Thoughts..Views..! : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

A short letter of my experience yesterday. Read about possible generator shortages and decided to check into local availability.Need one to run some medical equipment I require. Went to the local Honda Dealer and he was down to 5 generators..having sold 20 last week. He is a trusted friend and informed me that they were told about shortages that could affect this whole year. After this conversation went to the local Farm Supply Chain where they stock 8 different models and they hade three 5000 watt and two 6000 watt. Prices were high. Then visited a large lumber and hardware chain store that had just recieved a long awaited shippment(2 months wait).They recieved 8 Devilbiss 5000 watt generators mid day and were selling these for $495. I went back to the farm store and looked at their devilbiss generators that were selling for $750 for 5000 watt, $650 for a 4000watt. The manager saw my perplexed look and came over to "inform me" of the generator problem. He told me that his store had ordered 25 generators from the manufacture but they were shipped to the Farm Supply stores that were located in the tornado damaged states. The main store exec told the managers of each store to look elsewere for generators. This manager had ordered six 5000 watt and six 4000 watt generators from Northern and that is why his prices was much higher.He said "These are the same generators that LOWE'S sell but they don't have any to sell...been out over a month" He also told me that after talking to the manufacturer of these generators that the shortage would also be year long. He called Northern back and placed a order for 50 generators and issued a P.O. to Northern. He recieved a call from Northern and was informed they would no longer sell to stores.He offered to place me on a waiting list if I wanted to wait and see if he could get more at a lower price but informed me that the list had over 40 people ahead of me. I thanked him for his help and headed back to LOWE'S for a generator. I had first visited LOWE's about an hour earlier and they had 8 generators on the shelf. When I got back to the store they had 5 left. While purchasing my generator, two other people came and was waiting for the salesman to ring their purchase up.This left LOWE'S with 2 generators on the shelf. My reason for this long drawn out story is this: Will their be shortages of generators?....who knows! Is everybody reacting to the "Shortages" and the manufacture is getting rich?...who knows! Are you willing to take a chance on this happening if you really need to have back-up power? We didn't plan to make this purchase until June or July but feel the need to move this purchase up the ladder of importance. I don't want to be a spreader of DOOM & GLOOM but this whole Y2K problem is leaving me sick to my stomach and it doesn't look to be getting better. Many are still turning their deaf ear to the facts and information while others are saying to cache guns,money and food and head for the hills. My plans.....well it is time to get back to being more self-reliant. I will be putting in a larger garden, cutting more firewood, storing more in the pantry...stocking up on a small amount of fossil fuel to keep my alladin lamps lit and my generator operating long enough each day to do a breathing treatment if needed and to pump up a few barrels of water for our use. Will I feel or look stupid if this Y2K Bug doesn't hit....NO!...matter of fact I will hope that the problem makes me look stupid as that would equate to no actual problem taking place. Will I be a better person for my restored faith in the need to be self-reliant...YES! Yesterday the farm store told me that his fear was the lack of truthfulness about the Y2K problem. He informed me that our Electric Company claimed to be in good shape and ready for the year change......BUT he had sold over 13 generators to individual electric company employees and had several other employees on the list. Now that scares me...maybe those hills aren't such a bad idea. This post was only for information and not intended to start a "What if" scare. It is truthful information from my experience so believe it or not...that is your choice as a free person.


-- bill (, January 28, 1999


Thanks, Bill, excellent post. This is what we need: factual testimonies from ppl's own personal experiences. Any other recent generator experiences out there?

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxx

-- Leska (, January 28, 1999.

People, people, people...



Back in 1984 there was acutally a shortage of a very common product. It was called the great toilet paper shortage. I am NOT making this up. Some of you who lived in NY State at the time will remember. Somehow a rumor got started that there was a shortage in paper supplies and tp was going to be very scarce for a few months. So you know what? People went out to their nearest supermarket and bought every last roll they could. And you know what?? Lo and behold, the self furfilling prophecy of the TP shortage came true.

The reason why generators are becoming so scarce is because everybody and their brother are buying them!! It's not indicative of a crisis I tell you. Do you honeslty think that people are going to go out and create a generator shortage BEFORE a WATER, FOOD, MEDICAL SUPPLY, and GASOLINE shortage? Come on now folks, let's be rational.

Every time you post another " OH NO GENERATORS ARE MISSING" post there is some guy who sees it and tries to buy two extra generators so he will be on the safe side. This is just people panicking. The same thing will happen on the banks when people start THAT rumor.

I'm not saying that panic is not a very real, dangerous issue. It is and probably will be the most dangerous part of this whole mess. Thats why you HAVE TO STOP posting these so called "experiences with shortages" posts. People are reading this stuff and they are going haywire. Your just adding fuel to a brush fire when you start calamity like this. I take the Y2k business very seriously and I am preparing. But if I went around shouting that the sky is falling (or the generators are missing) there are going to be at least a few people who beleive me.

So knock it off! And keep your shortage stories to yourself. Please! I know you all want desperatley to warn your neighbors and friends of an impending disaster. But right now there is no solid proof that there is a 5-10 going to happen. If you want to go out and buy a generator fine, but wait until the July 1, 1999 deadline until you go around screaming that the generators are missing because of Y2k. They MIGHT be a shortage because of that, but right now you don't know for sure. And if your wrong , then the generator panic is going to start a food panic , and then a money panic, and then we really WILL be doomed. I know there are a lot of people who wouldn't mind seeing a big upheavel in the world. I am one of those people. But you can't go around making false assumptions like this, no matter how good your intentions are.


-- (, January 28, 1999.

Here's a link to a thread from a few days ago that includes several postings about generators, including my own concerning nationwide (USA) information concerning one of the largest industrial suppliers in the country.

-- Hardliner (, January 28, 1999.

I visited an Army Surplus store the other day and they had about 15 used generators. They ranged from small to huge diesel ones. No shortage here, yet. I think people here are sufficient enough not to need a generator, that's why there's a shortage of candles, oil, etc.

-- bardou (, January 28, 1999.


"The reason why generators are becoming so scarce is because everybody and their brother are buying them!!"

How incredibly astute.

You are simply incorrect when you say, "They MIGHT be a shortage because of that, but right now you don't know for sure."

Try calling your local W.W. Grainger's and ask.

Someone who needs a generator may not even look for one because of your well intentioned but badly mistaken post.


-- Hardliner (, January 28, 1999.

I remember hearing the hurricane in South America has a lot to do with generator shortages right now. Home Depot, Lowes, Scotty's, ect.... sent a bunch down there for the relief efforts.


-- Deano (, January 28, 1999.

Went to bail my baby (my guitar) out of jail the other day at the pawn shop down the road. They had a couple of generators which were being bought probably by tornado victims. Those looking for generators might try the pawn shops. Cheaper too!

-- Other Lisa (, January 28, 1999.

Central Valley north of Sacramento. Costco and local farm supply stores. The Costco's in Chico and Redding are receiving 10 to 12 each store/shipment, which is supposed to be once a week but the dist center in Oakland is not always including generators in the shipment. My experience shows that the generators are gone within two days after store arrival - the managers are very candid, stating you must get there on arrival of stock or you probably will not get one. Local farm supply stores - no generators on floor, unusual. Local Army Surplus has only big 15kW 220 style expensive gen last I was in there 3 weeks ago.

On another note. The store at which I buy my wheat didn't have much stock yesterday, but supply is OK. The interesting part was the owner volunteering they are now having trouble keeping wheat in stock. They get shipments on Monday, Wednesday I cleaned them out with only a partial amount I usually buy on Fridays. fwiw

-- Mitchell Barnes (, January 28, 1999.


Boy this person makes me feel much better...I fueled the panic. Think I will take my generator back to LOWE'S so somebody really deserving can purchase it instead! Hey knothead (RANT MODE ON) Why should anybody believe your views? Are you God ? He is the only one with the true answer about what is right and wrong! Should I just wait to see if this problem really exists before I take the needed steps to ensure my wellbeing since I need power to run my medical equipment to stay alive. Do you have a generator at your house? Bet you do...also bet you have some food stored somewhere in your house. HEY....I GOT IT...MAYBE YOU DON'T WANT ME TO BUY IT ....SO YOU CAN! This is the exact problem with this situation...your actions either make you a DOOM & GLOOM panic exciter or a fool for taking precautions. I am sorry ...I won't take the blame for this caused this panic! Maybe somebody should have realized the two digit date code would cause a problem in the future...but ust maybe it slipped every programmers mind instead of being a intentional problem...hey "" do you think about every move you make at work or home? What future impact could it have on others? As far as waiting to see until later this year....YEA YOU ARE RIGHT....HEY I DON'T NEED FIRE INSURANCE ON MY HOUSE.......I'LL JUST CALL THE INSURANCE MAN WHEN AND IF IT CATCHES go back to sleep fool.

-- bill (, January 28, 1999.


The song remains the same. Your the prosecuting attorney, and Y2k is the defendent. You have to come up with the burden of proof before you can make accusations that Y2k is causing a generator shortage. There were a couple posts on this thread already that makes it obvious that the shortage *may be in part due to the recent hurricane/ tornado season. As far as I can tell, no one has successfully proven anything, regardless of what W.W. Grainger says. I don't mean to say your wrong, but there is a latin phrase which I think applies to this preparing issue:

"Festina Lente" which means "Make haste slowly".

Prepare, but don't go overboard with the assumptions that cause a rationing of supplies. There are a lot of people who need that generator RIGHT NOW for reasons of the present. I think it's unfair to deprive them of what they need right now because you think you *might need it in a year from now. Thats just plain selfish.

-- (, January 28, 1999.


your attitude is indicative of someone who doesn't give a damn about anybody but themselves.

Right NOW someone does need that generator! Not in a month from now, not in a year.

But keep your fire insurance if it makes you happy...fool.

-- (, January 28, 1999.


I could be wrong here, but if I had a medical problem that needed treatments with electrical power....ummmm...I think I'd go get it right away. If Bill doesn't take care of himself first, who else will? You?


Glad you found a generator. You are helping with the supply/demand issue, and I'll bet you are sleeping a little better at night, just as most of us do each time we make a major purchase that we know will help. One thing more off the list of to-do's. Stay healthy, my friend.


-- Mercy (, January 28, 1999.


You seem to have an assumption problem yourself. I made no assertion that the existing shortage of generators had anything to do with Y2K. Whether it does or not is irrelevent. The question is: If you need or want one right now, can you get one?

Your "Make haste slowly" thoughts will get you killed eventually. That phrase is as mindless as the "nothing to fear but fear itself" garbage. I'll tell you what; you "make haste slowly" and I'll pay attention and acquire what I need for myself and those who depend on me.

If you'd pay attention to such things as manufacturing lead times, backorder numbers and delivery schedules, you'd realize that if you intend to have certain items "a year from now" that it's already too late to get them.

Now, as I recall, the poster that started this thread needed a generator for medical equipment. If he dies "a year from now" because he let someone who "needed it RIGHT NOW" have it, he'll be just as dead.

Being your brother's keeper is fine, but you must be alive to do so.

You are, of course, entitled to your own opinions, but the reasons for your lack of necessary items in the event that your survival calls for them will simply not matter.

-- Hardliner (, January 28, 1999.

I though that your story was good. It contained facts as well as opinion. My farm supply store is running short on generators too. The manager said that, according to his customers, some, but not all, of the demand was due to Y2K.

Some people here are preparing. A local tv station took a non-scientific phone poll of listeners asking if they were preparing for Y2K. 46% said of the phone calls indicated "yes". I have seen shortages of other supplies that I have been shopping for. Personally, I think some, not all, of it is due to seasonality.

I cannot say what all this means. I am not going to take a wait and see attitude.

Anon- Everyone is entitled to share their views and chart their own course. No one is REQUIRED to listen or follow the same path. Heck, most of the DGIs think we're wacky anyway. If panic ensues- I doubt that the blame will "hang on the head" of those on this forum.

-- Sue (, January 28, 1999.

"My experience shows that the generators are gone within two days after store arrival - the managers are very candid, stating you must get there on arrival of stock or you probably will not get one. "

I was at Costco last night and there were around 5 generators. I'm going back today, to get the coffee (which might go up in price, see coffee thread), will be interesting to note if any were sold. I don't expect they're all gone, people in my area are Y2K clueless and acting it. If 2 are gone, that will be a clue to me that maybe some people around here (suburbs of Philly)are preparing, as I feel I'm the only one.

-- Chris (, January 28, 1999.

"Festina Lente" -- that's pretty much what the stewards on the Titanic were telling the steerage class passengers. Trying to avoid a panic, you know.

More appropriate, I think, is Dr. Faustus' passionate outcry at the end--- "Lente, lente currite, noctis equi!" ("Slowly, slowly hasten, horses of the night!)

But we know they won't. They'll be on time.

-- Tom Carey (, January 28, 1999.

Last week at local Sams (Bryan,Tx.)there were 8 generators, five days later there was one and we have had a warm winter so I think perhaps people are doing something down here.

-- Different Name Now (, January 28, 1999.,

Okay, anon. I won't be getting a generator. At least not this month. I plan to "camp" at home, because I don't expect THE FUEL SUPPLY to be there to support all the generators. Happy?

Although I was watching a preparedness videotape talking about diesel generators and how they can run on a variety of fuels. In China they create their own methane to run them, and then the guy talked about growing one acre of sunflowers, which will yield 80 gallons of pure sunflower oil which WILL run a diesel generator. Interesting. That makes sense to me.


-- Diane J. Squire (, January 28, 1999.

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