A Thank You To Forum Regulars

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

Last weekend, a thunderstorm took out power to many rural residents in the area where I live. Many were without power for a 24 hours or longer. We ourselves were without power for about 12 hours.

Due to the preparations for such events Mrs Rimmer and I have been making for the past year, the event passed at this household almost without notice. We had plenty of food, water, shelter, lighting, communications and not only survived but actually did quite well. We could still cook, clean and do all the things we wanted to.

This was not the case for many of our neighbors who were forced to leave their homes and seek to necessities of life in areas with power. Some became quite upset -- I heard things like "They [the power company] can't do this to us." "Don't they know we have to have power?" "I'm really gonna give them an earfull about this one." One fellow even said "They're gonna have to give a discount on my bill for this." He was not exactly thrilled when I pointed out that the utility only bills you for the electricity you use and since when the power is out, you aren't using any, his 'discount' was already accumulating.

At the Rimmer household, life just went on while we patiently waited for crews to restore power to the area. No stress. No worry. We had everything we needed and were prepared to sit it out for as long as it took.

Had the same thing happened two years ago, we would have been in the same boat as many of our neighbors. The event was very minor and certainly not life threatening but it could have been the source of unnecessary frustration (as it was for our neighbors). I am happy to say that we weren't even the least bit frustrated.

We would like to sincerely thank those people on this forum who have contributed to the preparedness issues. You efforts are certainly appreciated by the Rimmers. Just thought you should know.

-- Arnie_Rimmer (Arnie_Rimmer@usa.net), July 10, 1999


The day after I learned about Y2K the power went off at my work it put a strange perspectve on the situation.

-- J Pilpat (jpilpat@mailexcite.com), July 10, 1999.

Arnie, you have verified what has been pointed out all along: You never lose by preparing for Y2K, even if it in itself should turn out to be a non-event. I hope your neighbors got a bit smarter after this. (Nahh, probably not, they have already forgotten about it, right?)

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.com), July 10, 1999.

Arnie Rimmer,

Sir, I have been meaning to ask you this for quite some time now, and I keep forgeting to do so.

Do you think that you could convince Mrs. Rimmer to come up off of that recipe for "Bathwater Soup" that you made reference to in your report of the two day test?

Our "test" was a two day ice storm. Same results as yours though. I think that I too like this being prepared for "whatever". It really is comforting.

Stay well

Check 6


-- sweetolebob (buffgun@hotmail.com), July 10, 1999.

I'd like to extend our gratitude to this forum as well. We experienced a blackout during a Spring blizzard a few months back. Our neighbors (all 'rural') were forced to brave horrible highway conditions just to get to town and stay with friends and family who had heat and water (they lost power to well pumps). We continued to watch the Lennox Lewis 'slaughter' on TV and used oil lamps to conserve the solar. Wood burning cook stove (we converted to propane as well, for summer cooking). We did have to bring 50 chicks into the kitchen in boxes because the barn and heat lamp runs off the grid...big deal. Couldn't have handled that little test with as much ease if not for my obsessive reading of this forum and the wonderful people who have contributed to it for the past year we've been preparing!!

Thanks to all! I would have had a much more difficult time bringing my parents around to the dangers of Y2K if I hadn't of had all of your wonderful investagative information either! My use of the Internet began two months before this 'discovery'!! God Bless you all!

-- Will continue (farming@home.com), July 10, 1999.

Yeah, it's kind of like that "Neighborhood Watch" thingie. . .

We've got all the personalities, and you know what? Some of us have hung out so long together we even miss our favorite "trolls" when they haven't been around for a while.

(Dieter? Where are ya' guy?)


-- FM (vidprof@aol.com), July 10, 1999.


Out of sheer curiosity, how much did this forum contribute to your state of preparedness? Are we really that helpful, or would you have done this from your own research anyway? I ask because I was prepared for outages before I ever heard of this forum, but many may have been galvanized by what they read here. In any case, I'm glad it was no big deal to you. And I hope that it never will be again.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), July 10, 1999.


Thanks for the post - good point. I had a similar situation occur last winter. I got iced in for about four days and was unable to get my car out to go shopping. Under normal circumstances I would have been screwed because I usually to do "JIT" inventory with most of my meals (I know this is terrible, but I would just get some fast food or pick up something at the supermarket deli for the next day or so). But because I had been preparing for Y2K, I just tapped in to my emergency supplies until I got myself dug out. I could have lasted for weeks at the time if I had to. What a great feeling!

I still need to do a "power out" drill for a day or two to test out my generator and other preps, but knowing I've made arrangements sure takes a lot of the stress out of Y2K for me.

-- Clyde (clydeblalock@hotmail.com), July 10, 1999.

I spent 98 preparing (thus only lurking here until November, didn't have time to put to it; since then, I feel I owe some payback for the help). Yourdon's book and this forum were instrumental for me. As a result, I have as much peace of mind this year as is possible considering the uncertainty. My thanks to Ed and all of you.

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), July 10, 1999.

Flint asked:
"Out of sheer curiosity, how much did this forum contribute to your state of preparedness? Are we really that helpful, or would you have done this from your own research anyway? I ask because I was prepared for outages before I ever heard of this forum, but many may have been galvanized by what they read here. In any case, I'm glad it was no big deal to you. And I hope that it never will be again. "

Good question, Flint, I'll try to explain as best I can. This forum contributed two major things to our preparedness: specifics and mindset.

First, there have been literally hundreds of suggestions and commentaries made here on ways to prepare without bankrupting yourself or purchasing items that you may never need. As a result, the things we have spent money on are, by and large, things that will be used regardless of how Y2K turns out. Food will be eaten, clothing will be used, etc, etc.

Tips on what to avoid as well as things that work well. Tips on how to evaluate your own vulnerability and how to adapt to the specifics of my own situation have saved us a lot of time and money. Far from being a 'sales and promotion' forum, this venue has had a great many posts concerning how to avoid the hype, find the things you really need and get the job done without putting yourself in debt or throwing your money at hucksters.

There have been numerous discussions on how to avoid panic, how to deal with stress, how to test your readiness, how to judge your success.

The books alone that I've read as result of participating here have been well worth the price of admission.

This forum prompted me to accelerate our plans for getting out of debt and just recently, for the first time in 20 years, we are debt free (with the single exception of our mortgage). It wasn't easy to do it as fast as we did. We had to give up a couple of things and forego some unneed luxuries, but the point is we did it and it feels pretty good.

But by far the most important thing this forum has contributed to the Rimmer household has been the mindset that (1) being self-reliant is not a one-time thing specifically related to what Y2K but a way of life that goes on regardless of what Y2K does or does not bring, (2) that we are all capable of being more self-reliant if we have the will do what it takes to get there (no, it's not easy but it is worthwhile) and, (3) that no one - not the government, not the utilities, not the community, not the banks or the brokers, not my relatives nor my employer is responsible for the safety and well being of myself and my family. That responsibility belongs to me and me alone.

In a nutshell, it's not that I previously disagreed with the above statements. Rather, it's more that until the potential risk of Y2K presented itself, I had never spent much time thinking about them, considering their implications and taking the actions required to demonstrate that I fully understood the implications. I was rather like the vast majority who, rather than take actions to avoid the frustrations associated with (for example) the lack of electricity, would rather wait until the event actually happens, then complain loudly.

It is this significant change in thinking and resultant change in behavior that is the most valuable thing we have take from this forum. It has definitely been a change for the better. If you've always had this mindset, I congratulate you and I can see where you might not value this aspect of the forum as much as I do.

I came to this forum a year ago seeking help on preparing for potential problems caused by Y2K. Over the past year, I've gotten all that and much more.

SweetOleBob: I'll ask Mrs. Rimmer for you ...

Out of sheer curiosity, how much did this forum contribute to your state of preparedness? Are we really that helpful, or would you have done this from your own research anyway? I ask because I was prepared for outages before I ever heard of this forum, but many may have been galvanized by what they read here. In any case, I'm glad it was no big deal to you. And I hope that it never will be again.

-- Arnie Rimmer (Arnie_Rimmer@usa.net), July 10, 1999.

Ooops. Sorry about that final paragraph. Cut and paste bit me again.

-- Arnie Rimmer (Arnie_Rimmer@usa.net), July 10, 1999.


This last post of yours, explaining the real and measurable value this forum has had for you, IMHO is one of the most meaningful messages I've seen on this forum lately. Recently there was a post that called this forum a "national treasure". You have just reminded me of why that is true. It's not about "doomers" and "pollys" and "trolls", and sometimes it really is about more than Y2k. Thanks for your reasoned response to Flint's question.

-- RUOK (RUOK@yesiam.com), July 10, 1999.


Great question


After the Y2K mess is over and a definitive book is writen, please write the introduction. Substance and Style is rare and you have both. That response should be framed.

-- Brian (imager@home.com), July 10, 1999.

Excellent points Arnie, I relate to them all. This forum has contributed to my ability to deal with FAR more than mere power outages! It has reinforced my 'can do' attitude and removed doubts and fears. It has filled in the gaps and sparked thought patterns. But, by far the most important thing for me, has been the elimination of my feelings of solitude and isolation in my knowledge of future potentials!! You see, I'm not alone when I read this forum, and I NEVER doubt my sanity since finding it. I guess it's sort of a 'bonding' kinda thingie, ya know? Not to mention....some of the *funniest* people I've run across live here. My God.....the belly laughs have SAVED me on more than many occasions. If I stop laughing just put me in the ground, it'll all be over for ME.

Gotta go now....this thread is gettin' rather mushy. ick

-- Will continue (farming@home.com), July 10, 1999.

WC, you've ruined your image--shame on you! Arnie, everyone--exactly. Couldn't have said it better myself. I mean that, I absolutely couldn't express myself half as well as Arnie if I tried my best!

I've said many times that I've always wanted to have an emergency stash as comprehensive as the one I have now; knowledge of JIT began it, Hurricane Fran added to it, and Y2K really rounded it out. And, thanks to lots of helpful hints and--most important--reassurance from this forum that I'm not a complete nutter, Sweetie, the cats and I will ride out any sudden loss of power in relative style and comfort without going in debt or bankrupting ourselves to do it. Much affection to you all--you know who you are.

Now, off with this maudlin crap, on witn the serious stuff!

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), July 10, 1999.

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