Just when I thought they supported me...

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

Dear Gang, Just when I thought I had at least the support of my family, they all turned on me. My husband,who informed me of the problem,now is not too interested. My family,who never believed me,is now "forgetting" to save any 2 liter bottles for me. My co-workers are laughing behind my back. Even my bestfriend is getting her laughs. My motherinlaw was down for the weekend and saw the closet full of tp and stored water and said "I don't know what you are doing, you have more important things to spend your money on than this stupid hoax!! and that is all it is! I really thought you had better sence than that"

First of all, I never asked anyone to believe me. I simply gave them the facts as I came upon them. I did ask for their support. Although, I seem to have lost that completely now. The more info I give to them the more they turn their heads...what is the problem here? I have not approached them with too much information at any given time. I have not come to them panic stricken. Nor have I asked for any help. I just don't understand it.

My little girl (6) was telling her friend the other day that we were saving water in case there was ever an emergency. And her friend (10) says, "I told my mom about that and she said your mom is crazy". Is that what I am? Have I gone crazy? I didn't think so. I just thought I was being responsible for my family.

Sorry to ramble on about my problems but I was just wondering if anyone else is having this problem? I thought family was supposed to be there for each other no matter what. Why is this so damn hard?


-- shellie (shellie01@hotmail.com), May 13, 1999


Shelly, the best thing to do is to put them on a guilt trip. When they put you down again, simply tell them that.....We are facing a possible crisis in 2000 and I have a responsibility to my children to prepare and protect them against any possible crisis.

Ask them....What are you going to tell your children when they are hungry, thirsty and cold, and you have no food, water or heat for them? Are you going to join the looters to save your children? Are you going to stand in long lines for a loaf of bread and a roll of toilet paper? Etc. Etc.

Good luck and don't get discouraged and don't give up on your beliefs!

-- freddie (freddie@thefreeloader.com), May 13, 1999.

Shellie, Remember Homer's advice to Bart about giving up the study of music, "If something's hard, it's not worth doing."

Seriously, It is difficult to try to exercise your responsibility when the obects of your attention are not appreciative. Your children are not capable of assessing the situation. You've got to shrug off their comments. If you can please your in-laws, well you could get rich if you could teach others how to accomplish that task!

You are exercising a form of leadership. Leadership in times of emergency is not an exercise in democracy. Do not seek or expect agreement. Picture yourself in March of 1999 and look at the possible outcomes. Which scenario is easier to live with. Personally, I can live with the ribbing that I'll take if I don't need my water containers or my firewood. I'm not willing to risk the alternative scenario where there was an obvious risk for which I did not prepare.

-- Puddintame (achillesg@hotmail.com), May 13, 1999.


Don't feel alone!!!!!!!!!! I am the brunt of a lot of ridicule in my family too. My brother laughs openly in my face. My neighbor saw me at the store buying cases of toilet paper, and her reaction was, "Well, now I know where to come when I need some." Needless to say, she didn't buy any. This entire ordeal is teaching me a lot about human nature, and I don't like what I'm seeing. I honestly agree with Gary North's quote, "They won't prepare, but they'll remember".

We are looking into buying some inexpensive rural property as a "safety net" - my ridiculing relatives had the nerve to ask where it was - needless to say, I told them the wrong location!

Just keep preparing is all I can say - the welfare of you and your little girl are more important than the opinions of the masses. Good luck!

-- Scarlett (creolady@aol.com), May 13, 1999.

Running into the same thing sortof. No ones calling me crazy-yet. My wife is still a get it. Her family is wavering. Her mom and dad came for a visit and were astonished at the food and preps we had made. Then I talked to my brother in law a few days later and his comment was " I hear you got a lotta food stored up" then snickered. I just dropped it. They are all coming in July and I'm sure there will be a big gang up on us then. Oh well they laughed at Noah.

Another thing I don't understand is in my grandparents day they had so much food stored up! I mean everything you could possibly imagine. Nothing was looked over. I can't even begin to list everything. This was the way they lived. Most of their generation did the same. Nobody thought they were crazy. They knew to prepare because you just don't ever know what could happen.

Y2k or not I'm glad this came along because now I know I've made the best preps I can to get my family through anything. There is a quote that goes something like this - a people that forgets their past is bound to repeat it.

-- Johnny (jljtm@bellsouth.net), May 13, 1999.


If they are not paying rent, do not let them live in your head. Simply hold them out in front of you and drop-kick them out of your mind.

-- Mike Lang (webflier@erols.com), May 13, 1999.

Shellie, Make the "March of 2000"

-- Puddintame (achillesg@hotmail.com), May 13, 1999.


Since when has prudence been crazy? Don't let them or anyone else discourage you from doing the responsible thing by preparing for an uncertain future. Don't engage them in discussion of the subject if they are not in the way of your preps. If you are openly ridiculed, respond with a smile and nothing else. Don't waste your time with guilt trips or other games. Keep reminding yourself that you aren't making predictions but are trying to mitigate risk.

The idea of planning or sacrificing now for the future is foreign to most people nowadays. That's why it seems crazy to them. (Consider the state of credit card debt for most people.)

-- Codejockey (codejockey@geek.com), May 13, 1999.

I think the above stories show the most frustrating part in preparation. As noted, in a previous time, food was routinely stored up and no one thought that was foolish. So what goes on here? We have all seen a sad phenomenon in school wherein some child that was a little different from the "group" was singled out for ridicule and harassment. We may think we grow out of that tendency, but here is the Y2k situation and general public reaction to give us a bitter reminder that we don't grow out of some behavior patterns. If the general consensus is that there is no serious problem and no need to make extra preparations, those who do so are considered "crazy." There is only a small % of the population taking this matter very seriously, as is obvious to all of us. Just trust in your own instincts, believe that "something" wicked is threatening and prepare. In the old days that meant looking at the signs of the foliage, the behavior of the animals, and even the farmers almanac (for some), then setting aside what was needed for a hard winter. That made sense then, before the JIT economy, and it makes sense now. You can always come here for some additional understanding and encouragement.

-- Gordon (gpconnolly@aol.com), May 13, 1999.

I saw this on another forum (forget which one...another Senior Moment). It makes good sense to use the 7p's.... Prior Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance By the way, another son who has been ignoring y2k has just come around, He has heard some info from some very respected people in his computor world that jolted him from his "Mom, why are you preparing for something that isn't going to happen?" Now he is checking the news and learning ...and thinking. Keep doing what your doing...one day at a time.

-- Old Gramma (Gotitincalif@webtv.net), May 13, 1999.

This is MinneosotaSmith, author of the Y2K preparatory website http://y2ksafeminnesota.hypermart.net. The problem that you have described is one that all GIs that have talked to more than 3 adults about Y2K have encountered. 99+% of people are DGIs; wouldn't you expect most of the people you encounter to be, too? Unfortunately, most people cannot be convinced to prepare until most people have been convinced to prepare (yes,this is a tautology, but bear with me). Given the JIT delivery system in the US, it will then be too late for most people to do very much preparation compared to what most of us GIs believe is minimal preparedness. It all comes back to these points: 1) It is better to prepare and not need it, than not to prepare and need it. You waste some money vs. risk an untimely end for you and your family; an obvious choice for those who understand Y2K. 2) Most people cannot accept a) change, and b) inconvenient bad news that requires sacrifice now for payoff later; it is infinitely easier (and is a temptation most will give in to) to go into denial about the whole thing. Witness the hysterical screaming when you say to a pollyanna that doubts Y2K that you still believe you are right, and will continue to prepare. This is certainly true about my parents and sister, but thankfully not true for my wife (who is a GI). 3) DGIs you are close to will generally expect to pick and choose the form of help they get from you. They expect to be able to choose indolence (and laughing at GIs such as you) now, and taking what they want from your stockpile later if "this Y2K thing actually turns out to amount to something". I think you should explain to the ones you are closer to that the only help they will get from you is what you are offering now (information), and that they are turning it down. Mentioning barbed wire, large underfed dogs, triply-locked solid metal doors, and multiple firearms may be true enough (and I believe reasonable enough) of what your reaction to beggars in 2000 will be, but it is counterproductive to mention this to them. The few that are imaginative (and energetic) enough to fill in the rest of the blanks will do so, and may yet prepare. The ones who would only be inflamed against you by your telling them specifically about your anti-looting policy are only going to get better prepared to loot you (by making sure they know where you live, details of your living situation, etc.). I have taken the liberty of enclosing below three relevant articles that I have written for my website . I hope that you can soon ease your heart about the righteousness of what you are (in my book, laudably) doing to safeguard your family. Yours in preparation, MinnesotaSmith

Warning The Neighbors

Here we go with another depressing discussion. I have found through repeated personal experience that the vast majority of people cannot yet be educated on this subject. They do not wish to hear about it; they effectively do not have the attention span to hear the case for Y2K being more than the phone company sending somebody a bill for $282 million. I believe that telling neighbors about Y2K directly is unlikely to convince them to prepare in a timely fashion (they won't get ready in advance of the panic). It will alert them to your presumed preparedness, and makes you much more likely to be targeted by them (or people they talk to...) for looting. To quote Dr. North: "They won't prepare, but they'll remember". I'm sorry, but directly telling your neighbors about the need to stockpile food risks your family's safety for no good reason.

One thing you can do: run off some particularly persuasive pages from the Internet (especially Dr. North's site), and maybe buy a copy of Michael Hyatt's The Millennium Bug or Ed Yourdon's TimeBomb2000, and leave it with no note on their front porch at 4:00 A.M. sometime. When they mention this incident, deny all knowledge, and give no opinion on it. Let them bring up Y2K in conversation, and be very cautious in your discussions with them on the subject. As a general rule, the physically closer to you someone you know lives, the less they should ever find out about your personal preparations for Y2K.

Warning Relatives or Friends

This section assumes that the people in question are neither permanent household members (in which case they are Family) or live within several miles of you (in which case they are treated as being in the Neighbor category).

I have found little correlation between age/education/intelligence on one hand, and ability to understand the implications of Y2K/willingness to prepare for it on the other, so you should have no preconceptions about someone's willingness to listen to warnings about Y2K.

In general, if someone lives and works a long distance away from you (at least one state away), you can probably get away (safety-wise) with divulging a great deal to them. You still don't want to tell them too much about your personal preparedness; saying that you are moving away from the city, getting a dog, storing "some" food and water -- this is probably enough. You should spend whatever Y2K discussion time you get with them covering 1) the reality of Y2K, and 2) what they might want to do to prepare. Remember, most people are still incapable of taking the whole thing seriously enough to make significant preparations. Being related to you (or having gone to the same school however many years ago) does not confer immunity to this tendency. Expect to hear "I really don't want to hear about it" or "I just don't think it'll be that big of a problem" or "some government guy on TV said he's confident nothing will happen" (the way Clinton was never alone with Miss Lewinsky) from normally rational people who don't know nearly enough about Y2K to be entitled to opinions on the subject. Cajole them into copying down some book titles and web site addresses, shrug, and go back to preparing your household. That's all you can do; you did try.

Your Priorities for Y2K

The following is not exactly politically correct, but I believe it to be good advice.

You CAN (have to, really) try to keep your immediate family, those in your household, safe and healthy, and not directly injure other people by acts of commission.

You CAN come up with enough long-term storage food to feed the other family members in your household for years.

You CAN'T feed the neighbors, friends, or anyone else outside your household. We don't know how long Y2K will affect us, and your obligations to your family forbids taking any chances with their health for anyone else, which giving away any food is.

You CAN spend innumerable hours trying to teach your spouse or partner about Y2K, since if they're not on board, the whole family unit's chances are much worse.

You CAN'T do this for anyone else (Mom, Dad, your best friend for twenty years, Great-Aunt Gertude, co-workers, or your next-door neighbors.......ESPECIALLY your neighbors).

You CAN give advice and information to interested people. Anyone important to you outside your household, give them ONE letter, face- to-face talk, or long phone call, and unless they show interest, that's the end of it.

You CAN tell people that you've looked into this Year2000 thing some, that you think it might be pretty bad, and that they might want to look into it and decide for themselves. (Give them info on Hyatt's Millennium Bug, Edward Yourdon's TimeBomb2000 and Gary North's website address.)

You CAN'T spend even one minute arguing with anyone who is certain Y2K is no big deal and doesn't want to hear about it. They are similiar to (imaginary) people who would not believe there was such a thing as fire until someone poured gasoline over one of their arms and lit it with a match (and maybe not even then). You won't succeed in warning them. You may succeed in antagonizing them, or convincing them you are crazy and probably dangerous (an especially desireable outcome if you have a business relationship with them). You will definitely waste your time.

You CAN'T tell people you think that Y2K will not be that big of a problem, even if that would be politically convenient for you. That could dissuade wavering people who respect your opinions from timely preparations, and would in my opinion have crossed the line into immorality.

You CAN buy critical survival items at bargain prices (compared to what they will surely cost by 10/1/99) from people ignorant about Y2K, especially strangers. Why? 1) What items you buy now will raise the demand for those goods from the manufacturers, so they will increase production in a timely fashion. The candle you buy today could be the two candles two people can buy in summer, and four candles four other people can buy in fall. You are actually helping later availability of those items by purchasing them now. 2) You can't be expected to save the world, especially at risk to your own household; your family is all that you have to take responsibility for (and that's a great enough responsibility for almost anyone). However, if you want to briefly warn the sellers about Y2K, after you have paid for the items and loaded them into your vehicle, that's probably OK. You just need to be reasonably certain that this warning will not be detrimental to obtaining supplies for your family in the future.


You CAN'T fight groups of uniformed looters (unless you judge they are about to kill you, in which case you might as well try; expect to die, though).

You CAN bury or otherwise hide food and other valuables, and not divulge the location, contents, or even that you ever thought about doing that sort of thing to anyone (except your partner) for any reason, especially neighbors or anyone with any possible government connection.

You CAN fight nonuniformed looters; in fact, sometimes you might not have a choice. I break down the possible scenarios as follows: 1) You are traveling, and happen upon a looting incident or obvious looters. A policy of armed neutrality is probably the wisest decision, especially if there is any risk to you and your group at all. Defend yourselves if attacked, but try not to bring on a confrontation. A minor bribe to avoid a fight may not be out of the question. 2) If your neighbor is under attack, you probably should try to help him. This is not an action you would be taking purely out of altruism. First, if looters are next door, they are likely to come after you next, so helping your neighbor now is enlightened self- defense. Second, if you have a mutual-aid agreement with your neighbor, and don't help him in time of attack, you will have proved yourself to be a knave. Honor becomes more important when times are hard, and guess how you will be known? 3) If a couple of people have just killed your dog, have climbed into your backyard, and are trying to break into your house, your course of action is pretty clear. Without any warning, you shoot them, aiming to kill, and continue shooting until they are dead (no prisoner-taking). You get the bodies off your property, hiding them the best that you practicably can, and never admit or divulge what happened to anyone. To those who (in an easy time of plenty) say that lives are more important than things, I retort that in a time of little or no food, robbing someone of their food is a crime belonging to the category of attempting murder, and the ancient law of self-defense (even higher than the Constitution, which I revere) applies to stopping that.

You CAN'T take any survival items by force from other, innocent people. That makes you a looter, a moral zero, and you know what I think of those...

You CAN'T accept paper or any other kind of promise in exchange for (above all) food or any other critical material item of survival value, especially if it is irreplaceable post-crash. My advice is to follow the rule of exchanging like for like; promises can only get promises, and material goods can get material goods. Additionally, to make sure you don't get fast-talked into a deal you will later regret, I advise only exchanging food for something else when it is originally your idea.

You CAN lie to, mislead, or misdirect anyone and everyone if it helps your family's safety, especially government people (of any type).

You CAN'T let Y2K make you despondent -- now and later, there's too much to do for that. Any human being who is alive today has ancestors who lived through worse than anything Y2K is likely to throw at us. You have the blood of survivors, even heroes, running through your veins. Live up to the example they set for you; be determined that you and yours will come out the other side of this thing.

You CAN remember this about Y2K -- this, too, shall pass.

-- MinnesotaSmith (y2ksafeminnesota@hotmail.com), May 13, 1999.

I'm so very sorry to hear this Shellie. A couple points:

1. If you walk (or straddle) a spiritual path, now might be a good time to double your efforts. This can be a source of great strength & peace.

2. Try not to get in their faces too much with info on Y2K. Perhaps you've overdone it a bit? Just asking. :-D

3. As puddintame stated above, you are providing leadership. Know that your intentions are good. Know that you are in no way hurting your family by making prudent preparations. Or have you gone overboard? Just asking! :-D

4. Introspect. Look within. How can you ease any tensions which have cropped up between you & family members/friends? It is not easy when you believe strongly that you are right in your actions, to back-off from confrontations. And I consider mocking to be a confrontational act. Sometimes, however, it is an appropriate course of action. Just nod your head & smile! Smile from the Heart!

Hang in there Shellie. You are acting heroically by taking responsibility for your family.

Best Wishes,

-- Bingo1 (howe9@pop.shentel.net), May 13, 1999.


I just wanted to let you know we will be thinking about you and are very proud of all the work you have done. It is very hard work isn't it? We should all take the time to examine what separately, but collectively, we have accomplished and learned in such a little time.

I have finally gotten the veggie garden planting caught up enough that this afternoon I can turn some attention to my poor neglected flower seedlings. I shall plant some bachelors buttons for you. I have always found them to grow strong even under the worst of conditions. Take care. :-)

-- Lilly (homesteader145@yahoo.com), May 13, 1999.

My mom loved Batchelors' Buttons. Growing up in NJ we had a bush growing in the most inhospitable place! Thanks for the memory, Lilly.

-- Bingo1 (howe9@pop.shentel.net), May 13, 1999.

There are those of my family who think it is wise to prepare, but don't do it. They ridicule us for it. So I just don't discuss the topic with them. If they come over, I make sure my storage room is closed and locked so they can't see what I've done. Depending on my mood at the time and the severity of their ridicule, when they say "I know where to come!" my response has been anything from nothing to "Oh? Where might that be? Certainly not here!" I have stopped talking about my preps except for with people who are avid GIs. I know people will remember and I want to keep that to a minimum. (HA!)

When someone does ridicule me for my GI attitude, I remind them of Noah and the flood as well as how quickly war can start or even a devistating storm. I let them know that I am preparing for ANY crisis and that I don't intend to cause my children to be threatened if it can be helped.

-- winna (??@??.com), May 13, 1999.


Hang in there. I have had my ups and downs with Y2K for over two years now. Relatives who laughed at me a year ago are now preparing. What you are doing for your family is wonderful.


-- GeeGee (GeeGee@madtown.com), May 13, 1999.


Im with you all the way, baby. Im going home to my family in two weeks. I have mailed a 2.5KW generator ($250 on sale at Sears!) and had to practically force my Dad to accept delivery of 3 antique stoves I bought ($75 a piece, includ. Delivery). I have to mention these items and their good prices because its pretty much all I have done for preparation and its my only source of solace. I mean, whats the point of buying cases of toilet paper in California when you plan to move to Wisconsin?

My family - 12 grown people altogether - have varying degrees of GI. At best, its GI, but "I dont want to think about it." Or "I believe you in theory, but Im not going to do anything about it" and then theres my brother "You are completely wrong and Im not going to do a damn thing about it." Its really too bad in my brothers case, because he is the one person who could rally everyone, particularly my Dad. It sucks, but thats the way it is. My parents get insulted because they think Im coming home because I dont think they can take care of themselves, when in fact I am counting on my Dads depression-era experience, not to mention the fact that I just want to be home with my family if things get bad. My famously strong-willed, opinionated sister is taking me on a little time trip back to the 50s by basically saying her husband (a computer guy) isnt worried about it, so she isnt worried about it. Nothing like thinking for yourself. Oh, the things you learn about people, hey? My other sister, a life-long scaredy cat, wont even talk about it for fear. The thing is, she has a daughter (grown, but once a daughter, etc.). I know that if I said to her that shed better get her ass in gear if she doesnt want to see her daughter - jeez, I cant even type the words - I know if I used a scare tactic shed get so mad at me she wouldnt talk to me for weeks. Like its my fault that everyone is in danger. My third sister is trying to get pregnant! Dont get me started on that! This is the most frustrating, difficult thing Ive have ever experienced in my life. And its been going on for nearly two years now with me. Im amazed I havent had some kind of breakdown. Im so overdue for a big, fat crying jag it scares me. Im afraid if I start crying, Ill never stop.

Well. Im leaving in two weeks. At last Ill be able to do some serious toilet paper buying, ha ha. I know that will make me feel better. And God knows, my family loves me. Thats the place to be.

Please pardon my rant. Good luck to everyone and God bless us all.

-- Goombah (goombah@aol.com), May 13, 1999.

Dear Shellie, not a whole lot that I can add to most of the above excellent replies. I think the comment about, "Another thing I don't understand is in my grandparents day they had so much food stored up! I mean everything you could possibly imagine. Nothing was looked over. I can't even begin to list everything. This was the way they lived. Most of their generation did the same. Nobody thought they were crazy. They knew to prepare because you just don't ever know what could happen." is so right on the money, it's not funny. Think about that, for thousands of years people did what Y2K preparers are now doing, yet present society thinks that action is crazy. Where as previous generations would think that the actions of all Y2K non-prepares is crazy.

I beleive in democracy, let's vote on whether I should prepare or not. Let's see, each generation gets one vote each, everybody raise their hand now, okay, all right, uhuh, yup, right! That's three votes against preparing and all of the previous generations for the last 6,000 years voting for preparing. Okay, majority rules, I guess I'll start preparing now.

I won't, and you shouldn't either, but isn't it just tempting to make a reply like this? "My neighbor saw me at the store buying cases of toilet paper, and her reaction was, "Well, now I know where to come when I need some." to which you reply, "Oh Thank You! I almost forgot!", to which the neighbor replies, "Forgot what?", your reply, "I need to pick up more 12 guage shells in double ought."

Hmmm, that should be an advertising sign in a gun shop, "Buy plenty of OO for 00!

Actually that is the reason I will not be anywhere close to population centers the last week of 99. I just prefer not to deal with that type of problem.

-- Ken Seger (kenseger@earthlink.net), May 13, 1999.

Hi, Shellie. Don't let it bother you. I have the same problem here in the boonies of SW Oregon with family, friends, and neighbors. I've simply calmly and quietly told them that I am preparing and that if they don't prepare, they are not to come to me looking for assistance...because I can't afford to support them, and I will not put my own dependents at risk to save them from their folly. Then I don't bring up the subject again. How do I rationalize their stupidity and achieve a modicum of inner peace? I just figure that it's nature's way of thinning out the gene pool. Brutal, perhaps, but it gets me past the frustration and allows me to concentrate on my own preparation. Hang in there!

-- Norm Harrold (nharrold@tymewyse.com), May 13, 1999.

My parents and sister don't GIT. My 17 yo son is worried that I am spending money. He won't lift a finger to help. My employer thinks I am over-reacting and it won't be any big deal. He sighs when I put y2k on the director's agenda to let them know what I have done to mitigate their liability and try to make sure we are up and running in 2000. "Can't we just skip that?" he told me.

I am having a hell of a time getting local electricians, pump setters and lumberyard people to do what I ask. They are overprotective fellers who want to protect "the poor little gal" from wasting her money. I have consequently had to go out of the area for professionals or do it myself.

I am 50 years old and have raised 2 kids by myself. I have sent two articles to my parents (one on medical preparation) and two to my sister (who is playing the stocks with an inheritance.) They are adults and can make their own decisions. I have done my part to plant the seed.

I tell my son that I am a competant adult who has managed to provide for him to adulthood. If he doesn't trust my judgement, I frankly don't care. My finances are my own business, as long as he gets fed and clothed and has a place to sleep.

Being in the public eye in my quasi-political job, I have become hardened to what other people think. Though, when leading, I usually check the "herd" to make sure that it is still following me, on this one, I don't. My latent survival instinct is too strong. I have read thousands of reports and articles and I stand on my judgement. If they want to laugh, I frankly don't care. This is not a group decision and I don't need their permission.

-- anon (anon@anon.com), May 13, 1999.

Next time my husband calls me a nutcase I am going to call him one. After all, he is a pro-lifer, so that means he believes in shooting doctors in front of abortion clinics, right? Unfortunately every movement attracts nutcases, and they are the ones everyone remembers. Don't let it get to you.

-- at work (abcdef@aol.com), May 13, 1999.


Next time someone questions your actions ask them "Did you pay for life insurance last year? Did you die? Do you feel stupid or crazy for having paid for life insurance that you didn't use?" Them tell them this is your 'life insurance' and they should shut up about it.


-- TECH32 (TECH32@NOMAIL.COM), May 13, 1999.


As I have been saying since I began to understand the ramifications of y2k, what is about to happen to the world in the next few years is going to be, quite actually, unbelievable. That is why so many people have trouble believing it. My father didn't believe his lung cancer was going to kill him, but six months later he was gone.

You are in good company. Many people that have a deep understanding of how complicated our technology now is, how precarious the world political system now is, and how over overextended the economies of the world now are, share your concern and are preparing to the level that you describe, or more.

Don't be dissuaded by sites like Poole's and Debunkers where they mock the seriousness of y2k and treat anyone who wants to store a months worth of food and water like they're crazy. You know better. In the end, you will be prepared, with supplies you can use regardless of the outcome, and they will look like fools for being so smug about such an unpredictable event.

-- a (a@a.a), May 13, 1999.


View it as a character building exercise.

Don't let 'em get to ya...

-- pshannon (pshannon@inch.com), May 13, 1999.


The hard part is being laughed at by people you depend upon for emotional support and to 'make your world' so to speak. Many people define "sanity" as something that is within the bounds of their small community. Anything else is 'crazy'. Notice how often the term 'crazy' is used to describe people outside the group who do things that aren't what the group is doing or thinking? That's a clue.

I have found it very hard emotionally to know that I have been vulnerable to this kind of group think. The fact that I am depresed by others who define me in negative terms is a painful eye opener. Once I thought about this for a while I realized that there where A LOT of areas where this applied but that I was not getting negatives from these same people because I was 'in bounds' on those things.

Is this your experience?

It was painful for me to pull away from these folks. This may not be practical for you to do (family). But somehow there needs to be an insulation/space/protective barrier to ward off the attacks. Others here have expressed what they do along this line. For each of us it is a matter of the solution that works right for us.

One way of deflecting this kind of criticism is to make fun of yourself like saying 'oh ya, I'm just indulging my bit of paranoia' or 'well, you should see the bunker I just ordered' and then laugh alot to show them that you ARE joking. After a while they will not bother you about it because they will think that you are only a little crazy but will not murder them in their beds.

If you have ever been around chickens you will know that any chicken that doesn't look like the other ones will get beat up on and become the target of every other chicken in the group.

It is very important that you blend in or they will peck you to death. Don't be the strange chicken. I'd hide those preps in a big way if I were you. And make sure you have an exit plan if at all possible. The folks you are around sound like a bunch of chickens who will get slaughtered. Messy business that.

-- David (C.D@I.N), May 13, 1999.

Great stuff here- It's so nice to read a whole bunch of on-topic non-flaming helpful posts. Wish there were more of these...

Anyway- Shellie- it's a tough subject for most people to think about. if they think hard enough- which takes time and energy- they might have to do something which also takes time and energy and might interfere with tv and trips to the mall and whatever. So- just keep on doing what you think is right-you CAN'T convince them- they will have to convince themselves. and keep most of your preps to yourself or those who are also preparing- THEY WILL REMEMBER!- Gary N is right about that. They will KNOW who has the TP and water for sure!

-- anita (hillsidefarm@drbs.com), May 13, 1999.

Shellie, Tell them that you're prepared to be wrong. Then ask them if they're prepared to be wrong...

-- Libby Alexander (libbyalex@aol.com), May 13, 1999.

For those of us GIs who don't have access to a range of technical expertise to dispell the rumors and myths, we have to rely on reading lots of credible information like congressional testimony, endless tedious government documentation, discussion forums featuring credentialed posters who perhaps do know something, and so on. We are not looking to be told anything solid by the evening news or the daily papers. In essence, we are STAND ALONE THINKERS. We are on a constant mission to get more knowledge, and that knowledge does not have to be doomer knowledge, either. I have been somewhat heartened by many things I have read in the last 2-3 months. However, for each bit of good news I hear, I also hear a bit of bad news too. It is, to say the least, an effort to keep walking the line that we are walking.

Now, the 99% of the adult population who won't or can't get it, or who get it but can't deal with getting it on an emotional level are the opposite of us GIs. They take the newspapers and the evening news seriously, and for them to truly wake up to the possibility of life throwing them a huge curve ball, THEY MUST HEAR IT FROM AN AUTHORITY FIGURE. These folks are not stand alone thinkers.

I'm sure most of you GIs have seen this phenomenon at least once. I have experienced it 3 times as it relates to Y2K. For a stand alone thinker, it's a rather confounding phenomenon.

Speaking in general terms, women experience this more often than men in everyday interactions, because (most) men typically do not respect the intelligence and good sense of (most) women. However, if they hear the same thing from a man, an incredible about-face occurs.

All I can say is 'keep your chin up', you are doing the right thing. Time will bear out your knowledge, instincts and good sense, and make your relatives and friends who scoff at you into the fools they are.

-- Globular (globe-ular@bigfoot.com), May 13, 1999.

Dear Shellie, In my large family, one third are GI's and the other 2/3rds are DGI's.

My husband is somewhere in between, although he thinks that y2k might be a tiny bump in the road, he never complains when I bring home 450 pounds of rolled oats and 350 pounds of rice in one day, and thinks that foot thick concrete walls is a good way to build the house at our other place, and wants to put in a faraday cage in there also for my radio/electrical/computer gear. He doesn't blink when I get more rocks and rockchunkers. He thinks I am a little eccentric, but likes the idea of being well prepared. He is concerned about the shocks in my car getting worn out very quickly....

I think that the dgi's are simply planning (albeit perhaps unconcsciously) to descend upon the gi's homes in case of trouble. Of course the dgi's turned up their noses when my folks gave all the adult children 6 gal buckets of wheat for Christmas. No matter, I have told my dgi family members not to rely on me because our family will not be here, we will be out of state at our "other place".

I am mainly leaving our home because the neighborhood is just jammed full of folks whose moral fiber is questionable, and they just refuse to prepare even for an 2 week disruption in case we have an earthquake. This combination seems very scary to me, and I have no intention of setting myself up to be a victim in this whole thing.


-- nobody (nobody@nowhere.com), May 13, 1999.

Here's hoping that whatever happens as a result of the 5/25 Congressional hearing that Yourdon is testifying at starts to change these attitudes around. I am making some progress in my work and home communities, but my family is another matter. My sister, who lives in the desert out west, should be visiting over Thanksgiving. I raised the issue with her last fall - she calmly and unpatronizingly told me that she had talked with some programmers and decided there would not be a problem. I didn't raised it again until a month ago. She told me (this time with a bit of a worried edge) that she had read more since we had talked last and believed maybe there could be some serious issues, but she wasn't up to dealing with it. (This coming from one of the most centered and pragmatic people I know.) If she comes east for Thanksgiving, I think I'll let her discover my stash. Then I'll ask her whether, if I send her home with some collapsible water containers, would she please promise to fill them before New Year's. It is a tediously slow process, with discouraging setbacks.

-- Brooks (brooksbie@hotmail.com), May 13, 1999.


I am lucky that I have the financial assets available to me to prepare adequately for any potential disaster, and to be able to do it without others telling me I'm nuts. I have two plans depending on how bad it gets.

1. Defend the house and go solar (very expensive, but a nicer option than leaving if the neighborhood can hang together).

2. Bug out to a house in the rural countryside over an hour away.

The hard part is that my wife would think I'm crazy if I told her about all of the preps I'm making. I'm just glad that there is still time for me to make life safe for our 10-month-old son. I have a LONG way to go.

Hang in there! Nothere

-- nothere (nothere@nowhere.com), May 13, 1999.


GO GIRL! Hi Shellie! Hang in there,hon,nobody said it was gonna be easy. That's what we're all here for. I've been a lurker for the past 6 months and only recently started contributing to the forum. I come here alot just to get moral support from those beautiful souls that do believe. Fortunately all those around me are GI'S to some extent. But there are some that are waiting until this fall to do anything! Use some of the tips given above,they may help.In the long run we can only do so much for our loved ones,not meaning to sound so cold-hearted,but eventually they'll have to take responsibility for themselves!

I strongly advize discussing preps only to those that you can trust! Are you prepared to bear arms against a neighbor,friend,or loved one if it comes down to that? Still praying that we all never have to face such a siuation. Done been in one war, although the situation is different when you don't know your enemy! Take care and God bless!


-- DEVIL DOG (U.S.M.C.@WAR.com), May 13, 1999.

WOW!! Let me tell you I never expected such a response, Thank you so much... I do feel much much better now...Your help was very comforting to me in a time of stressing out...I wish you all the best of luck as well and will keep you all in my prayers...whether this is a non-event or not I think we all are going to get through the hard times ahead of us. Thank you again.

-- shellie (shellie01@hotmail.com), May 13, 1999.

Preparation is common sense, which isn't very common anymore! 2 good links: link 1

link 2

-- rb (phxbanks@webtv.net), May 13, 1999.

shellie: Hello from someone who has been dubbed "the queen of y2k" by her spouse. He is not even close to getting it (except maybe with a rolling pin). I also have a teen in my house who is sure that mom is crazy ...oh no not y2k again....but knows that there is no new years eve party without her bob bag and is starting her own candle collection along with a goodie stash "just in case." My little guy is the only one in the house that doesn't think i'm nuts and has his own prep list.

My extended family also are DGI's. On mother's day i took the oportunity of the get together to ask some prep questions that lead to a very heated debate. However by the time everyone was ready to leave, my sister-in-law leaned over and wispered to print out what basic preps i thought she should make for 2 weeks and mail it to her. A small victory, but a beginning. My mother has decided leave the city and join my family if more than 3 days of interuptions occur...and the victory notches upwards! These small wins have come only after months and months of soft sell.

Just a suggestion that worked with my mother. I began to talk to her about how she watched out for me and my sibblings when she thought a bad storm was approaching ("get your pillows and blankets and i'll make up the fold out couch in the basment")or when we knew contract talks were just around the corner for the company my dad worked for and that almost always meant a strike. She would store up the beans and rice along with home canned goodies for the kids. After the trip down memory lane i then told her to me y2k represented the biggest storm that mankind had ever faced and that she had taught me not to wait for the problem to hit, rather to be in the "on hold" mode with all preps done and the safest shelter taken. I also told her it was my turn to be the responsible one not only to my own children but also to her for the loving care she gave me. It went along way to remind her that she was the one that had taught me to follow my own convictions regardless of what the others may say. She gave me a big hug and told me that God made some of us leaders and to do what i was called to do and that regardless of what the outcome...she was very proud of me . Now it is easier to plow on, and it doesn't matter what the others say(not that it really ever did in my case as i've been called crazy most of my life for thinking different) But the conversions are coming. They are slow and cautious, but they are on their way. Don't ever lose faith. You are in the prayers of many tonite and we are here if you need to talk. (real email).........kitten

-- kitten (kitten@vcn.net), May 13, 1999.

Hi Shellie!

Please keep in mind that whatever the situation will be next year, it will be of reality not perception.

If the majority of your friends and neighbors perceive there to be no threat, time may prove them correct - but time will not care what their opinion was.

It wouldn't surprise me if the Y2K threat turns out to be no big deal, but before the year is out I will need these preparations for something I had not considered.

One more thing: (I'm not an expert regarding this; I just believe it.) Many people are atheists, and when the going gets tough they will opt out of the suffering and commit suicide. Your preparing indicates that you are not willing to do that. There is no persuading someone who is willing to commit suicide if he is wrong.

-- GA Russell (garussell@russellga.com), May 13, 1999.

Last year I paid for auto insurance. No accidents. Life insurance, but I didn't die. Fire insurance, but no fire. Smoke detectors, but no smoke. Health insurance, but did not get sick. Malpractice coverage, but no malpractice suits. Disability insurance, but did not get injured. Workers comp coverage for my employees, but no injuries. Earthquake coverage, and no quake. Ect, Ect. In fact, I have done this for the last 10 years and rarely made a claim on any of these policies. I'm sure many of your family have similar experience with their coverages. If your family really needs an answer, tell them you are practicing "risk management" just like they are when they buy insurance or even perform "routine maintenance" on their car. You just happen to see a risk with Y2K and they don't. Don't worry about the comments anymore than the "health nut" who jogs or takes vitamins worries about comments from the uninformed or foolish. They are managing their risk in the way they see best.

-- smfdoc (smfdoc@aol.com), May 14, 1999.

Be calm, you're doing the right thing, and you know in your heart that it is the right thing.

Public pressure though is strong, and it is definitely easier to take the easy way out. But that way leads to virtual slavery and mental death.

Stay free.

You may consider too, in addition to the beutiful words above, that the governmetn is urgently stressing its own agencies be ready, thay they get ready to disruptions and have contingency plans in place. They (the government) is forcefully urging utilities, water companies, and the rest of the businesses to report their readiness to withstand the coming problems.

So why should you not do (for your family) exactly what the government is telling its agencies and the large businesses to do? Prepare for the future carefully, inventory what's present, repair what's needed, test the results, and be ready for unexpected events.

Exactly what hey federal government is doing. And what too few businesses and foreign governments are actually doing.

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), May 14, 1999.

Wow! Shellie, you brought out the best of this group's community spirit! (Community is where you find it. Maybe family is, too.)

The herd is just proving the extent of their herd-likeness. Major! When they turn again, watch out. (Meanwhile, do you try to argue with a stampede?)

Or in the Serengeti. The herd grazes, sideway eyeing the predators in the grass. Wondering when the attack will begin; meanwhile, why not continue eating? The weak will get cut out -- none thinks it's himself.

This unique event is playing all the old familiar human behavior patterns.

I knew from the first y2k "getting it" to keep quiet. My family already knows I'm the one who comes up with weird topics like y2k. They're probably surprised they haven't heard from me on this one. They are pretty cynical members of a cynical society. They also don't want to hear about anything they can't think they thought of themselves. I'll hear from them when they're ready.

They already know we moved to the farm -- they just haven't asked "why?" Wanna bet they would have asked in any other year?

-- jor-el (jor-el@krypton.com), May 14, 1999.

Hang in there Shellie,

I've gone through the same process - sent people tapes, printouts, books even - to no avail. Bottom line, you can't change some people - they'll just have to go their own way and possibly meet calmity head- on.

Good luck!

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), May 14, 1999.

Shellie, I can empathize with you on this.

RANT on: Last spring, when I first GI, my husband agreed that if we could find the right acreage at the right price, we'd move. We looked at several, but none really came close to meeting the criteria we had established. Then we found one. In the area we wanted, the price range we wanted and with almost all the extras we wanted; and he told me he didn't want to move. He was just keeping me happy, and had assumed we'd never be able to find what we said we wanted (yes, our marriage survived - that was just the year 19 scar).

After cooling down and some debate, we agreed to look for a cheaper bug out place that we could buy without having to sell our current residence. Now, he's waffling on that, too; he's convinced himself that we're only looking at a 4 at worst, and his job has already made it through a recession that bad. So, I've been storing staples, making arrangements to stay warm (-40 isn't uncommon in January, though usually warmer in the city, and the scales are the same at that point), and trying to figure out how to best ensure the survival of my family if I'm wrong and it gets even worse than a 7. In the larger family, one sister is a GI (hi, Lois ;-), one brother is a GI and can't prepare, one sister DWGI (I wouldn't either, in her position), and my other brother is sure that every thing will be fine - don't go raising panic. Mom's semi-GI. In-laws, who knows? I gave Dad TB2000 for Christmas. They just stayed here and had to pass the stash to reach their bedroom, but said nothing. Sis-in-laws hubby is IT and firmly believes that all is under control - has nothing to do with Y2K himself, though. Bro-in-law lives country now and his wife feels they are already fairly well prepared as electric is somewhat unreliable as it is. I pray daily (hourly?) that they're all right and my nightmares are only that. RANT off.

Prepare as best you can and have as much fun as you can, in this year of schizophrenia.

-- Tricia the Canuck (jayles@telusplanet.net), May 14, 1999.


A lot of people like to feel right by consensus ... then theyre often proved wrong by subsequent events.

Dare to be different. Whod want to be normal? As defined by most. (Gag).

Just ignore em. And enjoy your life and growing sense of security in a very unstable world. Y2K is not the only impact that can happen. (Remember the Mormons are supposed to have back-up preps for a whole year! Wise strategy ... for all sorts of life changes/challenges ... job loss is just one that sometimes gets peoples attention).

Your family and friends may start paying attention again, next fall. (You might even find yourself an unexpected teacher).

BTW, one of my neighbors is a Y2K-responsible key executive at a huge Silicon Valley computer firm. A few weeks ago, during an over-the- fence chat, he mentioned was agonizing over a draft letter, that had been sitting on his desk. He recognizes the companys Y2K responsibility to its employees. (Besides, the corporate self- interest and staffing concerns.) He has to send it out to all employees telling them to prepare. His dilemma was ... how much does he tell them to prepare for? Even though hes about a 3-4 on the GI scale, he then went on to mention he has a gun (I wont touch em) and at some point it would be a good idea to call a neighborhood meeting.

I consider that an interesting indicator. Hes extremely well- connected and privy to most info some of us Y2K researchers just dream about.

What many people say is often not what they do, when push comes to shove.


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), May 14, 1999.

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