People are secretly preparing... : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Until Saturday I was concerned that people are still not taking Y2K serious and are not preparing for it. Then this week I saw some change. Two different TV Stations ran story's on Y2K in the last couple weeks. Channel 8 and Channel 4 in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

This weekend had dinner at the in-laws. Future sis-in law was over. Talked about all kinds of stuff. Then talk goes to her father and what he has been up too. She mentions that he is digging a well. In-laws ask why..? She shakes her head... Dunno. Wife and I are looking at each other with raised eyebrows.. Then she talks about her sister. Mentions that she went over to her house and she had tons of Macaroni and Cheese and other items. TONS of it. When asked she mentioned this computer thingy. Hadn't she heard that people should prepare. Everyone around the table is laughing. Crazy folks...

In-laws are serious DWGI. We have always handled life before. A little computer bug sure is not going to hurt us... lol... A computer problem messing with our life's...??? Nawwww.....

Anyway... point of this message is...

I think people are secretly and silently preparing. More than we know... It's going around... I had questions from nurses, cleaning guys and the maintenance man in the last week. They are getting it... The herd is moving... It's getting close to high noon....

We might be able to avert a panic over the long run... Ya think...???

Like Diane says... SHIFT happens...

-- STFrancis (, February 22, 1999


Just one more sign. I live in a little town in southern PA. The local True Value has unexpectedly increased their inventory of lamps, wicks and 4 fold at least! They also just ran a story in the local paper about the severe shortage of generators. Washington Post article...DC is toast! There is NO WAY they're going to be ready according to GAO. Mainstream stuff. Any bets on a summer panic?

-- (, February 22, 1999.

I don't think there is going to be any panic before this fall or early winter. But more and more people are preparing. I've learned about five other local families in the last month. Some local churches are preparing. And the main branch of a local bank has admitted that they are installing an industrial size generator so they can stay open if the power goes out. That really surprised me. I didn't think any local businesses took it very seriously. One very rural county near me is being inundated with folks buying land to prepare for Y2K. At least one has buried (2) 1,000 gallon tanks of propane. This is a very conservative area. A LOT of folks are preparing, but they are just not talking about it.

-- Debra (, February 22, 1999.

I have no doubt that many in my area (northern NJ) are preparing. Given the DGI/DWGI surface mentality here, nobody's going to prepare openly for either fear of ridicule or the fact that they don't want uninvited guests WTSHTF. I believe that a sizeable percentage of the population is preparing, maybe as much as 30%. Here's one reason I think so.

A friend of mine is a meter reader for our gas company, and he goes into lots of peoples basements. Let's just say that he has seen some interesting things. Some of it right out in the open, but most of it under wraps. He doesn't really have time to look around, but sometimes its right out there, water barrels, storage food, pallets of freeze-dried foods, oil lamps, the whole enchilada. He's also noticed that lots of the homeowners now no longer just let him in and let him go down to read the meter alone, but 'escort' him.

I think that if even half of the people are somewhat prepared for January, there won't be any panic for the most part. From what I've seen and heard, I think this is the case.

-- scooter (hope@springs.eternal), February 22, 1999.

I'm leaning towards that 30% figure, too. Here's a poll of Texans:

Out of 1001 surveyed, 56% (560) claim extensive knowledge of the problem. Of those, 49% (~275) plan to do SOME preparation. The numbers in the poll are confusing, but parlay that 27% of the respondees ADMITTED that some sort of preparation is in order.

And if 27% are preparing, hopefully at least half are preparing for other DGIs.. buying more than they need for just themselves. I hope.

-- Lisa (, February 22, 1999.

Scooter - I can identify with the basement secrecy. LOL. It is far more socially acceptable than a few months ago to be admitting to taking Y2K seriously. Still, if there isn't enough food, cash, generators, etc. to handle any real level of preparation, and if more people are getting a jump on preparing, then a panic could come alot sooner. These days, I don't see a bulk package of TP in someone's shopping cart without grinning.

-- Brooks (, February 22, 1999.

Hardware lady mentioned y2k to me and she, and others at the store are preparing, wifes boss is preparing her nurse friend is preparing others are talking about it and one said, "I know cabins I can raid!" I said, "Then you had better have plenty of ammo!"

Most people I run into don't want to make a lot of noise about it. They just smile and say, "I know."

-- Mark Hillyard (, February 22, 1999.

Hopefully we'll start seeing more preparation occur at the request of city leaders (see Portland Prepares for Y2K). I sent this link to the Y2K coordinator in my small town in order to prod him along. We all desperately need this type of local Y2K leadership since we're not getting it at a national level.

Maybe the recent Washintion Post article about D.C. and this piece will start a new trend.

-- Codejockey (, February 22, 1999.

Local paper had a Y2K article last week: "Maybe you aren't preparing-- but your neighbors are!" First prep story I've seen that doesn't portray people as kooks. They had whole-grain recipes in the food section. A local hardware store got 39000 pounds wheat in a shipment last month, sold it all in two days. A couple weeks ago a radio host was making fun of Y2K, and every caller was a GI who reeled off more facts (not that it swayed him). Another hardware store had a generator ad in Sunday paper--"Why do you need a generator? Year 2000..." And the guy at the camping store said water filters were flying off the shelves due to Y2K people.

Now if 30% of families prepare, and they all get enough to share with two other families...

-- Shimrod (, February 22, 1999.

I suspect that panic, when it occurs, will be very sudden and will be triggered by a shortage of some one key commodity. We've seen shortages of Aladdin lamps, then generators, then Dietz lamps, and probably Mossberg shotguns, but none of them make a difference to the average guy. Once something like toilet paper becomes in short supply, that's it.

-- Ned (, February 22, 1999.

I know this is a radical thought, but, WHAT IF there is no panic?

Just suppose the dial keeps getting turned up slowly, and through word-of-mouth fueled by some GI neighborhood and community preparations (like Portland showing the way), people and groups keep on quietly preparing. Suppose this just keeps on rippling?

Unless there is a large trigger event, it could happen.

We just might get the country ready, without falling off the cliff. At least on the prep side of the Y2K equation. Some of the heavy metal and international side is still a dicey chipped omelette, IMHO.

Stranger things have happened.


-- Diane J. Squire (, February 22, 1999.

Isn't it funny that Y2k is getting people to prepare, when almost 50 years in the shadow of nuclear war didn't? Most people in this country would survive even a 10,000 megaton exchange if they were prepared for it. Hopefully it'll never come to that, but if it does, maybe Y2K will have gotten people conditioned to having a little extra and enable better survival.

-- scooter (hope@springs.eternal), February 22, 1999.

it's a nice thought - that many folks may be preparing, but unless they start to see television plot lines directly related to the positive aspects of preparing for y2k, there is still a LARGE segment of the population which will effectively do nothing. *sigh*

There's another smaller segment, which will do nothing for the same reason STF's in-laws are doing nothing - because they're own ego wont let them see the problem in front of them. A lot of that out here on the East Coast.


-- Arlin H. Adams (, February 22, 1999.

And some of us make no secret about it. We've already told our neighbors what we're doing, encouraged them to do a little of it too, and made it clear that they are welcome to what we have if they need it. And we're stocking more than we can possibly use just in case. If nobody needs it, we donate it where it is always appreciated.

Yes, this costs more. But we know that we cannot bring ourselves to shoot our neighbors, and we can (and will) gladly feed them and keep them warm. Also, some of our neighbors can and will shoot non- neighbors, so these people are good to know and take care of.

Right now they think we're a bit strange, but they're doing a little preparation themselves just in case, and the community begins to build a little. If y2k hits the news more as the year progresses, this will help our efforts along *much* more than hindering them.

We utterly fail to understand the "I'm OK, you scram or else" attitude we sometimes see here. If your neighbors are hungry, would you be happier saying "I told you so" than feeding them? What are we missing here?

-- Flint (, February 22, 1999.

Hi Flint,

what you're missing is the fact that a lot of us aren't as rich as you are. My fiancee and I have got to prepare for y2k *and* hold a (relatively simple) wedding *and* prepare to move away from the DC urban area *and* also take care of those we're working with, most of whom also are operating on marginal incomes. We will help those we can help, but we will NOT sacrifice our children's food for strangers. Indeed we would be abrogating our parental responsibilities if we did so.

does that make it any clearer?


-- Arlin H. Adams (, February 22, 1999.

"t's a nice thought - that many folks may be preparing, but unless they start to see television plot lines directly related to the positive aspects of preparing for y2k, there is still a LARGE segment of the population which will effectively do nothing. *sigh*"--Arlin

Channel 10 in Philadelphia last night at the 11 o'clock news had a stunning 5 minute Y2K piece, all geared toward preparations. It was moderate in tone, the reporter smiled a lot, but very effective. Just the sort of thing needed to give the piece an air of seriousness and not appear as being sensational. They interviewed 3 very ordinary people that could be anyone's neighbors and showed what they did as prep, mainly canned goods and essentials for several days to a month. They didn't mention taking out cash. The segment was done in the same manner and tone as if they were giving advice on how to prepare for a hurricane, or a camping trip (you know the 5 minute segments type I'm talking about, like when they report on how to shop for best bargains, or how to plan a summer trip.)

This is a giant step for my area. After this, I know a lot of people will take the heed and start preparing. I printed Cowles "Dear Neighbor" booklet and I'm going to mail them to my neighbors. Hopefully many watched channel 10 last night.

-- Chris (, February 22, 1999.


I wish I were as rich as you seem to believe. We needed to prepare for y2k, but the extra food wasn't all that expensive, and the heat from the wood stove fills the house regardless. My wife and I went to a JP to get married, $20 and 15 minutes. This was 15 years ago, might be up to $30 by now? And I could not have afforded to take any job beyond commuting distance unless relocation expenses were paid by the employer (and they were). We certainly don't anticipate sacrificing ourselves (beyond a few hundred dollars in extra food). Not having children doubtless simplifies things for us; nevertheless our net worth is decidedly negative. So we don't need to worry about what to do with the money we've never had in the bank or the market.

I understand there are many in even worse circumstances than ours, and I'm in no position to criticize anyone's circumstances. Perhaps I'm wrong in my impression that some who could help others, maybe even more than we can, were instead choosing not to, and hiding gold rather than helping neighbors. And I guarantee if we felt that way also, we'd have a lot more than we do now. But we have no regrets.

-- Flint (, February 22, 1999.

As evidenced by the various answers on the thread, people are doing just about everything: not preparing, preparing and telling others, preparing secretly, etc., Diane, I though,t had a very interesting answer that leaves some hope for all of us.

My opinion has remained that we are in this together, and together is where our best hope is. I know that others feel differently and some feel the same. As far as the related subject of awareness, which is at the root of preparation, it got a jump start last Thanksgiving weekend and has grown at what I have called (and still call) slow and steady.I remember posting a thread called "The weekend Y2K became real" at the time. Slow and steady, This is what we continue to see, and I agree with Diane that without a major trigger event, this has a good chance of continuing. It has so far anyway.

-- Rob Michaels (, February 22, 1999.

Flint -

quite honestly around here most of the ones who could afford the extra food, etc, are the ones who are totally DWGI...oh and our denomination doesn't really consider J.P. weddings to be legit...needs to be a church wedding -though will still be done cheaply.

and yeah, there will always be those who lay up for themselves treasures on earth...and who will have to answer for same in the end.

Chris - any chance of getting a copy of that news segment? you may have just partially solved Donna's question on public access television.


-- Arlin H. Adams (, February 22, 1999.

Flint: My husband and I went to the JP 30 years ago. I was 18 and he was 21, costs us $6.00. My husband handed the judge $20.00 and said thank you. The judge handed it back to him and said, "you'll need it more than me."

People are preparing quietly because I think people are not wanting to draw attention to themselves in fear that their neighbors or acquaintances will be knocking on their doors looking for a handout. And maybe too, there's an air of being labeled a kook or wacko for preparing for something that may or may not happen. No one wants to be ridiculed or made fun of for acting out of fear. I've prepared in silence and plan to keep it that way.

-- bardou (, February 23, 1999.

I am also suprised at how quietly many are preparing. I've had folks in various occupations ask me about what to do.(I own a computer support company) I've thought long and hard about what to say but more importantly how to say it to those that ask. I don't preach the end of the world but try to put the potential problems in perspective. Suprisingly many folks have already started preparing and just want to run their plans by someone else. I'm no expert but somehow I've gotten a reputation of "knowing" something! :) Wish I did!!

I'm single, no kids, or other attatchments to speak of, unless you count my Husky/Shepard! Yet I've decided to stock up to take care of a large group if need be. I have a feeling some of my employees and their families will be showing up at my place if it gets "interesting". So I've laid out a plan to accomadate these folks. I've spoken to several groups around my area about computer issues and have tried to inform without creating a sense of doom. Many more people than you might think do get it and are silently doing something.

So I think that the awareness factor is growing. If it all amounts to a "bump in the road" I'll have a substantial "food" donation to give to the local food bank, Red Cross, later on next year. Yet if I'm wrong and there are major problems at least I can help carry some folks thru that didn't prepare.

I have a "T-shirt" from long ago that says "Participant in SE Asia War Games", Second Place. I have seen man's ability to cause destruction, death, pain, in an up close and personal view. Therefore I say to those who would submit that the Y2K problem will result in a renewal or "cleansing" of our society or world should think twice about what they are espousing. It would be neither a cleansing or renewal but a potentialy devastating time for us all. If however this problem results in an awakening of our society as to what we stand to lose, opens peoples eyes to the depth of how we depend upon each other and not cause the downfall of our country, then our preperations will have been for the good.

just my .02 worth


-- Freelancer (, February 23, 1999.


We are trying to put a little extra aside for others too. Granted it isn't the greatest stuff in the world...rice, beans, bullion. But it will help keep someone from starving. Since I plan on having chickens, I hope to be able to share eggs as well. I have stocked up on a lot of muffin and cake mixes, that i should be able to share when 'baked'. We are putting a hand pump in the bored well when the time comes, and figure we will be the neighborhood water supply. The total extra expense isn't very much. I buy almost everything when it is on sale. Fortunately we live in a well wooded area, and most homes around here have wood burning heat. Being in the south, it won't get nearly as bad here during the winter as other places.

As a side note, how many of you expect to see people knocking on your door asking for something to eat? How do you plan to address this? I have considered trying to keep a pot of something going so it can be dished out as needed, but not sure how practical that would be. I don't know about where ya'll live, but you can smell food cooking around here, especially if you have to cook outside on a coleman stove. I just can't see that not drawing hungry people. There is no way I could turn anyone away if they are hungry and ask for food to eat. After lurking here for many months, I do not believe any one on this board could do so. Of course if someone tried to take by force what you have, that would be a different story. But could anyone here really not answer the door to one of their neighbors? To anyone with a hungry child? To any other hungry human being?


-- curious (mybit@cyber.spce), February 23, 1999.

Whether I'd feed neighbors/strangers would greatly depend upon how bad it looks when they show up at my door. If Y2k has been about a 4-5, I'll most likely share. Now let's say Y2k results in a fairly complete collapse, and it looks like the food stores are going to remain a distant memory. My family would be dependent on what we'd be able to grow for ourselves after our stored food ran out. What if my crops failed? What would I say to my wife and daughter when they were hungry, but there was no more food left because I'd shared our reserves with someone else?

Let people be provident now, or suffer the consequences later. Y2K or not, everyone able to afford it should have a food reserve. Churches should stockpile for the indigent who cannot prepare. If this doesn't happen, I see no reason to enter into a suicide pact with my neighbors because of their shortsightedness.

-- martin (, February 23, 1999.

Last night my wife and I attended a community preparedness meeting. The ad in the paper did not state who was sponsoring it. It was sponsored by the ministirial associstion.

There were three speakers. The head of the regional Red Cross. The head of the regional distaster services and the state disaster coordinator for our district.

For about one hour they presented their spiel saying that they were following the prescribed outline of their respectives agencies: prepare for a week, stock food and water for a 48 hour period, etc.

I wondered why we came here. If the power goes out for only that long we could stay in bed for that period without any suffering. Even have fun.

After their presentation there were questions from the audience. One person said if the power companies can't fix their problems in several years, they won't do so in 48 hours.

One man holding his baby quoted a source from the sheriff's department that it was stocking up with assault weapons and 3 months of fuel.

Other statements made: "We are scared. We are being lied to. The feds are preparing for marshal law. How can I convince my doctor to prescibe me extra medicine." You get the drift.

Then the panel was asked for how long they were preparing for personally. All three of them said at least for a year or more.

The regional coordinator said that she attends quarterly meeting with the military and asks them, how many generators do do have? What are our plans? Etc. Their answers were mostly, we don't know.

Conclusion: The audience knew and expects many more severe problems than the officals were programmed to present to them.

-- fly .:. (.@...), February 23, 1999.

Fly ..... wow. A year? This recently?

That is/was my magic number, too - but emergency officials saying that? Which electrical interconnection/control area are you in?

-- Lisa (nomail@work.nyet), February 23, 1999.

I wonder, is it really secret, or are we just tired of being laughed at? I cant find a kerosene heater nowhere. Serious. DIY a home store here is out for the year. That is what they told me. I am afraid now i've waited to long. I am not being a secretive person, i am simply tired of being laughed at and pooh poohed. And then i get worried cuz i told some about it. They will no doubt remember me. And the truth is.....we simply do NOT know how bad it will be. Due to lack of trust... I find no fault with the lack of trust. I know I dont trust alot of things being said.

-- tisI (, February 23, 1999.


Our little power grid spans from, and includes, British Columbia, to Central America.


-- fly .:. (.@...), February 23, 1999.

Referring to my synopsis above of the Y2K prep meeting:

We live in an area where a certain religious group encourages its members to personally store food for about a year or longer. The members of the Y2K panel may or may not be members of this church and may always be prepared as a matter of general policy.

-- fly .:. (.@...), February 23, 1999.

"The members of the Y2K panel may or may not be members of this church and may always be prepared as a matter of general policy."

So then, if you're a member of the Mormon church, or if you're working for the Red Cross, it is socially acceptable and even expected you be prepared at all times for any emergency/disaster, but anyone outside those groups are fools and laughed at.

Gognitive dissonance here...I'm not good at understanding dissonance and attempting to translate it into logic.

-- Chris (, February 23, 1999.

Until a few nights ago all we received in regards to the Y2K issue from our local media is a countdown clock until the year 2000 rolls around. I missed the story but was told by family members that are not taking the threat seriously that the news media had stated that you can't purchase a generator in our area any longer....I am assuming that you can still purchase but that no delivery date can be confirmed......With the lack of Y2K awareness/information that was coming from our media prior to this broadcast I would assume that people are secretly preparing....all of this out of Wichita, Ks.

-- Michelle (not available@can', February 23, 1999.

Or spelling it, either, Chris........... :D

-- Lisa (, February 23, 1999.

* Gognitive dissonance here...I'm not good at understanding dissonance and attempting to translate it into logic. *

Neither can I.

Once I sat at work at my desk with my feet on it. Boss walked by and said to me:

"Come to my office."

We sat down and I told him to close his door. Then I let him have it. For 1 1/2 hrs I told him about the dishonesty, waste, office politics, personal dangers to staff, etc.

When I was finished he said to me: "Have you thought about contacting the Employee Assistance counselers?"

I answered: "No. I don't need them! Have you thought about seeing those people."

End of meeting.

-- fly .:. (.@...), February 23, 1999.

Arlin, I did a search on channel 10's website, couldn't find it. No archives either. Only y2k related page was a form one could submit if one has anything they'd want channel 10 to know about Y2K...

Lisa, without my spellchecker I'm helpless ;-)

-- Chris (, February 23, 1999.

---it is socially acceptable and even expected you be prepared at all times for any emergency/disaster, but anyone outside those groups are fools and laughed at.---

then there's the Swiss Connection.

-- jokingbraincells flowerbear (, February 23, 1999.

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