Many people preparing for Y2K need to take into account many issues to feel that they have done what they need to do and that they are at their comfort level. What are the things that you may not be thinking of, that you will regret forgetting if the worst comes to pass?
How about your pet? If you have a pet, you must decide what you are going to do with it. If you feel that there will be disruptions severe enough in your locale that you will need to prepare for weeks and weeks, maybe even months, then you must decide to either incorporate your pet into your family plans. If you are in a city and believe that you will need to use a public shelter, you must understand that shelters will not take pets. No matter what kind of pet it is, it must stay in the street and out of the shelters. Dogs, cats, parrots, parakeets, fish, ferrets. All are excluded from the shelters.
There are many survival techniques for those in the cities as well as in the suburbs and farms that are available. Moreover, in any disastrous situation, these techniques can maintain us until things are back to normal. As Susan Conniry says, we can not immediately have everything that we want but we can have everything that we need. She explains that our priorities, in order, must be shelter, water, fire and food. No matter what the situation, those are the priorities. Those are what our needs are, what it takes to keep us alive.
I keep thinking about my cousin and his wife that live on the 39th floor of a hi-rise building in New York City. What can and should they do in order to keep themselves going?
It is clear that we need to have a community structure within a city environment and, especially, in a hi-rise building. It would be almost impossible to get beyond a week or two in an apartment building without food and heat if you are on your own. By banding together within the building you and your neighbors can arrange to bring supplies, both hot and cold, up for distribution throughout the building. These same teams could be removing the garbage and other waste materials from the building the same way.
Do you know how to cook? Will you have the ability to cook in your apartment if you lose electricity or gas for any period, even for 6 hours? Do you know how to make hot food? Does anybody in your building have the ability to cook in his or her apartment? Does anybody in your building have a camp stove, a kerosene stove, a barbecue on the terrace? Do you have water? Do you know how to get water from your environment, urban or suburban? Do you know how to collect dew? Alternatively, are there Sycamore trees near you? Do you know how to collect water from them? Or from other sources? Do you know how to create a cooking fire from steel wool? Not in your house, of course, but on your terrace, patio, roof? Do you know how to create and maintain a fire inside a dwelling? Do have that information? Would it increase your comfort level if you had it, even if you never used it?
If you don't have this kind of information, but feel it would be important to your comfort, then there are three sources I want to suggest to you.
A free source is the National Crisis Response Institute. It provides a Y2k Preparedness Brochure that is very helpful, "Preparing Yourself for the Y2K Crisis." It can be downloaded from NCRI's Web site (www.public.usit.net/jupiter) free or is available in paper for $0.50 plus a self-addressed, stamped envelope from:
National Crisis Response Institute,
2817 West End Ave. 126-427,
Nashville, TN 37203.
There is no one answer. No one thing will suffice for everyone. Keep reading. Keep learning about Year 2000. Everyone's experiences will be different and everyone's needs will be different. Do not hesitate to follow your beliefs and feelings for your comfort zone. The time for planning is past. If you feel the necessity for it, do not hesitate to execute your plans now.
Howard Belasco is a consultant specializing in Microsoft and Novell enterprise networking. He can be reached at email@example.com