardening, you can find them for 10c/gallon (12"/30c) at Guess Road Plant Shop, 3007 Guess Rd. Call first for availability, 477-3735. We still have a food co-op too, 1101 West Chapel Hill Street, and there's always Weaver Street Market in Carrboro, or Wellspring (all for bulk supplies). The Harris-Teeter at MLK has some bulk products too. Our solar supplier ("Roy @ Four Winds" <4windpwr@infoblvd.net>) told us a couple of weeks ago that a shortage of generators seemed to be developing, so perhaps that sales guy wasn't exaggerating.

Hope to sell the house soon and join y'all in/near Raleigh.

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), January 22, 1999.

Nice that they have all those items in stock now. But didn't Raliegh have a big ice storm and resulting power outages earlier this month? Lowes is just trying to catch the folks who didn't have or couldn't get these things then with a "Don't let it happen again." impulse buying sale.

The kinds of folks who prepare for the big winter storm by buying heaters and generators weeks after it's over and done with are the same ones who are going to be trying to cram all their Y2K preparation into the last two months of 1999 and the first month of Y2K.


-- Wildweasel (vtmldm@epix.net), January 23, 1999.

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