Question re: bank safety deposit boxes : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I have some substantial assets stored in my bank safe deposit box. I'm debating whether to leave them in the box or bring them home for the CDC. Does anyone here know how the safe doors operate at banks? Are they computerized? I know they have some type of timer system. Will they be able to open the safe if the power is out? Will my assets be trapped forever by a computer glitch or power outage? I do not need these assets for immediate survival, but would want access to them eventually. If I bring them home, I avoid the danger posed by computer problems or power outage, but then there is the risk of theft or fire.

-- Tomas (a@b.c), December 24, 1999


It doesn't have to be "all or nothing." You might want to consider bringing home some of your assets, and leaving some in the bank. And whatever you bring home probably shouldn't put all in one place, either...

-- Ed Yourdon (, December 24, 1999.

Bring them home. If the bank never opens again, you will have your stuff.

-- Mara (, December 24, 1999.

My understanding that a bank failure = all cash/assets on the property are tied up in the legal wrangle, if it does fail. Can anyone corroborate this ? I realize this wasn't the question but thought it prudent to mention.

I would leave it in and chance it rather than chance being robbed at home. Take enough out for an emergency, otherwise hire bodyguards.

-- Rob (, December 24, 1999.

1) Really NICE fire proof and huge safes do NOT cost a lot. We have had a safe in our home for many years. Anybody steals THAT beast out of the basement, they can keep the beans we stored in it.

2) The bank is under no obligation to make your stuff available to you even if things are normal. That bank can fail tommorow and be sold thru the Fed to another bank, all without you having word one or any notice. You have no proof of what is in that box (at least none they care about) and it's not insured anyway.

For a grand or two you can have a 3'x3'x5' gun safe thats yours for life. It bolts to the floor, the contents can easily be covered under homeowners insurance, they can be made reasonable fire proof, and best of all.... IT'S YOURS FOREVER.

Hint.... It takes six BIG guys to move mine when I have to. Somebody wants to steal it and it's contents? Bring a truck, a torch, six guys, a special hand truck, and a few hours time. And then they gotta deal with the 'presents' I lined the door with.

-- art (, December 24, 1999.

I can only say what happened the last time a real national bank holiday was in the Spring of 1933.

If the bank closed it's doors, those who had Safe Deposit Boxes got NOTHINGGGG!!

About twenty years ago, a whole huge number of cardboard boxes, each containing the possessions of some poor, out-of-luck boxholder, were discovered in an old FDIC warehouse...they brought social scientists to pour over the "time capsule." The Wall Street Journal reported on the find in the Page one center column.

Again, the heirs got NOTHINGGGG.

-- K. Stevens (kstevens@ It's ALL going away in seven, December 24, 1999.

Let me put it gently:


Bank safe deposit banks are EASY to find. The gold coins i a mason jar buried under the fourth fencepost from your garage is not.

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), December 24, 1999.

King of Spain: I fooled you! I buried my gold under the third fencepost. You'll be looking in the wrong place.

-- cody (, December 24, 1999.

Tomas: The vault door in the bank I use regularly is totally mechanical. The timelock is set by the branch manager at the end of each day and there is no electricity and no computer involved. Even if there is a power failure, as long as I can get into the bank, I can get to my safety deposit box. The manager lives in the same rural county I live in and has assured me that she will let me get to my box regardless of what's going on. I have confidence in her word but things could get out of her control so if I need to get to my box for any reason, I will do it at the first sign of trouble. If I lived in a city and were dealing with strangers, I would not wait until the first sign of trouble but would get anything valuable out of there next Monday.

-- cody (, December 24, 1999.

Assets? I have no assets.

-- (, December 25, 1999.


I think if I had some items of value then I would put them in a nonmetal container and sink them in cement. Preferably in a new floor for my cellar, or a new walkway out back, or patio. I would buy a pick with a nonflammable handle. I would not have any metal, or bills with those metalic strips in them. This stash would not be detectable to satellites, metal detectors, sonar. Minimize the air by puting items in ziplock bags then filling remaining air of container with sand, and plant horizontal, to minimize any sonar type instrument detecting the pocket. Sand will be closer density to cement than air.

Anything metal would have to be stored under or in metal. Could put something in my burried oil tank, if it's in an unpenetrable container. I would dig to the top of my tank, and drill a hole and plug it (with item either hanging on a cord or fastened to the side). I could make a lid. Wouldn't suspend a cord from the tank spout; too easy to find.

If I wanted to hide stuff in my house to be reasonably accessible or at least under my watchful eye, then I would consider container sizes, as well as dividing loot into categories of paper, metal, magnetic stripped currency.

If that strip in bills is truly magnetic, I would neutralize the magnetism.

A fireproof cylinder could go in the insulation between my chimmney duct and the brick housing. Might be able to hide metal with this duct, depending on the composition of this chimney duct and my cylinder insulation, as well as delicasy of items stored.

If TSHTF and there is no power for a long time then no one will steel your fridge or washing machine. If a case is fire/water proof, then you can open up these large appliances to stash stuff, mask metal too.

If you take down a ceiling fixture then there is room in the cavity to store stuff. Theives don't bother taking down light/fan fixtures to look for stuff, and you could access your stash there with 5 minutes, a screw driver, and a chair.


Lift boot insoles, carve pit in heels for coins, superglue rubber insoles over this, then lay fabric insoles ontop.

Think of where drug addicts hide loot when planning your bugout pack. They hide stuff in toothpaste tubes and shaving cream cannisters. They make double linings and fake bottoms in their luggage.

Buy some drywall, paint, drywall tape. Take down a few sections of wall, hide paper loot with nonmetallis fireproof container in the cavity, then patch up wall and paint. takes a hammer and 20 seconds to access.

Small metal items (jewelry, coins) can be hidden BEHIND electrical outlet boxes, but good to wrap items first in fireproof material. Can duct tape on the back of outlet boxes. Access in 10 min, a screwdriver, and utility knife to cut duct tape.

Stupid places to hide stuff: Laying inside empty shoes or between sweaters, or with any garments, in drawers or taped to the bottom of drawers, closets. Safes are stupid for hiding stuff. May as well paint a target on them. Any containers in the kitchen or fridge are stupid. Within reach inside an air duct or chimney. Behind or under obviously loose floor boards or bricks. In a garden. In a toilet tank. Burried under loose dirt.


In your burried septic tank.

-- Hokie (, December 25, 1999.

PS--assume a troop of UN soldiers with equipment will loot your of home and send anything of value home to their kin. Assume the worst. Think like them. they can and will open a safe in no time. They will not, eg, dig up your septic tank or jackhammer your driveway without first detecting something there of interest.

assume they have state of the art equipment, manpower, and shipping.

-- Hokie (, December 25, 1999.

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