experts: real estate column Wednesday, December 22, 1999

(Or, trust in Allah, but tie up your camel!)

By Ozzie Jurock

We do not believe that the end of the world is here. Airplanes will keep flying, cars will keep running, but the 1998 Eastern Canada Ice Storm highlighted that we in Canada are not immune from disasters. If you are unprepared for a disaster, it could cause major disruptions in your life. If you are prepared, the problems may only be minor inconveniences. Given the unpredictable nature of Y2K better be safe. It is simply prudent to be prepared. It is not being 'alarmist', but having simple common sense. Stocking some supplies (3-5 days) is really what everyone can do. Not just for Y2K but for any emergency. If it turns out that Y2K is all hype, so what? Eat the extra supplies...


  1. Check fire and security alarm systems, programmable thermostats, appliances, consumer electronics, garage door openers, electronic locks, and any other electronic equipment in which an "embedded chip" may control its operation with whoever made it.
  2. Have some nonperishable foods, stored water.
  3. If anyone is on a prescription, get a supply of prescription medications to last a week.
  4. Have some cash…no don’t withdraw it all, but have some spare cash to last a week. Get it early! Not on Dec. 31!
  5. Keep your automobile gas tank full.
  6. Have extra blankets, coats, hats, and gloves to keep warm.
  7. A sturdy manual can opener or two.
  8. A fire extinguisher
  9. A battery powered smoke detector
  10. Have plenty of flashlights
  11. Batteries, batteries, batteries. Make a list of the types and number of batteries used by your equipment.
  12. If you have a baby, stockpile some diapers, baby food and other baby needs.
  13. Don't forget your pets. Stockpile nonperishable food and water for your animals.
  14. Check with the emergency services providers in your community to see if there is more information available.
  15. Listen to a battery-operated or crank radio or television for information in case of trouble.
  16. Use a portable generator, if you know how to install them.
  17. If you are a home computer user, turn to your c: prompt ... type in date and change the ’99 to ’98 Let the computer think it is 1999 at midnight Dec. 31, 1999. Then read your papers, listen to your newscasts and if all was safe switch it back.
  18. Government sources expect up to 30,000 viruses to be launched at midnight Dec. 31. So in your e-mail…DO NOT OPEN any attachments, if you do not know the sender! You may even want to avoid opening your e-mail from the 31st to the 2nd altogether. (who is going to write you on the fist anyhow?) Then keep a watch on the news...
  19. If your VCR has a year setting on it, which most do, you will not be able to use the programmed recording feature after 12/31/99. Don’t throw it away. Instead set it for the year 1972, as the days are the same as the year 2000.
  20. If there is a power outage, children will be very bored and miserable without TV, Nintendo, etc. Stockpile some games, toys, books and other things to keep the kids occupied. Adults need to be kept occupied too. Stockpile a couple of decks of cards, several good books, crossword puzzles, board games, musical instruments, etc.
  21. Add some extra aspirin and antacid to your first aid kit.
Everything you always wanted to know (or not) you can find at: or ( click on Y2K button) or at the International Y2K Cooperation Center and if that is not enough you can subscribe to a free newsletter dealing only with Y2K issues called Sanger & Shannon's Review of Y2K News Reports If you want to know what you need to put in an emergency kit got to: Procrastinator's Guide to Y2K Compliance:

Have a very Merry Christmas and bombastic, exciting, eventful, rewarding, challenging, prosperous and above all healthy 2000!!!

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Recent Articles by this columnist:

Debunking the Myths of Yuletide Home Selling
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Should You Sell Your Old Home Before Buying a New Home?
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