HOW BAD IS IT GOING TO BE? How should you prepare.greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
THINK IT THROUGH
If you are just getting it (GIing) or starting on your preparations, If you are a regular, you've probably already read this in another form or a previous post. Preparing for the worst (or near worst) of Y2K (whatever you imagine it to be) demands intelligent planning and decision- making. In a past post, Arnie Rimmer outlines the basic prep issues: location, water, food, shelter, heat, and sanitation.
Focus on these first things. Otherwise, you might be spending good money on secondary or unnecessary preparations. Even if you focus on first things, resources may be such that mistakes can not be afforded in the problem-solving process. The new GI needs general and local expertise in order not to waste money on inappropriate products and services-- we all must keep paying bills! So ask a lot of questions.
STICK TO THE PLAN
Narrowing one's focus to first things is not just good advice. It is great advice for the new GI who has a tight budget! Maintaining this focus may also be hard advice to follow. For example, you drive by the camping store (that you've driven by a thousand times)and you're curious enough to turn around and check the place out (since you know from your copy of the F.E.M.A. disaster preparedness check list that you should consider getting some camping gear).
You pull in, go inside, and start looking around at the four person- 4 season tents, sleeping bags, and other stuff. You see a fantastic four person tent that is on sale at 50% discount (say, it's now selling for $250) and, heck, why shouldn't you get it now! You shouldn't get it now: you need to focus on first things. I almost did this. Big Dog (a regular, here) advised me about not worrying about the things I might not get. His advice was helpful when I decided not to buy the tent.
THOSE WITH THE COOLEST PREPS DO NOT NECESSARILY WIN
Ok, so you are a new GI and you are focusing on first things, but you may be focusing too hard on getting the "best in breed" of preps or what may seem to be the best preps. Unless you have the financial position, this also is not a reasonable way to proceed. This kind of focus can lead you to early defeat: some things may always be way out of your price range. You don't necessarily need the coolest of preps.
Do you need the armored Ford Explorer from Kroll O'Gara capable of shielding you from light machine gun fire or grenade blasts? Of course, you don't need it. Do you need the hottest wood stove, the biggest water and residential fuel tanks, canned food that lasts the longest, etc. The answer is most likely, no. If you have money for it, knock yourself out. I don't have money to burn. You may not either.
WATER, ALONE, IS NOT ENOUGH
For example, you decide to bring in a back hoe, drop a 3000 gallon plastic cistern/tank into your backyard, fit the tank with a hand pump, and all for $1,700. But if you only have $1,800 for Y2K preps, this is a bad decision-- regardless of all the funny looks you'll get from your neighbors. Get all bases covered in terms of first things. You may have water to last you a long time, but you don't want to have to relocate to a shelter because there's no heat or food after a week.
How much water, calories, vitamins, and heat is needed for each person are questions that new GI's need to know and calculate-- if they are going to make good preps. Previous posts from Anita, D, Rd, Valkyrie, and W.J. Turner about keeping simple in the preps helped me to further clarify this issue for myself. Some suggest preparing for two weeks and then, enlarging these basic preparations to one month, and so forth according to your decision of how long and how bad it will be.
Another problem to be avoided when preparing for Y2K is panic-buying. It really doesn't matter that the last generator is on the shelf at Hechingers (or wherever) and you can buy it. If you are on a tight budget and don't have a medical reason for that generator, forget it! I think these kinds of mistakes are likely to be made by new GIs who are trying to sort out their apprehensions and plans for preparations at the same time.
When you first GI, there are a lot of emotions going on and this is a bad time to be making decisions. If you can, you might turn your mind from Y2K for a day or two and enjoy life before jumping into these decisions. There is no need to get everything done, today. There is no general panic. Why should you panic? You shouldn't. Don't obsess over Y2K. On welfare or not, there is only time enough for you to prepare intelligently.
DO THE RESEARCH
Sometimes, rumors can panic new GIs who just feel like they need to be doing something now and fast! A few months ago, I was at a web site that said that gold coins of the 1/10th and 1/4 ounce American Eagle and Canadian Maple variety were not going to be available for much longer. Another site had a post saying the same. "Move it or lose it!" the author of that post exclaimed. The post made me somewhat nervous.
I called around and there wasn't any shortage of supply. But you know, those web sites and posts are still online. I can only imagine that some people are feeling pretty bad that they won't be able to get their gold coins. Of course, for me, gold coins are still not a real option at this point. In fact, I can't find silver coins at a decent price in small quantities. That's ok. These kinds of preparations are last on your list.
MAKE ED'S DISCUSSION FORUM YOUR HOME BASE ON THE WEB
As Sysman once noted, this forum has really made an effort to maintain a quality of information standard... and that really helps people when dealing with rumors that can cause panic and leave one with a sense of defeat. New and old GIs communicating more and more publicly about the realities of actual potential Y2K problems, availabilities shortages of goods, delivery delays (nationally and locally), and reputation of the dealers is a valuable aspect of this forum.
If you're in a less than positive financial situation, you really can't afford to make a lot of mistakes in your preparations... much less the mistakes of the trial and error variety. The insight of those who have done prepping (or those who are prepping) can really help newbies from avoiding trial and error mistakes. There are quite a few decent human beings here that are happy to help you make intelligent decisions and get through the emotions that you may be experiencing.
SPEAK UP, MEET PEOPLE
Don't be shy. Don't hang back in lurk mode if you have questions. If you think your question is silly or stupid, just ask your question and let the regulars decide if it is really silly or not. If you like, email me or another regular who uses a real email address. There a people on both sides (optimists and pessimists) that will try to help you answer your questions about preps. Ask Old Git about gardening.
If you can, go to one of the get togethers of Yourdonites. There have been get togethers in Texas, Northern Virginia, and elsewhere. Other get togethers are being planned including a second Northern Virginia get together. By going, you can decide for yourself if these people are crazy or not. Most likely, you'll be surprised by how Yourdonites are not one color or one ethnicity. But all share a common concern.
READ, READ MORE
In the course of determining the level of preparation that you should make in the face of Y2K dangers, there are several interesting posts in the archives on the various viewpoints and predictions. You will find my thread, "Mr. Decker and I beg to differ," somewhere in the archives of this forum. Also you might look for posts by Dave Walden and Rob Michael.
In researching what might go into your Y2K preparations, there are hundreds of good posts on a variety of subjects from wood burning stoves to bug out bags. Make good use of Brian's Preparation Archives with which you can select a category and bring up a list of relevant threads on a number of subjects such as light, heat, etc. Beyond the Preparation Archives tool, you can also search the general archives.
DON'T LET THE FIRE FIGHTS SCARE YOU OFF
There will be some messages that make you wonder if this is the right place for you. In the course of our public conversation on progress of the fixing of Y2K bugs and the potential danger of unfixed computer systems and chips, a fire fight may ensue. Some even try to disrupt the conversation. Most, however, contribute thoughtful, interesting, and useful information on how to prepare and what is really happening.
Ed's Discussion Forum is the "edge" that you will need to get these preparations done in the time remaining. You may never have imagined that the wisdom of a stranger could help you get through hard times ahead. It may even save your life and the lives of those you love. Despite the occasional breakdown of civility in some messages (this is a trying time for us all!), you'll benefit greatly by sticking around.
Sincerely, Stan Faryna
-- Stan Faryna (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 25, 1999
Stan... great, great post for newbie GIs. This line, regarding flames, is great...
"In the course of our public conversation on progress of the fixing of Y2K bugs and the potential danger of unfixed computer systems and chips, a fire fight may ensue. Some even try to disrupt the conversation. Most, however, contribute thoughtful, interesting, and useful information on how to prepare and what is really happening."
You have provided an invaluable service to new GIs, done it in a thoughtful manner, and warned them about some of the posters who get out of hand--all in a courteous way. Kudos! Sandmann
-- Sandmann (Sandmann@alasbab.com), May 25, 1999.
Y'know Stan, a modified form of your post would make a great flier to handout to GI newbies!
-- Arlin H. Adams (email@example.com), May 25, 1999.
Thank you Stan. I just e-mailed you and want you to know I'm one of those "GI's". I work as a clerical in a school district and I too don't have money to spare. I'm investing in the essentials, water, food and shelter, kerosene heater, oil lamps, radio, water filter, and a grain mill. I'm buying bulk food. Most of us on Long Island have electric stoves but I have a bottled-gas stove and will be getting an extra 100 lbs. in November, enough to last one year. If all else fails, we will head for our summer home in the Adirondacks. THANKS! Any further information would greatly be appreciated.
-- Martha Forte (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 25, 1999.
Martha, With all due respect, when you go up this summer, make sure that,, as you leave, h=you leave the place in shape to support you for at least a MONTH, because that is the minimum length of time you will need to catch your breath, and evaluate the situation, and determine your next move.
I grew up spending my first 3 years at Camp Assysium, and a year at Camp Nazareth, as my dad was the camp director, and then we spent every weekend at eighth lake for about 10 summers as I went from 8 to 18.
I'm UNSPEAKABLY jealous. I do happen to love my mountains. I just haven't figured out how to get my Aunt to leave me the house on Fourth Lake (boat house, dock and (wiping a tear or two) all).
Chuck , homesick for the mountains.
-- Chuck, a night driver (email@example.com), May 25, 1999.
Stan-- "In a past post, Arnie Rimmer outlines the basic prep issues: "
Could you provide a link for that post? Once a thread is archived, it's reeely hard to recover.
-- Tom Carey (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 25, 1999.
Wow! Tremendous response to this post so far: most of it being private email. That's great. I don't mind answering your questions. I'm more than happy to offer my humble opinion. If you don't get a reply from me immediately, you'll get it in no less than 24 hrs. That's service!
Sincerely, Stan Faryna
-- Stan Faryna (email@example.com), May 25, 1999.
For people looking for older forum posts on Preparation
Year 2000 Preparation Archive
Choose the category you are interested in and press Enter. The link will appear in a new page. Close window to return.
-- Brian (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 25, 1999.
Keep it simple. Prioritize. That's great advice. I live in Minnesota on a river with a fire place and wood stove. We get -30 in January. I started by buying a chain saw and cutting wood. then I bought some bleach to purify water and a bunch of candles. Then I bought a generator, a good one that idles down. I have some 55 gallon drums buried in a hill to hold gas. If I run the generator 1 hour a day, I can pump water, flush the toilet, and wash clothes for 3 months. Now I need to store up some food. I bought 50# of deciduous(sp) earth to keep the little critters from living in my buckets of grain, rice, and legumes. I ordered 5 gallons of parafin oil for my oil lamps. Now its just learning how to bake bread in a dutch oven.
-- John Littmann (JTL9700@JUNO.COM), May 27, 1999.
It should be possible to discuss Y2K personal preparedness as calmly and objectively as we discuss, say, appropriate levels of life insurance and medical insurance. If I were to ask everyone attending this hearing how much life insurance he or she had, the most likely answer would be "Enough." If I pressed further, I would probably discover that some people had ten times as much insurance as others -- because their circumstances are different, and because their perception of the need for insurance is different. But it's unlikely that the discussion would be distorted by angry rhetoric; it would simply be an exchange of information that might help some of us re- think the rationale that we used for determining how much insurance we needed.-Ed yourdon
-- zoobie (email@example.com), May 27, 1999.