Sunday, February 24, 2008

Prepare! So why do it?


The dreaded "Y2K" is looming. On that day, computers will freeze when code is unable to translate the date "00" (short for 2000). Banks, airlines, traffic controls, water plants, power stations, ATMs and every other computer enabled device and system will fail and our system will crash to its knees.

When you wake up on January 1, 2000, your TV, radio, CD player, VCR, and DVD player will be silent. Your car won't start. The water, electricity and gas are off or barely functioning. Your refrigerator is idle and your shelves are bare. The local grocery store is without power, but is still functioning. Of course, all of your neighbors are thinking the same thing and the store has been stripped clean. Those with running cars have drained the local gas station of any available fuel.

The bank is closed and the ATM is down, you can't even get cash to buy black market goods. And those credit cards - useless plastic. The government is paralyzed. Law enforcement is stuck with non-running cars and no communications system. Panic and lawlessness quickly takes over the city streets. Your family is hungry, scared and cold and there is nothing you can do about it.


Thankfully, this never happened. January 1, 2000 was just another New Year's Day.

But what if you were one of the millions who worried and prepared for the worse? You sold your stocks in the fall of 1999. You converted your savings to cash and gold coins. You stockpiled food and other essentials. You planted a garden and stored propane and gasoline. You simplified your life in preparation of a future world without modern conveniences.

Were you a sucker and a fool for falling for the greatest non-event of the century?

Maybe. But consider the following.

You sold your stocks and other over-hyped investments.
In 2000-2002, the stock market plummeted. You may have very well preserved your principal while others lost their shirts.

You invested in gold.
Dumb. Not really. Gold has soared almost 200.00 an ounce since 1999. Compared to most stocks, this was a very prudent investment.

You simplified your life and stockpiled essentials.
Over reaction? Maybe not if you were one of the millions who lost their jobs in the following years due to the recession and the after shocks of 911. You were better prepared others for daily life with reduced income and job insecurity.

So what do we do now? Y2K is over, as Alfred E. Newman says, "What? Me worry?".

There is plenty to worry about. Avian flu, bio terrorism, dirty bombs, Iran, hurricane Katrina level weather events, economic meltdown and the list goes on and on. You can do nothing and wait for help to arrive or you can began working on your own to not only survive possible emergencies - but succeed.

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