I'm having a difficult time understanding why with all the knowledgeable people in the world the only honest claim any of them can make is no one knows what will happen come rollover.

Hell I can't do anything well unless I proceed with some sense of certainty; and I'm not entirely brain dead I'm just numb all the time from working to no end to support and guide three young children.

Quite frankly I'm tormented by the endless parade of conflicting views concerning this issue. My time and energy are already taxed beyond my capacity. My life here is a lesson in perpetual sacrafice. I need some help. I need a view to help light a fire in this struggling old soul.

Sincerely, Rob

-- Rob Carroll (, August 28, 1999


Rob, in your struggle to raise your three children do you proceed only when the outcome is absolutely certain? How did you decide between evidence that it was better for kids if their parents worked and put them in daycare, and evidence that it is better if parents stayed home? How did you decide between evidence that home-schooling or public or private schooling is better? How did you decide between evidence pro or con immunizations? Pro or con on TV watching? Or - back to the beginning - pro or con home birth or hospital birth, labor medication and circumcision? What about diet.. is twinkies and coke okay or just organic fruits and vegetables?

Y2K is not by any means the only issue where conflicting evidence is presented. But where really is the uncertainty? Where is the conflict? No one knows for certain if a particular company or industry will fail.. true. But I haven't seen any credible evidence that all (or even most) of any industry or any country has been fixed. We have seen a steady progression of missed deadlines and changes in expectations downward. 100% compliant by Dec. 31, 1998 (or by any other date) is as extinct as the dodo. I see NO information that makes preparations for disruptions unwise. Of course there is that little matter of degree. Is a six-pack of Evian and some mac-n-cheese enough, or do you need the bunker and heavy ammo?

Its not the odds... its the stakes. You're on your own there. (and yes, I feel your pain... I've got 3 of my own and a DGI hubby).

-- Linda (, August 28, 1999.

Thank you Linda,

You deserve answers to your questions. I'll try to respond before this thread submerges but I'm off to make a buck right now.

The short answer would be my key word was doing things well. I suppose I'm trying to say my heart is not in it. I need to explore this dicotomy.

-- Rob Carroll (, August 28, 1999.

Rob, I related to your post so much. My kids motivate me to prepare. I finally decided we will never be able to predict the outcome with any certainty so just go for it to what ever degree you can handle. I know the feeling of being overwhelmed with the present with kids. I feel like I am living in 2 worlds. Storing food, ect. and planning for my daughter's Bat Mitzvah next June. It is absolutly nuts. But as someone said (I can't remember where I saw it, maybe here) "It's not the odds, it's the stakes." That idea really hit me. Also, when I really get confused, I try to look at reports. Not opinions, just reports. Like the government statements and all. Even if you really listen to Koskinen, and he says prepare for 3 day storm. That scares me. Why would even say prepare for a 3 day storm? The navy thing really got to me, the past senate hearings, how much money is being spent on this thing, and on and on and on. To me there is no question of the need to prepare. The most confusing thing to me is what in the world is the problem with everyone around me who is ignoring these things. That boggles my mind.

-- a mom (mom@same.boat), August 28, 1999.


It may help to think of the issue(s) in this context. The only thing certain about Y2K is that the actual technical glitch itself will begin at the stroke of 24 "midnights," moving east to west around the globe, at the beginning of the new millenium. All other events flowing thenceforth are speculative.

As you no doubt appreciate, this seemingly endless speculation ranges from the utter destruction of civilization, to just another beginning of the year, with anomalies, if any, only local in nature and passing with little notice.

My own thinking, resulting in my particular strategy is based upon this: Until the Yourdons, Yardenis, and DeJagers, of the world began to successfully publish their respective works, the issue of Y2K remained an obscure technical one, understood only within the IS community. Add to this the fact that apparently only a small number of people within this mystical fraternity, upon which our wonderfully productive economy increasingly is dependent, were appreciative of the significance of the scope of this pervasive problem, and the varying degrees of resources required to deal with it. These resource requirements range from a modest expense coupled with a simple replacement strategy, resulting in an "easy" solution, to all-out development efforts with all the woes that have come to be associated with that level of creative IS activity. Finally, all of it, intricately woven into the very fabric of our economic life blood, inexorably moving toward a fixed point in time in the near future, whereupon, uncorrected, it will at the least create disruptions of unknown consequences to aspects affecting our standard of living or at the worst, our very survival.

If it is certainty you are looking for, there is little to be found beyond the fact that the problem exists, and in response to it there has now been spent billions of dollars toward its resolution. What then should you do?

I have looked at it much like insurance. There is risk. It could be minor, it may be immense. Do I wish to mitigate that risk and if so to what degree? Can it be satisfactorily "hedged" in my mind by a modest financial expenditure, or must I commit a large percentage of my resources to accomplish it? Should I change my lifestyle, or continue as I am with little or no change to same?

In my mind, and as many have indicated on this forum, insurance for anything approaching a "5" seems prudent. Embodied in that sentence however, lies the crux of the issue. YOU will have to decide. It is your Right to do so, your responsibility to do so, and because this is America, your obligation to do so. Unfortunately we have now reached a point in the history of this republic where increasing numbers of people have become all too eager to defer their responsibilities to the rest of us.

Should Y2K unfold toward the higher end of the 0 - 10 scale, this tendency toward personal abdication of responsibility will produce dire consequences for our civilization. Your decision that I have characterized as one of "insurance" will determine for you and for those that depend upon you, your position on the "dire consequence" scale. Whether it be toward "1" or "10," is entirely your responsibility.

The fact that you posted your question indicates you accept that responsibility. As the keeper of the chalice in the third "Indiana Jones" movie suggests, choose wisely.

With respect

-- Dave Walden (, August 28, 1999.

Bob, maybe you do know, really, but, like so many of us ,feel like the "Little Red Hen". Hang in. Maggie the Red Hen

-- Maggie Germann (, August 28, 1999.

I often send a "Quote of the Day" email to my brother and sister-in- law. While I had heard it before, "It's not the odds, it's the stakes" is really prophetic. I think part of the stress stems from the fact that, while we know to prepare, we have no idea what we are preparing for. Many come to this forum long after any hope of better understanding the problem has vanished. At least some of the motivation comes from the fact that the haunting ambiguity is a shared experience here (and nowhere else). Do what allows you to sleep at night.

-- Dave (, August 28, 1999.

Rob, just remeber, with three kids, the preps--with a long shelf life--won't be wasted.

-- Mara Wayne (, August 28, 1999.

Rob: "I can't do anything well unless I proceed with some sense of certainty..."

Think of it like driving on the Interstate. Better yet, think of it like driving on I-85 or I-75 or I-20 in Atlanta at rush hour. The 55 mph speed limit is ignored. Tailgating is epidemic. Amateur and macho drivers abound. Courtesy is rare to absent.

There is no certainty available. The best you can do is deal with whatever comes at you however you can.

-- Tom Carey (, August 28, 1999.


I don't think any of us can proceed with absolute certainty. We can only proceed with as much information as we are able to obtain, interpret and divine.

If you haven't already done so, you might start with a small, personal view in focus. Get as much information as you can about those things that most directly impact your family, such as; your employer, your bank, your mortgage company, your health insurance company, your utility providers, your telco, your city's emergency services, your neighborhood grocery, your local hospital(s), etc. Somewhere in the archives (maybe someone else can help with some links) are threads about what questions you should be asking those entities on whom your survival may depend.

If you've been reading this forum for any length of time, you probably know what kinds of answers to be on the lookout for---like, "we take Y2K very seriously, we're working very hard to fix it, and we don't anticipate having any problems." That's a non-answer. To me, an answer like, "we will have all mission critical systems remediated and tested by December 1999" is also a non-answer when my life may depend on someone else meeting an immoveable deadline.

Pursuing all of these local sources is overwhelming enough without trying to understand or analyze the conflicting information about our government, global issues and interdependencies. Since time is of the essence, and noting that your e-mail address places you in Montana (I've been there many times in Winter), you might start with those things that would present the greatest emergency to your family if they were unavailable.

This forum is a wonderful resource. If you get confusing answers from any of your providers, bring them here and ask about them. Also, if and when you uncover areas of personal vulnerability, such as home heating, if you're unsure what to do, please visit the Time Bomb 2000 preparations only's a goldmine of knowledgeable people.

The important thing is to start somewhere and start now. Best of luck to you and your family as we head into the unknown.

-- RUOK (, August 28, 1999.

The uncertainty is, indeed, a killer. The odds of making the wrong decision are high.

One wants to collect more information to improve those odds, however, with y2k you will find that the more information you gather, the more conflicting it is. Also, with y2k there is an increase in competition the longer you wait to commit and a potential definite "drop dead" point in time when preparations may turn into things needed today.

The stakes of making the wrong decision are also high. In my analysis, the stakes of not preparing and later needing those preparations had the potential to be life-threatening, while the stakes of preparing and not needing were financially painfull, but only in the short term. The stakes of doing nothing at all are the same as not preparing.

My most precious assets at risk are aged 22 and 18. I live in a remote area and our y2k task force suggests 2 months preparations. I respect their guidance in this matter. However, since they are such precious assets and other world events are so volatile at this time, I decided that I wanted to do everything I could to ensure that they had enough tools and preparations to give them time to learn and practice skills for a better chance of self-reliant survival if other scenarios intervene. Now, we probably have enough to get us past first harvest/hunt and a chance at maintaining some quality of life in where we may find ourselves at landing.

Y2k hits home at a mother's heart. I did not carry, give birth to and raise my babies to fail them at the threshold of their majority. The stakes are just too damned high not to err on the side of caution.

-- anon (, August 28, 1999.


I sure do hear you. I went through it almost a year ago, though, when there was less info to go on. Here is the way I resolve it in my mind:

It is all about insurance. If you pay for a year's worth of home, auto, or life insurance and then never make a claim, it is considered a victory. But knowing that you had the coverage gave you some sense of security. Same for Y2K preps. If you prepare and then never need the stuff, you win!

I have divided my Y2K preps into two catagories: Stuff I am going to use anyway, and stuff I hope I never have to use. In the latter catagory you'll find canned goods (I am not much of a fan of Hormel, if you know what I mean), fuel and lighting supplies, water storage containers, etc. Every dime I spend on these kinds of items I regard as insurance premiums. Glad I have them, hope I never use them.

As for the stuff I am going to use anyway, I have decided that I am just buying next year's stuff this year. This includes coffee, toothpaste, TP, batteries, you get the idea. If you don't do anything else, at least start buying next year's stuff this year. You have nothing to lose.

If Y2K turns out to be A-OK, I will be gleefully donating all the Hormel, etc. to some food bank and then getting on with my life. Premium paid, no claim made. Victory.

Rob, if you have been hanging around this and other sites for any amount of time, you know to much now. You will never be able to live with yourself if it turns out that you need the stuff and you didn't get it in time.

Getting started is the hardest part. You think people will laugh at you. F**k 'em. Keep your mouth shut and buy some insurance for your family. And some peace of mind for yourself.

-- semper paratus (get_preps@feel.better), August 28, 1999.


I wish I had an easy answer for you, but I don't. I'm the same way, in that I feel there's no guarantees, about next year. Life is always unpredictable, and sometimes at the last minute, you somehow manage to dodge a bullet, no matter how slim your odds are.

But you have to ask yourself, am I willing to risk myself and mine, because there's room for doubt?

Think of it in terms of weather forecasting. The parallels are pretty strong. Just like in Y2K, you can listen to different experts arrive at a different forecast, using the same data. These weather experts will often even arrive at concensus about a weather event, and end up being dead wrong.

Now say for instance, there is a prediction for a cold front to move in, sometime between this evening, and tomorrow morning. You decide to ignore the forecast, and don't take a jacket with you, when you leave the house. No big deal, there, if it turns a little cooler, before you return, you might be uncomfortable, but you won't die.

but what if it's a Cat5 hurricane that is predicted and some experts say that it's coming right at you, and some say it's likely to change course, at some point and hit further up the coast. A prudent person would take precautions and leave the quibbling about which expert was the better forcaster for the "monday morning quarterback" session.

The best advice I can give you is to learn the shelf life of various types of food that you eat, anyway, and then stock up on those. This link: b914-w.html is for the Georgia University agricultural department and has lots of good info on shelf life and proper storage. If you do web searches for info, look for the Mormon sites. The Mormans are old hands at long term food storage, since preparedness has always been one of their churches teachings. I'm sure I have the link, somewhere, but I can't seem to find it right now. If I do find it, in the next day or two, I'll come back and post it.

My other advice, is what my wife and I call the "Third World Diet" - beans and rice. Buy lots of both. They're dirt cheap and it beats going hungry. This is our fall back plan, in case the disaster outlasts our three months "comfortable" preps.

The other thing is water, this is cheap, right now, if you get it straight from the tap. The best container that is common around the house is 2 liter soft drink bottles. Clean them, fill them with tap water and add 4 drops of Chlorine bleach (Make sure it's active ingredient is sodium hypochlorite and that the bleach is unscented) and store in a cool dark place.

Start small, don't overwhelm yourself right from the get-go. Do the Red Cross recommended three days first. I think you'll find that's not as hard to do, as it may sound. Once you get that under your belt, go for three more. The shoot for two weeks. My wife was G.I. before I was, and at first, after being convinced of the need for preps, I was in a deep depression, because I thought prepping would be unshirted murder, and the complete end of any kind of quality time in my life. I soon found out that it's not. But if we hadn't started small, I think I'd still be in a state of high anxiety.

Good luck to you. If I think of any other URLs, I post them

-- Bokonon (, August 28, 1999.

[Fair Use: For Educational/Research Purposes Only]

The Politically Correct Forecast

By Victor Porlier

March 31, 1999

No one knows for certain the end from the beginning of any major public concern. On Y2K, any opinion or forecast is a guess, an informed one hopefully, but a guess nonetheless.

Life is filled with risk and surprising outcomes. That is why we pay insurance premiums to cover improbable, but not impossible surprises that can damage our health, homes, cars, and businesses. Every such situation requires a personal assessment. Should your car insurance include a collision rider? If not, you can reduce your current out-of-pocket expense. How risk averse are you?

Right now, people are attempting to assess Y2K risk. Most are not on the Internet. They are not exposed to the data, commentary, and contrary viewpoints available there. Prepare or not prepare? Prepare for what? For how long? For these answers, the majority relies on the mass media and word of mouth.

Thankfully, we are almost past having to hear that Y2K was just a "hyped-up- money-making hoax from the get go." Too many Y2K crashes and data corruptions have been documented to support that opinion. Too many bottom line conscious CEOs and government officials have authorized spending millions of dollars just to insure the continuity of business and services to believe it is a hoax. The question now is how much has been effectively done and will be done prior to January 2000 in both the U.S. and in other countries? What is the array of possible and likely outcomes in terms of short-term, localized critical infrastructure failures, longer term economic ripple effects, and any coincident acts of terrorism? Without a clearer picture of future possibilities, it is extraordinarily difficult to decide what to prepare for as a family, a business, a government, or a community.

It is the essence of a complex, advanced civilization (especially one that covers the globe) to have a highly specialized division of labor. We know our own specialty well, but have to rely on other specialists for other goods and services, support, and guidance. It is a rational decision to remain uninformed about the details of most other specialties. Social scientists call this "rational ignorance." There just isn't enough time both to do our work well and to learn many other specialties. We are forced by the nature of our society to put our trust in "the experts" almost all the time.

However, there are exceptions. If you or a loved one is diagnosed with a debilitating or life threatening disease, it is no longer rational to remain uninformed. Especially when you soon learn that the experts in the field disagree on the character of the diagnosis and the prescription. You realize that you can either surrender your judgment to one of these experts or you can take responsibility for learning as much as you can and making any final decisions. To do this you need to acquire facts and evaluate the competing experts' inferences and forecasts.

Currently, the majority of Y2K authorities in positions of institutional power appear to have reached a consensual diagnosis and prescription. I include here the Federal government, both the White House and the Senate, the Federal Reserve System, the national trade associations and the corporations they represent; as well as the mainstream print and television mass media. It is the politically correct establishment position or "The PC Forecast," as I call it. The PC Forecast is the public opiate which appeals to our cultural inertia and optimism.

It goes something like this:

The back of Y2K has been broken. It is all mop up from here on. With the exception of some foreign countries, especially the developing countries, and a number of smaller businesses and governments in the U.S. that are lagging, there will be no widespread Y2K impact in our nation. The few that may occur, that could have disruptive consequences, will be highly localized and last no more than two to three days at worst - sort of a long, weekend winter storm.

In real terms, it follows that you need do nothing to prepare, even if you live in one of those rare locales which may experience a brief disruption in the delivery of goods and services. Why? Because anyone can get through up to three days with the resources at hand and maybe a little help from neighbors. It also follows that having thus trivialized any impact that many of the owners of smaller businesses and managers of smaller governments will continue to ignore addressing any Y2K issues they may actually have.

The federal agency on point for the "three days at worst" message is the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA). Anyone advocating a greater time period than three days, e.g. The Red Cross (one week) or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (14 days), by implication, is overreacting. The mantra of the PC Forecast is "Three days good. More days bad."

The commentators who subscribe to the PC Forecast seem to focus solely on the level of consumables to have on hand - food, flashlights, and candles. Having more cash on hand or more prescription drugs than normal is discouraged. Even given the winter storm analogy, the purchase of wood stoves and generators is also discouraged.

As for deciding where to be on January 2000, I have heard only derisive remarks about the foolishness of "heading for the hills," or "building bunkers in the wilderness." Nothing is said of the trade- offs between staying in a metropolitan high rise - not far from a neighborhood with a history of rioting - or planning to be with family or friends in a less dense locale.

And why is a winter storm of only three days duration considered an analogous situation? What about storms of longer duration given all the current unknowns? Shelter and warmth are critical in the winter - less so in Miami than in Maine - more so than water and food in the initial stages of a natural disaster in winter. Even Peter de Jager, who is decidedly more sanguine in recent weeks, says that preparations for a period like that experienced in last year's Montreal ice storm would be appropriate. That storm's impact wasn't simply the one to five weeks without electricity in the cities and rural areas. Once the power was restored, the repercussions continued for much longer.

The PC Forecast assures us that power and water will continue to flow based on the surveys and reports and completion projections - except in a few locales. Which locales we are not told. And if, in a specific locale, the power and water is off for more than three days...what then?

The PC Forecast has virtually no examination of the economic impacts of technological failures. An offhand recognition is given to the widely reported fact that Y2K remediation is seriously lagging, not only in the developing countries, but in industrially advanced nations in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Where are the discussions about the potential economic impacts of disruptions in our global, just-in-time, supply chain dependencies due to Y2K failures? What about such failures in small- and medium-sized U.S. corporations?

I suspect we shall see the majority of the mass media adopting the PC Forecast. It will be increasingly difficult to argue for the probability of more widespread disruptions for longer periods and the more extended preparedness such forecasts imply. Not only is it a human tendency to make the world seem rational by denying anything inconsistent with one's wishes or prior beliefs, it is also true that how the mass media frames a public concern heavily influences much of the public response.

In order to develop an effective Y2K Action Plan, we must first ask the following:

1. What facts are known?

2. What array of inferences can reasonably be drawn from those facts?

3. Why should I value one expert's forecast over another?

Only by honest evaluation of the answers to these questions can one hope to get closer to an action plan that makes sense.


-- Linkmeister (, August 28, 1999.


I'm praying for you. But you gotta do the preps, yourself.

Sincerly, Stan Faryna

-- Stan Faryna (, August 28, 1999.

There's fires burning all around us and the smoke is choking. The lightening strikes were all around us and the thunder shook the house with rage. Over 2,000 strikes hit our county, homes, livestock, and wild life are gone. No one ever suspected that a natural disaster like this would happen and we were all caught by surprise. However, diligently every year we cut the grass down, trim the trees, and prepare fire breaks around our home. Very few of the other people around here do because they never think anything bad will happen to their home or loved ones. What do I have to lose if I didn't prepare? Everything! And as I am typing this response, a C41 bomber is flying overhead on it's way to stop the licking flames. Bardou

-- bardou (, August 28, 1999.

Just a personal story. I have driven over 300,000 miles in my life. Never had an accident when I was moving. Never. I am a great defensive driver. When a crazy driver gets near me I give them a wide berth.

OK. So, given that history, should I wear a seat belt? Realistically, if history is any guide, the odds of my having a serious accident were real close to zero.

But, I read the papers, see on TV, that accidents are possible. People do die in them or get badly injured. (When I recently bought my new car the salesman told me it had a great safety record in crash tests. He showed me the brochure and said it was important. I said: "Forget it. I don't have accidents.") So, anyway, I do wear a seat belt. I guess it is just a habit--perhaps even an irrational one.

(Yeah, it happened. A couple of months ago. A lady cut in front of me--never saw her coming--didn't even have time to hit the brakes. But I had the new car--and the seat belt. I didn't even get a scratch though the car had major damage.)

So, anyway, I make Y2K preps. Maybe it is a long shot that things will get real bad, but now it is just a habit..

-- cgbg jr (, August 28, 1999.

Hi Rob: I understand what you are feeling about this Y2K mess we are all facing. It is true that nobody really knows what exactly will happen. Why? We, as a technological advanced society, have never had to deal with an event like this before.

My advice...for what it is worth, is to prepare to the maximum degree your situation and finances allow. Even if you have no fears for yourself, you must consider the children and your wife. In my opinion, a minimum of a month makes sense, the more the better. I have geared up for at LEAST three months with a stretch provision to four months. However, much depends on your finances, your fears (important!), your physical location and what you are able to gather from the hush-hush game being played by the media. I agree with you completely that this horrid uncertainty is the among the worst aspects of this.

Do what you can, while you can and face the year 2000 with a clear conscience and something in the pantry to fall back on. I wish you all the luck in the world.



-- Irving (, August 28, 1999.


Sometimes the hardest part is getting started. Start small, as someone posted before maybe go to the grocery store and buy for just 3 - 7 days. Kids like peanut butter, juice, cereal, buy some dry milk to go with that cereal, start there. We are close enough to the rollover date now that shelf life is getting to be less of a concern. Add some can vegetables, rice, soup, noodles, a bag of sugar and flour.

Now look at water...some other people have posted some good suggestions on how to store water. Fill a couple of pop bottles full and stick them in your basement.

Look at your medicine cabinet, add some aspirin, cold medication, vitamins, whatever your family would need in the winter.

Get a bottle of shampoo,soap,babywipes (even if you don't have a baby they are great for waterless clean ups) toilet paper, two rolls of paper towels and garbage bags.

Take a look at your flashlights and make sure they are working, buy a couple of candles. The ones in the glass jars last a long time and they are cheep.

Now you have may only have a weeks worth of stuff, but you're a week ahead of the game now. With a weeks worth of stuff your better prepared than most and if nothing happens you'll use most of it anyway.

Now if your comfortable with that, go for two weeks or beyond. Whatever you are comfortable with, that is really all that any of us can do.

Good luck, my prayers are with you....say one for me, will you?

-- Mabel Dodge (, August 28, 1999.

I first want to thank each of you thus far for the incredible responses. I'm overwhelmed with the degree of sincerity and articulation in your posts. This is a wonderful feeling to experience. Outside a peek behind the curtain who could ask for anything more.

Linda, I will respond to your good question and hope it leads me to another avenue worth the walk.

Rob,in your struggle to raise your three children do you proceed only when the outcome is absolutely certain?

Not at all linda. But for me there is a huge difference between the outcome of my efforts and the degree of effort I apply to a given situation. I see now I could have made more sense if I had better expressed myself. I'll try now.

The dichotomy resides within me. On the one hand my intellect (don't laugh now) won't/can't discount the possibility we have created such a mess. I've seen so much hell in my lifetime I realize there's no end to the stupidity and probability for distigration in our lifes. But that realization in itself doesn't provide certainty or the energy which certainty lends. On the other hand I can,t seem to take this Y2K struggle to heart. So again theres little energy for me where theres no conviction.

I'm absolutely confounded because the other possibility is that I just don't care one way or the other. But I know that's not true because I struggle everyday to honor and share my love in all the ways I'm capable. So I do care; it's just I only have so much energy and I'm puzzled that my awareness hasn't spawned this conviction in my heart.

I truely am humbled with all your responses. I plan to copy this thread and respond to many of you later.

Thank you again, Rob

-- Rob Carroll (, August 28, 1999.

Hey Rob,

CERTAINTY? You want CERTAINTY? I'm not CERTAIN that I will be alive tomorrow. I may stop short at a traffic light on Rt. 1 and have 18 wheels run over me! Hummm, what should I do...

Well, I've got about 50 grand here. Maybe I'll rent a limo, head for NY, pick up a half-dozen hookers, and a pound of cocaine, and go sit with the big boys in Atlantic city.

Maybe not...

Got it???

Tick... Tock... <:00=

-- Sysman (, August 28, 1999.


For about a hundred bux you can get about 350 pounds of rice at Sam,s. Get some seasonings and nutritional supplements and you have at least a minimal ration to keep your bellybutton from rubbing against your backbone.

Your location will determine what you have to do to provide heat, but you can supply and store food fairly easily. Even at this fairly late date, I think it can still be accomplished without much discomfort. Doing something, even if it is small, regularly has been the key for us.

We think we will be ok, and have something to share if problems don't last past spring. I think that taking any kind of action helps to reduce the stress of anticipating the event. If it doesn't amount to much, we will give thanks, and keep rotating food as we eat up what we have stored. Since we have worked to prepare, it makes sense to maintain that level of preparedness by simply replacing what we use. None of us should be living so close to our belts that a natural or man-made disaster would force us to abandon our homes because we had no food or water after a few days' disruption.

Remember that everything you accomplish now is something you will not have to be concerned about next year. But, don't forget that everyone *needs* a break from the struggle once in awhile.

Hang in there.


-- gene (, August 28, 1999.

From: Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr near Monterey, California

You need some certainties to light a fire under you? OK, here are some:

Certainty #1: Time is short Certainty #2: Food next year will not be free. More likely, prices will increase as they have for decades. Food prices could possibly go up drastically if there are disruptions in supply lines. Certainty #3: The five of you will eat next year. Oh, wait... that's a certainty only if you stock up this year.

You will not get an "F" in the school of life if you prepare and are wrong. Even if one of your kids grows up to be a commedian and uses your kookiest prep in a stand up routine, they'll all know that you did it out of love.

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage.neener.autospammers--regrets.greenspun), August 28, 1999.

Hi Rob, You can comprehend something like the potential problems of Y2K in your head much more quickly than your heart can absorb it. Sometimes just living life is exhausting, especially while raising children, and then something like this comes along. Your conflicting feelings could just be the emotional "wishing it weren't so and would go away" versus the unpleasant rational conclusions that tell you to make preparations and not risk what you aren't willing to lose. The posters above gave such excellent advice. Eat the elephant one bite at a time. Do as much as you can, but don't forget to "live" today. If you are in Montana, that is probably a pretty good place to be. Best wishes!

-- Mumsie (, August 29, 1999.

dear rob

I tried for several months, with no success to get one of my dearest friends to begin to prepare. She was convinced that "they" would get it fixed. She moved to N. Carolina in June and my family helped her transport her belongings. My payment was that she promise to put away water and can goods before fall. When i returned home an email awaited me saying that she had begun to make good on her promise. Today she called to let me know that she was sooo thankful to have done this as Dennis is unleashing part of its fury very close to her home and she was already prepared. My point? You never really know what life is going to throw in your direction and being prepared is just common sense. If you can't get passionate about it, that's ok too, but don't be the next guy in line when the last can, bottle, or battery just walked out the door. Prayers for your safe passage. kitten

-- kitten (, August 30, 1999.

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