How many months food are you storing up? Is four months enough? Please answer. : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Please help me out here. I am a single mother with two children (three and six). It seems that every time I go onto discussion boards there is talk of widespread famine and storing food for upwards of a year or more. I have a little over four months supply right now for my family but I wonder if this is enough. How much food do you really think should be stockpiled? One month, three, six, nine? A year or more? Honest, answers only please. Or to put it another way, how much food are you people here storing(as in how long)? Thank you very much.

-- How much more food to buy? (, April 27, 1999


one pound of beans will last one person 1 week. One pound of rice will last 1 person 1 week. I have over 800 pounds of beans, 200 lbs of rice and a whole lot more in can good and pasta, not to mention the home canned meats, flour, sugar, etc. But with what is going on over in Israel and the May 4, or the May 17 date, I may not need that much.

-- (, April 27, 1999.

You sound worried on this point. If that is true, then I would store as much as I could afford of foods that I will eat anyway. Grains, beans, rice will not go to waste. This isn't a debate about whether or not to spend 30K on solar panels.

The food buys enormous peace of mind.

We have subsistence foodstuffs for probably two years. I am actively storing 'luxury' food for one year. Make sure you have a secure water source, else the food won't matter.

Good Luck and God Bless you and your children,


-- Will Huett (, April 27, 1999.

Single mom, you're doing really well with the food. I was wondering if you've also stocked up on Children's Tylenol? How about some clothing, shoes and socks in larger sizes for the kids?

-- Gayla Dunbar (, April 27, 1999.

Michael Hyatt suggests in his new book "Y2K Survival Guide" that rather than prioritize your shopping by item, you should do it by time frame.

He says, First buy everything you will need for a three day period.

Then purchase everything you will need for a week.

Then purchase everything you will need for a month.

I think it makes more sense to be completely prepared for a month, than to have a year's worth of food but only a weekend's worth of everything else.

However, Hyatt's system would leave the big ticket items, such as an Ark Institute seed package, to the end. Those of us on a budget can't afford to do that.

My strongest belief is that the preparer should develop the habit of regularly spending a fixed percentage of his income each week on preparation items. It will add up over the course of the next eight months.

-- GA Russell (, April 27, 1999.

I am 55, married, with one 14 year old. I plan on spending New Years with my life-long friends (2 families with grown children), on our property in the mountains of Northern Georgia. The three of our families have been planning a retirement settlement together (each owns approximately 25 acres of woods, streams, and pasture). When we decided to prepare for Y2K we gathered as much information as we could and arrived at the following conclusions:

1. No one knows with anything near certainty what exactly will happen.

2. As an expression of #1, opinions range from extreme to extreme, numbering in quantity an amount approaching the DNA strands in a freeze dried pea pod.

3. My own research leads me to add my name to the list of those Y2K "investigators" that find themselves in doubt about what they think they know.

My family and I have therefore decided to do the following, and with respect to essentials, it represents our preparation plans.

We will store on our property in Georgia, enough canned goods and other "off-the-shelf" food items THAT WE NORMALLY CONSUME, as well as a limited amount of "survival foods" and consumer items (toiletries, toilet paper, etc.), for about six months. We also have large amounts of propane, diesel fuel, gasoline, tractors, generators, and various tools, and materials. We also have a saw mill, and a virtually unlimited spring fed fresh water.

Should the TEOTWAWKI scenario be closer to what actually happens we plan on staying on our property in Georgia after arriving there for the new year. If it is to be TEOTWAWKI I have concluded that it can only be so if it catches our civilization by complete surprise. While that is possible I think it very unlikely. (In my judgment the closest anyone on the planet will come to TEOTWAWKI will be those living in pockets of "western living" that exist in the third world. They are all utterly dependent upon what happens in the West.) In my judgment, if it is to be something approaching TEOTWAWKI here in America it will happen very quickly. When the inevitable surprises and disruptions occur, if they are not "numerous" and not "all at once" then the only consequences will be how much of a reduction in productivity and therefore economic output will occur. That is an altogether different issue than whether or not our civilization ceases. My own unscientific (SWAG) places my estimate of the probability of TEOTWAWKI at something less than 1% - nonetheless we have PHYSICALLY prepared for it. (I'm skeptical whether anyone that I know is EMOTIONALLY prepared for it)

We will remain in Georgia for some yet-to-be-determined period of time, probably less than 2 weeks. After having determined that TEOTWAWKI is not likely to occur we shall return to our home in a typical suburb in Colorado, where we have made the following less "severe" preparations:

We have water, food, toiletries, and propane, to exist in our motorhome, parked adjacent to our garage, with its own kitchen, bath, generator, etc., to last approximately 1 month. We have the ability to isolate our home from the sewer and water system if need be, and to drain all the water from its pipes. My own unscientific (SWAG again) estimate of the probability of having to temporarily live in our motorhome, ranges from 10% for a 1 month period, to 50% for a week or less.

You now have my long-winded answer to your straight-forward question. In my judgment you have provided well for your family. If those that believe it will be far worse than the depression era's economic difficulties are correct, then 99+% of us will be in for that which we are utterly unprepared. Many of the people that believe in TEOTWAWKI likely see it as an "adventure," something they eagerly are preparing for. I would see it as tragedy on an unimaginable scale. Although it is possible that seeing this as a "tragedy" has perhaps colored my thinking, I think I am honest enough with myself to say no it has not.

I hope I have been helpful. You deserve credit for what you have accomplished and for having asked the question. I hope the various answers you will receive on this forum provides you with the information you were seeking.

-- Dave Walden (, April 27, 1999.


You have done REALLY WELL for yourself and family. Hope the DNA donor is a dead issue. My bride and I have, at this time, about 60 days in the "bank", though we might be a bit protein short. this can be brought up to 90 with one shopping trip.

We are trying to be "Harvest to Harvest" set up by Sept., so we will continue to buy food and other things. We are also at the point that we are starting to work on cache's in a couple places for the unthinkable scenarios that do NOT include mushroom farming. We believe that we will be H to H sufficient by fall, so we think we'll have the time to do the purchasing over time. Besides, gotta find the storage space for more (LOL). We have made a number of the large purchases (Kero cookstove, mill, kero keating appliances, wood stove install material, decent battery (firearms), some electrical preps but still working on this [probably going to have to go without], etc.)

Make sure that you have addressed the water issue and then make sure that you have addressed the clothing and shoes issue (kids in your age bracket tend to need shoes before the store polish is worn off!! (LOL) So, get 'em several extras bigger by a size or two or three)


-- chuck, a Night Driver (, April 27, 1999.

Mr. Walden makes some savvy points. As a life long outdoorsman, I fall back on my experience in the woods.

When lost (and I have been once or twice), the elements are my first concern. The cold will kill you much faster than an empty belly. After a snug a place to spend the evening, water is my next priority. After I have found potable water, only then do I think about food. (While you might find it loathsome, my personal favorite hunting/backpacking survival food is a Gaines burger... yes, the dog food. The only, only reason I will eat a moist, meaty Gaines burger is to stay alive. It keeps me from snacking on my emergency rations.)

If you are worried, I think shelter is your first concern. And unless the wheels fall completely off the wagon, paying for your shelter must be a high priority. If we have a serious economic downturn, many people will be in danger of losing their jobs. If you can't pay the rent or mortgage, even the non-Y2K ready creditors will find you... and evict or foreclose. If you read American history, this happened to a great many families during the Great Depression. It is hard to fit hundreds of pounds of food in the trunk of your car. Try to work yourself ahead in your rent or mortgage payments... and have a back-up plan (like staying with family) in case you lose your job due to economic woes.

Personally, I think the chances of Y2K disruptions to the water supply are very, very small. If water is a problem, a large number of people will have trouble cooking the copious amounts of rice and beans in storage. I think most reasonable people will want to have a week or two of bottled drinking water. Storing large amounts of water over a long period of time presents some unusual challenges... and a lack of water will make many dwelling marginally inhabitable after a time. Most Americans do not have the benefit of a working privy... although I can offer a few tips on building such a facility if anyone cares. The very critical nature of water (and power) will make it priority one-alpha.

If the "big three" stay up--water/power, telecommunications and finance--the food supply chain should be relatively stable. While I know there are some who passionately disagree, I think the odds are strongly in favor of the core infrastructure staying intact.

With four months of food, you have far more than the average American family. Even the darkest and most primitive days of the Republic, basic supplies flowed. Shortages, if any, will involve produce or other perishables.

You do have an advantage. Children, moreso than adults, have the ability to eat a rather monotonous diet. Macaroni and cheese comes immediately to mind. Other popular items are the (shudder) cans of Chef Boyardi. While you may already, I often suggest buying in bulk. This lowers your cost per item. You'll make less trips to the store, and less "impulse" purchases. Finally, you'll avoid "Happy Meals" because there will always be something on the shelf.

Much has been written about agribusiness, but remember, the United States is a huge exporter of food items. We have tremendous productive capacity for food production and additional resources could increase this amount substantially. Right now, grain is rotting in silos because of low prices. In short, your food supply seems ample to me.


-- Mr. Decker (, April 27, 1999.

I am also a single female parent, but my children are rounding the corner toward adulthood and I toward a half a century. They will still come home to roost for New Years. Although the one at home helps cut and split firewood and carries in heavy supplies, I have just told them both to go their merry normal ways and let me worry about it. It will be there for them if they need it. They have enough to deal with at school and all.

Just told the eldest to make sure to come home right away if she feels that things are getting prematurely "strange" in the city where she goes to college. I handed her a prepacked bug-out bag and told her to add clothes and additional food. I gave her a five gal. gas can and told her to fill it in a few months and keep her car 1/2 full. I told her to get a tetanus booster and extra prescription medicine and toiletries.

I have prepared with staples and canned goods to last more than a year for 4 (hey - who knows?), but I live in a remote area. I have woodstoves, a small solar panel unit for light and a side-by-side hand pump for the well. A 500 gal holding tank with gravity feed will irrigate the gardens and greenhouse. A small seasonal stream will subirrigate berries and the meadow below if we need to plant grain. We also have fruit trees and lots of acorns. I have a small flock of chickens. We have deer and wild ducks and doves and quail to hunt and live in cattle country for trade. Fuel will be used, at first, to recharge the battery bank and to run the pump to replenish the storage tank. Reserves will be kept for the chainsaw and rototiller as long as they last.

I don't recommend that you go to such extremes. I did cause I was almost "there" already and the line got crossed into "commitment." (I moved here to homestead and got sidetracked by life.) It is likely that y2k economics may make it difficult for me to work next year, so that underlies much of my preparations. I don't have a mortgage.

I knew about y2k years ago, but it didn't sink in. Then I heard more about it and said - "yeh, I will do something later." When it finaly hit, I was like the Richard Dryfuss in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," when he was building the mountain in his living room. I was sleeping only 3-4 hours a nite making lists and trying to price supplies.

After I got past (mostly) the food thing, a first wave of peace came over me. Another wave came over me when I listened to the Conniry's urban survival skills workshop at I frlt reassured that I could learn the skills to handle a severe emerency.

I now have long hard hours of work ahead of me building structures and projects and repairing things I have allowed to go into disrepair. I keep going because I expect that soon it will be "Game Over" and projects that I haven't purchased parts and supplies for will have to remain unfinished.

I wish you all the best. I suggest that you find a church/community group that is preparing and network. It may just be a "bump in the road" and I am just a crazy old lady up on the mountain. You don't have to handle emergencies alone. Network in your community and you will find strength in numbers.

-- crazylady (, April 28, 1999.

One thing you really need to be sure to have is soaps and disinfectants. Especially with young children, you don't want to take a chance on infection/disease. Children are especially at risk. If you have a little extra, get them some hard candy that can be rationed out for special treats. You'd be surprised at how valuable a little treat can be in taxing situations. Best of luck!

-- winna (??@??.com), April 28, 1999.

Single mom, sounds like you're doing well with food. I have a similar amount for my family of 4 and now believe that is probably more than enough. I'll continue adding some staples over the year a little with each shopping trip to expand my variety some (children especially like variety) and will work over the summer to can my garden harvest. As others have said, if you buy what you'll eat anyway, it'll never go to waste. You'll just save money next year as you eat your stores. It'll also provide some peace of mind if the public starts to empty grocery shelves in December.

-- David (, April 28, 1999.

First of all the government should have been already gave information on how to take percautions on how to protect and defend your self. Actually there is no problem its just a celebration of computers.That is why most of the places out there let you buy goods and you dont have to make payments untill 2000.So just go along with your life and wait for the computer prices to go down and enjoy. well if there was aproblem you know that the government doesnt care or cant help you but you know there safe and dont forget the rich im sure they dont have to worry about food or protection as much as the people in the city or even the middle class thats 10 15 minutes away from the city. So the best thing to be at this time is to be a farmer.

-- ugur gunaal (, April 28, 1999.

I think the answer to how much food to buy(store) depends on several factors. One is your own comfort zone. The other is- do you have access to land to grow food, do you know how and do you have seeds, tools to do so? And- when does your growing season start? If you're not in the far North, you can start growing much sooner for instance. Also- do you have access to or know how to hunt, fish, forage wild edibles, etc?

-- anita (, April 28, 1999.

I'm going for 12 months for my wife and myself.If there are still food issues a year later,then it will be a mad max world we're living in and we won't yet be weak with hunger(hopefuly)when the world is going guns now

-- zoobie (, April 29, 1999.

I have decided to prepare for a year to be on the safe side. I already have a years supply of meat, veges, and fruit in cans and jars and am working on my grains and beans now. Feel that I have enough wheat, rolled oats, ect. Will buy about 100 more pounds of rice and beans each and then concentrate on flour, cornmeal, powdered eggs and powdered milk.

My family lived on a ranch for 5 years so I am well acquainted with cooking in strange places, on a grill, solar oven, etc. We have a large box of hybrid as well as heirloom garden seed and have scouted out the areas where we can gather and glean wild fruit and plants as well. Our area teams with elk, seer, bear, antelope, and rabbit so meat will not be a question if TSHTF....

You have done a wonderful job preparing on a limited budget and if you just continue buying a little at a time you will be even more prepared.

-- twila (, August 20, 1999.

anything you can do will help. We are preparing for a year..and planning on many people ending up here. We have some basic goodies for us and some more traditional items that will last along time with many mouths to feed. Oatmeal...( George Mueller used this alot), rice, beans, etc. Remember to get seeds now while on sale. If you run out of food by spring you can plant a few extra's. Lettuce and tomatoes are always easy to grow. When you are hungry , anything sounds good. I have heard alot of people say they survived the depression on a tomato a day....or was that an apple a day? apple tree...plant a tomato! :>

-- Moore Dinty moore (, August 20, 1999.

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