Ok, I'm convinced, now what?

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

After lurking on this newsgroup for a couple of weeks, I was still not really convinced that this whole Y2K thing was a real problem. Reluctantly, I ordered a video, that Millennium Factor thing, thinking that watching a video was less painful than reading a book.

Well, let me tell you I got religion in a hurry! (My hats off to Les Rayburn, who I see posting here sometimes) but the problem is that after scaring the hell out of me...the damn video didn't tell me what I should do about getting ready.

I've purchased Ed's book since then, also a couple of others. What I need to know is what should I do right away? I have maybe $1,000 bucks that I could spend on items, but what should I buy? How much food, how much water? Will all this last a day, a week?

Also, if it affects the economy like Dennis Grabow and Dr. Yardeni seem to think it will, do I need to worry about my job?

I need advice and I need it fast!

-- Paul Rogers (paulr@infobyte.com), March 24, 1999


Paul...glad you could join us.

Your job will most likely not exist after about May 2000 unless you are in a recession/depression proof business.

As far as stocking up, there are quite a few lists available on the net. Go to the archives on this forum and do some searching. There are some good ones.

First and foremost, shelter.....warm shelter, then water...preferably unfrozen. Then food...remember you're not stocking for the year 2010. If we have a need for the food, it will be within the next 18 months. Consequently regular store canned food will suffice. It won't last like food intended for long term storage but this mess is not really 'long term' in the manner that survivalists mean. The next thing you need is some type of personal protection and only you and your family can answer what that is.

First and foremost...Evaluate your situation. If you live in a city, are you going to stay there? If so, the list is of a different type than if you are already in or planning to go to the country. DON'T GO OFF IN A PANIC. You'll be dead (literally and figuratively) Take a deep breath and look at the situation logically. And good luck.

-- Lobo (Hiding@woods.com), March 24, 1999.

Paul: Check this out.

A Reasonable and Prudent Y2K Preparation Plan by Jim Lord


p.s. You can right click the hotlink and select 'open in new window' then bookmark or print it. Hope it helps, and good luck, Rob.

-- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@com.net), March 24, 1999.

Sorry Paul but your too late, and $1,000 isn't enough unless you have a credit card with a $5,000 limit and the balance is 0. You see, most of us have been preparing well over a year and even then we all don't have everything we want and need. Preparation is expensive and time consuming. The dehydrated food companies are selling a years supply of food for one person for around $1,500-2,000. And most of the companies selling it are back ordered several months. On top of the food problem you have, there's water storage. I've been at it for 1-1/2 years and I still don't have as much as I feel I will need. Then there's all the other survival items you need to purchase like alternative energy (generator?), camp stove and fuel, lantern, anything and everything that will sustain you and your family for a long period of time. Got ammo and a gun? Are you prepared for social unrest? No one knows how long the power will be out, but one thing is for sure, if it's out for an extended period of time, people will die. There will be hundreds like you who will be Johnny come latelys. There's many websites on Y2K preparation like the Cassandra Project, with lists of survival equipment and food you will need to sustain yourself. Perhaps the best you can do for yourself now is to start buying beans and rice, they are cheap and you can live for a long time on them. Good Luck.

-- bardou (bardou@baloney.com), March 24, 1999.

Paul...check the thread "Canned Foods" about 10 or 12 down. Also, Bardou is right except something is better than nothing.

-- Lobo (Hiding@woods.com), March 24, 1999.

Sorry about those last two Paul, but that's not true. You still have plenty of time to get ready and $1000 is more than enough. Just be thrifty, resourceful and get what you need to survive.

-- @ (@@@.@), March 25, 1999.

Don't waste what money you do have on dehydrated 'survival' specialty shops. I'm not criticizing them mind you, they are a good option for some people. I'm only suggesting that, given your limited resources and even more limited time, they are not the best option for you.

Mrs. Rimmer and I decided last summer that these 'survival packages' were not appropriate for us either. We've settled on soybeans and rice as our two staples with lots of various canned veggies from the cheapest place we could find (Aldi's). Dried stuff makes sense if you can get it fairly cheap and store it properly - otherwise you're just throwing your money away.

Forget the fancy stuff for the time being and focus on these basic things:

  1. Location
  2. Water
  3. Food
  4. Shelter
  5. Heat
  6. Sanitation

My suggestion would be to evaluate your location first. You must decide for yourself what risks your current location poses. Do you live in a large city? Do you have friends or family in a more rural setting that you could work out an 'arrangement' with as a contingency?

Be flexible. Don't put all your eggs in one basket (or one plan). Finally, are there others around you that you can work with on this?

After you have evaluated your location, focus on water - drinkable water. Empty 2-litre soda bottles can be used and they are cheap. Make sure to wash them thoroughly and treat the water you store with bleach (simple and cheap - 8 drops to the gallon).

Then food - stuff that keeps without refrigeration. Rice, beans, canned goods, salt, sugar, honey. The best simple recommendation on stored food is from Talmadge.. "Buy what you eat, Eat what you buy, and rotate". Protect your food from rodents, mold (high humidity) and high temperatures. Do NOT buy foods that you would never normally eat.

The hour is very late but it is not too late to do some things like this and something is definitely better than nothing.

Avoid the scams, stick to the basics, don't blow what little you do have on things that either (a) won't help, or (b) aren't on your priority list. Try to find some people you can work with.

Do NOT borrow money on the assumption that you will not have to pay it back. Do NOT take actions which assume that the worst possible outcome is the only possible outcome. Do NOT engage in any activity that could land you in jail. Do NOT try to convert the rest of the world to "Y2K-awareness" - you've got zero time left to do that and as those of us who have been trying to encourage preparation for a long time can tell you, it's a Herculean task with a very poor payoff. The one exception to this is your immediate family - for that's were your priorities must lie.

Keep as many options open as possible. If you're going to treat the potential for disruptions seriously, you're going to be extremely busy the next several months.

Good luck and best wishes

-- Arnie Rimmer (Arnie_Rimmer@usa.net), March 25, 1999.

While $1000 isn't much you CAN do it. You just have to plan better and that means don't panic mainly.Read all the website preparation sites and then sit down and make your own lists and start in on them. Start buying what might be in short supply first. Nobody can help you because your location determines what is right for you. But there are lots of money saving tips all over the preparation sites and forums.Start collecting the 2 liter empty pop bottles, they are good for storing water and rice and all kinds of things that aren't already in cans. Watch for canned food sales at your stores. Buy what you will eat.The important thing is to plan and then get started. Good luck!

-- sue (deco100@aol.com), March 25, 1999.

I gotta disagree with some of my companeros here.

It is NOT too late now. It is NEVER too late to start.

There is no perfect model. Well one.

Are you currently breathing. We will proceed on the assumption that the answer is yes.

Do you think you might like to continue this type activity on a more or less full time basis. If the answer is yes the it is DEFINETLY not too late to do something about it.

Are you gonna be able to reach the optimum solution, probably not.

Can you do SOMETHING. Yes.

Increase your odds. Yes.

There's pretty good advice above about the details.

I just wanted to make the point that it is NEVER to late as long as you want to try.


- Get Beans.

-- Greybear (greybear@home.com), March 25, 1999.

I'd like to second GB on that - EVERYTHING you do to increase your chances, every little thing you do to prepare, gives you a little bit more of an edge on the survival thing. Be thoughtful, but try to do something every day, or at least every couple of days - even if it's just picking up extra canned goods and t.p. at the safeway.


-- Arlin H. Adams (ahadams@ix.netcom.com), March 25, 1999.

Well Paul, you must weigh the facts now, and as the year counts down, and make up your own mind. FAMILY COMES FIRST! There is very little if any waste in being ready. If "nothing" happens, food is still good, fuel is still good. water is still good, and you may even beat inflation by stocking up now! How long, we don't know yet, and may not know until next year. Just don't count on the "nothing". <:)=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), March 25, 1999.

As you do your planning, inventory your WHOLE HOUSE!! Those canning jars from aunt Matty were going to be thrown out. Get a pressure cannere and fill 'em. If you have an open food warehouse like we do in Cleveburgh, you can gothere, buy fruits and vegies at unbelievable prices (Wholesale) and can untl you melt. Consider canning chicken when it's on sale. Same as if it were in a metal can but YOU control the additives, the flavor, and the can is glass.

KEEP LOOKING in the house, you never know what you will find that will help. MAKE SURE that your significant other (if extant) will work with you. tough to go alone but doable, as some of the folks here will tell you.




REMEMBER THE ANT AND THE RUBBER TREE PLANT (errrrr if you are old enough. Da*n I hate it when I date myself like that!!)

Chuck the night driving old fossil

Now, go back and read and print Greybear's post, then print this whole thread.

-- Chuck, a night driver (reinzoo@en.com), March 25, 1999.

Where can I order that Millennium Factor Tape?

-- a mom (stockup@quick.com), March 25, 1999.

Paul - Bare in mind that most of the posters to this thread (and the majority on this forum these days) have already made a significant investment (psychological, if not material) in various degrees of 'catastrophism'. Nothing wrong with preparation to give yourself a bit of reassurance, but as another poster said elsewhere: you wouldn't buy flood insurance if you lived on a mountain top - so ask yourself twenty-a-hundred times before you make significant life changes because of Y2K. My advice to you and other newbies before you start shelling out hard- earned dollars, is to surf some of the other forums, explore different points of view - the picture is changing, nothing is undisputed, and very important: nobody knows anything for sure, expert and laymen alike. For some high quality discussions with a lower noise level than on this forum, I suggest you pop over to the Electric Utilities and Y2K forum (http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a.tcl?topic=Electric% 20Utilities%20and%20Y2K). It might seem a bit narrow in its focus, but it doesn't just cover the most important aspects of Y2K (whether we have power); the debates are first class and have implications for every aspect of this mess. Many of the regular posters on the forum would probably agree with the other posters in this thread - preparation of some sort may be prudent. But it's worthwhile questioning yourself about this whole thing, at a very basic level. While you're at EUYK, for example, do a search for threads involving contributors such as "FactFinder" and "cl" - some of the most articulate of the 'no big problem' advocates, but also frontline y2k engineers in the utility industry. You may not agree with them, but you might learn from the challenging questions they pose and the discussions they generate from foils such as Rick Cowles himself (the moderator), Bonnie Camp, Reporter - as well as some of the Timebomb type posters who occasionally drop in. It's a moderated forum so as I said, the noise to signal ratio is a bit more manageable than here. Not knocking this forum - I lurked here for many months in my early days into this issue (and still pop back). There is some excellent information to be gleaned from some of the postings (still is) and some great humour. There are many challenging doomers keeping the faith and quite a few excellent non-doomers (and I don't mean the GNBFI shouters). The main point is to keep an open mind. Ask yourself, how far out of the mainstream do I want to go, and why. What's really going on, psychologically. Why are my most intelligent and respected friends and family not taking this issue so seriously. Are they really poor saps, idiots? Remember, the number of folks speculating over Y2K, on and offline, is miniscule and consequently very unrepresentative of the huge number of people actually engaged in working on this issue - most of whom don't have the time or inclination for the online bun fight.

An ex-alarmist not 'in denial'

-- Tickle (Tickle_yer_fancy@hotmail.com), March 25, 1999.

An easy way to see what you've got is to set up some wall shelves in a little used room. You can even get some boards and support the boards with 3 litre bottles full of water. Start setting as much extra canned and dried foods (beans, rice, flour, etc)up as you can manage week by week. You'll be surprised how quickly your stored foods will ad up. Of course, follow the good advice on the thread and read labels for expiration, store flour, beans in food grade buckets (rodent, moisture protect it) etc. You'll find all of that on the forum archives. Good luck! Oh yes, when you don't the the make-shift shelf space anymore, you have good wood boards to make something nice out of.

Mr. K
***who likes to tinker in the woodshop***

-- Mr. Kennedy (looking@inventory.collectively), March 25, 1999.

Well there you have it, Tickle who is an ex-alarmist says to do nothing. Waste your time surfing the web and to lurk on forums so your head can be filled with so much information you don't know which way to turn. I suggest you do nothing to prepare, it's all a bunch of hype, but you may want to pick up a couple cases of Top Ramen soup for less than $10.00 and a couple jugs of water and TP and your all set for a few days. Save your money Paul, use that $1,000 to take a vacation before the solar flares fry us....bon voyage.

-- sittingpretty (sittingpretty@fun.com), March 25, 1999.

Tickle said "...nobody knows anything for sure, expert and laymen alike..."

* * * WRONG * * *

I'll let you decide if what I know for sure holds true for you.

I know for sure that every day of the year 2000 that my family is going to want to eat

I know for sure that every day of the year 2000 that my family is going to want to drink.

I know for sure that every day of the year 2000 that my family is going to want shelter.

See the pattern?

I don't know if Tickle et al can follow the pattern or not but I be willing to bet Paul can. Notice also that the pattern doesn't have a dam thing to do with computers or bugs or government or any other thing except MY responsibility to provide for them. (One can easily extend the above pattern to note that TP might be a good idea too.)

I can and do KNOW certain things about the future and I'm just a dumb ol layman.

Dont't buy the BS Paul. Buy yourself some beans and rice. Tuna, Spam, etc. Some vitmins. Put as much water by as you can. Then tomorrow / next week / next month do it again. You may start to fell just a tad more in control of you life.

It's up to you.

NO body cares as much about you business as YOU do.

--Greybear, Knower and Seer of the future.

- Got Plans?

-- Greybear (greybear@home.com), March 25, 1999.

Don't run out and buy rice and beans unless you know you can provide the water and heat to cook them. They are the cheapest type of food, but useful only if they can be made edible. An outdoor grill (get extra fuel tanks) would do, many people have these already.

You can fill up pots and pans, bathtub, etc. with water before the rollover so that you have it to use.

So much more I could say. The details of preparing depend so much on who / where you are, etc. Don't listen to those who say it is too late. Do whatever is within your power, and hope for the best, like the rest of us are.

-- Bingo (stilllurking@upstate.ny), March 25, 1999.

Hi, Paul,

Do you have Big Lots or something similar in your town? That's where you find production overruns, overstocks, things like that. There's a food section, kinda limited stuff, but you can load up on some good basics, sometimes at ridiclously low prices. For a while our Big Lots had Baxter's soups (gourmet, made in Scotland!) at around .39. They also have pound cake in cans. Also canned veggies, tomato products, jams, pickles, coffee, cleaners, shampoos, soaps, etc.

You might want to have a look at the Lumen Foods page (soybean.com). I believe their current delivery time is about a month. They may not be the cheapest or best, but I do know I've ordered from them for 8-10 years and I've been happy with them. They have a new Y2K line of complete dinners in sealed pails, good for five years, I think they said. (It's soy-based "meat" protein, but better than a steady diet of beans and rice.) You can get sample packages before you buy complete pails, all sorts of flavors. Adventure Foods (adventurefoods.com) has some interesting dried stuff to give a little zip to your stash. You can buy in quantities as small as 4 ozs, I believe. They also have a very good, reasonably-priced cookbook for dried foods. It's meant for an oven gizmo they have for open fires but the recipes are easily converted to Dutch ovens or whatever. I've got this book--excellent.

Water storage: you might check your local soft drink bottler, preserves factory, whatever, see if they have free or cheap 5-gall containers. (Don't use milk jugs, break down too easily for one thing.) Check this forum's archives, you'll find lots of threads on food and also how to treat water for storage.

Most important advice has already been given: don't buy anything you won't eat. The worst that can happen is that next year you'll have a load of food bought at lower prices and can spend the saved money on something frivolous.

There are other benefits to storing food, besides Y2K reasons. Since we started last July, we've had a couple of crises and illnesses when we haven't had time, health or money to go grocery shopping. It's been a great relief to go to the stash and pick out something good to eat from the wide variety we have.

One last bit of advice--DO NOT, repeat DO NOT tell anyone what you're doing. I know your instinct is to go out and tell everybody to stash food for Y2K but please, please don't do it! The major reason is that the vast majority of people will look at you funny and start crossing the street to avoid you. The second reason is that come Y2K, these same people will be at your door with their hand (or weapon!) out. Check the Awareness archive for horror stories.

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), March 25, 1999.

'Your job most likely will not exist in May 2000'.

What the hell kind of advice is this? Paul, you need to keep in mind the type of individuals you are seeking advice from. There are several on this NG that constantly think someone is out to get them. Paranoia ABOUNDS on this forum. Read the archives and see for yourself.

Do your research and come to YOUR OWN conclusions. Best advice anyone can give you.


-- Deano (deano@luvthebeach.com), March 25, 1999.

a mom,

See this web site for details on the video. <:)=

The Millennium Factor

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), March 25, 1999.

Are you confused yet Paul? If there were 15 people on this forum, we'd have 16 points of view...Anyway- IMHO, go with your gut feeling. Also- check out some of the risk matrix ideas. In general, it would seem to me, that it would be better to do more than possibly might be needed, because you can always eat it, drink it or play with it, but if you needed it and didn't have it, you could be a goner.

Given that, I'd agree with the advice which basically suggests evaluating your own personal situation. Do you live in an apt or a house? Do you live in a city a burb or the country? All of these things will lead you in different directions. If you live in a city apt, rioting and looting and civil unrest may be an issue. Also- it could be difficult to heat an apt. Water storage might be very important. Or- you could look for people in another area to move in with if things got bad and make your arrangements in that manner.

If you are in a house- how is it heated? Do you need electricity to heat it or get water? Do you have a wood stove? Can you install one if a rental house? You have to think about these things- what if the power were down for any length of time.

Food- storage of basic grocery store stuff is probably best- buy what you eat- stock up at sales, dented can stores if you have them, Costco/Sam's Clubs types, food coops- if tunas on sale- buy lots, etc- Can you garden this year? If so- grow storage crops such as potatoes, winter squash, onions, parsnips, carrots, etc- can tomatoes. Rice is cheap and goes a long way. So is pasta. You will eat all of this stuff sometime.

Then- there's stuff like a radio- check out Real Good's- Info Mate World Band Radio- gets AMFM, Short Wave, TV stations, NOA Weather, air traffic, etc- runs on solar, hand crank or rechargeable batteries, or AC or DC(ie: car cigerette lighter)- for $70- I like ours a lot- picks up much stuff- which is good for our location..

also- a flashlight or two- again- I have a solar charged one from Real Goods- works well.

I'm sure other places must sell these too.

Forget a generator- you'll spend your whole wad on one- and then what.

The whole thing of course is that who knows what will really happen? for instance- the grid could pretty much stay on at first here in the US- if they get it right- but.... the import of oil slows/stops, fuel becomes an issue, parts and food from other countries are not available and the whole economy tanks....It may not be a "lights off riots in the streets 1/1/2000 sort of thing"- it may be a slow descent into a depression worldwide. In that case- having a place to live, heat, water and food to eat are the most important things. With that in mind- evaluate your finances and living situation. If you DID lose your job- would you be able to pay the rent/mortage? What else could you do? Are there skills you have now or could learn that could be useful in such a situation? Check out the archives at bottom of lists for job posting ideas.

-- anita (hillsidefarm@drbs.com), March 25, 1999.

I have never owned a gun in my life. I now have 9 of them. 1000 rounds of different size 12 gauge ammo. 10,000 rounds of 22 cal. for small game. I have mercury to drop into the 22 cal. and the 12 gauge ammo. I have shaved aluminum to place into the 12 gauge rounds. I have 800 lbs of beans. and 1000 lbs of rice. Plus a large assortment of can goods and other various items. If I have to flee on foot, I have 3 tents and cook stoves, wood and gas. Tomorrow I will purchase 2 large 4 wheel wagons at Western Auto. I hope I have enough of everything that my family will need. I have put together a manual of survival tips, and other info, with books on how to eat just about everything thats outthere.

Try to think it through, and cover all the angles, it is rough. But you can make it.

At save a lot stores, a 25 lbs bag of beans is 8.99. At Sams Club, rice is 5.88 a 20 lb. bag. One Lb of beans will feed two people about a week, if you don't over eat and blow up. Add a cup of rice and a cup of beans, and some corn meal for corn bread, good eating. You can get Aunt Jamiama complete corn bread mix in 5 lb bags. Just add water.

-- (Boilerman7@powerhouse.com), March 25, 1999.


Here's a thread you might find useful:


"Personal preparedness Web sites"

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), March 25, 1999.

Boilerman, What's the story on the mercury and shaved aluminum?

I know mercury used to be used in some primers but what can you do with rimfire ammo, dunk it in the mercury? I know mercury's pretty toxic but does it stick to the projectile or what?

Please clarify


-- Nemo (nemo@nowhereatall.com), March 25, 1999.

Overwhelmed Paul? That's why it's too late for you to prepare for what most of us are expecting. Someone says to collect soda pop liters! WRONG! Why spend $1.50 on a liter of junk just so you can fill it with water? Water at WalMart is only .58 cents a gallon, see how you can make your money go farther? Well, I won't bore you with what everyone has written here cause you only have $1,000 to spend and with the "must have," list your money is gone and your left with no money to fall back on. And your job? What job? You didn't say what you did for a living. If there's no power, there's no job, plain and simple. Discouraging isn't it? It's a mind boggling trip! But that's what everyone of us who are GIs have suffered through and that's why we are here throwing our ideas and experiences out there. Some who answered your thread are more optimistic about your survival preparations than I am. I guess it's because I have been at it for a very long time and still don't see the light at the end of the tunnel. But I guess whatever you do, something is better than nothing. Good Luck! P.S. You will need at least 1 gallon of water per person per day and lots of room to store it.

-- bardou (bardou@baloney.com), March 25, 1999.


Someone ought to give you a swift kick in the ass for being so discouraging. Just because you may have spent a ton of money and this makes you feel better off than most doesn't mean that Paul cannot be very adequately prepared for less than $1000. I have obtained 90% of what I will need to survive for a total thus far of about $300. I may not have a generator or solar panels, but I will get by. And so will Paul, because most importantly, he has his head in the right place.

-- @ (@@@.@), March 25, 1999.

@@@@: Go ahead and kick me. FYI I do not have a generator, I do not have solar panels, and I do not have 50 gallon drums of fuel laying around. I don't have fancy radios and communication systems, as a matter of fact, I'm pretty basic and simple. Water, food, nonedible supplys, guns and ammo, and fuel for heating and cooking. Paul did not say how many people he was going to be providing for, what type of dwelling he lived in, where he lived, what his mode of transportation would be if he had to bug out and where he would be headed, what his alternatives were, etc. Does he have space for a garden, if not, then he must store more. If he does he must purchase seeds, fertilizer, etc., (more money). So, until Paul gives us more vital information, go ahead and kick me, but I know I am right. P.S. I'm preparing for 6 people and it is expensive.

-- bardou (bardou@baloney.com), March 25, 1999.

P.S. Paul JUST got his head in the right place, that makes a big difference because he has a lot to learn and fast.

-- bardou (bardou@baloney.com), March 25, 1999.

Acquire 2-liter plastic soda bottles fast and cheap - buy back from recycling centers for a few pennies each, or buy from people unloading them at the recycling center. Or prevail upon soda-drinking friends.

-- Debbie (dbspence@usa.net), March 26, 1999.


Try this link for some sensible advice:

Dealing with the Year 2000 Problem

-- Buddy (buddydc@go.com), March 26, 1999.

Bardou -

We are all humbled in the face of your superiority.

Paul - it's important to remember that Bardou is conviced that it's going to be a 10 event. If she knows as much about Y2K as she claims to, she would also admit that no one knows for sure how bad it will be.

Just do something to prepare everyday...it doesn't have to be expensive. Water is extremely important. I would suggest you go to www.watertanks.com and investigate their water bags for storage. Not too expensive (84.00 for 200 gallons)...fill in up in December and spend the rest of your money on food, personal items and alternate cooking methods (campstove, propane, etc)., alternate lighting (Walmart has oil lamps for $5.95, oil for 2.95), heat if you live in a cold climate, etc..

If you apply yourself, there is no reason in the world that you cannot have 3-4 months worth of stock by the end of April.

Good Luck!


-- Roland (nottelling@nowhere.com), March 26, 1999.

Dear Roland: Add up everything you think poor dear Paul needs and it is well out of his budget. Poor Paul did not say how many he will be preparing for and how long HE thinks he will need to prepare for. Well, if he goes by what FEMA and the Red Cross say, yea, he can get by real cheap. That is if he's a spend thrift and knows how to work the angles. I have researched extensively, and it's too late for you to pick my brain as to how I do it. But go back to some of the archives and there's bits and pieces of little gems that I give out on how to do it CHEAP! But it's probably to low for you to bow to. Am I superior to anyone here on this forum as you claim? NO WAY, there are far more here that have a higher IQ than me, and far more here that are more educated than me. But I can say one thing, I know how to work the system, I know how to sniff out a good deal, and I am loaded with common sense which is something you are obviously lacking. Whether I think it's a 1 or a 10 does not matter, is what matters is what you have in your possession if and when TSHTF. Paul is a Johnny Come Lately and he won't be the last. Every little bit helps, but since you know all about it, why don't you tell Paul how much is enough.

P.S. And don't forget to tell him he will need water, and lotsd of it.

-- bardou (bardou@baloney.com), March 26, 1999.

And one more thing Roland: You neglected to tell Paul how many bottles of oil he will need to sustain him for x amount of days or months. Do you know how many bottles of oil Paul will need for one lamp to burn 3 days? Have you calibrated it? Well I have! I know exactly how many bottles I will need to burn x amount of lamps for x amount of hours. Get's expensive Roland, very expensive.

-- bardou (bardou@baloney.com), March 26, 1999.

Someone DESPERATELY needs time off, time out, and some beach or mountains. bardou, I understand EXACTLY where you COULD be coming from, been there a couple times this month myself. Trust me, it could be time to back away, go see a good flick, or a good opera, or orchestra concert it this is what unkinks you.

BTW, you may be right in terms of where YOU are but the attitude will cause the folks to become not only DGI's but RABID DGI's, and will increase th eproblem. Encouraging folks to do WHATEVER they CAN will decrease the problem, and will allow them to bring SOMETHING to the table when it comes time to forge the communities we will invariably need to forge, if even for a day or two.

Chuck BT, DT, Got the T-shirt, it covers most of the scars

-- Chuck, a night driver (reinzoo@en.com), March 27, 1999.

Let's talk about Chetas and Gazelles for a minute.

I'm told that when Chettas chase Gazelles they are sucessful about 1 in 14 times. That's 13 Gazelles that lived to eat another day.

Most of those 13 Gazelles won by a single step. (Watch the films).

Did they win by the last step just as the Chetta gave up or by the first step they took when they started to run? What about all the others in the herd who only had to run a little?

Sure you might be #14. Life's tough. But then you might be one of the 13 who were quick enough even though by only one step. Or you might be ones who only had to run a little when the Chetta chased somebody else.

I'm gonna play the odds - everywhere, anytine, everytime.

I don't know about anyone else here but the ol Greybear wants ANY step he can get in the lead.

One pound of beans (39 cents) and one gallon of water = one more day, one step. If that's all I can get I'll take it and be glad.

--Greybear, who thinks he sees a tail twitching out there in the tall grass.

- Got Odds?

-- Greybear (greybear@home.com), March 27, 1999.

Paul: I guess you can see that not all the regulars on this forum agree as to how bad it will be nor just how you should prepare. This is something you have to decide for yourself. Each of us here has drawn our own lines with respect to what makes sense and then acted accordingly.

Try not to take bardou's comments personally -- understand that most of us here have been trying for a great many months to convince others that serious preparations do make sense. At one point in time, we argued that there was still plenty of time to prepare large portions of the population without panicking.

Those preparations make sense even if Y2K itself is a 'bump in the road' (BITR). Y2K will not be happening in a vaccuum. There are numerous scenarios in which general preparedness makes sense. You must decide for yourself what is best, then have the courage of your convictions. It's not too late to prepare for a '1' or a '2' or maybe even a '3' or a '4'. It probably is too late to prepare for an '8' or '9'. No one is prepared for a 10. Choose you own numbers, then get busy (or not -- if you feel that Y2K is not going to have any impact on you - there are a great many people in that camp as well). But right or wrong, be prepared to live with your decisions.

You might want to read Y2K - The Ball's In Your Court Now, a post I made to this forum just after Christmas. Please also pay attention to those who disagree with the position I took there.

In our goal to bring about a high level of general preparation by the masses we have, by and large, already failed. Those who argue that no (or very minimal) preparation is necessary have already won. It is no longer possible for most people to prepare for moderate to severe disruptions. The bets are now down and the wheel has been spun -- the only thing that remains is to wait for the payoff. This is one bet I sincerely hope that the 'no big problem' crowd wins.

While some of us may have achieved a high level of personal preparation, we also recognize that should significant disruptions occur, the vast majority will not be prepared and this will add significantly to the severity and duration of any problems that do occur. We feel the frustration of this failure.

I suspect (but I could be wrong) that this frustration is part of what causes bardou to lash out at you a bit. Don't take it personally.

You may take a good long look at the issues and decide that many of us are overly-concerned. Many people have done so already. That is your certainly your choice. There are even a few here who can make a fairly well reasoned arguement for that position.

But I, for one, would urge you to get your butt in gear and do what you can in the time remaining. In the end, all disaters are local. (BTW, I should have been a little clearer earlier when I suggested the 2-litre bottles for water. I was thinking you might be able to find a source for free used ones. The suggestion for the gallon jugs at less than a dollar was also good.)

Best wishes.

-- Arnie Rimmer (Arnie_Rimmer@usa.net), March 27, 1999.

Deano. Don't be so angry at the world. I do think it's too late to get totally prepared at this phase of the problem. Hell, it was too late when I started (unless you have unlimited funds). I also said that something was better than nothing...and I'm accumulating 'something' just as fast as I can.

"You may well be out of a job by May 2000". What's wrong with that statement??? Both Eds predict a recession..just disagree on how severe. If you stepped back and looked closely at your employer, would you gamble on the business being there in May if the economy crumps?? That is probably one of the biggest challenges a person can face when deciding if y2k is going to be personally serious or not. If the business is secure, then you can turn your attention to other things. If not, and you can do it, look for a different job..preferably out of town. I have no option. I own my own company and can't leave. I depend on HCFA and the State of South Carolina (ranked 48th in preparation for y2k by state agencies). Will my business survive??? Danged if I know. I doubt it will if the state boys don't get off their collective butts. We have already had some serious problems with collecting for our services..throw in y2k and all bets are off.

Paul, forgive me if I seem negative. It's very hard to try to be upbeat and jolly about this subject. Especially when you are tryng to look out for your 60+ employees too.

-- Lobo (Hiding@woods.com), March 27, 1999.

Someone says to collect soda pop liters! WRONG! Why spend $1.50 on a liter of junk just so you can fill it with water? Water at WalMart is only .58 cents a gallon, see how you can make your money go farther?

Uh, not a good money saver or the best advice.

snip from the Y2Kitchen Newsletter
Hint for the Week: Plastic Storage Containers - What to use?

HDPE, which stands for High Density Polyethylene, is the only material food grade buckets are made from. They do have to be FDA approved food grade HDPE buckets to be appropriate for food storage.

Plastic buckets that are not food grade "outgasses" and leaches out into the container, and YOUR FOOD. While the outgassing is not in great quantities at first, it DOES start the outgassing/leaching process immediately after placing goods into the container.

Milk jugs are NOT the best choice for storing drinking water in, regardless of how it is washed out, chlorinated, or prepared after havingmilk in them. Even approved water jugs break down after 1-2 years and outgas into the water. Store water for washing and toilet flushing in milk jugs. Store drinking water in soft drink type containers which are made out of TPE. TPE is a transparent, more rigid polyethylene and doesn't break down or outgas nearly as much or as quickly.

Just trying to help. Oh, you can join this newsletter :
Join Y2Kitchen Just send a blank email. It's a great little newsletter open to discussion about practical stuff. Mrs. K and I learned how to make our own butter this week!

Mr. K
***enjoys butter---in moderations ;-)***

-- Mr. Kennedy (looking@the.posts), March 27, 1999.

Bardou -

Your smug attitude is starting to annoy me. If you had bothered to read my post, you would have seen that the FIRST item I addressed with Paul was th issue of water.

As for lamp oil, instead of crowing about your calibrations, you might simply have shared that information with him. If you really wanted to be of help, that is...


-- Roland (nottelling@nowhere.com), March 27, 1999.

Roland: Not smug, just being matter of fact. I won't tell Paul how many bottles of lamp oil he will need to burn one oil lamp for x amount of days. Also, the lamp oil you suggested that he buy at WalMart for $2.95 is a low quality oil and will choke you to death with the smoke it emits, and yes I've been there and done that. I can't help it that I am annoying you, that isn't my lot in life to annoy people. I want every newbie to think for themselves, research the archives for every bit of information they can glean to help them in their preparation for the whatever the future brings. Most everyone on this thread has given Paul some good advice but it's up to Paul to act, no one can do it for him. BTW, for $84.00 Paul can buy a kiddy pool at WalMart or K-Mart, it holds 600 gallons of water, triple the amount you suggested he buy at www.watertanks.com.

-- bardou (bardou@baloney.com), March 27, 1999.

Bardou -

I suggested the waterbags because Paul gave us no details of his circumstances. A kiddie pool is impractical for an apartment dweller, while waterbags will work. It also eliminated the need for treatment. It's one hell of alot faster than saving and filling containers, and given his timeframes he needs to apply the "keep it fast and simple" approach. And for the record, I still think your attitude sucks.

Paul, if you are reading this thread, can you give us some specifics of your situation so we can better assist you.


-- Roland (nottelling@nowhere.com), March 27, 1999.

Lots of advice...little time. Like others have said, assess any potential Y2K risks to your family based upon your location, climate, special needs such as health problems etc., limitations such as funds to prepare, and figure out to the best of your ability what you can do to help ensure that your family has food, water, shelter, heat (in cold climates) after January 1, 2000. Only you can do this for your situation. For example: If you live in a cold climate your preps will necessarily look different than if you live in south Texas. If you live in a large city your plans may need to be different. If you live in an area with 6 feet of snow on the ground every January, or a very wet climate, you may not need to store as much water as someone who lives in Arizona who's water source is a deep community well. In that case you might just need a good filter and some household bleach.

But most of all, don't panic and don't worry about things that you have no control over. Panic will cause you to do stupid things and make decisions based upon emotion rather than reason. Worrying about things that you have no control over (including possibly losing your job post Y2K) wastes valuable mental energy. Just do the best you can with what you have and have a plan B and maybe C perculating in case your first plan doesn't cover it. Keep as many options open as you can, including the option that nothing of significance happens when the ball drops at midnight January 1, 2000.

Pardon me, rant mode on: I read some of the more esoteric discussions on this list about completely removing oneself from the grid and ensuring self suffeciency for 10 years whatever. It seems to me that some of the folks on this list appear to have gotten caught up in some sort of "purist ethic" with regards to Y2K prep and that's fine if that's how they are willing to live after Y2K has come and gone and the system is restored. (Some of these folks believe that the system will never be restored and their preparations are based upon that belief and that's fine for them.) Paul, you have to figure out how far you want to go with Y2K preps. Don't let anyone on this list intimidate you with statements like "you will die, be screwed, etc. if you don't do whatever", nor with statements like "you are stupid if you prepare in the smallest way". You alone are responsible for your fate. You alone are in the position of making decisions based upon what you know and believe to be true about your life and your future and you alone will be held to the consequences of your decisions. Nothing wrong with advice, just filter it against your circumstances and your beliefs and act upon what your best hypothesis is. Rant mode off, thank you for your forbearance.

Having said that, I suspect with $1000, you will not be able to do a ten or even one year choas scenario even if that's what you believe will happen, so perhaps you can think about a scenario in terms of months rather than years.

What could you not live without if it were not available for a few days, months in your area? Maybe you can buy all normal food and supplies in your area during January/February 2000 or maybe not. Maybe some things will be available and others not. Nobody on this list knows for sure. Think about storing only those things that you will absolutely have a use for if Y2K is simply that proverbial bump in the road. Buy what you will enjoy eating. If Y2K turns out to be that bump, well it would be rather foolish to have spent your last $1000 on something unpalatable like MREs unless you like MREs and will eat them. Nothing wrong with having extra beans and rice if you or someone else will eat them. Nothing wrong with getting an X# month supply of medication that someone in your household uses as they will use it anyway. Nothing wrong with storing a little extra TP for a rainy day as it will be used eventually and it doesn't go bad. Nothing wrong with becoming educated in useful low tech skills that may come in handy some day like gardening, foraging, building, etc. Nothing wrong with any of that. Like Greybear says, one step ahead is one step ahead. Good luck and take the time to carefully plan then execute it ASAP.

-- Ramp Rat (Aviation_R_us@noname.nocity), March 27, 1999.

$75/year/person for basic food. Grains, beans, rice. If you don't think you will have enough water or fuel, buy less rice, more grains and beans and plan on sprouting same. 4 gals oil/person year, 3 lbs salt

I'm in the process of figuring out how much kerosene to stock for the Petromax based on evening use, at same time I'm timing the mantle. Will post when I get some answers.

Location will determine how you best use the remainder of your $1k

Just do it.

-- Mitchell Barnes (spanda@inreach.com), March 27, 1999.


"I have researched extensively, and it's too late for you to pick my brain as to how I do it. But go back to some of the archives and there's bits and pieces of little gems that I give out on how to do it CHEAP! But it's probably to low for you to bow to."

First of all, with your attitude, I think you're the last person most of us need advice from.

Secondly, if you are as thrifty as you claim you are with your brilliant research, (which by the way most of us forumites are very capable), you should have been able to get 6 months worth of survival essentials for well under $1000. If you're talking about a family with ten people, that's a different story, but you can't assume that everyone else is in the same situation as yourself.

Finally, with the type of selfishness that you exhibit on this forum, you seem to be exactly the type of person that most of us are worried about. Is this how you are going to behave during the crisis, by wishing death to anyone who may not be as prepared as you?

-- @ (@@@.@), March 27, 1999.

Actually, me and everyone else who are prepared are the very people you need to worry about. And, the people that I know personally that are prepared have more guns and ammo that I would ever dream of having. Whether you like my attitude or not does not matter to me and whether you think I am selfish or not does not matter to me because when push comes to shove my family comes first. You are mistaken about getting 6 months worth of food and supplies for under $1,000. Please, let's see your shopping list so other's can benefit from your expertise. I think you should setup a business and shop and prepare for newbies. I wish I would have known you 1-1/2 years ago, I would gladly have paid you $1,000 for 6 months of food and supplies plus a small fee to do it all for me. Please don't embarass yourself like this because you and everyone else here knows it can't be done for $1,000.

-- bardou (bardou@baloney.com), March 28, 1999.

Grains, beans and rice and that's it? I guess I wouldn't have to worry about what to eat the next day.

-- zita (zita@zzzz.com), March 28, 1999.


Here's my "gem" to you: Don't buy all the pretty pre-packaged dehydrated guaranteed survival type food from expensive scam artists. It looks pretty and sounds good, but I don't need to spend that kind of money.

Example: I've bought 200 lbs. of rice for just $40. If that isn't enough for 6 months, with beans, and canned food, and everything thing else, then you better change your name from Bardou to Shamu!

-- @ (@@@.@), March 28, 1999.

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