New to Y2K? How long a disruption period to prepare for? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

One of the challenging things about preparing for Y2K is answering the How long a disruption period should I prepare for question. The short answer is for as long as you reasonably and prudently can.

Predictions about the duration and severity of Y2K are all over the map. If you have looked into Y2K and determined that some level of preparation is prudent, then this question soon follows. It really is a personal consideration in that your preparations, which assume some period of disruptions, rely to an extent on your ability to prepare. How much time and money can you allocate? Based on your research into Y2K, what are your expectations for the length of the disruptions and the kind of disruptions where you live? All of this comes into consideration when formulating your preparation plans, which are also based on your best guess for how long disruptions will last. One of the most helpful things you can continue to do is stay tuned to Y2K, keeping up with the latest developments so that you can modify your expectations and subsequently you preparations as time passes quickly by.

If you think that the impact of Y2K will be mild, what makes more sense to you: preparing for more severe disruptions than you anticipate or preparing for the mild scenario that you expect? Ask yourself what happens if your expectations are wrong. If you are wrong and Y2K is not mild, would you have any regrets about your decision? To my mind, the only thing that makes sense is to prepare to your maximum extent, not just go out and get a few things just in case. Is it a big problem if you have way more toilet paper and food than you think will be necessary? If you are right and Y2K is mild you can still eat your food and wipe your butt. If you are wrong, you may be in a world of crap, both literally and figuratively.

You cannot be over-prepared for Y2K uncertainty. You can be under-prepared. Millions will be. Dont be one of them. Weigh the stakes and risks of each for yourself and act now, while you still can. Life is full of choices. Choose well.

-- Rob Michaels (, June 12, 1999


As always, Rob, great post! -- even for those of us who have been around for awhile....

-- Libby Alexander (, June 12, 1999.

It will be interesting to see if the mortality rate rises above the norm. But I recommend being prepared to be out of work for a *lot* longer than the bill collectors are out of work.

-- Flint (, June 12, 1999.

Think of it as a change, that will last a life time.

-- reality (, June 12, 1999.

you mention bill-collectors,anyone think they,ll be a problem in y2k?

-- al-d. (, June 12, 1999.

Thanks for keeping the faith Rob,

My timer tells me that many more are joining us each week. If you need storage requirements for preps (I will risk the double post wrath of Kahn) and;

A great help for me, hope it helps someone new also.

Side note-- Is the link ahref thing working again, I haven't used it for quite a while because of the inability to shut it off after the url? I was embarassed and angry about it so I quit trying, but many newbies probably need the *link* feature to get there.

-- unspun@lright (, June 12, 1999.

Thanks, Rob.

It all comes down to "choices" doesn't it? Hopefully, they're informed ones.


-- Diane J. Squire (, June 12, 1999.

Hi al-d. Don't think I ever 'talked' with you before. There is a difference of opinion about Y2K and holding debt. Some feel the more debt they run up the better, hoping that Y2K will be so bad that they will not have to pay up. To me this is nonsense. Like I said before, what if Y2K turns out different than expectations, and in this case you are on the hook for paying off a mountain of debt. Not wise. Always look at the consequences of your decisions. To me it is a better idea to prepare in such a way that you will eliminate or greatly reduce your chance of having regrets, especially if you end up being wrong. I also think that debt has a place, like holding a mortgage, but outside of that am generally debt averse, even without Y2K.

Some also look into thier crystal ball and see hyperinflation which would argue for having lots of debt, since you are paying off the debt with 'cheaper' dollars later. Again, look at the potential consequences if it turns out you are wrong.

We are entering a period of consequences, as we drift from uncertainty to uncertainty. Part of being prepared is to think things through. There is no substitute for thought.

-- Rob Michaels (, June 12, 1999.

Rob, I agree that it's smarter to overprepare than to underprepare. But I remain uncertain of how long any y2k disruptions might last. I know, most everybody is. The ones who say they know are usually too full of themselves to admit that there are lots of variables.

But to say that you can't overprepare makes me ask, why not? Would you have those of us with the resources buy enough food, water storage tanks, etc, to last the rest of our lives? How about enough to provide for our grandkids for their entire lives?

I know I am carrying this argument to ridiculous extremes; however, in reality, wouldn't it be nice to know more about the risks than we do? If I new for sure, or even almost for sure, that there would be major problems for a year, or two years, I would certainly stockpile enough supplies to cover my butt for that length of time, even if I had to borrow monet to do it. But so far, there is so much bombastic rhetoric on both sides of this issue, that I cannot believe that I should prepare to that extent.

What kind of preparations are YOU making, Rob?

-- malcolm drake (, June 12, 1999.

There are many reasons to prepare, Y2K being only one:

1. Given the mega-mergers going on in neraly every field there are going to be an increase in the unemployed even if Y2K = Bump in the Road.

2. Many of world's largest economies especially Japan and China are experiencing DEFLATION. In a deflationary economy, production and productivity slows dramatically because the common expectation is "I won't buy today because I can buy tomorrow at a lower price. So nonessential goods production drops for things like automobiles, steel, capital improvments, etc. SO the preps you put in away today may be a better investment that gold, silver, stocks or bonds.

3. Geopolitical turmoil anywhere can disrupt the high level of international trade or severe weather can disrupt certain commodities. So coffee, tea or other imported items could be in short availability.

4. There are many now saying that Y2K will be more than a Bump but less than TEOTWAWKI, de Jager is quoted today as saying 2-3 weeks of preparation should be adequate. Even if de Jager is right, there will still be alot of people that do not or cannot prep for even a 3 week disruption in supply. So by doing some extra prepping, you can help your family, your friends and your community.

I would give great thought into acquiring that which you feel you will need and in bypassing that which you think you can do without. For example, I've decided I can do without an expensive gas guzzling generator in favor of simpler and greater quantity of essentials.


-- Bill P (, June 12, 1999.

malcolm: It sure would be great to know more specifics about the risks that we face. In the absence of this, preparing to the maximum extent that we can in a reasonable and prudent way, based on our individual expectations I think makes sense. This is what I have done, and am continuing to do still.

You are right to question the idea of 'over-preparing'. Certainly there comes a time where the line crosses over 'reasonable'. It is a personal consideration which differs for each of us. Many people new to Y2K have just started preparing, and it is better that they err on the side of caution, in my opinion, than to not be as prepared as they can.

-- Rob Michaels (, June 12, 1999.

A suggestion....give special attention to those items you KNOW you will need and will use anyway. Things that have a good shelf life (food) and other items (TP etc.) could be placed in a self storage unit (stacked & labeled & dated). Later this year you could use your credit cards .... if necessary to assure adequate supplies. Put some cases of bottled water in also. Make sure you can get to your goodies under any to the manager.

My house is full and I bought some quality Rubbermaid containers for the patio....and I plan to fill up a 10x10 rental later this year. As we all have so often said, "if its only a bump we will use it anyway....or make the goodwill people happy.

I hate waste and hopefully there will be very little in my preparations. I have done a lot over the past year and there is still plenty to do. I look forward to the end of the year because I am so tired of trying to forcast the future. Preparing for a potiently bad (8) and I sure would settle for a (4).

-- rb (, June 12, 1999.

Pick one:

1) It's not bad, you're prepared 2) It's not bad, you're not prepared 3) It's bad, you're prepared 4) It's bad, you're not prepared


-- br14 (br14@bout.done), June 13, 1999.

br14: Short and sweet. I like it. Seems to me that there are two we could pick, not one. BTW, never thought I would be posting a response to someone with a handle for the ol' IBM scrtach utility (IEFBR14)!

-- Rob Michaels (, June 14, 1999.

Why is it such a trauma for some people to attempt to build a more secure future for themselves. Switzerland is able to protect more than 90% of its population from biological, chemical and nuclear attack. Guess how and why?

Prepare for a prolonged TEOTWAWKI. What do you have to lose?

-- Not Again! (, June 14, 1999.

not again:

you asked "Why is it such a trauma for some people to attempt to build a more secure future for themselves?"

Lots of reasons. Many are feeling secure now, and see no need. Unemployment is low, financial markets are high, inflation is low, and times have been good. Most people will never see a major change in trend until it has manifested itself. It is always a "surprise". If they stopped and thought a while, and questioned things for themselves, then this would increase their chances of seeing the various possibilities on the horizon. They don't though. Too much trouble. Things are fine. Why worry about tomorrow. Why worry at all.

Assuming that for whatever reason they get past this, then the hard part comes. Dealing with a potential threat to your nice little current "reality". A threat without precedent. A threat that may require even more thought to deal with, and the hard work and sacrifice of preparation - most of which may be completely new and frightening.

Trauma, you say. Yes. Trauma it is. The truama of opening ones eyes and ears and seeing, hearing, that which is there but previously not acknowledged. Most people would rather be entertained than have to think hard, especially about something that would force them to think even more and get out of their wonderful little box. Reality doesn't care though. It will exert itself, and they will be "surprised" - again.

-- Rob Michaels (, June 14, 1999.

(My personnel belief) is not trying to store supplies for 1-2 years but to have methods to provide the basics for an indefinite period of time. Its hard to store enough food for years,but how about a garden that will continue to reap harvests for as long as you tend them. Store how much water? Not easy! How about a well with generator or well bucket, always fresh! Eventually, stored supplies run out. Try to plan in a way that helps to provide an indefinite supply. (My opinion) For stored supplies plan for 6 months. Need to make it through the winter months with a cushion.

-- Rick (, July 15, 1999.

Rick -

I agree with you - 6 months to get you through the winter + and as a part of those preps, non-hybrid seeds for the basics. By then, I think we will be able to purchase (for a price no doubt) basics like flour and sugar and coffee. We have well water available so that helps. Still think the best quote I have gotten out of this forum is "better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it".

-- Valkyrie (, July 15, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ