[copperpress-advertserve-ad-reload zone="3"]
ARCHIVED  December 3, 1999

Procrastinators can still prepare for Y2K

Y2K survival guide

With Y2K darkening on the horizon like a storm cloud and wide-spread panic beginning its twitch down the nation’s nerve, many so-called experts are pitching a last-minute call for community preservation: “Get to know your neighbors!” they will say. “We are all in this together!”

They could not be more mistaken.

Unless you were a FORTRAN programmer back in the ’60s or ’70s (as opposed to the 1960s or 1970s), Y2K really is someone else’s fault and — believe it or not — someone else’s problem. So let yourself off the hook, protect what’s yours, and unless they have a substantial store of foodstuffs you can “borrow,” let the Joneses dig their own holes. Remember: When the lights go out, everyone is on their own.

But until now, you’ve been one of the optimists. You’ve left your money in the bank. You’ve scoffed at the tabloids’ prophesies of Armageddon. You’ve ignored neighbors’ newly built bomb shelters while you insist on “conducting business as usual.” In short, you’ve blown it.

Or have you? Time is short, but there may still be hope for the Y2K-prep procrastinator. The Northern Colorado Business Report’s basic plan for last-minute Y2K survival (a.k.a. Project I-NOT-US) just might be your ticket for surviving the morning after:

1) Isolate yourself from Neighbors, Outsiders and Technology. You don’t need your neighbors, your community or anything else that the stupid, stupid technologically driven world has to offer. If you plan for no power, no water and an unstructured economy, you will be just fine. Should the need arise, burglary and deception will be easier to stomach if you have properly detached yourself from others in the community.

2) Unplug. Eliminate uncertainties within your home and office. Unplug computers, telephones and fax machines from wall outlets to avoid contamination from noncompliant power plants and telecommunication grids. Toasters, dishwashers, sewing machines and other seemingly harmless — but nonessential — appliances manufactured prior to 1990 may not be Y2K-compliant. To be on the safe side, discard them. Use surge protectors on all essential appliances (lamps, battery rechargers, televisions etc.). By unplugging your computer and printer, you should free up at least one or two surge protectors, but you will undoubtedly need more — keeping a store of spare surge protectors might not be a bad idea.

3) Smart storage. Don’t stack things away in closets and cupboards where they will be hard to reach — now is not the time for efficient use of space. And don’t use covered containers like Tupperware or moving crates — buckets are best.

When the lights go out, you may need to locate things by touch or flashlight, and certainly won’t want to find yourself pawing through stacks of poorly marked Tupperware containers crammed in a pantry. Use your open floor space. Living rooms, dens, bedrooms, garages (get your car out of there, it probably won’t work anyway) are all prime storage spots for bucketed goods.

Face it: Frivolous concerns over where you will be able to seat guests or relax after a good meal will be your downfall. When the lights go out, playing host should be the last thing on your mind. And good meals? Stop living in the past.

Note: While a run on banks for cash is almost certain, a run on convenience stores for buckets is much less so.

As a supplement to the I-NOT-US philosophy for Y2K preparation, The Business Report has compiled the following checklist of survival tools. Use it as you will, but keep in mind: When the lights go out, none of these tools is a substitute for common sense. If you keep your wits about you and “I-NOT-US” firmly planted in the back of your mind, you will become the most formidable tool of all.

Crock-Pot — Few items are so handy. Even a noncompliant Crock-Pot can be used for storing cash.

Crowbar — While your supplies are wisely stored in easily accessible buckets, your neighbors’ supplies may not be.

First Aid Kit-On-A-String — “Darkness is collision’s best friend.” You are going to need a first-aid kit. Best to keep one hanging around your neck at all times.

Glow-in-the-dark spray paint — Use it to mark out trails through your home. In the likely event of a prolonged blackout, you will be glad you did.

Hammer and chisel — A good, reliable, Y2K-compliant can opener.

Ice — Stock up on ice and keep it in a safe place — like a bucket.

Party hat, whistles, confetti, party-blowers — Having these around the house will offset the suspicion of friends and guests who ask about “all the buckets.” Maintain a semblance of normalcy.

Business Report staff writer Dan Feiveson will spend New Year’s Eve rummaging through the neighbors’ trash for supplies. Technical expertise for this column was provided by Tom Hacker. Feiveson and Hacker can both can be reached before the new year by phone at (970) 221-5400 and after new year’s by pony express at The Old Post Office Building, Village of Fort Collins, Northern Coloradonia.

Y2K survival guide

With Y2K darkening on the horizon like a storm cloud and wide-spread panic beginning its twitch down the nation’s nerve, many so-called experts are pitching a last-minute call for community preservation: “Get to know your neighbors!” they will say. “We are all in this together!”

They could not be more mistaken.

Unless you were a FORTRAN programmer back in the ’60s or ’70s (as opposed to the 1960s or 1970s), Y2K really is someone else’s fault and — believe it or not — someone else’s problem. So let yourself off the hook, protect what’s yours, and unless they have a…

[copperpress-advertserve-ad-reload zone="3"]

Related Content

[copperpress-advertserve-ad-interstitial zone="30"]