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Copyright © 1998, 1999 by A.Lizard.Use of this material
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Part 1 - How did we get into this mess?
Chapter 1 - The Year 2000 Problem
1. 2 digit dates
2. problem with 2 digit dates (00 < 99)
3. why 2 digit dates were used
4 . programmer warnings ignored
5. the results (based on Gartner Group numbers)
1. mutilbillion dollar
2. estimated trillion
dollar legal bills
6. Will "the experts" get us out of this? (or why many
of these experts have already headed for the hills)
7. Will the Federal Government get us out of this? (comment about
how a cigar and a soiled dress are of much more importance to
the press and our Federally elected officials of both parties
than the possible end of civilization.) (Quotes from GAO reports)
Part 2 - What does this mean to me?
Before reading this part of the books, here is a short list of
dates with probable events to look out for. This is intended
to give you an idea of which scenario I've described best fits
your situation we're really in. You will get this book months
after I've written it, some of these dates will have happened
by the time you read this. How much has happened on each date
will give you the best available information on how bad Year-2000
is really likely to be.
Chapter 2: Scenario 1 - "bump in the road"
1. January 1, 2000 is just another day, there was never any need
to prepare. The bad news is that even if you're in an area where
the lights didn't even flicker and there's still food on supermarket
shelves, civilization may not be out of trouble yet.
2. What to do with your disaster preparations:
1. Right now, do nothing
with them. 1/1/2000 is too early to tell. See section 2 of this
2. donate to charity
3. eat them yourself,
take them camping
4. keep for future
5. So you bought a
retreat? Don't be in any hurry to sell it. You've got a nice
vacation spot if you did your preparation properly. Everyone
else is trying to sell their retreat right now.
3. It only looked like a bump in the world: Discussion of non-local
economic problem effects and national/global transportation on
local communities ... gradual economic slowdown to 1930's style
Great Depression level.
Chapter 3. Scenario 2 - "This is the one to prepare
for" Chances are, your area will experience some of
the effects described in this chapter, but not all of them. However,
since there is no way to be sure which of thse things will happen
in your area, I advise you to prepare as much as possible for
all of them. Power and communications are the "big two"
Y2K risk factors, if both are operational, the other Y2K factors
can be handled. If either works, it insures that the other can
be fixed, though at some level of difficulty. If both are down
and stay down in your area, you are going to need your emergency
preparations. Some of this isn't really in the area of things
a business can prepare for, e.g. if you're with a company using
large amounts of power for manufacturing, with power out, you're
out of business, unless you believe that you have customers willing
to pay the increased costs involved with your generating electricity
This scenario is based on the idea that 80% of businesses
will have their Y2K problems 80% fixed by 12/31/1999. Ed Yardeni,
famous economist and a Managing Director with Deutsche Bank Securities
of North America projects a 70% chance of major recession. The
scenario I project says 100% chance of a 1930s scale Great Depression.
The difference may be that I don't have to hedge to keep the
credibility of top corporate and government officials who haven't
gotten the word yet. I think that most of the food you store
you will actually wind up eating after the grocery stores are
back in business in order to save "cash money" for
use on other things you need to survive. So get more than you
think you need. It's cheap insurance.
1. power problems (quotes from most recent NERC report from
DOE on power),
2. likely communications problems (GAO Chief Scientist report
on telco, etc.)
3. likely Internet
/ data network (i.e. frame relay) problems
3. transportation problems
1. stay out of airplanes
2. don't go on long
trips unless extended stay is possible - 12/15/1999 to 1/15/2000.
4. food chain problems
5. emergency services breakdown
6. hospital equipment problems - get your elective surgery done
before 12/15/1999, stay out of hospitals during 12/30/1999 to
2/2000 if you possibly can
7. manufacturing industry problems
8. Just-In-Time based breakdowns (listed separately because they
will be common to a number of industries)
9. how to hedge your Y2K bets and why
1. don't put *ALL*
your resources into preparing.
2. don't quit your
job unless keeping it endangers you / your family
10. Who's least likely to be affected. (at least for a while)
1. local service businesses
with local clientele
2. local businesses
which built up good sized inventories
Chapter 4. Scenario 3 - "The End of the World"
and what's wrong with THIS picture... and resources on how to
prepare for those who feel the need to.
1. Don't Die of Heart Failure if The Lights Stay On...
1. total failure of
all power - improbable - here's why
2. total failure of
all phone service - improbable - here's why
3. total failure of
all large organization computers - improbable - here's
4. total failure of
all government facilities - improbable, here's why
5. the world probably
won't blow up - here's why. Unless you're in the area marked
"X", not all of this is going to happen where you live.
6. A short list of
areas marked "X". Japan major cities (special fire
and transportation problems)
2. Retreat Preparation - note that this will either point
to resources outside the intended scope of the book or tell the
reader how to extend the planning found within the book to cover
1. criteria for picking
a site. (checklist) - get the location you want. Don't worry
if the property is smaller than you think viable for farming,
property values are likely to drop to a very low level or zero
. . . you might be better off getting a few extra ounces of gold
and figure on buying afterwards
2. survival farming
(very brief presentation of basics and where to find out more)
nonhybrid seeds, figure on fertilizer availability, what to do
when it runs out
Part 3 - Personal Preparation
I'll be concentrating on affordable preparation. There are
many books and Web sites on how to build retreats and how to
stock them, and a fair number of places that offer 1 year packages
of food (military rations, freeze dried foods, etc.) at horrendous
prices. While I'll be happy to point people at them who actually
want them, should they still be available, food is only part
of the problem.
5. Energy Preparations
Chapter 7. Food,Water, and Personal Sanitation
1. what to store and
how to store it
1. available at the grocery store and other places... (canned,
dry packed foods with long-term (> 6 months) shelf life),
foods for bulk packing, fats, salt, sugar, vitamin supplements.
1. oxygen absorbers, dry ice, nitrogen
2. Mormon canneries (if available)
3. sprouting (may be only way to get fresh greens in winter or
if farm supplies n/a for other reasons
4. where to get long-term storage supplies
3. MREs and other
long-term storage foods from conventional survivalist suppliers
1. Why they may not be available at this point (backorders may
make these businesses useless to my readers by the time this
book appears in stores
2. What's available - and some claims as to MRE nutritional value
(lack of, reference to Y2K prep list)
3. Suppliers - and backlog times as of printing
4. how much to store
5. brief information on gardening, non-hybrid seeds, suppliers
(for 1 year plus scenarios, tools, where to get more information
7. chart of shelf lives of suitable grocery and long-term storage
2. Water: Remember that your power goes down, your water and
sewers probably goes with it.
1. What to store
2. How to store
3. How to purify...
4. So you have a swimming
pool? Uses for non-potable water.
5. where to get more
6. where NOT to get
3. Improvising toilets - waste disposal
4. soap, detergent, bleach
5. feminine personal hygiene supplies
6. infant supplies... cloth diapers (and figure more water)
7. bug-out bag - if you've really got to leave
Chapter 8. What Else do You Want To Store?
1. personal records (hard copies rent receipts, identification
documents, tax records, social security payment records, medical
records, records of military discharge,etc.)
2. medical supplies
1. prescriptions -
get a month or more of anything you must have (insulin, etc.)
- and make sure your and all your family's immunizations are
current by 11/1998!!! Note: the Hepatits B series takes 7 months,
start by 4/1998. It's expensive. It might save you a lot of trouble.
Get current eye exams for anyone in your household, get new glasses
and consider getting spare pairs, especially if the new glasses
prescription is different enough from the old to make the old
ones marginally useful. 2. first aid kit (include a list of basics
and some extensions)
3. books, e.g. What to do When There Is No Doctor, etc.
4. contraceptives (spare diaphrams or other reusable units if
5. tools - Plumbers, electricians, etc. may not be as available
during Y2K season.
1. basic household
tools... and add a plunger and a hand-powered snake, include
a multimeter and learn how to use it.
The Swiss Army knife is a thing of the past for those in the
know. The "multitool" available from Gerber and Leatherman
are much more useful. In a foldup pair of pliers is all the functionality
of the high-end Swiss Army knives in a form factor less likely
to break, which can be carried in a belt sheath. Screwdriver,
One of these is a nearly complete tool kit in itself. Pliers,
screwdriver, knife blades, wire cutter, can opener, bottle opener
Get a good one. If you're in a rural retreat, get one for every
adult and older kid. You'll thank me for this advice.
3. duct tape!!!
4. carpentry tools,
e.g. hammer, saw, etc.
5. repair tools for
specific items, auto, etc.
6. If you know electronics,
consider getting a test bench that's largely battery powered.
6: Should I buy a computer and internet access to monitor this
situation... and to get the book updates and supplemental information?
Probably not if that's all you want it for. You can get Internet
access at most public libraries these days, or you may have a
friend with a computer willing to help you out. If you already
have a reasonably modern (486 or faster / 68x40 or PowerMac)
computer, you probably should get Internet access, modems are
relatively inexpensive ($40-75, an ISP will cost you around $20
a month.) and the information you'll be getting from my Web site
and from other sources, both the ones I recommend and those you
find on your own will be worth it.
7. money: currency collapse / inflation-deflation - how much
paper money, should you buy silver? (This is intended to for
getting people through a crisis, not for personal investment.
Investment is in a later chapter.)
8. trade goods: what's likely to be scarce and desired if the
stores close or if the transportation problems materialize and
transport for goods is allowed on a "essential items only"
9. books: information you may need in case Y2K is worse than
expected, and why all but the most important references should
be on CDROM if you've got a laptop. AT library (should be in
CDROM by time book hits the shelves)
Chapter 9. Personal Protection
1. why you should plan for temporary breakdown of emergency services
2. guns (protection, making sure 'critters' don't get your food
1. firearm advice
and training - NRA, local gun clubs... and get lots of practice...
and why you should
stick to common calibers
2. rifle - .22LR AND...
3. shotgun (12 or
4. handgun (9mm or
.45 or, .357)
5. mace / pepper spray
6. self-defense courses
7. more gun info,
recommended books, Usenet rec.guns, spare parts, consider reloading
3. burglar alarms / electronic security
1. special Y2K problems
2. Your usual alarm
monitoring company may no longer be with us...
4. Why you should prepare with a group or friend if you possibly
1. neigborhood, affinity
groups, extended families...
2. parents, kids,
and guns, if things get bad, you'll need an armed babysitter
3. You probably can't
have an armed adult at home at all times, and you can't stay
alert 24 hours a day...
4. There may be more
of "them" than there are of "you".
5. Being with a companion
or a group may help you stay sane 6. quantity discounts are wonderful
Chapter 10. What if you have serious money problems and
need to prepare?
1. the lowest cost alternatives. . .
Personal Preparation Checklist
Part 4 - Computer and Business
If you are running a business, you probably should get Internet
access for yourself if you don't already have it. Web search
or directly accessing your vendors' Web sites is the fastest
way to get access to information on your computers, software,
embedded systems, and other things needed to know to get your
business Y2K ready. Some of what you'll need to know to get ready
for Y2K trouble is available only via the Internet. Other things
you want to know actually can be discovered by phone, if you
really want to cope with the usual state of customer support
in the computer industry, i.e., hours trying to get through clogged
phone lines or waiting for a callback from customer service that
you could be spending doing something profitable.
Chapter 11. household / office appliances - which will
keep working after 1/1/2000? (most)
1. how to test
2. Check your PBX. If it can't take calls in the year 2000 (quite
possible, even if it's new) you are out of business. Find out
now if it's year-2000 ready, while it can still be fixed quickly.
Chapter 12. Wintel - hardware platform specific problems.
1. PC internal clocks
2. Diagnostic Utilities and software patches
3. BIOS chip
BIOS - and the dangers of doing this.
2. replacing BIOS
3. BIOS boards
1. when to replace - who needs compliance at the RTC level?
2. can you replace?
3. RTC board
5. Crouch-Echlin time
dilation effect, is it a problem for you? (software patch may
4. When should you consider motherboard replacement or new computer?
Chapter 13. Mac
1. no hardware problem
2. brief discussion of application problems / data problems (see
Chapter 14. business computer applications - general
1. what to look for in applications and data files
2. how to check applications for y2k compliance
3. automated remediation suites and their limitations
4. what to look for in data files if you're doing it by hand.
5. incoming and outgoing data, brief discussion of possible EDI
Chapter 15. network / server (unix, Novell, NT)
1. check the year-2000 section of your hardware and software
vendor Web sites
4. linux /
Chapter 16. Web server / Webmaster special issues
Chapter 17. mainframes
1. a summary of what the mainframe subculture does for us
2. why it matters
3. resources for mainframe programmers
Chapter 18. hospital compliance: embedded medical equipment
and other special issues
Chapter 19. farms - a brief discussion of special issues
Chapter 20. Manufacturing: a brief discussion of special
Chapter 21. Business infrastructure problems - and contingency
The question to ask yourself is if chunks of your infrastructure
go down, do you still have anything to sell? The smart thing
to do may be to lock up until things get better. Also note that
if you can stay in business, you will be selling the goods and
services that your competitors who didn't prepare can't.
1. power failure - Can your business function without power?
If not, can you use generators and pass the increased costs of
doing business to your customers?
2. communications failure - Can your business function without
communications? If not, can you use alternate and pass the increased
costs of doing business to your customers?
5. transportation; shipping and receiving - If you are using
just-in-time, can you rent warehouse space?
1. US mail / package
2. Fed Ex, UPS, etc.
6. GPS rollover; do you use GPS? 7. Have you checked vendor and
customer year-2000 compliance?
Chapter 22: Legal Problems with Y2K
1. your legal position with respect to knowing of Y2K problems
and not telling your customers
2. document, document, document
Part 5 - Local Government
This section is really intended to give citizens an idea of
what their governments are supposed to be and probably aren't
doing, and how to find out (where possible) what's really being
Chapter 23. Local Utilities?
1. Does your community have government controlled power generation
and distribution? What about sewage? Water? Find out right now
how they are dealing with year-2000 problems. If they won't tell
you anything or what they are telling you is obviously meaningless
legal boilerplate, assume the worst. Many municipal power companies
and other organizations are doing absolutely nothing to protect
their facilities from year-2000 problems. (quote from Texas and
Minnesota PUC reports)
2. computer preparation: see Chapter 4
3. Example of what looks like a good job of county preparation:
Contra Costa County
Chapter 24. Can your community function with the lights
Emergency Infrastructure Problems
1. Emergency Services - Vulnerability and contigency planning
1. 911 dispatch -
power and communications
2. local fire / police
stations - power, can their phones work without power?
3. emergency vehicle
2. Disaster Planning
1. food storage -
warehousing of non-perishable foods
2. food preparation
- emergency soup kitchens (special considerations)
3. emergency shelters (special considerations)
1. power outage
2. sewage problems
3. food preparation
Chapter 25: State and Federal Governments: brief overview
of serious trouble chapter opening: This section is brief
because there is very little you can do about it, unless you
are a major campaign contributor.
1. Pennsylvania did it, here's how. (y2knot13.txt)
2. It seems to be the only state ready... these states may make
3. Federal Government, a quick look at Y2K disaster in the making
4. What this means to you. (you may not be getting your government
Part 6 - Y2K and personal
/ business finance
Chapter 26. How to make money off Y2K via goods and services
1. computer services
2. server / mainframe
2. Products of use to people preparing for Y2K
Look through this book. The stuff that I'm recommending for
Y2K preparation is stuff that people are going to want to buy.
If you're already operating a business, I recommend that you
seriously consider buying the items I or information sources
I recommend in large quantities and sell them to your customers.
Hopefully, these items will still be available for vendor purchase
by the time you get this book. For instance, if you're a grocer,
see if you can find a company willing to subcontract to repackage
and deliver bulk foods for long-term storage. If you can get
food packaging equipment, bulk food, and oxygen absorbers or
alternatives that don't require oxygen absorbers (CO2 and nitrogen)
at a good price, consider doing some bulk food packaging send
some flyers to local stores telling them you're in business.
I mention this because as of this writing, the reputable sources
of food are backordered several weeks. By the time you see this,
they will probably be backordered for months and worse, probably
won't be accepting further orders.
WARNING: If there are breakdowns in civil order where you
are and your Y2K customers aren't satistfied (e.g. they open
a can of rice and because the food wasn't packed in nitrogen
or with an oxygen absorber as claimed, it's crawling with bugs)
they are likely to blow your head off instead of sue. Best sell
people what you have told them they are paying for.
Chapter 27. Investments and money preservation make
sure your Y2K disaster preparation is done first before considering
1.banks - mixed news and ugly rumors
1. The good news is
that almost all merchants taking credit cards can handle the
2000 dated cards.
2. The FDIC has virtually
blacked out all information regarding the Y2K readiness of individual
3. The other good
news item is that the FDIC says banks will either be remediated
4. problems with data
transfer from non-compliant (i.e. foriegn banks) crashing systems
5. some mergers may
compound banking Y2K problems
2. the stock market - will the market exist? (results of first
SIA tests, discussion, what to look for in the next test)
3. Simultaneous attempt to convert to Euro and fix Y2K at the
same time. Major problems.
4. Y2K winners and losers... how to profit from the stupidity
5. should you buy gold?
1. basic purpose:
wealth preservation during time of crisis
2. current cause of
historic lows in gold prices
3. you haven't figured
out that a crisis is probable?
4. buying gold is
stabilizing, the money spent goes straight back into the banks
6. an interesting strategy involving gold call options (get permission
7. get out of real estate: Owning your own house may be a good
thing, delay purchases of property around yours into 6/2000 or
so... and why.
1. rental - eviction
- foreclosure problems: in a depression, many ordinarily "solid"
and solvent citizens and citizens with all the good intentions
in the world aren't going to be able to pay their bills, including
your rent bill. This is because in a depression, most businesses
aren't doing business and have laid off their employees, who
unfortunately are also your customers. Courts, assuming they
are still in existence will be overloaded with Y2K litigation
and with extra crime caused by Y2K related problems. Evictions
are going to have zero priority. Do-it-yourself eviction isn't
an answer, people who shoot you or whoever you send to collect
are probably going to be set free by a jury regardless of evidence
composed of renters in similar financial positions to the people
you tried to remove. Local police or sheriffs' deputies work
for people who answer to the voters. Even if you succeed in removing
the tenants / ex- homeowners, you will have to find new tenants
immediately, or find that people will have moved into your place
without your consent and aren't leaving voluntarily and have
no contract with you and absolutely no regard for your property.
2. Get back into the
real estate market around 6/2000 or later, wait until either
the prices drop to around zero, you might be able to get a $250,000
house in the current market with a 5 ounces of gold worth $1500
- $2K at the time this is written from property owners who can't
pay their bills. The hyperinflationary scenarios also support
this, though in this kind of situtation, the same amount of gold
might be "worth" $1,000,000. Or, that gold might be
worth $100 in a deflationary situation. You're still getting
the property for 5 ounces of gold.
3. Computer problems
may interfere with the process of land transfer. County Assessor
rolls and title insurance searches are only two of the possibilities.
Part 7 - After Y2K Season
Chapter 28. How to be sure a recovery is actually taking
1. decreasing power outages
2. new supplies of manufactured goods
3. increasing employment in non-disaster related businesses
4. investment in new businesses and new technology
Chapter 29. Lessons to be learned How can we stay out
of messes like the Y2K situation in the future?
1. dangers in short term thinking
2. dangers in having elected officials who are not technology-literate
3. dangers in having business leaders who are not technology-literate
30. Afterword - The Spiritual Side of Y2K
- Appendix A - download or other instructions on how to obtain
supplemental material intended for use in conjunction with the
- Appendix B - FAQs on food storage, etc. if reprint permission
can be obtained
- Appendix C - list of useful URLs with information only available
online , books, etc. not in the main text... e.g. The Extension
Agent's Handbook for Emergency Preparation and Response http://www.fema.gov/library/eprhb.txt
- Appendix D - list of local Mormon cannery phone numbers in
the US (and warning that they're some are backlogged X weeks
as of time book went to press and that some are already backordered)
(I have a current copy)
- Appendix E - How to download or otherwise the information
package intended to accompany the book. (if it isn't supplied
with a disk)
For more information, go to A.Lizard's
personal Y2K page