Assessing Your Need For Preparation Todaygreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
I know that Rob Michaels and others create threads periodically on related subjects, but I thought it might be useful to take an assessment of preparation, not in the sense of "what have you purchased?" but, rather, "how much prep is reasonable AT THIS TIME?", assuming you were just starting and that supplies would/will be available. Also assume that money would not be a critical constraint (although note that a wealthy person could do much more than I suggest below). Overmuch detail not needed.
When I think in these terms, I'm surprised at how consistent my choices would be with those I held when I started over 18 months ago. On balance, I am slightly more optimistic about Y2K infrastructure collapse than I was but much more pessimistic about the total set of risks we face worldwide and their impact on U.S. (nuclear war, cyberwar). This is not in priority order. So, generally I would .....
... still prepare for blackouts and intermittent grid problems (this could range from generator to wood heat stove, propane cook stove, oil lamps, etc).
... ensure safe, ample water supply and ability to purify it
... secure somewhere from three to twelve months of food, depending on resources and the number of mouths to feed. Also secure enough seed, tools and gardening supplies to grow and save seed across multiple years.
... raise chickens, turkeys and/or other animals for food
... have adequate weapons and ammo for self-defense
... means for acquiring "news" without reliance on electricity (battery-driven or solar-charged radios and/or ham radio).
... adequate cash for up to three months
... back-up supplies of needed work and winter clothing, other useful self-reliance household supplies
... ample medical supplies
... books, games and varied activity materials for family
... emergency parts for cars, gasoline as well as bikes,etc.
... I'm probably missing even stuff that we've done, let alone other things ....
To repeat one of my main points here, while I don't fear or predict nuclear war, for instance, preparing for Y2K has made me acutely aware of the benefit of preparation for a variety of potential disasters. In that sense, it has changed my orientation permanently. Aside from the obvious truism that I hope and pray Y2K hurts nobody next year, I can't imagine regretting the preparations done to date. Actually, I see it as the beginning phase of many kinds of preparation in the years to come .....
-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), May 06, 1999
Thanks Bigdog. Sometimes it's good to look a the whole picture instead of getting hooked up on all the details. I would add a library of practical books, as well as books on the history of Western Civ., and even a few philosophy books (in case you have a lot of free time next year). Just in case it is TBOTWAWBI.
-- Jim the Window Washer (Rational@man.com), May 06, 1999.
How much prep is reasonable at this time?
BogDog, you said,
On balance, I am slightly more optimistic about Y2K infrastructure collapse than I was but much more pessimistic about the total set of risks we face worldwide and their impact on U.S. (nuclear war, cyberwar).
I agree, but I'm also more concerned over the long term economy than I was earlier.
My major changes in outlook have been in the energy department and in long term sufficiency.
Power outages are a way of life where I live (West Virginia mountains), so the things that go with them (oil lamps, non-electric cooking and heating, battery operated radios, and so forth) are something that just improve my life, regardless of the outcome of Y2K.
I've said many times that the utility companies will eventually pass the cost of remediation on to their customers, bigtime, so we can expect much higher electric bills even if nothing else happened. Add in a petroleum shakeup and the recent California price spike can be just the beginning. This makes solar/wind energy begin to look more attractive, as expensive as it is.
Solar or wind energy -- or a good generator system -- require a battery/inverter setup, and this I've gotten. Now, when the power goes off I don't have to miss a beat as far as water, heat and minimal household power are concerned. I hope to be able to get in a solar panel or two before the year's out in order to be able to sustain power for long periods of time. I've had a gas generator for years.....used it 8 times in the year after I bought it, because of local outages.....and bought a diesel this year.
I've increased my fuel storage capacity....heating oil...and can now get through an entire winter without restocking. LOL, now I can buy oil at the cheapest time of the year. Also have wood back up for the boiler.
We've had a garden since we moved here. I've been digging a root cellar, which I've always wanted.
The rest of it is just being ready for bad times.
...Seed to grow food, a bit of land to grow it on,
...stored food so that we're ready for anything from a bad snow to a winter living off our reserves to being able to cut our grocery bills in the event of hard times.
...Supplies for canning and preserving, sprouting and dehydrating food.
....The knowledge to do all of this.
My own preps are going on hold, as I undergo a hip replacement next week. This will be followed by a recuperation period in which I'm not going to be doing a lot.
I intend to use the recuperation period to try out cheesemaking. Down the road about 5 miles are a couple of large dairy farms. Milk is just a short bike ride away. Love a good cheddar!
-- De (email@example.com), May 06, 1999.
Dear Big Dog,
I agree in general, and add continuing to work together with neighbors and church friends. Doing a group garden has made me see the wisdom of the square foot gardening method...own plots, but overall plan. Security concerns are best addressed in groups too, starting with greetings on walks etc, and bit by bit discusssions.
What I'm saying is that it is worth developing and stockpiling contacts and friendships, and skills for working with other people.
-- seraphima (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 07, 1999.
Indeed. Every prep item loosens the bonds that tie one to the imperial center, providing both psychic and physical liberation. Up with liberty! Down with dependence! To hell with Tom Brokaw and his rubber-faced mendacity!
-- Spidey (email@example.com), May 07, 1999.
Spidey makes a very important point regarding psychic liberation. Not having the worry of depending on a government or faceless corporation for an esssential or desirable service or item is definately better for one's mental health. It is most certainly a desirable quality of life area.
Okay Jim, I'll bite - what does TBOTWAWBI mean?
-- Ken Seger (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 07, 1999.
"The beginning of the world as WE build it:" fanciful, fine imagery, that.
-- Spidey (email@example.com), May 07, 1999.