greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Well, here I sit at 3:00 a.m. I'm physically ill because I just now discovered that I've had my head in the sand regarding Y2K. I felt only a bit better after throwing up in my kitchen sink - literally - but am feeling totally overwhelmed. My plans for dealing with Y2K up to now were to withdraw a two-month supply of cash from the bank in December, make sure I had copies of all insurance policies, payment receipts, etc. - AND THAT WAS IT!!! What an idiot I've been. I've always considered myself to be reasonably intelligent person with a good sense of preparedness but that notion came crashing down upon me tonight. I truly don't know where to start other than to spend the next few days making massive checklists to begin frantically trying tick off in the next few months.

This group has given me way too much to digest at one time so I'm sure I'll be asking questions that have probably been previously addressed. I'll beg your forgiveness in advance and humbly ask someone to point me in the direction of appropriate threads or web sites.

1. Can city suburban dwellers survive what may come to pass? (My main concern is that I live in the 9th largest city in the U.S. with no hope of moving into a rural area.) 2. How should one purchase gold and silver (how much, what is best, etc.)? Also, a related question: I heard a few years ago that there is an obscure(?) federal law (maybe not a law) that allows the government to seize gold coins from private citizens unless they were minted pre-1934 or thereabouts. Does anyone know anything about this or am I remembering something incorrectly? If it's true, does it apply to silver coins also? 3. What is the best web site or thread from this group to follow to quickly learn how to store food, water and fuel?

That's all I can ask right now. I think I'll go throw up again. Thanks for any help you can give. Deborah

-- Deborah (deboreb@texas.net), February 15, 1999


What you're going through is normal, you can check the threads at the bottom to see.

For info, go into New Answers and look in the Y2K for newcomers thread, it's right at the top.

Peace be with you, it's too hard to act while you panic.

-- Tricia the Canuck (jayles@telusplanet.net), February 15, 1999.


Try this link for helpful articles about Y2K and about preparation...


...and this link which will help you anonymously prepare your neighbors for Y2K (important in an urban setting):


-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), February 15, 1999.

Thanks for the two fast responses so far - my panic is lessening a bit. I finally found some threads (when I first loaded the Q&A page, the transfer was interrupted and I didn't get the links to all the previous threads). I'll keep stuyding and look forward to any further help.

-- Deborah (deboreb@texas.net), February 15, 1999.

Hi Deb

Welcome aboard! You have took the first step in the right direction which is to plan your stratigies - mentally. Once you have your road map to where your going then the journey starts with one step at a time. Don't look at the whole picture or you will go crazy for sure - break it down into small digestable pieces. One piece at a time until your plate is empty and maybe this way it will stay down and keep you away from your kitchen sink.

Imagine these people with a family of 6 or 7 people - think you have problems. The move is on and we all have unique individual ways to prepare ourself. You will be ok - just create your game plan and the act on it. This board will be a valuable resource. You have a lot of reading to do so good luck. In the meantime while your figuring out your destiney buy some extra food and start a diaster inventory until you figure it out. This will give you piece of mind that your doing something. Good luck and I am sure whatever you do will be ok.

-- Duane (Duane24062@aol.com), February 15, 1999.

Another site to try is Michael Hyatt (Just search for Hyatt and it should come up near the first item) - He has in depth chapters from his book available on a rotating basis, almost all on preparing.

i've been on board a month or 6 weeks and it DOES get better, but even the "experts" say they still occasionally get those panicy feelings.

Lastly, don't get too carried away by freeze-dried, nitrogen packed, 25 year life survival food needs/articles. Theres nothing wrong with starting with canned foods from the grocery store. For instance a lot of Campbells soup now come with an expiration date of Dec 00 . Its a good place to start.

Also, although I apprecaite this forum, don't believe everything you read, even here. It may not be TEOTWAWKI.

-- Bob Rohland (narnia4@usa.net), February 15, 1999.

Just a suggestion:

1. Water
2. Shelter, including heat and safety
3. Food
4. Sanitation

Only then should you begin worrying about cash and godl/silver. Take care of your life, and the lives of your family first.

Another suggestion if you're alone == can you find others who are like minded and band together for protection?

God bless, plan, and then prepare. But make a plan and follow it. Just the act of following that plan helps keep the food down.

-- De (dealton@concentric.net), February 15, 1999.

Welcome Deborah ! As a relatively recent GI, I understand your panic. Believe me, most of us have gone thru it, and come out the better for it, at least it spurs us to action. My advice is to read,read, read,. There are hundreds of links now and you have to make some serious decisions based on your opinion of the severity of y2k. In the middle of reading do start some shopping concentrating on your food first and buying canned goods at the grocery store( buy what you will eat!)As you read it will help you clarify just exactly what kind of preparations you will finally start to make and you will also start to have some extra food which will alleviate the panic.Water can be stored immediately too in used 2 liter pop bottles.Everybody has different locations and finances so only you can make the decisionsfor yourself.The big 4 tho are water, food, heat, and defense. Defense includes your location.

Don't think that you can't leave, you have many options open to you and one is to join a group or rent out in the country.This does not mean giving up your job or selling your house or any drastic permanent move.Our group for example is charging a fee for space to put your camper or mobile home. This allows you to store your goods in a safe location and a place to go if your present location becomes too dangerous.It also gives you a place to learn a simpler way of life as you "camp-out" on weekends. The only reason we are even charging a fee is to put in extra amenities like sewage systems and a bigger well so that they can have indoor plumbing and showers and not have to haul water so far. I only give this as an example because I'm sure there are many groups like this that you can find in your area.

Good luck to you and see you on the forums!

-- Sue (deco100@aol.com), February 15, 1999.

Deborah: Try this link to learn the BASICS about gold. Read it! And somebody else said, Wellcome to the club! Please be calm, you are aware and that's a start http://www.the-moneychanger.com/index.html

-- (Eli@zephyr.net), February 15, 1999.

Deb... If you're in the nation's ninth largest city you're in Dallas, and it isn't that far to the country, you know. I'm a Dallas native now living in East Texas, and there are places you can go. I know opinions vary, but a very large city is the last place you want to be if things get really bad. Check the Sunday paper for buy or rent options in East Texas. I know your newfound knowledge makes your task look overwhelming, but it isn't. You can prepare on several fronts at the same time. You've taken the first step, now hang in there.

-- Vic (Roadrunner@compliant.com), February 15, 1999.

Deborah, there are already lots of lists available. It might save you some time to start with someone else's for now. Here is one from the www.y2kwomen.com site. There is a more compact version available at that site if you have adobe acrobat. If not:


-- Gayla Dunbar (privacy@please.com), February 15, 1999.

Preparation take time. Try to prioritize those items that will become increasingly difficult to get or for which prices may go way up.

If you are really in Dallas, then heat isn't much of an issue. But here in the frozen north, alternate heat is critical. I ordered a wood stove in November and had to wait a full 2 months to have it installed, and then there is the matter of stockpiling lots of wood. Propane or kerosene heaters might be an option, but again you have to find them.

If you don't or can't have a well (with a hand pump, solar pump or generator pump), then you need to think about storing water. www.watertanks.com had some great options, including 200 gal food grade, durable "waterbags" that could fit within the frame of a large bed.

Other necessities like food can be accumulated over a period of time.

Get enough sleep, and take comfort in knowing you are making progress.

-- Brooks (brooksbie@hotmail.com), February 15, 1999.

Deborah: Take one day for yourself now. Take a walk in the park or go to some serene place you like to visit and go by yourself and think things through. You have to remain calm and you will survive if you can get your wits together. No one is going to help you (except for people on this BB). Period! I owe much to many here and to one other BB (Frugal Squirrel). When I first got wind of Y2K, I was laying in bed listening to Gary North. You can't imagine the sickening feeling I got, but it's funny what truth will do to you, it only hurts for a little while, then it motivates you. Your survival depends on how well YOU prepare for the basics. You still have time to prepare but you must as quickly. And one more thing, get your plans to yourself.

-- bardou (bardou@baloney.com), February 15, 1999.

"Keep your plans to yourself."

-- bardou (bardou@baloney.com), February 15, 1999.

Hi, Deborah. I can identify. Been there, etc.! You are starting early in 1999, so you will be better off when the excrement impacts the oscillator.

What I am keeping in mind right now: - gold is nice, but stored water is better - National Geographic is a fine magazine but it makes lousy TP, and tampons might be worth more than gold to some - a few cans here, a bottle there, a jar of vitamins, and pretty soon you have something to help you avoid grocery stores for a while!

Keep reading. I am, too!

- Still learning, Margaret.

-- Margaret Janssen (janssm@aol.com), February 15, 1999.


"When you are up to your elbows in alligators, it's hard to remember...", but the panic stage will pass. As others have mentioned, one step at a time. As you read more, you will find, if you have not already, that even people who GI have a great variety of opinions about how much of what kinds of preparations are optimal, and a great variety of opinions about just how severe and how widespread will be the problems in store for us.

At this early stage of your getting it, I concur with those who mentioned starting by preparing for day to day needs; items you can get at your local grocery store. As time goes on, you can research possible options for being our of the city for some period of time.

I would caution you about making major commitments before you have had more time to research and think about your findings. For example, you specifically asked about gold and silver. While some feel these may be good investments if Y2K problems are severe, others would say they would more likely lose value relative to common currency if Y2K problems result in a depression. (I am among the latter.)

Also, as some have hinted, in case things do get really bad, letting your neighbors know about your preparations may be risky. On the other hand, being the only prepared house in the neighborhood may also be risky.

There is still time to research and prepare; you don't have to do it all in one week (I think). :-)


-- Jerry B (skeptic76@erols.com), February 15, 1999.


Here's a link for, IMHO, the best "how to" prep. site on the web.


When you look around your home and see piles of food and water, the panic will go away,,,trust me on this, TAZ

-- TAZ (ericvs@wave.net), February 15, 1999.


There are a few useful time management techniques that may help you organize yourself, after you get centered and take time out.

1) Think of a massive project rather like a roll of Salami. What you need to get done to prepare, can feel totally overwhelming. Now, slice off a piece at a time, do it, and eventually youll have managed to slice the project and finish it.

2) Write everything down that you can think of that you have to do. (Including checklists that others have suggested).

Assign an A a B or a C priority to each item.

A is Urgent AND Has To Get Done.

B is Important and Needs to get done, but not Urgent.

C will eventually need to get done but is not urgent.

Once the A items are identified, then assign an A1, A2, A3... priority. Now you know where to focus first. Do this daily, and youll get done what you need to get done for Y2K preparations.

Breathe deeply often, take walks in a park, and be well.


(P.S. Theres also a great little book I saw on Y2K Urban Preparation. A friend has a copy. Ill e her for the details).

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), February 15, 1999.

I feel your pain. Some serious stuff is coming. I want to know what it was that scared you so much. What happened? What woke you up??

THis is my first post here. I want something a little more devoid of wackos and more concerned with SERIOUS citizens.

I am a technical recruiter. I recruit computer "geeks" of all stripes for my commercial clients in the Balt/Washington, DC area. I am seeing computer pros come to me and say, "Richard, my company will not make it. Can you get me a new job."

Thank you Ed for the wake up call. Richard

-- Richard (rkb65@hotmail.com), February 15, 1999.

Deborah - hang in there, you are going through a phase that most GI's have gone through - although personally I didn't upchuck. Went out and got drunk, kicked the cat, put the wife out etc. but no psychedelic yawning.


What's all this crap???

"This is my first post here. I want something a little more devoid of wackos and more concerned with SERIOUS citizens."

Are you saying we're not SERIOUS you fool?

We are perfectly bleedin' serious on this forum (most of the time :) ) and are NOT wackos (some of us at any rate...)

Tell your clients to stay where they are and make sure they fix their companies' computers!! Tell them you refuse to let them desert a sinking ship!! Tell them to get their sorry asses back to the code and crunch some more out!! Tell them that morally, being a highly esteemed recruiter that is taking over half of their salary, that you refuse to kow-tow to their base monetary self interests... Tell them to rearrange some more deckchairs.......

Andy (who doesn't like condescending recruiters...)

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), February 15, 1999.

Lots of good advice so far, but I'll through in my 2 cents.

First, take a deep breath. You still have time. And now for a short list.

I'm not sure about whats the 9th largest city so.... If you live in the North, shelter and heat are first priorities. Think wood stove or kerosene heaters. Even if yhou do live in Dallas or Atlanta, some heat will be necessary (though not nearly as critical). In the same vein, think of some durable, warm work clothes and hiking/work boots. Next,water is critical. Some advocate saving and storing used 2L soda bottles. Thats okay, but you need to be able to purify water. Read up on using bleach and buy a good camping water filter. I recommend the Katadyn siphon filter (about $100). Consider buying a water storage bag. WWW.watertanks.com sells a 200 gallon flexible bag for under $100. Next, I recommend making rice and beans the center of your food storage. Bulk rice from Costco/BJ's/Walmart can be had for about $12 for 50 pounds. Beans (pinto, great northern,lima, etc) are available for 30-90 cents per pound. Walmart sells 8 pound bags of pinto beans for about $0.30/lb. Package these items in food grade 5gallon buckets(+/- in food grade liners). See www.glitchproof.com for containers and O2 absorbers. Get moisture absorbing silica from craft store or K-mart (wrap in paper towel, tape shut, place in bucket). Other food items to have: Dinty Moore stew, tuna, multivits, sugar, coffee/tea, canned veggies, wheat berries. Obviously there are some other things you will add for personal preferences. Next, think about lighting- kerosene lamps. Do consider various "bugout" options. Friends, family somewhere. As for money, start accumulating some loose cash (but be discreet). If you have the resources for gold, consider buying one tenth ounce American Eagles.

This should get you started. Relax, you live in interesting times! Would you share what triggered your "getting it"?

-- RD. ->H (drherr@erols.com), February 15, 1999.

I'm Diane's friend. The name of the little book is "How To Survive Y2K Chaos In The City" by Ken Eirich and Nancy Eirich. Diane and I had asked if they had the book for sale at Borders Bookstore and they said that due to many public requests for Y2K materials that they are putting together a display but they don't have anything yet. The copyright is 1998. On the back of their book it lists their website at: http://www.y2kcauses.com.

Thank you for sharing. It reminds us how overwhelming this all is. Leska in Cascadia has many great ideas. We were discussing how to make getting prepared fun. Leska thought it would be fun to call the storage container with basic supplies (we are trying to get our geriatric clients to get the basic emergency supplies) a "hope-not" chest. I loved this idea. We are using it in all the information we give to people.

As a nurse, I read research that compared patients who were told a procedure was not going to be so bad and then it was to patients who were told honestly how it was going to be and then it met that expectation and they didn't feel a lack of trust or anger like the first group.

I just wish I knew what to tell my patients to expect with Y2K. I suppose the only thing we can do is focus on how good it feels to have those "hope-not" chests.

from Melinda =====================================================

-- (melinda@noworries.org), February 15, 1999.

Thanks so much to you all for the information and support. I am feeling much more calm (only got minor shakes a couple of times at work today). I appreciate the advice, lists, contacts, etc.

I am in San Antonio - I think it is now 9th largest city but not sure (may be 10th largest). I'm very interested in the HEB food stores information posted and will try to hook up with someone who knows more about that too. I still need to read through your wonderful responses again and copy information for contacts you've offered. This afternoon on my way home, I stopped at a store that is closing (Drug Emporium)- started stocking up on various sundries (first aid supplies and other necessary drug store type items that will be needed. I'm still making my lists and trying to plan. I started investigating water storage today and but made very little progress.

My retired parents and I live together - I'm still trying to figure out a way to broach this subject with them so they won't think I'm totally nuts and over-reacting. I plan on starting with a one page article that someone at work posted on the bulletin board (don't know the source but the title is "7 Reasons You should relax about the year 2000 computer bug"). It is very conservative and does paint a more rosy picture of things to come, but it does have a box at the end of the article entitled "But Just In Case...", and lists very small measures to take [few days' worth of cash, fill gas tank on Dec. 31, etc]. I think it may be a good introduction to this issue before I give them the "water hose treatment" since I'm sure neither of them has given this situation more than a fleeting thought.

Oh, BTW, what got me started searching for information in such a rush was a question an aunt of mine in Oklahoma asked me over the weekend - she asked, "How will you be putting water aside for y2k"? Scared the heck out of me and started my quest for info.

Thanks again everyone. I'll keep reading posts, following the threads you recommend, and visiting the web sites. Sorry I posted my "newbie" inquiry as a new question, but when the panic set in last night, I couldn't think. :)

-- Deborah (deboreb@texas.net), February 15, 1999.


Thanks for posting the book details, still trying to find a copy down here. It looked exceptionally good.

Deborah, when I first "got it" I was so tense and glued to the internet researching that I could barely eat and didn't sleep much. It took a good friend dragging me to a park to smell flowers and watch the Koi splashing in ponds to recenter me again.

Take time out for your health's sake.

It comes and goes in waves.


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), February 15, 1999.

I got my copy of "How to Survive Y2K Chaos in the City" a few weeks ago from Amazon. The authors have a website, which has apparently crashed (and it's not even y2k yet!), but it looks like you may still be able to e-mail them and I assume they can tell you how to order their book. The website address is www.y2kcauses.com.

-- Pam G. (Pam95818@aol.com), February 15, 1999.

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