Best-Of-The-Best Prep Checklist Request & Heat Source Question... For The Prep Forum Experts : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

Hi guys,

(Dont usually have a chance to post much over here).

Havent got a lot of time right now to dig, so I though Id ask the Prep Crew...

A couple friends, who are internet challenged, are just getting ready to start preparing, because they received an influx of money.


At any rate, I've printed off Stan Farynas 14 Days Prep List for them, but wanted to know two key things...

 What are your recommendations on the "best of the best" prep checklists for newcomers?

 What is the best alternate heat source for people in a Silicon Valley apartment (third floor) that does NOT have a fireplace. (Moving isnt an option at this late date, though I will encourage mobile bug-out back up plans).

Thanks all! Will check in later... gotta run.

A Yourdon TBY2K Sysop

-- Diane J. Squire (, October 28, 1999


In Silicon Valley, your best heat source is your body, bundled up.

If you want something to burn, AlcoBrite or 1-gallon cans of jelled alcohol (from a restaurant supply store) is fairly inexpensive. It costs more than propane, costs WAY less than buying jelled alcohol in smaller containers. Big advantage in that there are no leaking-gas worries. Burn to heat, burn to cook with.

But it would be irresponsible to buy it if you don't need it. At this late date, you'd be draining that supply away from other parts of the country (or higher hills in CA) that are going to need it more. (How cold do your winters get down there, anyway?) So dress warm and live with it, and use the jelled alcohol for cooking, period.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), October 28, 1999.


I've got to agree about the body heat thing. For thousands of years folks went around without much clothing at all in most of the state.

Here are a few suggestions: warm hats; gloves - especially those without fingertips so you can still do all the stuff you want to; wool socks; slippers; those insulated vests that are in all the stores now - some on sale I imagine; sweats; long underwear; & simple raingear so you don't get wet; synthetic sleeping bags are very affordable in lots of places - on the cheapies, the thing to watch for is the stitching on the zippers & flimsy zippers; and last but not least MENDING SUPPLIES.

Holiday gift shopping, anyone?

PS I think burns & fires are going to be a real problem for some folks. Don't forget your first aid kits, & fire extinguishers.

PPS Skipper Clark recommended a little backpacker's ZIP stove on the classic forum ages ago. It runs with a little battery operated fan & will burn pine cones & other small combustables. Campmor has them, and the manufacturer {Sierra - I think} has a webpage { which I've forgotten}. They're great for car kits, definitely NOT for 3rd floor apartments. Good luck!

-- flora (***@__._), October 28, 1999.

Coleman has a small 3,000 Btu propane heater (runs off the 16 oz cannisters, not the 25-pounders) designed for indoor use. Cannister lasts for 6-7 hours. Would definitely take the edge off close up, but not the whole room. $49+ Found mine at Home Depot.

-- Brooks (, October 28, 1999.

Robert Waldrops Preparedness Nuggets is great.

-- mommacarestx (, October 28, 1999.

Do they have Fleet Farm stores out there? Our Fleet Farm has a number of small heaters that attach to small propane tanks. One unit can be used to either cook or heat. Good for small spaces. Of course, any kind of fire makes heat. When I've used two oil lamps in our bathroom in cool weather it heats it nicely. What is the weather like in Jan. where they live?

-- Shivani Arjuna (, October 28, 1999.

Glad to see you back at it Diane. I live near you at the beach. Like most residents my house is poorly insulated and has an archaic heating system. In addition to Stan's great post, here is what I do on an ongoing basis to stay comfortable.

Uniform of the day is sweats, long sleeved T shirts and socks. If a layering approach is used, cool max type shirts wick away moisture. Own warm slippers. I have a throw for my lap near likely reading spots. I would recommend a silk filled or down filled comforter for the bed.

chances are the apartment temperature will not go much below 55 degrees which is not great, but not life threatening.

If they have a balcony or deck, I recommend they buy a one or two burner propane stove for cooking. A couple of wide-mouthed thermoses to hold extra portions or hot water is a good idea. A solar shower like boaters use costs about $6.00 and can heat water for dishes or a shower.

-- Nancy (, October 28, 1999.

I grew up in San Jose. It gets cold enough to have frost on the ground, but not cold enough to snow. We had one of those victorian houses with high ceilings and no central heat. We had a small free-standing natural gas heater in the living room. It was very nice to sit in front of, especially when you got up in the morning, but not necessary for life.

I'd consider one of those radiant propane heaters. No point in bothering with kerosene when you don't really need much heat.

-- biker (, October 28, 1999.

Thanks all!

We're lucky to not have the horrid back east winters, however it would be just our luck to have a freeze on. (I spent one Christmas that burst pipes and left folks without heat and water for several days. NOT a fond holiday memory!)

For myself... I plan to layer, cuddle in my down comforter and sit near the fireplace. Camping... at home... works for me.

My friends prefer their comfort, so I'll pass along the suggestions. As a reminder to other west coasties... anything they invest in now is one finished prep for... "the big one."


-- Diane J. Squire (, October 28, 1999.


You may want to have your friends check out a solar oven as an indoor heating source. Not the intended use but... I made one from mirror mylar sheeting, pvc pipe to form the parabola, and a metal tripod for hanging the cook pot. I don't know if it will work for your friends, but it just may. Mylar available from a plastic specialties vendor.

Best wishes; Michael

PS. I will search my files for a URL if needed

-- Michael (, October 28, 1999.

Diane, one of the places I lived in New Orleans was a ubiquitous Victorian "shotgun double" (so-called because you can shoot a shotgun from the front door to the back without hitting a wall (think railway carriage). It was a great place to live, with its 14-foot ceilings, 12-foot tall sash windows, and beautifully-finished wood floors. Great, except when an infrequent freeze occurred. The natural-gas space heaters had been installed on the common wall with the duplex cottage next door, hence cold from the outside walls crept almost all the way across the room. There were fireplaces in all the rooms but very tiny, meant for coal (unobtainable in New Orleans in the 1980s). My son and I would huddle in my bedroom, quilts and blankets layered on the floor and over the windows, as well as on my bed. It was dangerous because the space heaters were unvented and home carbon monoxide detectors were yet to be invented. But it kept us warm enough through the frozen hours.

In a third-floor apartment, your friends will be insulated by other apartments and may have to worry only about cold coming through one outside wall, not floor and ceiling. If they have carpet, they have another high insulating factor.

I suggest buying as many kits as needed to seal plastic over the windows (available inexpensively at Wal-Mart and--I and probably home improvement stores). One or two extra might be stashed in case things do get bad and your friends need to seal off some unused rooms. They should add a carbon monoxide detector or two and a fire extinguisher. And, of course, extra quilts and blankets (Polar Fleece is good--light, warm, insulating, quick-drying), plus any hardware to tack where needed. If time and inclination permit, perhaps large-ish cup hooks for the walls, windows and doors (can be screwed to the very top of the frame where they won't be noticed), and small "clip-on" curtain rings for the hangings--regular rings might have to be sewn on to heavier fabric. Polar Fleece can now be bought by the yard, but be sure to buy the real Polar Fleece.

They should manage quite well.

-- Old Git (, October 29, 1999.


To address your other request: my favorite Best-of-the-Best Prep checklist is Ted Derryberry's at

Good luck to you and your friends, too.

-- Sara Nealy (, October 29, 1999.

Thanks for the additional comments.

Need to take them out shopping this weekend!


-- Diane J. Squire (, October 30, 1999.

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