Y2k prep is not about spending $$$$$$$

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Granted, the more money you have to spend the more stuff you will have. Nonetheless, stuff can be taken, spoiled or lost. Stuff can also be found, given and retrieved. Those with more resources (whether those resources are material goods, skills or personal strengths) will always fare better than those without.

However I submit to you that truly effective Y2k prep is about making choices. It is about being informed and making decisions. It is about recognizing and seizing opportunities as they arise.

I am one of the poorest people I know. I am truly broke - no not quite - I have a full tank of gas and $5.00. That is the most I have had in 2 weeks. I am getting by on the beans and rice I bought 3 months ago. I am baking bread from scratch and picking crab apples to make apple pancakes. It is all dang delicious BTW.

Nonetheless I am still prepping. I am making choices based on my knowledge of what is to come. These choices are small and seem insignificant now but they have been adding up over time.

Here are some examples.

1. Normally I would go to So Cal to be with my family during the holidays. They would send me plane fare if I asked. It would not cost me a dime. I am not going this year. This is a small simple (yet tough) choice I am making because of my Y2k awareness. I don't know a Y2k aware soul - doomer, polly or what-have-you that thinks spending the new years in L.A. is a good plan this year. If I believed that Y2k would definitely be a BITR then I would go. I'm not sure of that at all. So here I and my children will stay. (I have invited my family up here, they won't do it).

2. I have started asking for plastic bags at the grocery store. These little puppies will be incredibly handy no matter how mild Y2k is. Paper bags will be almost useless. Doesn't cost me a dime.

3. The health clinic I go to distributes condoms for free. I don't have a need for those at the moment so normally I wouldn't take any. Now I grab a few whenever I go in because they may well prevent a pregnancy or STD transmission during the sexual frenzy which generally hits a populous during blackouts. I don't get greedy about it but I am glad I will have some to hand out to my friends when the cable goes out for days on end.

4. A couple months ago I was at a garage sale and saw 50 canning jars with lids for $7.00. Instead of spending that $7.00 on tofu or veggie burgers I bought the jars and ate beans for dinner again instead.

5. A few months ago I moved and had to put most of my books into storage. I had to choose what to leave out and what to pack away indefinitely. This was also a tough choice for a bibliophile like me. Because of Y2k, preference went to my herb and edible plant books.

6. My daughters' birthday was in May. My mom asked what she needed. I told her a 0 degree sleeping bag. Normally I would have asked for clothes. This sleeping bag will keep my daughter snug and toastie for years to come and she LOVES it!

These are just a few of the many small choices I have made over the last few months. I am so grateful I had the knowledge I needed to make these simple informed decisions. Total cost $7.00. Total value - priceless.

-- R (riversoma@aol.com), October 06, 1999


Really good advice!

If Y2K hits really hard, a lot of GIs will need to have some of the skills you've developed, regardless of the amount of supplies (except for a very few).

My sons (9&5) have spent time making maps of local hideouts in the woods, locations of wild apple trees, black/blue/rasp-berry plants and so forth. They started it for fun, "adventure" --- but it didn't cost anything and who knows about next summer/fall.

-- Jon Johnson (narnia4@usa.net), October 06, 1999.


What a great project! My kids are exactly the same age as yours. I will suggest that they do the same. My son (the 9 yr old) is full of great Y2k plans. He has already decided we need to sell the plums, cherries and apples which grow in our backyard during Y2k. He also stopped buying Nintendo games and started re-investing in Gameboy games because he figures the Gameboys might work in Y2k but the video dependant Nintendo probably won't.

-- R (riversoma@aol.com), October 06, 1999.


Thank you. Prepping does not have to be beyond most people's reach. Considering what is at stake (my family!), I don't mind having tuna in oil (3 cans for a dollar when I bought it) mixed in with some macaroni and cheese.

Stan Faryna

Got 14 days of preps? If not, get started now. Click here.

Click here and check out the TB2000 preparation forum.

-- Stan Faryna (faryna@groupmail.com), October 06, 1999.

R, you have really done nobly, and I really mean that! I live from paycheck to paycheck too, and there never was enough to take care of everything and still save, plus I was unemployed and seriously job-hunting for 9 months at age 63, from 7/98-4/99. I was only working for ONE month again when I got Ed's book and GId, so I was not only behind the curve for beginning, but for cash. Like you, I have done some tough things and made tough choices too. However, there is one point, and it is your main one, on which I have to disagree...and that is what is so TERRIBLY SAD for people far less fortunate than I am.

That is, it DOES take $$$$$$ to prepare! Lots of it. Yesterday during a slack at work, I figured up what I still need, and what that would minimally cost, and it scared me, because no way will I be as ready as I think I need to be. On my list of still-to-gets were: a water filter, kerosene, 6 mos. of prescriptions (my health plan won't even give me 3 mos. ahead), antibiotics, some bulk foods, mylar bags, diatomaceous earth and oxygen absorbers, warm clothes to finish, including a "survival-type" coat, handgun polish-up and novice shotgun lessons from NRA instructors, and the final local foodstuffs not yet in. I won't even tell you what the total here is, but this is AFTER all the frenzied, disciplined, ant-like hard work in every waking minute, at work and after work, weekends, and almost "in my sleep!"

I wish, how I wish, that this were not so, because it tells me that many, many innocent poor people who couldn't prep or do so adequately, will not survive. I don't mean the DGIs and DWGIs, whose end is their own doing, but those who wish to survive, but have not the means with which to prepare. If one even looks at Stan's 14-Day Prep List, one knows that these items aren't going to just drop off trees like apples, nor be given to us just because we are vigilant. This is the sad truth of Y2K. If we had been informed earlier...if some of us had Internet access earlier...if our government hadn't....

-- Elaine Seavey (Gods1sheep@aol.com), October 06, 1999.

God never told us it would be easy-but He did say He would be with us!! Our God is still on the throne and He knows each and everyone's situation and He can and will meet our needs. I am trying to prepare spiritually first and physically second.

Trusting in Him...

-- (I Believe (Repent@time is now.com)), October 06, 1999.


I hear you and I share your plight. I just know that there will never be enough time or money for me to get everything I need to provide for myself and my two children. Nonetheless, I do believe in providence as well as a certain amount of fate.

If my children and myself are meant to survive I believe we will. If it is our time to die then nothing will prevent it. But that is true each and every day I live. Yes the odds would be more in our favor if I had $20,000 to sink into preps - or even $2000.00. I am grateful that my mom could afford to get the sleeping bag. I am grateful that there are many things I already owned.

The issue of meds is a troubling one and disturbs me as well. My childrens' father takes Thyroid medication. Without it he is in deep trouble. There is not enough money in the world to get his Dr. to write him a scrip for a lifetime supply. One of my friends is a diabetic. Insulin must be refridgerated. My friend's potential for survival does not look good if Y2k is as bad as I expect it to be.

These are heartbreaking truths. Still, I believe that just knowing about Y2k increases the odds of your survival greatly. The majority of the worlds population is poor. Destitute in fact. Is this fair? No it is not. Is it fair that innocent GIs will die because of Y2k? No it is not. Is it fair that millions will suffer needlessly? No it is not. Hence my rage, my nightmares, my grief.

Still. We know what is happening. We will recognise an opportunity when it exists. You gotta trust in Divine Will at some point or give up on faith altogether.

Y2k has given me an incredible opportunity to dive into the depths of my spiritual practice. If I die tommoro I will be the richer for it.

Money will not save you in Y2k. Brains, heart and a strong will to survive might. ANYONE who survives is bucking the odds. There is not enough preps in the world to save you from epidemics, chlorine gas, fire storms or race riots. I believe all of the above will happen somewhere. Perhaps here. Perhaps not.

No matter how many beans I can pile up and how much ammo I can stash, if somebody else wants it bad enough they will take it. I am not an army. I'm not even a big tough burly dude. I'm a 100 pound mommy. Ready to ditch all my preps in a heartbeat and head for the hills with my kids if I need too. We will live on pine bark and slugs if we have too. Because I have the will to survive.

No one can buy the will to live. No one can buy faith in God. That is why prepping for Y2k is not about $$$.

-- R (riversoma@aol.com), October 06, 1999.

Pine bark and slugs?

Check your book collection for any titles on edible indigenous plants if you want something tastier.

I never liked tasting slug slime on garden lettuce.

-- Randolph (dinosaur@williams-net.com), October 06, 1999.

Right on! Many preparations are little or no cost. Some examples:

Gardens (seeds are cheap!).

Chicken cages (ours were free from a local farm going out of the egg business).

Canning of surplus fruit/vegetables.

Amateur radio licenses (a little over $6 for the test!).

How-to books from the library...(a good start).

The internet (also available from some libraries).

-- Mad Monk (madmonk@hawaiian.net), October 06, 1999.

One problem that I see, but have no good answer for is the autonomous nature of most of our prepping. Sure, it'd be a lot easier if neighbors were prepping and families could focus more on food and water than the gear. Well, for most of us that ain't likely to happen as well as it could have turned out if more people had got it. It's too bad. But lots of other opportunities seemed to have been lost too.

There was a point when the house next to mine was for rent (and, yes, the rent was expensive), but if a GI family (or two) had moved in, we would have been able to save hundreds or thousands of dollars on preps and gear. There was a point at which GIs in the Dee Cee area could have got together and bought preps and gear at huge discounts that would have saved each family some hundreds or thousands of dollars.

There's lots of reasons why things didn't happen as well as they could have. And I regret that we will suffer for our self-centeredness and all the other reasons (reasonable or not). But these mistakes may serve to awaken newbies to unconsidered opportunities as they get it. And those of us who are further along on our preps may be able to help out in lots of different ways-- if they would only ask us for help.

And it may not be too late for some of us to come together and get some deals by buying last minute things together. I kind of doubt it, but I have hope that we will increasingly realize that cooperation and trust will be as key to our prepping now as it will be to getting through rough times, and re-discovering/ creating our lives in a post-Y2K world. Perhaps, a weekly thread of common needs might be a first step.


-- Stan Faryna (faryna@groupmail.com), October 07, 1999.


My indiginous plant books (and basic survival knowledge) informs me that in January Pine bark is about all there is to offer. I hear roasted banana slugs are very tasty. In the spring, summer and fall there are abundant edible plants but in the chilly wet of winter pickings are substantially slimmer.

-- R (riversoma@aol.com), October 07, 1999.


It is too late for me to buy anything - no matter how cheap - because I don't have a job or any other source of income. If it were not for the kindness of others in being willing to accept barter I would be homeless right now.

While I believe that prepping does not have to be about $$$$ it is true that whatever preps involve spending money are out of my reach. I can barely afford to feed my kids and chickens now - let alone put food by for the future. I am not alone in this. I applaud and admire your good work in exhorting others to prepare but I suspect you have no idea how poor most people are. Its not a matter of re- prioritizing.

Up here gas is currently $1.69. Unemployment is extremely high and the only local product is weed with a large legal defense industry as a parasitic by-product. Most of my friends would prep if they could. They are lucky to have a roof over there heads. They live from pay check to pay check and often get kinda hungry in between.

If we were willing to move to the city we could all get jobs - but then we would be in the city for Y2k. So we are stuck with this choice. Live in the country and prepare for Y2k by barely managing to stay alive now - or move to the city and face what-have-you with the ammo we could afford to buy if we had city jobs.

The rural poor are a huge segment of the population of this country - not to mention the world. How will this population fare? We don't really know. The more apt question is how are they faring now?

Right now, in this country, children are going hungry. Parents with full time jobs are homeless. The minimum wage is not enough to support a family of 4.

The goverment is not helping poor people now so why do we expect them to help poor people in Y2k?

Why are we screaming at the government to do something that many would not do for their own neighbors or even themselves.

How many times have I read in posts this basic idea - "The govt sucks because it is not going to protect me from Y2k and now I might have to kill my neighbor."

I realize I am ranting and didn't mean to take out my frustration on you. The whole thing is exasperating no matter how you look at it.

-- R (riversoma@aol.com), October 07, 1999.

R, you are right about faith being an absolute necessity, and that is what is carrying me through this exhausting time of double-time prepping, running around to stores with sales and using cut-out coupons, lugging stuff with a bad back, etc. Every day several times a day I pray for all of those who cannot prepare due to financial lack, including my own daughter with triplets who just turned three and whose good father was laid off on 7/5 from yet another shipyard (his second one!) that is going under because profit-making Americans have sent that work overseas!!! I cannot save all five of them, have no way of getting supplies for them or to them where they live, but have sent them 6 blankets for the children's birthday and will soon have a paycheck and can send them a good lantern. (They hope their old kerosene heater is still operable!) So although I pray for them, it ALSO takes $$$$$ to prepare to survive. Right now my daughter has been doctoring herself for pneumonia for 3 weeks because they have no medical coverage. What will happen next winter?!?! I am grieving deeply and praying even more deeply. Your second post acknowledges the need for money to prepare. You are a brave and gutsy soul!

-- Elaine Seavey (Gods1sheep@aol.com), October 07, 1999.

Stan, you and I have conversed, but when I saw your other post today on the prep forum about your wish list for Y2K preps of items you still don't have, I realized that R is correct in that you, and others, who have money to spend do not realize what it is really like for those who GI and don't have money for preps. Their going together to buy in bulk won't cut it. Not now. And it takes CASH to buy, either with others or singly. That is the sad fact of life.

Now if the Big Government, who spends our tax money in profligate manner (vis a vis "the fleecing of America"), would allow us to keep more of it, we might be able to stop sweating survival in good times too.....

-- Elaine Seavey (Gods1sheep@aol.com), October 07, 1999.

River, if anything happens, now or in the future, where you want/need to move, eMail us. We're in a really wonderful low-income low-rent complex in a VERY beautiful area, with many safe playgrounds/activities for kids. Spotlessly clean and safe, extraordinarily nice. Management has slowly, carefully, gently flushed out any questionable tenants :-)
And we work for a little Y2K GI company that is desperate for good employees, and can immediately put you to work as many hours as you want at $8/hour homemaking & companionship for elderly residents in their homes. In 3 months, with paid schooling, you can become a CNA and make $10/hour. And it just keeps getting better from there.

Boy it would be wonderful to have Yourdynamites for neighbors!

BTW, many patients *prefer* older companions and are always looking for "grandmotherly" types, so there's guaranteed work and NO age discrimination!

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), October 07, 1999.


Thanks for the advice re: choices.

It is now OCTOBER...I sincerely HOPE and PRAY that you have taken that 'dream' to heart and have carefully assessed your and your children's safety and any potential threats thereto. Caringly, Kevin

-- K. Stevens (kstevens@ It's ALL going away in January.com), October 07, 1999.

Like R said, don't overlook the opportunities and decisions that can be made. We can all *still* save some money and/or double up if we have money or preps to share. Myself, I don't resent the fact that people like Big Dog, Dave Walden, or Flint are better prepared than me; we all are doing what we can. If you aren't doing all you can, you have no one to blame but yourself. But if dollars count for something, don't forget that prayers count for something too. Perhaps, our prayers will be more effective than cash. That's what I believe.

Sincerely, Stan Faryna

-- Stan Faryna (faryna@groupmail.com), October 07, 1999.


I am always doing my best to keep my children safe. All your dire warnings do is make me feel bad. If something is going to happen to them there is little I can do to prevent it at this point other than what I always do. I am a very caring and conscientious parent. What am I supposed to do? Lock them in the house all day because you have interpreted a dream I had weeks ago to mean they are in some sort of jeopardy? If God wants to help me keep my children safe through dreams then God is going to have to be more specific about how that is to be accomplished. Otherwise I am just going to go on loving and protecting them as I always have.

-- R (riversoma@aol.com), October 07, 1999.

Ashton and Leska,

Thank you for the kind offer. If I need to leave here I will certainly consider it. Right now - the thought of uprooting my kids, my ex, my chickens etc... is more than a little daunting. Where the heck is Cascadia anyway?

-- R (riversoma@aol.com), October 07, 1999.

Cascadia is that rich fertile enchanted swath of land sweeping from Mendocino in Northern California thru Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, boundaried on the West by the Pacific Ocean & the Cascadia Subduction Zone, on the East by the majestic volcanic Cascades. Cascadia as a term has environmental flavors but is becoming more known these days as that area brought together by common interests and planning hopes. Beautiful word, waterfalls, lush green temperate rain forests, productive farmlands, endless recreational opportunities.

At the mo we're working near Portland, Oregon, which is on the Oregon/Washington border. Lovely place!

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), October 07, 1999.

R, I know the feeling of not wishing to uproot ones' kids. I've been there and done that as a single parent, and it didn't turn out well. However, in these circumstances I am thinking that you might fare far better elsewhere where there is work such as the kindly Ashton & Leska suggest. As to uprooting the chickens, well, that can be done, or with a decent job, you can quickly replace them. But where you lose me is in feeling you must also uproot (meaning take with you and care for) your "ex." If it were just you and the kids, could you and would you do it, for their survival? Thyroid or not, can he not be accountable for himself? Would he not wish the best for his children, whatever that meant? These are just thoughts from one gal to another on a matter of serious import for you and those little ones. May God bless you. When I pray for my daughter, it will be easy to add you to my prayers during the day, and when I awaken at night with the burden.

-- Elaine Seavey (Gods1sheep@aol.com), October 07, 1999.

It seems like a good idea to tough it out in the country for the time being, chickens very good, before & during Rollover. Wish we were farther out! If for any reason, after The Lit Fuse detonates, you'd like to try different surroundings, we'll do everything in our power to help you. Provided we're still on the planet! Elaine, you are so PERFECTLY what every patient/family is looking for, you'd never be out of work up here! You'd have to fend them off ...

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), October 07, 1999.

Ashton & Leska, thank you so much for those kind words. I would actually far prefer to work with helping individuals one-on-one like that than doing the repetitious office work I've done to support myself. My other daughter who DWGI because she has fibromyalgia and it is all she can do to get through a workday and then be a homemaker/wife/mom is an R.N. who has done hospice work, work in home care for the terminally ill, and now is a psychiatric geriatric nurse in NH, and she has devotedly loved her patients and that satisfying work. I've often thought how that has so much more meaning than my work. However, with a bad back, I couldn't lift or otherwise aid a needy patient physically. I always admire what you two are doing for others. I am worried about R, and yet I admire her great courage and determination that her children shall live. Boy, these are hard times, but they bring out the best in good people. How I hope that those are the ones who survive, to help create a new society!

-- Elaine Seavey (Gods1sheep@aol.com), October 07, 1999.

Elaine, sorry to hear about a bad back. Ouch! Many nurses end up with back pain and have to switch to office work. Lower back pain is the #1 work-related injury/absenteeism problem in the USA. We always work together as a team, partly just so we can protect our backs! Also CYA ;^) But in exchange for that security, we take a whallop of an earnings hit -- only get paid for 1 person. So our patients get 2 for the price of 1. But this is our 27th year ... we really like what we do.

Lots of hard choices, and what it came down to for us was quality of life and work. And long-term karmic investment toward Eternity. We've done lotsa things, but one-on-one home care is usually very satisfying. Course, it wouldn't be possible if we had children. Choices, choices. But we both had/have monastic leanings, so that choice was actually very easy. And we knew financially we'd have to change everything to raise children -- too difficult! Don't know how y'all do it ...

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), October 07, 1999.

Ashton and Leska,

Well heck I guess I live in Cascadia too!!! Lucky me! Lucky you! I live in a truly beautiful area. Redwoods to the east, south and north and ocean to the west. It is rural, temperate and full of people I love. Artists and musicians everywhere. Lots of small organic farms.


My ex is a wonderful father and a good friend to me. I would never in a million years choose to separate him from our children. The neighborhood we are in is great. My kids have lots of friends. So it makes no sense to uproot everyone. Besides my landlords let me work off my rent and I have a couple dozen GI friends here. I am truly blessed and luckier than most in my life circumstances. I moved here for no reason 3 years ago. I had no job, no friends, no idea why I was coming here. I had never heard of Y2k. I just felt it was the right thing to do. Today I am rich in a thousand and one ways. I just don't have cash. Still I am prepping every day - hence the incentive for starting this thread in the first place.

-- R (riversoma@aol.com), October 07, 1999.

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