Despite no disasters, Y2K survivalists say they had last laughgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Unk's Wild Wild West : One Thread
Posted at 10:25 p.m. EST Saturday, December 30, 2000
Despite no disasters, Y2K survivalists say they had last laugh
By ELENA CABRAL KNIGHT RIDDER NEWSPAPERS
MIAMI -- Their stockpiles drew snickers. They were dismissed by some as paranoid, or held up as poster children for the millennium jitters. But one hurricane season later and a year wiser about emergency preparedness, many of the so-called Y2K survivalists found that in the end -- though it wasn't THE end -- they had the last laugh.
As news accounts and Internet articles about the much-dreaded Y2K bug intensified last year, Lolita Kadala of Plantation, Fla., did not take any chances. She stocked up on water and canned food. She even learned how to make a solar-powered oven through the Joseph Project, a Christian-led effort to help communities prepare for Y2K problems. Her efforts, she said, were far from a panicked millennium frenzy.
"I just didn't want to be stuck being part of the problem," she said.
Last New Year's Eve, Kadala watched on television as midnight came and went in Australia and Rome.
"Once I saw that nothing happened, I went and partied," she said. "I'm not about doom and gloom."
Along the way to Y2K, Kadala learned much, from harnessing solar power to performing CPR. Today, Kadala, who sat back as others made the annual march to supermarkets and hardware stores during hurricane season, looks at the world and her community differently.
"We take a lot of things for granted," she said. From the ready-made food we consume to the professionals we rely on to keep us healthy, the intricate social network between human beings came into focus with the prospect of losing daily amenities, Kadala said.
"I don't know who my neighbors are," she said. "I might have people with a lot of talent around me, but I don't know who they are. We live in such insular ways."
Jerome Harold, a chiropractic physician, also stocked up on supplies and attended lectures on topics related to Y2K by the Joseph Project. For him, New Year's Eve last year was a night of watching and waiting as the Times Square ball made its descent at midnight.
Although he admits the event was a "little bit" embarrassing for its anticlimactic conclusion, Harold said that looking back, all the work and expense was worthwhile because it pushed others, businesses and government agencies alike, to take a hard look at their readiness for Y2K.
As for the leftover supplies, none went to waste. What Harold did not use himself he donated to a Miami rescue mission. He gave water storage bags to a patient from Honduras. The patient, in turn, gave the bags to relatives in Honduras, who saved them for hurricane season and put them to use after a storm.
Homeowners were not the only ones to boost their preparedness after Y2K.
Lori VunKannon, assistant director of Broward County Emergency Management, said the agency has taken a closer look at the way it and other agencies can better handle unexpected events that may affect day-to-day operations.
Emergency Management also has worked in the business community to help train professional contingency planners, like Becky Cohen, who works at JM Family Enterprises in Deerfield Beach. Cohen, treasurer of the Southeast Florida Association of Contingency Planners, says the business of helping companies set up disaster contingency plans gained momentum after Hurricane Andrew and flourished after Y2K. The field is designed to help in the event of natural disasters and even situations such as workplace violence.
"All of a sudden, disaster planning or business continuity, keeping a business going, turned into a profession," Cohen said. "It got some respect because of Y2K."
At her former home in Pembroke Pines last year, Cohen joined others who stocked up on food, oil lamps and other supplies. She later gave the items to charity.
"I got a lot of jokes made, but I'm sure there are villages I've taken care of with my supplies," she said.
For most of these people, the fear of the unknown is pretty well behind them. As for Lolita Kadala, she plans to start the new year with a new outlook after Y2K. "I realized man has an incredible resiliency," Kadala said. "We don't have to reinvent the wheel. ... People have a lot more creativity than you give them credit for."
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(c) 2000, The Miami Herald.
Visit The Miami Herald Web edition on the World Wide Web at http://www.herald.com/
Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.
-- Y2K (email@example.com), December 31, 2000
All those millions of doomers who moved to the Ozarks must be getting a chance to use their generators and supplies because the power is out due to ice-storms. I hope they don't have ice on their outhouse seats.
-- Lars (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 31, 2000.
I bought my first can of coffee since late 1999 just last week. It costs twice as much now as it did then. Still have enough TP for another year, and several months worth of canned goods, etc. Stocking up for Y2K was the best mistake I ever made.
-- preppyhead (email@example.com), December 31, 2000.
Monday January 1 1:42 AM ET
Y2K Supply Leftovers Still in Use
By CHRIS ROBERTS, Associated Press Writer
EL PASO, Texas (AP) - It's taken 12 months, but Ron Williams has just about depleted his supply of food, medicine and other goods stocked in preparation for the Y2K computer chaos that never came.
Still, the military surplus store owner who advised his customers to stock up on staples has no regrets.
``We bought toilet paper by the case,'' Williams said. ``You don't stop eating. You don't stop going to the bathroom.''
Thousands of people feared that the Y2K computer bug - glitches caused by computers reading ''00'' as 1900 instead of 2000 - would wreak havoc, leaving cities powerless and in chaos.
So they hoarded the basics, such as water, baby formula and batteries, or prepared for the worst, buying electric generators, heaters and sleeping bags.
Now, some people are still stuck with the leftovers.
April and Tommy Brown, of Nevada, Texas, 30 miles northeast of Dallas, bought a dozen gallons of drinking water, fuel for camping stoves and several cases of canned foods.
The water is gone but they're still working their way through the pork and beans, green beans and corn, April Brown said.
``We bought everything in a can. We'll use it eventually,'' she said.
Williams said his store, Eagle Military, in El Paso, sold more generators, packaged military meals, flashlights, solar radios and other survival gear in 1999 than in any of the previous 20 years he has been in business.
Cheaper Than Dirt Inc., a Fort Worth-based mail-order camping and outdoor gear supplier, sold $10 million worth of MREs, the ready-to- eat meals created for soldiers, said Chief Executive Officer Michael Tenny.
Williams and Tenny said only a few customers tried to return purchases when the calendar flipped over and none of the predicted anarchy took place.
Tenny acknowledged that he has sold only about $200,000 worth of MREs this year, compared with an average of about $350,000 annually. ``That's probably because we filled a lot of the holes the year before,'' he said.
Jerry Gentry, a semiretired businessman who lives near Gladewater in East Texas, started Club Y2K. The Internet business still sells survival kits with raw wheat, corn, soybeans, salt and a water filter, designed to support one person for a year. The cost: $350.
He admits he bought too much grain, which now sits in a Missouri warehouse. But he said the grain's quality and packaging give it at least a 10-year shelf life, meaning he may recover some of his investment.
``We're selling it to organic stores and we're eating our way through some of it,'' he said.
Known to some friends as ``Mr. Y2K,'' Gentry said he couldn't get his diesel generator started during a recent ice storm that knocked out his electricity. He later discovered that it worked, but the cold weather required a slight change in the starting procedure.
``I told that to a few locals around here and they've all gotten a big laugh,'' he said.
He said the lesson reminds him that there's no shame in being prepared for disasters, natural or manmade.
``Disasters are things that come on us all at inopportune times, when we least expect it,'' he said.
On the Net:
International Y2K Cooperation Center: http://www.iy2kcc.org
-- Y2K (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 01, 2001.
If you're drinking coffee that comes in a can, you have more problems than being wrong on Y2K.
-- Tarzan the Coffee Man (email@example.com), January 01, 2001.
Oh joy, here comes another one of the yuppie-ass coffee snobs. My coffee tastes fine, does what I need it to do, and suits my budget. Go brag to your trendy friends at Starbucks.
-- preppyhead (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 01, 2001.
"yuppie-ass coffee snobs"
That is one of the funniest things that I have ever read.
-- J (Y2J@home.comm), January 01, 2001.
I will only drink coffee that has been roasted within the last three days from the best estates in central america and africa. Does that make me a yuppie ass coffee snob?a
-- FutureShock (email@example.com), January 02, 2001.
FS, at my house that makes you caffeine-deprived and in danger of a headache.
-- helen (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 02, 2001.
Future Shock,..I would say Yes..sorry. But I was never a coffee drinker. Does it really taste that different?
I can only compare it to the difference between drinking Coca Cola or drinking Shop Rite Cola. Shop Rite cola is pretty damned bad. Is that the difference?
-- Soda Snob (email@example.com), January 02, 2001.
I didn't stockpile near enough coffee. I ran out at about 4 months into 2000. I just opened my last can of beans for supper tonight.
While preparing for 2000, my best friend said she thought it was well worth the effort, and in fact has permanently changed her buying habits because it's cheaper and more time-efficient to buy bulk less often. Moreover, she said she thought that food was likely to have a price increase of 15% in 2000, without any Y2K problems (which was the case). She figured that putting a few thousand dollars into food was the equivalent of getting a 15% rate on her money - way more than she'd get at the bank. As far as I know, she has no regrets about stockpiling... I know I have none. And if there had been even just a few days of problems, living where it is not uncommon to have *very* cold temps at year end, having a back up heat supply just made sense. So I guess I pretty much agree with those quoted in the articles. (just more long windedly ;-)
-- Tricia the Canuck (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 02, 2001.
That girl cracks me up
-- cin (email@example.com), January 02, 2001.
The only reason you think your coffee tastes fine is that you don't actually know what good coffee is supposed to taste like. Like a lot of other folks, you've been drinking the crap that comes in a can so long that you've just come to accept it. Canned coffee is the Wonderbread of baked goods. The fact that you think your only other coffee alternative is to go to a big chain like Starbucks just goes to prove how narrow your horizons really are. It's a big world out there, preppyhead, with a lot more food options than what's available at Costco.
-- Tarzan the Ape Man (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 03, 2001.
Whoa, looks like I need a second cup.
Canned coffee is the Wonderbread of the beverage world.
It's deja vu all over again.
-- Tarzan the Ape Man (email@example.com), January 03, 2001.