On This Day Pre-Y2K

Confused by any of the jargon you see below? Check the Y2K Glossary!

May 25, 1999 Permalink


If you are just getting it (GIing) or starting on your preparations, If you are a regular, you’ve probably already read this in another form or a previous post. Preparing for the worst (or near worst) of Y2K (whatever you imagine it to be) demands intelligent planning and decision- making. In a past post, Arnie Rimmer outlines the basic prep issues: location, water, food, shelter, heat, and sanitation.

Focus on these first things. Otherwise, you might be spending good money on secondary or unnecessary preparations. Even if you focus on first things, resources may be such that mistakes can not be afforded in the problem-solving process. The new GI needs general and local expertise in order not to waste money on inappropriate products and services-- we all must keep paying bills! So ask a lot of questions.


Narrowing one’s focus to first things is not just good advice. It is great advice for the new GI who has a tight budget! Maintaining this focus may also be hard advice to follow. For example, you drive by the camping store (that you’ve driven by a thousand times)and you’re curious enough to turn around and check the place out (since you know from your copy of the F.E.M.A. disaster preparedness check list that you should consider getting some camping gear).

You pull in, go inside, and start looking around at the four person- 4 season tents, sleeping bags, and other stuff. You see a fantastic four person tent that is on sale at 50% discount (say, it’s now selling for $250) and, heck, why shouldn’t you get it now! You shouldn’t get it now: you need to focus on first things. I almost did this. Big Dog (a regular, here) advised me about not worrying about the things I might not get. His advice was helpful when I decided not to buy the tent.


Ok, so you are a new GI and you are focusing on first things, but you may be focusing too hard on getting the “best in breed” of preps or what may seem to be the best preps. Unless you have the financial position, this also is not a reasonable way to proceed. This kind of focus can lead you to early defeat: some things may always be way out of your price range. You don’t necessarily need the coolest of preps.

Do you need the armored Ford Explorer from Kroll O’Gara capable of shielding you from light machine gun fire or grenade blasts? Of course, you don’t need it. Do you need the hottest wood stove, the biggest water and residential fuel tanks, canned food that lasts the longest, etc. The answer is most likely, no. If you have money for it, knock yourself out. I don’t have money to burn. You may not either.


For example, you decide to bring in a back hoe, drop a 3000 gallon plastic cistern/tank into your backyard, fit the tank with a hand pump, and all for $1,700. But if you only have $1,800 for Y2K preps, this is a bad decision-- regardless of all the funny looks you’ll get from your neighbors. Get all bases covered in terms of first things. You may have water to last you a long time, but you don’t want to have to relocate to a shelter because there’s no heat or food after a week.

How much water, calories, vitamins, and heat is needed for each person are questions that new GI’s need to know and calculate-- if they are going to make good preps. Previous posts from Anita, D, Rd, Valkyrie, and W.J. Turner about keeping simple in the preps helped me to further clarify this issue for myself. Some suggest preparing for two weeks and then, enlarging these basic preparations to one month, and so forth according to your decision of how long and how bad it will be.


Another problem to be avoided when preparing for Y2K is panic-buying. It really doesn’t matter that the last generator is on the shelf at Hechingers (or wherever) and you can buy it. If you are on a tight budget and don’t have a medical reason for that generator, forget it! I think these kinds of mistakes are likely to be made by new GIs who are trying to sort out their apprehensions and plans for preparations at the same time.

When you first GI, there are a lot of emotions going on and this is a bad time to be making decisions. If you can, you might turn your mind from Y2K for a day or two and enjoy life before jumping into these decisions. There is no need to get everything done, today. There is no general panic. Why should you panic? You shouldn’t. Don’t obsess over Y2K. On welfare or not, there is only time enough for you to prepare intelligently.

—Stan Faryna, Time Bomb 2000 Forums (LUSENET), 05/25/99

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