The Best Advice You'll Ever Get - Period - Andy : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

What is Likely to Happen - With less than one year to go, the outlines of Y2K are becoming clearer. The key thing to focus on is what is referred to as the "Iron Triangle". This name refers to the basis of our modern global advanced civilization; namely, Power Grid, Telecommunications and Banking. Electricity in all its forms and uses, world wide mass communications with all its devices, telephone, fax, fiber optic, Satellite, radio and television, and finally, fractional reserve banking in all its debt ridden glory, with its birth defected spawn fiat money in tow. After the Iron Triangle comes what I have christened the three legged stool. Namely, basic government services at the federal level, then basic governmental services at the state, city and county level, and finally the basic business infrastructure. Y2K is a direct threat to basic electricity generation and distribution. Y2K is a direct threat to all modern forms of communication. Y2K is a direct threat to the global banking system. Period. It is my considered opinion, based on nearly a year of diligent web research, that the three legged stool legs will be sawed in half. In other words we will see a generalized collapse in all United States governmental functions. I also think we will see serious disruptions in the basic fabric of society, what I call the physics of modern life. Whether you will have water when you turn on the faucet, flush the toilet, electricity when you turn on the heater, a dial tone when you pick up the phone-all the things modern American urban dwellers take for granted. Believe or not as you wish; wrangle over whether Y2K is a bump in the road or Mad Max time if you want. Disruptions and chaos there will be, the only issue is how intense, how long lasting and the most critical: how will people react to them. The last being the most important single issue in my mind. And the answer to that won't be apparent until this time next year. Which will be much to late for any reasonable preparation, such as what follows.

Threat Assessment. Go to for a walk through of some reasonable Y2K preparation levels. Personally, my inclination is medium with a dash of worst case thrown in because I'm Scottish. Medium is roughly 60 days food, water, sundries, toiletries with weapons, ammo, silver, gold and non-hybrid seeds thrown in for worst case.

How to Prepare for medium Y2K in a modern urban American city

The best general list for short term Y2K preparation I have found is at or the main page at

The following are simply my observations and opinions in order of what I feel is important.

Mental attitude and physical conditioning- My signature says it all, but the will to survive is the most basic survival item. Y2K isn't about gloating and enjoying a global collapse, it is about adapting to whatever comes and trying to help people and in worst case create a new society. As for physical conditioning, try to get in some semblance of shape. At least try and walk for 30 minutes a day.

Self-Protection-Loose the Rambo mentality and the desire for an AR-15. A 12 gauge shotgun, Mossberg 500, Remington or Winchester Riot with 100 shells 00 Buck, 100 shells(25 per box) Pheasant, 100 shells Dove and Quail and 100 shells Target Load is the preferred urban self defense weapon. Cost for the shotgun is about $225 with the hunting loads at about $7 a box. The 00 buck is more expensive(50 cents to $1 a round) and has more penetrating power. The hunting loads are able to kill an intruder and also not kill your neighbor if you live in an apartment.

The best handgun choice is a 357 Magnum with a four inch barrel, assuming you can handle the recoil. 100 rounds of 357 Magnum and 300 rounds of 38 Special for target practice. The Ruger 10/22 is an excellent choice for a first weapon. Also 22 Long Rifle handguns are useful for target practice, plinking, and in general a lot of fun. But if you only get one weapon, get the 12 gauge. And please don't forget that any weapon is loaded until you personally verify that it is not.

Shelter, Heat, Light and Communication- One of the big debates on Y2K usenet is about hordes of spikey headed urban refugees swarming into the countryside looting, raping and pillaging. The idea being that leaving the city is better than staying in it. Only if you don't prepare says I. For starters, even an unheated apartment is better shelter than being outside, unprotected from the wind chill. And second there are specific actions you can take to increase your odds. Some of which are pretty simple. Dressing warm and in layers and building a blanket fort over your bed are two that come to mind. Go to How to survival documents at for general info.

As far as light goes, there are several options: emergency candles, D battery operated lights, propane, oil and/or kerosene lanterns. Be sure to buy extra wicks, mantles and use extreme care with the fuel. Using propane or Kerosene heaters in an enclosed apartment are the preferred method, just be sure and keep the window cracked open for oxygen. Whatever you do be careful especially with candles and other open flames.

There are numerous small radios, CD players and Cassette players that operate on D batteries. Or if you want to go hard core, get the $80 BayGen hand cranked radio. There are also various CB HAM and hand held radios for more advanced communications if the phones go dead. My point being, the worse thing to do is blindly flee, unprepared and stressed out, into the wilderness. Considering it will be early January, the first two weeks will be easier in a well stocked urban apartment than as a refugee.

Medical and Personal Sanitation-It is far more likely people will die from disease and infection in a worst case Y2K situation. For instance, more people will die from drinking filthy water in Hurricane Mitch's aftermath than were killed in the actual hurricane in Central America. So a few dollars spent on assembling a quality first aid kit is probably the best single investment you can make. Obviously, if you have medical problems that require specific medications it would be prudent to secure at least several weeks supply. This medical "stash" may just save your life in the event of any supply disruptions. Rent the movie "Trigger Effect" and pay close attention to the scene in the pharmacy, where our suburban hero tries to get baby medicine without a prescription. There are many places on the web which list good basic medical kits so search around at Red Cross( or FEMA( and get some idea. Another good site for general Y2K preparation info is Noah's Ark at

Personal sanitation is an equally important, if somewhat more distasteful subject. Some ideas include using plastic lined buckets with lids as toilets, buying plenty of soap, towels, general toiletries and sundries for emergency use. Many stores offer travel size amounts of common toiletries and also foil packaged cleaning wipes. So take a walk through your bathroom and decide what you are likely to use and buy some extra. Don't forget to include laundry detergent(cold water type), clothes pins and lines and possibly a bucket, or you can use your bathtub, for emergency clothes washing.

Water- You'll notice that I placed water before food in importance. You can live without breathing for three minutes, without water for three days and without food for three weeks. How to survival documents has a good section on emergency water as does Federal Emergency Management Agency. In a nutshell, each adult needs one gallon a day for drinking and cooking. A small bath, brushing teeth etc. would require still more water. Keep in mind, the average urban American adult uses 50 gallons of water a day. It really isn't as hard as it sounds to build up a 50 to 100 gallon supply of tap water. Coleman makes 5 gallon containers that cost about $10 each. Save the Minutemaid gallon jugs, or other plastic or bottled fruit juices, and fill them with tap water. A 200 gallon bladder is sold at if you wish to go for a larger supply. At any rate, you should always keep a minimum of 50 gallons of stored tap water on hand regardless of what Y2K brings. You can meet this goal simply by washing the myriad pop and fruit juice bottles that come into your life. Don't use plastic milk jugs or any container that wasn't originally used for food - i.e. bleach, laundry detergent etc.

Clothes and Shoes - These might be items that you wouldn't normally place in an emergency supplies list. You should. For instance, many injuries in Earthquakes relate to people getting out bed and walking around their house while slicing up their bare feet on fallen debris and broken glass. So any Y2K preparations, especially considering it will be January, must take into account adequate supplies of clean, high quality clothes and shoes. Particularly if the economy, shipping and transportation collapse so we can't import shoes and clothes from overseas for several months. You might want to consider having 30 pair of T-shirts, underpants and socks for instance, so you can change a pair every day if needed. Possibly a bit spendy, but then again maybe not. A good pair of boots will be invaluable as will several pair of work pants and shirts. If nothing else, Y2K may be the chance we need to finally get rid of polyester. While Y2K has no silver bullet, it may have a silver lining if it gets rid of polyester clothes. So inventory your clothes and think extended camping trip.

Food, Vitamins and Fiber- You can stop whining now that I've finally come to what everybody thinks of when thinking of Y2K preparations, namely freeze dried food. Many people actually think if they buy a years supply of freeze dried food they have Y2K licked. Bunk. The only thing worse than paying for a years supply of freeze dried food is actually EATING a years supply of freeze dried food. MRE's, the military version are officially called Meals Ready to Eat, and unofficially, Meals Ready to Excrete. So if you do succumb to the freeze dried-slash tulip mania, by all means be sure to buy plenty of fiber pills and Metamucil. You should also realize that even the Army only uses MRE's for a period of 10 days before the troops get surly. And the last thing the Army wants is surly troops armed with M-16's. By all means, buy a 30 day supply of freeze dried food to be used to supplement your regular diet. Just don't think you will eat it day in and day out for a year straight.

Vitamins are also a critical factor in any food storage program. A good general purpose multivitamin is essential, along with vitamin C, E, Iron capsules and some herbs for health and tea drinking. As for the basics of food storage, the cardinal rule is simple. Buy what you will eat often, rotate it often and eat it often. The key word is often, as in constantly. This is a complex subject way beyond the scope of this brief primer, still as a duly anointed gold-eagle pundit I shall punditize away. The foundation is salt, pepper, sugar, honey and numerous other spices(thyme, basil, oregano, allspice) you will need to avoid "appetite fatigue". Then you will need the grains, flour, rice, beans and pasta products that will form the bulk of your diet. Following will be the canned goods, fruits and fruit juices, vegetables and tomatoes that will give your diet variety. And on top of that will be the special foods that you enjoy, hard candy popcorn and many others. I tend to be a semi-vegetarian so you can use more meat than I would.

BOB -The Bug Out Bag or 72 hour kit- BOB is designed to be grabbed in the middle of the night and taken to a public shelter. This pre packed backpack, plastic box or crate will allow you to evacuate your residence within 5 minutes and still have the bare essentials for 72 hours. While not specifically for Y2K, BOB is the best thing you can do to prepare yourself or any emergency. If you do nothing else after reading this essay, at east prepare a BOB. That way, you won't be one of those unfortunate souls seen on TV throwing randomly selected stuff in their cars as they flee into the night.

Many web sites have good BOB lists, so see the ones mentioned earlier. Briefly the idea is to have a change of clothes and shoes, personal toiletries, cash in small denominations, important papers, medications and first aid supplies, sleeping bag and pad, food and water, reading materials and leisure items. All of this is pre packed into a backpack or on of those hard plastic storage containers, which you can use to sit on later. These supplies are kept in a easily accessible spot for a quick getaway. The idea being that if you end up in a hastily converted public school or church, you aren't destitute. Just be aware that the Red Cross has been accused of confiscating food and water supplies from people seeking shelter during the recent hurricanes.

Worst Case-Mad Max and beyond. A few words have to said about the possibly of much more serious Y2K disruptions. Not that many of us can do much about them. Whatever happens, the vast majority of Americans, who live in urban metroplexes, within 10 miles of the ocean coasts are not going to flee into the countryside. This survivalist fantasy of living off the land, like Daniel Boone, or on a small farm, like Little House on the Prairie, is ust that-a fantasy. Besides, farming is hard, physical work, as I can attest from personal experience; the idea of millions of people shooting wild animals for food is ridiculous. So this survivalist fantasy isn't a realistic option for millions of urban dwellers. Which means a few harsh facts become apparent in Y2K worst case. The first is you are on your own, with little if any government help. So have no illusions of FEMA to the rescue or expect the government to feed, shelter or make your life comfortable. The second is that you will not make by ignoring your neighbors and family in your Y2K preparations. So store enough extra to feed some of them as your Christian duty and if they are open share some simple things, like BOB, that they can do to prepare. Third you will need to do some serious thinking about long term survival in a post collapse economy. This means gold and silver, $2500 to $5000 for each person. $1500 cash in 1's, 5's, 10's and 20's will be useful short term in January, 2000, assuming things stay reasonably together. Long term also means non-hybrid seeds in case you have to plant a victory garden in summer 2000. A good source is Territorial Seed company at And finally, worst case elevates weapons and personal defense to a higher plane. Be a pacifist if you like, just be aware of the consequences in case the system collapses. There is an old West saying of "God didn't make men equal, Colt did". And don't let your worst case preparations destroy you economically or spiritually if Y2K turns out to be a nonevent. Think of it as an insurance policy that you may never use.

Some Final Thoughts-This is the single most important essay I have written for The reason is that the advice within may save your life in an emergency situation. All the rest may enlighten you, entertain you or even enrage you, but this one is about life and death. I hope you take it seriously enough to at least investigate, at this very late date, how to make prudent and rational preparations for a medium sized Y2K disaster. You have less than eleven months left before the official Y2K hits, but in reality the time is much shorter.


Doug McIntosh - from GE


Two digits. One mechanism. The smallest mistake.

"The conveniences and comforts of humanity in general will be linked up by one mechanism, which will produce comforts and conveniences beyond human imagination. But the smallest mistake will bring the whole mechanism to a certain collapse. In this way the end of the world will be brought about."

Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan, 1922 (Sufi Prophet)

-- Andy (, February 07, 1999



Excellent advice. Thank you for the hours you obviously spent putting this together.

-- Kevin (, February 07, 1999.

Thanks Andy. Good advice and good information. I appreciate it.

-- Scarlett (, February 07, 1999.

You forgot the most obvious staple: diapers for irrational crybabies

-- Chicken Little (, February 07, 1999.

Thanks for all the work, Andy. This is just what I need to remind myself what I need to keep up with--you know how absent-minded us wrinklies are.

You're a Scot, that struck a chord. Although I was born in Nottinghamshire, I was brought up in Yorkshire--very similar culture re conserving assets and being prepared. By the way, Sweetie and I got married at a registrar's office in Edinburgh--at Hogmanay. Next NYE will be our 13th anniversary. . .

If you're ever up this way, let me know; we'd be happy to put you up for a night or two.

-- Old Git (, February 08, 1999.


Thanks for the great article. The only thing I wonder about is your idea that people will not leave the cities. As footage of Kosovo and Bosnia show if the level of violence gets high enough people will head for the hills. But, in a worse case scenario there are no good options.

I believe that it impossible for everyone to leave the city, but I do think many will flee the violence(again worst case)and they will present a danger. Maybe I am wrong, your thoughts

-- achimededes (, February 08, 1999.

"It is my considered opinion, based on nearly a year of diligent web research" And this makes you an expert? I should disreguard my 30+ years of experience and knmowldge because you spent your spare time surfing the web? Kust how stupid do you judge others to be? You must base them on yourself, which you show as pretty ignorent and unable to think beyound what others say. Ever consider using your brain and actually "learn" anything? Like a real education where it takes an effort to think and reason as apposed to parroting other ignorant fools? Keep on being the joke you know you are.

It is reasonable that your personal considered opinion means nothing. You may get your jollies off from some percieved power you get from scaring people. None of what you wrote is origional. You did nothing but cut and paste from other areas of the web. The weak silly uncontrolled arena for every prebuscent machimo video game player without a real battle to fight. The self gratification you get with thet snide grin of contempt for those who fall for your words keeps your pathetic ego going for just a little longer. Are you not aware that the crud you are spouting has been done and disputed many times over? There aren't many suckers left and the newbies don't fall for your projectile vomiting. Keep posting, but don't give up your day job of your hand in your pants for your self gratification, because in the end, that is the only kind you will end up with. Miss M. L.

-- Miss. Mona L. (smarter@then., February 08, 1999.


It is reasonable that YOUR personal considered opinion means nothing as well. Especially since your opinion about Y2K contradicts the concern shown by the following organizations...

The American Red Cross:

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA:

The National Guard:

-- Kevin (, February 08, 1999.

There came yet more trolls to the forum All squawking such high poppalorum. To encourage these new fools To sink in their cess pools, We all oughta simply ignore 'em.

-- Old Git (, February 08, 1999.

It is reasonable that my considered opinion could be wrong. But I have over thirty years of actual experience in electroncs and computing. Just a bit more than a years web surfing. But then you can believe whatever you wish. I at least have the knowledge to know the facts. Enjoy your fear. We laugh at you fools now and will be doubled over in uncontrollable laughter a year from now when you fell like the fools you are. A suggestion...use the brain you were born with. I at least have my integrity and will continue to have it a year from now. Miss.

-- Miss Mona L. (sorry@your.ignorance), February 08, 1999.


I always like your posts. We think alike, you and I. Thanks as always for your hard work and desire to share it with others.

-- Buffalo Bob (, February 08, 1999.


Thanx for the address for open pollinated vegetables. I signed up for a FREE catalog. Hope it's not too late to order by the end of February.

-- dinosaur (, February 08, 1999.

Good advice. Thanks. Just beam me up Scotty. The Enterprise is 24th century compliant. " Forward To The Past"

-- Mortimer (, February 08, 1999.

Miss Mona,

Thanks for your advice.

I would like to point out that I did not write this article - I found it on the web, and, realising the importance of the advice offerred I posted it to this forum.

It was written by Doug McIntosh, a fellow from my country, and I thought it to be worthy of this web site.

Sorry to have offended your delicate sensibilities Miss Mona, let us all hope that y2k does not do likewise.



-- Andy (, February 08, 1999.

Whether anyone will be able to flee the cities when TSHTF is an open question. For that matter, even if it is possible, whether one would be then be able to enter a rural community to hopefully obtain food and water is also an open question. These open questions can be summed up in two words: blocked roads. Under martial law, the military may very well decide to contain the cities, and block the roads leading out. Likewise, rural communities may very well decide that they don't want to be overrun, and block the roads in.

-- Jack (, February 08, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ