Y2K: Was it really possible to prepare for a meltdown?

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During last year's Y2K debate, "preparation" became something of an obsession for some forum participants. While I supported (even encouraged) modest preparations, I failed to understand "mega-preps." Frankly, I did not see many scenarios where 10,000 rounds of ammunition would be very useful. I also felt a serious collapse would have resulted in a chaotic situation where individual preparations might have had limited utility.

I certainly appreciate the benefits of a full pantry, a modest collection of tools and a firearm or two. The benefits of a steady income and no debt are also compelling. Was the decision to move into "mega-prepping" rational... or not? Just curious.

-- Ken Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), March 09, 2000


Was Mega-Prepping rational or not? Depends on whether you are asking Michael Hyatt or some poor soul that bankrupted their family for a basement full of dehydrated rodent feed.

-- Sifting (through@the.rubble), March 09, 2000.

>> Was the decision to move into "mega-prepping" rational... or not? <<

Ken, this ground has been plowed pretty thoroughly.

Seems to me, the decision to mega-prep would be a natural consequence of the conviction that a meltdown was unavoidable. The greater the conviction, the more rational that response would be. Even if one believed that the resulting chaos would be so overwhelming that one's preps would have limited utility. Under those circumstances, mega-prepping would present the highest chances of survival, regardless. Time and chance happeneth to all, but chance favors the prepared.

As for the 10,000 rounds of ammo. Not every mega-prepper went down that road. A great many seemed to believe that cooperation would be of higher utility than weapons. A lot of people bought food to give away. Others chastized them for it. There was disagreement.

In my own case, the level of my preps disclosed the state of my conviction fairly accurately. My first rule was, if I couldn't think of a legitimate use for a prep in my normal course of life, I'd pass on it. But, if I had been as convinced of a meltdown as some others, I would have gone whole hog. Naturally.

-- Brian McLaughlin (brianm@ims.com), March 09, 2000.

I honestly never understood why generators were such a big deal. I always placed those in the realm of mega-preps. Almost a status symbol of prepping, kind of like having a Mercedes Benz in the driveway. I could never come up with a scenario where owning one made sense. It wouldn't be necessary for short-to-medium-term disruptions. It wouldn't help a bit in the event of a major collapse. Also, I never wanted the hassle of trying to store the fuel necessary to run one.

Can anyone shed some light on the reasoning involved in the purchase of a generator?


-- Michael (123@456.789), March 09, 2000.

Just a thought, if you thought there would be a meltdown you would buy enough ammo to last for the period of time you thought there would be no ammo to buy. And if you thought martial law would be declared or that the .gov might try to take all guns, then you might want some ammo so you could just "Say No".

-- Mr. Pinochle (pinochledd@aol.com), March 09, 2000.


Being self sufficient for an extended period of time is a good thing in general. If everyone prepepd to about one quater of the level that I prepped to, even if Y2K was a total loss of power and communications scenario, we would have years to fix the problems. This would be because no one would be starving, there would be plenty of places to go to keep warm, criminels would not be enboldened to go on rampages and a source of food for the long term (garden supplies and books) would provide comfort and boost moral.

Of course, I was prepped to support quite a few over my immediate family. I have faith that people will assume that "things will always be this good" until things are not. If a family prepped for a year it would cost about 5 grand to provide food, a source of heat and water, and a firearm for hunting and defence.

I assume when you say "10,000 rounds of ammo" you mean for defensive use of a firearm? If so then, yes, I did read your original post on the lone survivalists holed up in his home chances against a trained infantry squad. I agreed with you and judged the post most useful to those whose idea of gun play is inspired by Hollywood. But keep in mind that one round of ammo for a rifle or shotgun represents one chance at a fairly easy harvest of some food animal. Not a bad deal if you take the time to learn hunting skills. And if you know enough to stay mobile and work in concert with similarly minded neighbors, well, the infantry squad will likely go elsewhere for easier pickings.

I guess the crux of the issue is where "mega-preps" begin. Are you refering to the "Y2K homesteader" that you described last year? Where is the demarcation line?

I guess the answer to your question is "Yes, it is possible to prepare for a meltdown. BUT, enough people would have to prepare that their were enough supplies stored to keep our society preserved for the time it took to fix everything". This kind of preperation would have to start several growing seasons ahead of time.

And I still think that if everyone prepped in a reasonable manner it would make for a very resiliant society and an excellent civil defence program.

Watch six and keep your...

-- eyes_open (best@wishes.2all), March 09, 2000.

Preparation no matter what was done was better then standing in a government line hoping they would give you food & water !

If it had gone Mad Max you'd be damn glade for preps & ammo!

I live in a Hurricane area. If one hits you'll be glade you had the preps and GENERATORS and thats a fact!

Just ask about Andrew or ask some of the folks in NC or south Fl about last years storms that MISSED ! 3 day storm , yea for the lucky ones. The not so lucky went a month or more without getting electric or water.

just my 2"

-- awdragon (awdragon@yahoo.com), March 09, 2000.

People can "mega-prep" all they want. I never had a problem with that. I am an advocate of emergency preparation which most people do not do enough of. I shop at Sams Club and keep a well-stocked pantry, though that's never enough. I still have to hit the grocery store at least once a week for some things like milk and produce. With two growing kids I have to buy milk just about every day, come to think of it.

The only thing I ever had a problem with was those who purposely spread misinformation, those who claimed they knew Y2K-chaos was inevitable, and those who tried to make money playing on others' fears.

-- Buddy (buddydc@go.com), March 09, 2000.

Mr Pinochle

I believe if the .gov (as you call them) really and truly wanted your firearms they would, without a doubt, get them. With or without your permission.

Not trying to start anything here but common sense.

Just "saying no" would be suicidal.


-- Deano (deano@luvthebeach.com), March 09, 2000.


I'm assuming that the capitaliztion of the word generators in your post was in response to what I said above. I think that I need to clarify my qustion a bit. I realize that certain people truly have a need for backup generators. From people that have to deal with hurricanes on a regular basis to people who live in rural areas that have frequent power outages. My question is directed more to people who, prior to y2k, never thought that they needed a backup generator, mainly urban/suburban people.

Also, as I stated in my original post, I had a hard time with the issue of fuel storage. Presumably people who would have a need (other than y2k) for a generator would have fuel for some small number of days on hand at any given point in time. That is, under normal circumstances you would be able to get replacement fuel (maybe not so easy after a category 4 hurricane passes through) even if you have to drive many miles to do so. Under most of the y2k scenarios however, that was not supposed to be possible. So how much fuel would someone,whose only perceived need for a generator was y2k, need to store?

-- Michael (123@456.789), March 09, 2000.


It's a good thing that the men of this country didn't have your "common sense" 200+ years ago, or we would still be a British colony today.

You state that you are not trying to start something here. Well if trolling isn't your motive, I guess cowardice must be.

If you think resisting a gun grab is suicide, then you obviously prefer slavery to death. I think Patrick Henry said it best,

"Give me liberty, or give me death".

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), March 09, 2000.


I am assuming that this will be another one of your posts where you will fail to respond, but just in case you actually post to start a discussion, let me ask a question of you.
What do you define as "mega-preps"?

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), March 09, 2000.


Do you think *YOU* could stop the .gov from taking *your* guns????? I don't think so.

That was my point. Pretty simple one at that I thought.

If *THEY* want it, *THEY'LL* take it. Don't matter if you're in the way or not.

And comparing our country to the one 200 years ago don't cut it with me. It ain't the same place. Those laws were written for musket loaders, not uzis and AK47's.


-- Deano (deano@luvthebeach.com), March 09, 2000.

Can anyone shed some light on the reasoning involved in the purchase of a generator?


Be glad to Mike,

It was not the fear of rampaging hordes, nor the fear of being without lights, nor the fear of not being able to use power tools, nor the fear of not being able to use the washing machine that led me to my genset purchase. No, twas the abject terror brought on by the possibility that Unk would have to drink luke-warm beer that drove me to buy a genny.

Also, I live in hurricane country, and do some camping, and have a few other uses for it, so all in all I'm glad I have it.

-- Uncle Deedah (unkeed@yahoo.com), March 09, 2000.


Notice how Deano makes a statment bound to be inflamitory to a real American without giving his reasoning behind the statment. This is blatant trolling. Although I'm pretty sure that Deano has posted intelligent comments in the past, I think this time he is just trying to get your goat. Please ignore his post until he provides some reasoning to play with and let's stick to what Mr. Decker has presented for discussion. Otherwise the utility of the thread is lost.


Bad! BAD DEANO! Now go back under your bridge or you might miss a goat.


Please proceed.

Watch six and keep your...

-- eyes_open (best@wishes.2all), March 09, 2000.

And comparing our country to the one 200 years ago don't cut it with me. It ain't the same place. Those laws were written for musket loaders, not uzis and AK47's.


You meant to say "That Amendment" instead of "Those laws" didn't you?

With all due respect Deano, you seem not to have a very clear idea of the reasoning that went behind the drafting of The Second Amendment. I could use that same (faulty) logic and state; "Those laws (Free speach) were writen for genteel patriots, not for Nazis and the Nation of Islam." Or "Those laws (Unreasonable search and seizure) were writen for tinkers and candle makers, not suspected druggies".

Let me ask you this simple question;

If the Jews had not been dis-armed in Nazi Germany, how many do you think would have been taken to the gas chambers?

-- Uncle Deedah (unkeed@yahoo.com), March 09, 2000.


Yeah, I think I've been around this block before. I started preparing early in 1997, when the outlook could reasonably be viewed as bleak and there was NO ameliorating information to be had. And at that time, I admit I had trouble moving from "what would I have trouble doing without?" to "what will external circumstances be like if this should turn out to be required?"

As the situation clarified and I decided problems wouldn't be massive, my question evolved into "How many neighbors can I support while things come back into service?" So if two of us could last a year, then 30 of us could last a month, or 60 for two weeks.

And after a while, preparation morphed from a precaution into a habit -- buying extra of everything we normally consume, and putting some away. Some of the results are clear benefits -- I paid off all the credit cards and actually put some cash aside! Others must be considered serendipity. I still cut, split and stack wood each weekend for next winter, because we prefer the wood heat. I did have 10,000 rounds of ammunition, but at the rate we go through it, they're nearly gone and need replenishment. Shooting is a great hobby.

Beyond that, we spent almost nothing we are unlikely to consume in short order. We stockpiled what we normally buy under any circumstances, nothing special. We are living off our stockpile now, so most of it will be gone before the year is out. I don't know if our circumstances qualify as "mega-preps" or not. I got the impression that a year's worth for two people was a lot even for the TB2K forum. But I didn't move to the boonies or buy a generator or any dried food, nor non-hybrid seeds. I didn't drill a well or get water filters. I am not the newly proud owner of any white elephants.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), March 09, 2000.

I remember one Doomer telling me that he was going to laugh in my face as he sold me toilet paper at $50 a roll. Wonder if that same Doomer is still laughing...

-- Y2K Pro (y2kpro1@hotmail.com), March 09, 2000.

Strongly agree with Unc's fear of warm beer, although I didn't buy a generator, for the good reasons others have discussed above, I did buy a propane fridge. (currently for sale, but I don't regret, insurance always carries premiums!)

Love the comment on "basements full of dehydrated rodent food"!


-- Ron Davis (rdavis@ozemail.com.au), March 09, 2000.

Like RonD I bought a small propane fridge for my sons insulin. We also purchased additional insulin to fit a 6 month timeframe in the event there were distribution problems . This insulin naturally is currently being used and additional insulin supplied through insurance is now being stockpiled. We also purchased can goods and other non perishable goods for an approximate 3 month time frame. We are currently replenishing and rotating. Glad we prepped and will continue and very thankful that no major problems occurred...hope it continues

-- george (jones@choices.com), March 09, 2000.


.....With that degree of gas, are you sure there wasn't a typo on your birth certificate? Sounds more like it ought to be "Beano" to me.

-- Patrick (pmchenry@gradall.com), March 09, 2000.

It seems to me that most people are confusing doomer preping with being able to survive. I was a major preper but I wasn't counting on my short term preps to assure our survival. Like many people on the old fourm, I have lived in the country for over 25 years. I started with the ability to survive without preps. Preps just that my lifestyle would not change.


-- Todd Detzel (detzel@jps.net), March 09, 2000.

Cold beer is/was always an important topic. In 1998 I spent $4.00 on ice-cube trays just in case the power went off and the ice-maker didn't work. Of course I never bought beer to put in a cooler, but it never got cold enough here to make ice either.

-- Anita (notgiving@anymore.thingee), March 09, 2000.

All right, you guys,

As much as I hate to create more animosity towards me, I have to agree with Deano.

Obviously, the .gov can't take away everyone"s guns, but they can can take them away from individuals....for any number of reasons (trumped up or not.)

"Just "saying no" would be suicidal."

What part part of that didn't you understand???

(How can we NOT be on the same page here?)


-- laura (ladylogic@......), March 09, 2000.

In earthquake country, everybody should be prepared (especially since almost no one is). Today was the first time I went to a fancy shopping mall (Macy's, 200 stores, etc.) in months. That shrine of consumerism STILL seems more WACKO than any preparing for emergencies with food, water and supplies might seem....

-- INever (inevercheck@dot.com), March 09, 2000.

With regard to the original question I think there was some confusion between mental preparation and physical preparation. Without the former the latter is mostly useless regardless of 'mega' or not. For me.. I tried to get my mind around it. Purchasing insurance that was prudent for me was the easy part.

Hindsight... 20/20... use the preps...... store the lesson.

-- Will (righthere@home.now), March 10, 2000.

Come on guys. I certainly wasn't trolling. I gave my opinion and that was it. I was under the false impression that common sense was alive and well on this board. For some, obviously, I'm sadly mistaken.

My point was that if *YOU* decide to 'take on' the authorities if they want your guns, you will die. Plain and simple. No matter how many guns and ammo you have on hand, you will die. Plain and simple.

Unc D

Glad to see you're still around. Hope everything is goind well! I believe that if the Jews decided to fight the Germans over gun confiscation they would have died in the own doorways instead of the gas chambers. They would have taken a few Germans with them though. Is that victory??


Please grow up son.

Thanks LL. I see common sense hasn't TOTALLY disappeared from here.

Fire away,


-- Deano (deano@luvthebeach.com), March 10, 2000.

Ha ha! Deano, let me hand you a pair of asbestos overalls! I've needed so many, for so long, I've bought extras!

"I believe that if the Jews decided to fight the Germans over gun confiscation they would have died in the own doorways instead of the gas chambers."

One person would definitely die fighting the authorities, and that would be pointless. However in the case of Nazism, or any other kind of infrigement on our basic rights, I think we should go out in a blaze of glory!

Bap!....bap....bap!! (Insert hollow points here.)



-- laura (ladylogic@.......), March 10, 2000.


My apoligies for accusing you of trolling. Perhaps you just have comunication skills as poor as my own. We shall over come, eh?

Laura, the Lady of Logic, has beat me to the punch with her last post on the matter. And for that matter, you are close enough to be regarded as right with your assertion that if *you* (which I take to mean one person in a fixed position, such as their house) goes against the authorities, they will be killed. Laura also gives an example where you might as well take a few of the authorities with you. This much has been said by far greater minds than ours (Winston Churchill, to name one).

So we can say we are in general agreement on this point.

But this still detracts from Mr. Deckers effort to get his question answered. Let us show him the same courtesy he has shown us in our threads and if needed, continue this discussion on a thread of our own.

Again, I apologize for characterizing your post as trolling.

Watch six and keep your...

-- eyes_open (best@wishes.2all), March 10, 2000.

Ken, how are you today? Good I hope... now down to brass tacks.

I purchased a lot of ammunition prior to 010100, but no where near 10,000 rounds. As of today, I am back to less than 500 rounds of ammunition for my "arsenal". I have yet to buy more ammo for my weapons since my purchases prior to rollover. I went shopping for ammo last week and was appalled at the increase in prices for .45ACP, .308, .270, .223, and .338. I am glad I stockpiled and now wish I would have purchased more back then...

I do practice quite often with my "arsenal".

The only "white elephants" I purchased for preparations were my water containers, which I still have.

Regarding, and I quote: "Subject: Y2K: Was it really possible to prepare for a meltdown?" The answer IMHO, is a resounding NO.

I personally think "mega-prep" IS irrational.

I thank the higher power there were no major complications at rollover. I breathe a collective sigh of relief.

snoozin' on the porch...

The Dog

-- The Dog (dogdesert@hotmail.com), March 10, 2000.

No problems here.

Remember that my original comments were directed at Mr Pinochle's 'buy more ammo so *you* can just say no' comment. I was merely pointing out this is probably not a good idea. It might have noble intentions but it ain't too bright.


-- Deano (deano@luvthebeach.com), March 10, 2000.


Would you rather die in the doorway or in the gaschamber? ;-)

While I agree that a one on one refusal to "Do as the nice officer says" can get you hurt, I think that the VITAL thing is to recognise that the Framers wrote the Second Amendment precisely because they forsaw the possibility that governments could, if the populace in general was dis-armed, indulge in "Gas Chamber" types of activities un-impeded. History proves that this is so, dis-armament of the populace (for their own good of course) precedes government abuse of the populace.

All the more reason to join the NRA, or the GOA. If you do not wish to be facing the descision whether to turn in your arms or die, you must fight for what is right before that point is reached.

And so far as "It could never happen here" goes, tell that to the native Indians, or the black slaves, or to the Japanese who were interred during WWII. There are plenty of petty, ugly, evil people, even here in America.

-- Uncle Deedah (unkeed@yahoo.com), March 10, 2000.

I'll have to take 'C' - not dying at all and that's my final answer.

Unc, I'm not a gun owner so I don't have the same enthusiasm as you and other folks on here do when it comes to gun control issues. I think gun ownership should be a priviledge and not a right. You have to pass a test before you can drive a car but as long as you're 18 or 21 (or whatever it is) you can walk into WalMart and buy a gun. Faulty logic in my eyes.

I really can't answer your question though. I would probably have to make that decision as it happened.

I've got Fridayitis BAD.......


-- Deano (deano@luvthebeach.com), March 10, 2000.

Passing Uncle Deedah a cold beer and....

Y2K Pro, oh heck, I'd of sold ya some t.p. for 25.00 a roll, and IF you were nice, I'd of given you one..... (looking around giving up the big grin}

-- consumer (shh@aol.com), March 10, 2000.


The NICS assessment of you before you are allowed to take possession of a firearm is a "test". The FBI is pretty good at not allowing people of questionable character to be able to purchase a weapon. If they would only enforce the laws on the books at the present time, gun violence would drop drastically. Prosecute the bad seeds. The low life that allowed that 6 year old to get his hands on the pistol he shot the other child with should be brought in front of a firing squad and executed.

As far as the second amendment, you DO have a "right to keep and bear arms" as long as you don't do something to lose that right.

growlin' at the idiot on TV...

The Dog

-- The Dog (dogdesert@hotmail.com), March 10, 2000.


I'll answer Uncle Deedah's question for you. The answer is: you will die wherever the government wants you to die. You see, you don't have a gun, so you have no say in the matter. If the government wants my gun, it is not suicide for me to "just say no". I may be murdered by the government, but it would not be suicide as you claimed.

Now in your case, it might be considered suicide. If you believe that by being "a good little non gun owning citizen", you could avoid the tyrannical wrath of the government, you must be more naive than I thought.

Perchance, would your last name be Chamberlain?

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), March 11, 2000.


I have no use for a gun. I used to own a couple of shotguns years ago but don't hunt anymore and have no need for them. So to call me a 'good little non-gun owning citizen' (or whatever it was) is no biggie.

'Tryrannical government'???? Joke right??? I don't remember being chased around by any tyranny this weekend. I remember doing what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. Did a little fishing, did a little yardwork, took in some Little League, went to my favorite dive and had a few cold ones, watched a little golf on TV and had a few more cold ones.

Nevermind.......I see your point. We are slaves.........;-)


-- Deano (deano@luvthebeach.com), March 13, 2000.

Hey Deano...



The Dog

-- The Dog (dogdesert@hotmail.com), March 13, 2000.

You're not the ONLY American who doesn't feel the need to own a gun, Deano. We don't have guns either, and [outside of the file they kept during the early 70's], I haven't seen the government interested in my activities.

Some would equate not having a gun with the inability to USE a gun. This IS NOT TRUE. I learned to shoot when I was 17, and I CAN hit a small target. I just didn't "get off" on it, and don't see the need to have guns in the house. This philosophy is shared with my SO, so there's no contest.

-- Anita (notgiving@anymore.thingee), March 13, 2000.


You have a right to keep and bear arms, and, a perfectly legitimate right NOT to do so. I dont think anyone cares which choice you make, but very many of us law abiding citizens care very much should you try to make that choice for us. (No, not you in particular, in general)

Insofar as tyrannical government goes, I wasnt tyrannized this weekend either. I too did yard word, in fact quite a lot of yard work. Only a couple of black helicopters were hovering nearby, so it must have been the weekend crew for them too. ;-)

The point of our little discussion is not that we are enslaved now, but what tools would we have at our disposal in order to resist future enslavement. It could never happen here is an invalid concept if the populace at large has no means to resist tyranny, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is the sole means to avoid such a scenario. The Founding Fathers understood this concept very clearly. Again, all one needs do is to look back upon the historical record, and the lesson is plain to see.

-- Uncle Deedah (unkeed@yahoo.com), March 13, 2000.

Deano, I think the faulty logic is comparing the individual state's authority to license drivers ( which I understand to be a priviledge granted by the state) to the authority vested in the people themselves to keep and bear arms. In my understanding, the difference is in the matter of authority. In the first instance, the state has the authority to grant permission to drive within its roadways to individuals who pass the tests and are issued a licesense. In the second case, the authority to keep and bear arms has been given to the people, not the individual state or collective United States. In other words, we the people don't need anyone's permission. The second amendment says the authority to keep and bear arms is ours. So look at who has authority. Our right to keep and bear arms is constitutionally authorized to us. We don't need permission. That's the catch. The people who lived in those times understood uncontrolled power and tyranny. They wrote the constitution accordingly.

-- Ma Kettle (mom@home.com), March 13, 2000.

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