Is there still time to prep?greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
It is December 17. For a week or two I have been reading various regulars make the statement, "It's too late to prep anyway."
Now, it is obvious to me that it is far too late to do anything like *comprehensive* personal/family prepping. There are just too many details to cover every base between now and rollover. It is too late to do *universal* prepping. The JIT inventories would run out long before everyone had even started. And it may even be too late for *long-term* prepping, because so few families have the financial strength to prep for six months to a year on such short notice.
But I strongly believe it is *not* too late to do something effective for yourself or your family. Inventories are still high. If you can't do everything, it is still possible to strengthen your hand. Water is easy to get and to store. So is food. Backup sources of heat for warmth and cooking can still be purchased. So can alternate sources of light: candles, lamps, lanterns, flashlights.
I think we should not be discouraging people who have put off prepping to the last possible moment. As long as there are seats in the lifeboat, we should be pulling folks over the gunwales.
-- Brian McLaughlin (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 17, 1999
You make a good point. Just this week I had someone pull me aside and ask what she should do for Y2K. I told her, "go to Costco." They still have lots of stuff.
People don't even need to spend much money for some things...water can be stored in empty 2-liter bottles, fire wood can still be scrounged at construction sites and elsewhere for free. Food, you need anyway, so why not buy for the future now.
I try to encourage prepping, without revealing the extent of my own. I stick to the "party line" of 3-7 days, but in reality have much, much more.
-- No Polly (email@example.com), December 17, 1999.
It's time to consider sidestepping the food pipeline, because it may max out any time when/if panic hits, and might wobble in January depending on the breaks.
We had another thread that discussed this subject some time back. Find farmers in your area WHO ARE WILLING to have their names and locations publicized, and do group buys from them. In Washington State, for example, we have megaton bean growers who will sell in 5,000 lb minimums. Pool your money, send a truck, feed your neighborhood. You can get lists of such places from trade associations.
Also consider direct orders from outside your area. If Safeway can't bring it, maybe the Post Office can. Check out Ellis Stansel for starters.
-- bw (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 17, 1999.
My family already buys our veggies direct from a local farmer, who acts as the source for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) co-op. Great stuff. We buy a year's share and the veggies keep coming all year long.
But anyone starting prepping today would do well to keep it as simple and straightforward as possible. Unless they already know the farmer, they probably need to hit the store first.
Feed stores are a good cheap alternative to the grocery store. However, not every city dweller knows how to find a feed store, while they *all* can find the grocery.
-- Brian McLaughlin (email@example.com), December 17, 1999.
I'll still be doing additional preparations...like more chicken food, taking inventory of supplies and getting any last minute items. My esteemed (and very GI) spouse just picked up 150# of beef. If nothing else, we can make jerky when the power goes off...
-- Mad Monk (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 17, 1999.
It's not too late to prepare. It won't be too late to prepare all the way until the lights go out (or not) and perhaps not even then.
How extensively you can prepare, how well thought your preparations will be are another matter but somebody, somewhere will be preparing all the way up until the disaster rolls over them.
If you got paid today (It's Friday and payday for us, today) you could put together quite a nice program in just the course of this weekend.
Of course, if you'd started six weeks, six months or six years ago you'd be that much further ahead on the learning curve, but you can still greatly improve your survival chances even at this late date.
For newcomers there's a Threat Analysis FAQ on the Providence Cooperative site that'll help you figure out what you need to do. It's a general preparedness FAQ, not Y2K specific. From there you might look at some of the other FAQs on the site.
The Prudent Food Storage FAQ, v3.5
-- A.T. Hagan (email@example.com), December 17, 1999.
I'm continuing to prep (there's always something I can improve on) and will do so into the year 2000. At this point it's more a matter of refining or rounding things out. Bought a spool of 550 cord the other day. Stopped in Safeway and got a half dozen more novena candles, more canned fruit, stewed tomatoes, canned milk, sugar, cream of chicken soup and yeast (all on sale). Bought more sterile gauze pads, Hoods for my NBC mask, maglite bulbs, povidine iodine and 9mm ball ammo. Bought a pair ECWS Gortex woodland pants, shoe laces and snow seal (for boots) and another case of oil.
Had the discussion with a fellow I know about preps, told him he had ample time to make meaningful ones and wrote down a list of things for him as well as where to get it. That was last weekend. He had talked about making a Costco run Sunday but when I called him he said he'd stayed home and watched football instead. Didn't do anything last week either. If it hits the fan he and his family are toast and luckily they live about 30 miles away and I've made a point to tell nearly nobody where I live now. He still made the comment "if it gets bad I know you'll share with me" (I'm getting sick of hearing this). Told him he was sadly mistaken and that if it was that bad he wouldn't be able to make it up here anyway.
There's still time but don't waste it!
-- Don Kulha (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 17, 1999.
We do CSA too. It's a great way to encourage local growers, it locks in your personal supply as much as anything can be promised in the next few months, and you get better food. One of the points of that other thread is that we'll be eating locally grown food next year, in preference to what needs shipping. If trains don't run, if trucks don't run, then local is what you get. With that in mind, note that Wright-Pat AFB has started talking about Victory Gardens. VEERRRY interesting!
-- bw (email@example.com), December 17, 1999.
Our local Sam's has pallets of rice on the shelf. Our local food wholesaler has 300 fifty pound bags of pinto beans alone still in stock. The local Aldi's has cases of soups and veggies stacked. But there is a waiting list for Ryder trucks with lift tailgate.
Yes, a family can still pick-up weeks' if not months' worth of basic subsistance foods right this moment. Just last night we went to that food wholesaler and bought a full pallet of those pinto beans. That's fifty bags and neither he nor I blinked over the transaction.
Sam's did ask us to wait for a special delivery when we ordered six tons of rice. But it was available in twelve working days. The local feed stores have wheat and corn in near unlimited quantities.
A family CAN still prep now. Heck, it may be possible to prep after January 1st. But I wouldn't bet on it.
-- Wildweasel (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 18, 1999.