* 14 DAYS OF PREPS : Getting started on your Y2K preparations

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Preparing for the risks associated with Y2K can be an overwhelming project.  If you have just learned about the late start and slow progress of profitable and government organizations in dealing with their Y2K technology problems. Though there is not much time for those who would like to get ready, newbies need to "prep smart"; it is important that they concentrate first on the basics of survival): shelter, heat, water, and food. Without these first things, one's chances of surviving can be reduced to hours (depending on weather and temperature). Focusing on getting the basics done is also a lot easier than thinking about and shopping for everything that might make life more comfortable in an emergency. Once these essentials are completed, proceed quickly to the second order of preparations: light, self-defense, entertainment, investment, etc. In this order, you will proceed from first things to the second order with less anxiety about your safety and the safety of family, friends, and neighbors.

In this message, I cover the following topics and subtopics

There is a total of seven topics and subtopics (including the introduction) and each topic should take less than three (3) minutes to read. Generally speaking, there is a lot to cover in terms of preparing fully for Y2K. In fact, it is too much to cover in one thread (and expect someone to read that in one sitting). This message won't cover everything you need to know. My intention here is to help you think about these topics and develop a plan of action for making preparations or helping someone else make preparations as quickly as possible.

The minimum of preparation should be for 14 days for you, your family, your pets, and whoever you know that may come to depend upon you in hard times. This 14 day recommendation is based on an assumption that in the event that Y2K risks become very real catastrophes, public shelters may be organized by local governments, Red Cross, and Fema within a two week period.  You should also check with local Y2K community groups that (1) may help you understand the specific risks of local services and (2) provide information about the robustness or inadequacy of local emergency preparations.  Alternately, you may decide to prepare in such a way that you do not need to evacuate to a public shelter in the event that your local area is hit hard. Many people on this forum are making such preparations.


Shelter, Heat, Water, Food, and Health. Without these first things, your chances of survival can be reduced to hours.  Most people have a shelter (they can "shelter in place" at their house, apartment, etc. In there is risk of a catastrophe, you should make plans for a fall back shelter.  Such plans may include any or several of the following: seeking a public shelter (contact your local Red Cross unit and find out what locations are designated as future Y2K shelters), going to a neighbor or relative's home, or bugging out (leaving your local area and going elsewhere). If the extent of a disaster is such that you will be bugging out, quickly coordinate your bug out plans with others in your local area, outer lying areas, and elsewhere. Another topic that is not well covered in this thread is health. Hopefully, you are aware of potential risks to your life and health that may be effected by failures. If you depend on prescription medicines, machines, or other medical services, plan and act upon your needs. Some suggest that a three month or more supply of critical prescription medicines is prudent.

First Things: Heat: Introduction

Heat may or may not be a serious concern. It depends on several factors.  Where do you live now or plan to be and how cold does the weather get, how well insulated is your house, and how much air gets in and out of your house. Where I live it seems to rarely get down to 20 degrees (30 being freezing).  Still, I find that my body temperature drops when I sleep and I am uncomfortable to sleep in less than 50 degrees with a good down comforter. I want to stay warm.  The solution or solutions you develop will vary according to the duration of potential disruptions.  Potentially- How long could the power be out, how long would you weather persisting power outages in your home, and where will you be?  I am told that over time, your body will adjust to colder temperatures (some number of degrees less than you normally prefer).  But can you adjust in less than 14 days?

First Things: Heat: Keeping Warm

There are many ways to keep warm: wear warm clothing, wrap yourself in blankets, and fire up a stove or heater that does not rely on natural gas or electricity.  Wood stoves are the most expensive option; warm clothes are the cheapest solution. If you get a wood stove, you will also have to get the firewood, chop it up, and stack it. This could be a $US 2000 or more proposition. A propane stove or kerosene heater are more affordable (usually not more than $US 250), but require adequate ventilation. Thus, they may reduce the heating effectiveness of the fuel and require more fuel to balance out the loss of heat through ventilation.  Some kerosene lamps may keep you warm in a tight space (like a bathroom) such as an Aladdin Incandescent Oil Lamp.  Wool blankets (Pendleton and Hudson's Bay Company are among the best) and even medium weight down comforters may help you get through high 20 and 30 degree nights. For clothes, wool is fantastic and the other popular insulating materials used in snow suits (Goretex), winter, ski, and snow mobile  jackets, etc. But don't forget long underwear (silk long underwear from L.L.Bean is outstanding), socks (liners and heavy socks), and hats that cover your ears.

First Things: Heat: Links

Brian's Preparation Archives: Posts on Heating

Five essentials to getting the most out of your woodpile

Chimney Safety Institute of America



First Things: Water: Introduction

According to the experts, most people can go three days without water. Years ago, I had a hard time of it on a hike in the Sierras. After about 4 hours from my last gulp of canteen water, I realized that I had been dehydrated before starting out. I was so desperate that I drank right out of a stream and was very lucky not to come down with anything. From now on, keep hydrated. That means a minimum of eight cups of water (not including what's in the caffeinated drinks and sodas that you drink). You'll also need to figure out how much water you need to store up, how to have access to it (well or whatever), or how to filter and/or distill potable water. Will you have water for 14 days?

First Things: Water: Health

According to the World Health Organization, contaminated water is the largest health problem in the world. Throughout the world, 50,000 human beings die every day to waterborne disease. The Center for Disease Control estimates that 1,000,000 people in the United States of America suffer health problems caused by microbiologically contaminated water each year. In the U.S., an average 1,000 people die every year from water-related diseases. Furthermore, waterborne gastrointestinal infections account for 80% of all diseases in the world. Health-related problems from chemical contamination is also a serious problem. Biological and chemical water-related health problems are expected to dramatically increase around the world as public water treatment centers seem likely to be temporarily disabled by Y2K technology failures.

The three natural biological water-related health threats are bacteria, viruses, and protozoa-- all of which are generally invisible to the unaided human eye. Bacteria are one-celled organisms that generally vary from 0.2 and 1.5 microns   (maximum 10 microns). The most common waterborne bacteria which cause infections include: typhoid, para-typhoid, dysentery, colibacillosis, and cholera. Viruses vary in size from 0.1 to 0.004 microns. While most a virus can pass through the smallest filter, viruses tend to adhere to particles in the water. Many filters can filter out these virus-carrying particles. Common water-borne viral infections include hepatitis, yellow fever, and poliomyelitis. Protozoa are one-celled animals; they vary in size from 10 to 100 microns. They can be carried by insects or in the form of cysts when outside of the human or animal organism. Water-borne protozoans that cause disease include amoeba, giardia, cryptosporidium, and malaria.

Chemicals (found in tap or well water) that may cause health-related problems include toxic chemicals, heavy metals, and common radionuclides. Among the toxic chemicals are trialomethanes, PCB, PCE, detergents, and pesticides. Some heavy metals to be concerned about may include aluminum, asbestos, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, and mercury. A common radionuclide such as Radon 222 may be found in some well water in areas where Radon is a problem.

First Things: Water: How much?

The experts say that you need one gallon of water per day. I say that the number of gallons you need will vary according to how long you guess that water will be out, how long you will weather out persisting water outages in your home, and what you'll do if you bug out. Let's start with 14 days of water after which we would assume that the worst was over. Some of you will be amazed at how much water you would want to have stored. Guess how much water you go through in an average day. And just because you don't do the dishes or laundry doesn't mean that your water use isn't many, many gallons.

You'll need water for everyone in your house and whoever joins you for the following: drinking, bathing, washing dishes, flushing toilets, and possibly washing some clothes like undergarments. Figure on one gallon per person per day for drinking and washing dishes, 5 gallons per day per flush, and about 5 gallons per day for a light load of hand-washed undergarments. Therefore, a party of five flushing the toilet three times per day and washing a small number of undergarments will need to store a total of 350 gallons of water (stored in seven 55 gallon barrels).

First Things: Water: Water Storage

Depending on where you live (house or apartment and city, suburb, or country), your access to water and storage capacity will vary. 350 gallons of water (stored in 55 gallon barrels in different rooms) will be about the maximum for second or higher floor apartments. Roughly, it is about 2,800 pounds of weight on that floor -- not to mention all your other stuff. If you are in a house or have a house with some yard, storage is less a problem and allows you several options: pond, above ground kiddy pool, well, etc. Let's say that the average cost of very large water storage solutions is about $US 1.00 per gallon. Generally, 55 gallon barrels for food and water storage can be obtained for less than $US 10.00 each from a soda, juice, or other beverage bottling plant. You may also want to pick up a PYTHON which is used by aquarium enthusiasts for filling and draining big aquariums. The PYTHON attaches to a kitchen sink spout and comes in a number of different lengths. It can also be rigged to redirect water from a barrel to other things without electricity. However, you will need good water pressure.

First Things: Water: Water Treatment

There is much debate about treating tap water (if you get city water) for storage. So check with your water provider and find out if you need to add bleach. There are also other chemical agents used to treat water for biological contaminants, but I would stick to bleach (chlorine) or use a filter. Dry chlorine, also called calcium hypochlorite has the added benefit of extended shelf life. Providing it is kept dry, cool and in an airtight container, it may be stored up to 10 years with minimal degradation. If you want to keep chlorine in larger quantities, this is the item to store (according to Bingo1). It must be ONLY 65% calcium hypochlorite, no additional anti-fungals or clarifiers. There are a variety of filters on the market. The Katadyn and Doulton-type filters generally provide "mechanical" type protection against Crytosporidium, Gardia, cysts, and spores. Filters that use carbon may be helpful as a chemical filter, but generally the run of the mill carbon-based filters have a short life and become a fantastic breeding ground for micro-organisms. In most cases, it is a good idea to boil your water for 5 to 10 minutes after it has been treated with bleach or filtered.

In an EXTREMELY well-ventilated area, (Hint: OUTSIDE!) add and dissolve one heaping teaspoon of high-test granular calcium hypochlorite (approximately 1/4 ounce) in two gallons of water, thus creating a liquid bleach solution which is the approximate equivalent of "Clorox" & other off-the-shelf bleach products. This solution can then be used to sanitize water as necessary. Five pounds of dry pool bleach (costing about $10-15
) will make 640 gallons of stock bleach solution which will treat 640,000 gallons of clear water, or 320,000 gallons of cloudy water.

You can also get a filter such as those used by the Red Cross and other organizations such as the hand pump Katadyn, the British Berkefield Water Can, or the Seychelle Personal Water Filtration System. Katadyn and Doulton-type water filters can get very expensive, very fast. The hand pump Katadyn and Berkefield water can generally retail for $US 250.00.  On the other hand, you can take a filter with you... but not a well or several 55 gallons filled with water (each filled 55 gallon barrel weighs about 440 pounds). There are less expensive filters that generally use the same filter as the more expensive units. If you are interested in these less expensive filter units, you might consider the Seychelle Personal Water Filtration System. The Seychelle or equivalent come as plastics bottles or canteens and are good for 200 gallons. These are affordable (about $US 25) and may be ideal for your 14 day preparations or bug out bag.

First Things: Water: General Links

Brian's Preparation Archives: Posts on Water

Does anyone know where I can get the best price on water drums? An Older Forum Post.

Small problem with my 2 liter bottle water storage. An older Forum Post.

First Things: Water: Storage Links

Harvested Rainwater

Storing Water

How and where to Store Water

Collecting Rainwater


First Things: Water: Treatment Links

EPA: Emergency Disinfection of Drinking Water

Purifying Water

Basic Survival Rain Water Filter System

The Solar Puddle

Solar Water Distillation - Stills

Water Purification - Links from RMSG

-- Stan Faryna (faryna@groupmail.com), November 30, 1999



First Things: Food: Introduction

While some can continue to exist up to a month without food (and possibly suffer irreversible internal damage and health problems for the rest of their life), most people don't like to skip more than one meal. They can get quite cranky about it. Without power, the refrigerator and freezer food will go bad. If the grocery store shelves are empty, you'll be glad that you filled up your pantry, basement or whatever. In fact, you should plan on nutritiously balanced meals that are rich in calories, vitamins, nutrients, and other essential things -- while you can make such preparations.

Once you have a handle on the nutritional requirements of your people, pets, and guests, you can figure out how this works out in terms of canned/dehydrated foods and specific foods that you, your family, your pets, and your guests normally eat. Be fully aware of food allergies and preferences. While it may seem that you have enough food in the cupboard or pantry right now to feed you and yours, please do not underestimate the general unpleasantness of people and animals that do not eat well during a time of high stress. In fact, it is unlikely that you have 84 sixteen ounce cans of everyone's favorite vegetables right now.  84 sixteen ounce cans of vegetables is about what a family of six needs for 14 days in regard to the daily recommended consumption of vegetables according to USDA guidelines).

First Things: Food: Calories and Nutrition

According to the USDA Food Pyramid, the daily ratio of servings of different food groups looks like this:

The USDA makes the following recommendations for caloric intake:

These caloric level recommendations were based on findings of the National Academy of Sciences and on caloric intakes reported by people in national food consumption surveys. Those that have pets will have a better idea of what amounts and kinds of foods are appropriate for their pets, therefore I am avoiding specific recommendations on nutrition and calorie requirements of animals. If you own pets, you may not be able to bring your pets to a public shelter. If facilities for pets have been set up, your pets may be kept separately in a stressful and infectious containment area. Therefore, you may decide on sheltering in place (in your home) or elsewhere and will need to make the appropriate preparations for more than 14 days.

My two large breed puppies will each consume about one pound of dry food, one pound of wet food per day, and other treats and vitamin/mineral supplements. 14 days of food preps for them would include two 20 pound bags of their favorite kibble, two cases of their favorite canned dog food, one dozen biscuits, one dozen pig ears, one 12 ounce bottle of flax oil, and one bottle each of Vitamin C, Glucosamine, and other multi-vitamin capsules.  Due to the assumed low priority of pets, pet food, and pet supplies, I personally feel that it is prudent to make adequate pet preparations for a total of 3 months of disruptions though you may only be preparing for 14 days. Such preparations may allow you to forestall potential difficult decisions to put down your pets or let them loose upon your neighbors.


First Things: Food: Cost and Calories

In their preparations for Y2K, some have found that food preps can become very expensive. Even if you buy it on sale, store bought canned food can become very expensive when you try to get the calories to match up with individual requirements. For example, one entire 12 ounce can of green beans on sale at $US .70 may have 80 calories. A mixed can of carrots and peas of the same size and sale price might only have about the same amount of calories. Therefore, if you have a family of six and are feeding each person 2 cans per day for 14 days, that comes out to 168 cans at $US 117.60. This may seem like a lot of food to you, but it only provides 160 calories per day to each person. In other words, you have to make up 1400 to 2600 calories per person in other foods.

One strategy for boosting the total caloric value of your Y2K food stockpiles (without spending a great deal of money) is by including a good store of honey, syrup, pasta, olive oil, and vegetable oil. If you are making pan bread with each meal, for example, load it up with honey or dip it in olive oil. Include several servings of pasta per person at least one meal per day. Consider making lots of pancakes. Fry as much of your food as often as possible-- especially if people are hauling water and chopping wood. It might help to get a southern food-cookstove cook book. Many of those high calorie southern dishes evolved from old slave recipes-- slaves that often were short of food supplies and yet had awesome energy requirements due to their many difficult chores. The food is not rich, filling, and high in calories for no reason.

First Things: Food: Storage

Canned foods have various expiration dates. Typically, a can of vegetables is good for at least two years from the date of its canning. Fruits are typically good for at least one year from the canning date. Grains, sugar, and the like will usually store a year or too in a good bucket that was packed with nitrogen or carbon dioxide. Buckets that include food sealed inside mylar liners are even better. While dehydrated canned foods generally have a shelf life of ten years or better, these processed foods are more valuable for their storage life and vitamin content than their actual calorie content. Of course, the shelf life of both canned foods and dehydrated canned foods will be effected positively or negatively by temperature, exposure to sun light, and moisture. Buy canned foods that you already eat, or start including canned foods in your meals in order to adjust to digestive challenges that may be posed by an intensive canned food diet. While the ideal situation is to both can and dehydrate your own foods, but this is a time-consuming chore. The point is that you know what you like and you know how to make it taste best to you.  People that would like to incorporate living foods into their meals, might consider sprouting alfalfa and other seeds.

First Things: Food: Growing and Cooking

Food is a really big subject that includes growing and cooking in addition to storage, nutrition, and caloric requirements. Check out Sally's Y2K Kitchen for more information about cooking and planning Y2K meals. Check out Old Git's posts in the archives for a lot of info on growing things.

First Things: Food: General Links
Brian's Preparation Archives: Posts on Food

Brian's Preparation Archives: Posts on Food Storage
http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-one-category.tcl?q_and_a_p=t&a mp;topic=Year+2000+Preparation+Archive&refers_to=NEW&category= Food+Storage+and+Preserving

Brian's Preparation Archives: Posts on Growing Food

First Things: Food: Storage Links

The Food Storage FAQs Version 3.0

Walton Feed Info Page

Solar Food Drying

National Food Safety Database

North Dakota State University Publications

Food Preservation Data Base

Food Storage Life

First Things: Food: Related Books

Suzanne Ashworth, Seed to Seed

Mike and Nancy Bubel, Root Cellaring : Natural Cold Storage of Fruits and Vegetables

Jane Cooper, Woodstove Cookery: At Home on the Range

Barbara W. Ellis (Editor), The Organic Gardener's Handbook of Natural Insect and Disease Control

Carla Emery, Encyclopedia of Country Living

Dan Halacy, Cooking With the Sun : How to Build and Use Solar Cookers

Joseph C. Jenkins, The Humanure Handbook : A Guide to Composting Human Manure

Harriet Kofalk, Solar Cooking : A Primer/Cookbook

John J.Mettler , Jr., Basic Butchering of Livestock & Game

James Talmage Stevens, Making the Best of Basics: Family Preparedness Handbook

Steven Thomas, et al., Backyard Livestock : Raising Good Natural Food for Your Family


Time is short and your cash and credit may be in short supply too. With 30 or so days left to 00, you do not have much time to research and understand the arguments expressing optimism and pessimism in regard to the risks associated with Y2K. How will you complete the first phase of your Y2K preparations? You know, first things.  It's likely that you won't complete your preparations, if you don't do it smartly. Prep smartly: start with a pencil or pen and some paper. Map out what you need, define practical goals, and develop a budget. I know you can do it in your head, but you may not remember everything in a day or much less a week. The first thing to do (once you have your list) is "x" out all the things you want to need, but do not apply to the immediate survival and health of you, your family, and any others.


You know what you need (you wrote it down on paper), you know how much each category is generally going to cost (you wrote this down too), and you are ready to go out and spend your hard-earned cash.  Depending on how much personal time you have to hunt down a good bargain and how much money you can afford to spend, you may want to hunt for deals. On the other hand, time is running short for getting your preparations done in time for a New Year's Party.


Number 11. Ebay (non-electric music boxes, used Hudson Bay Company 100% wool blankets, etc.)

Number 10.
BJs, Big Lots, Costco, Kmart, Sam's Club, and Walmart (canned food and more)

Number 9. Sales at the local grocery or other stores (canned food and more: most yourdonites)

Number 8. Estate Sales (fireplace inserts, wood stoves, garden tools, firewood)

Number 7. Yard/ Moving Sale (gas-kerosene cans, kerosene heaters, firewood, and more)

Number 6. Public Storage Auctions

Number 5. Dollar Store

Number 4. Soda, juice, and food plant-factory (55 gallon food grade barrels)

Number 3. Store and Restaurant Dumpsters (food containers and more)

Number 2. Local Dump and Junk Yards (canning jars and lids)

Number 1. Your local Y2K nut (they'll have water, food, heat, and more: Y2K Pro) "Just be sure you contact the appropriate authorities to confiscate their guns and ammunitions, first."

Got any other ideas for the top ten cheapest places to get stuff? Send me an email at info@giglobal.com.

Cheeping: Link

Best Preparation Buys: A Recent Forum Message

Cooperative Preps: Cooperative Buys on Y2K Preparations
http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=00 1YZS

additional links

Girl Scout's on Y2K preparations
(contributed by FM)

Which Are Your Favorite Y2K Preparation Checklists? (For The New GI): A good forum thread
(contributed by Diane J. Squire)

Scanning Reference
All the frequencies (by state) that you need. Also has military, federal, space shuttle,
satellites, railroad, aircraft, etc.
(contributed by flb)

If you would like to print this essay and send it to someone you care about, please do.

Good luck to you all, and God bless you.

Stan Faryna


This document is created and designed to provide information on the Year 2000 computer date problem. It is provided with the understanding that neither Stan Faryna or any other contributors to this document are engaged in rendering legal, accounting, investment, spiritual, or other professional services or advice. Persons needing such advice are advised to seek private and personal counsel. The author and contributors are providing certain information that is, at the time presented, believed to be an accurate portrayal of facts. All information should be used as a general guide only and not as the ultimate source of information. The author and contributors shall not be liable and/or responsible to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage caused, or alleged to be caused, directly or indirectly, by any information provided.

Have you checked out the TB2000 Preparation Archives recently? If not, click here.

Live in the Wash., D.C. Metropolitan Area? Click here to check out NOVA Y2K's site.

Have you read Sally's essay, "Bean Theory"?  Click here to get to the Y2K Kitchen.

Want to chat with regulars from this discussion form. Click here to get Bok's chats.

Password: newt

-- Stan Faryna (faryna@groupmail.com), November 30, 1999.

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