Remembering Y2K

Anyone else remember Y2k with fondness? What did you do to prepare?
Computer code
Computer code

Last Updated on December 26, 2019

The end of days…

Jan 1, 2000, was supposed to be the end of the world. Anyone else remember that?

It’s hard to believe that in just a few short days, the Y2K ‘disaster’ will have been 20 years ago.

I remember all the hype and hysteria surrounding it. Clocks would go haywire, planes were going to fall from the sky or get lost due to GPS issues, and your bank would lose all your “money” because of date issues. 

The run-up for Y2k started about 2-3 years ahead of time, when programmers started pointing out that the date codes in computer software wouldn’t handle the change from 99 (as in 1999) to 00 (as in 2000), as the programming would think it was 1900 instead of 2000.

…and it fizzled out

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

What ultimately happened? A whole lot of nothing apart from a lot of money being spent to fix the problem. 

I know people who spent a lot of personal money to purchase property for a bug-out location. We considered it, but the place we looked that was both affordable and near like-minded people we trusted was a 19-hour drive from the Metropolitan Phoenix area. Impractical, to say the least. Ultimately, we decided on a ‘shelter-in-place’ strategy.

Compass
Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

An ounce of prevention

We stocked our pantry with food we liked and would eat, had extra water on hand (about 3 weeks’ worth of drinking water) and water filtration, and 4 cases of MREs.  We also filled both our vehicles and an extra 20 gallons of gas in case of short-term shortage. Living in the desert, there’s not much place to go that several million of my ‘neighbors’ wouldn’t have also gone to.

At the time, I was big into shooting competitions, so I’d purchase an extra case of ammo when I bought ammo for competitions. By the time Y2K came about, I had about 8k rounds of Israeli M193 and M855 ammo that I’d gotten. Sadly, I’ve used that up in the intervening decade. It was good ammo, and too bad it’s no longer imported (that I can find).

As I said, Y2K turned out to be a bust. However, it was invaluable to get me and my family thinking about preparedness and was what really started me into this area.

How about you…if you prepped for Y2K, what did you do? Were you even around for Y2K?

5 comments
  1. Actually, I worked in the industry and on Y2K remediation. Many problem were found and fixed. Some problems were not found or fixed, and many of the things which was predicted to happen, DID happen. Somewhere, as individual incidents. What did not happen, in part due to the efforts made to “fix” the problem, was “cascading” where each problem added to the next and prevented recovery.

    Note that there were two ways to fix the problem. One was to expand the date to 4 digits. This was sometimes difficult or even impossible in some systems. The other was picking a date, like 18, and anything less than that was 20xx and anything greater was 19xx. This completely fixed the “00” part of the problem, but moved the rest of the problem to a later date.

    Because I knew that the problem existed, and was not confident it could be adequately remediated, I went for full preparation. Fortunately we, and many other companies, were able to “do enough” to prevent disaster,

  2. Y2K, the Crisis that wasn’t. Actually, I didn’t fall in to all the hoopla. Apart from stocking some bottled water and stocking the larder up a bit, that was about as far as we went with it. We were living in a very rural community (County population about 4,000), and as we were in the mountains as well, we were already set up to handle power outages and suspension of utility services, so we didn’t get too freaked about it. We weren’t computer savvy, nor did we have TV to increase our worry about it. I was on my shift at the regional medical center in the ER, and the lights didn’t even flicker.

  3. I can’t say that I was disappointed,but it turned out to be another hoax by the NWO to make a lot of money off of working stiffs and companies that really didn’t know any better than to follow the great heist,same as with the R-12 refrigerant now it’s being found out that the refrigerant was isn’t as bad as what is being used currently.Prior to that in the middle seventies there was going to be another Ice Age,and now what do we have Global warming,cut me a break what will it be after this.I say ditch these people and not worry,what ever will be will be,doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be stewards of what we have.Wake up people and discover life,and follow the backpacking rule LNT.

  4. Wow, 20 yrs ago. Of course I’d heard about the threat but figured there were still mostly ‘paper’ trails for banking,etc. 20 yrs ago our grid was not nearly as computerized as it is today. Lol, few people even had a mobile phone back then! Businesses were still faxing! Social media? Pretty miniscular. I didn’t worry about Y2K as I deemed it pretty fixable, which of course it was.

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