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November/December 1999 - Volume 2 - Issue 8

Everything Y2K
What You Should Know About Y2K


What You Should Know About Y2K

We have been hearing about Y2K and possible chaotic events that may transpire from computer failures and so on. The bottom line for your family is that if you have a plan for surviving any crisis that may ensue be it Y2K, blizzard, flood or tornado, you'll feel safer than if you had not been prepared at all. Weather in Colorado is extremely ... creative. Blizzards and flash floods could happen in the same month, well maybe that is a stretch. In any case, we have provided you with the following information from the Colorado Department of Human Services and the American Red Cross.

Excerpted from Child Care News - A Publication of the CDHS Division of Child Care

Regardless of how the Y2K threat pans out, all families, and certainly child care facilities, should have an emergency plan in place. If you experience no impact from Y2K, you'll still have your plan in place should another type of emergency occur, whether tornado, flood, blizzard, or environmental disaster.

For more than 100 years, the American Red Cross has been at the cutting edge of disaster relief activities, helping people prevent, prepare for, and cope with disasters and other emergencies. Some of the following information has been excerpted, with permission, from American Red Cross fliers, which can be ordered by calling your local American Red Cross office or the Mile High Chapter Headquarters at 303-722-7474.

What You Can Do To Be Prepared

Y2K Checklist

Stock Disaster supplies to last at least 72 hours. This includes nonperishable foods, stored water, and an ample supply of prescription medication and nonprescription medications that you regularly use.

As you would in preparation for a storm of any kind, have some extra cash on hand. (Approx. two weeks worth)

Similar to preparing for a winter storm, it is suggested that you keep you automobile gas tank above half full. (Remember - Gas pumps run on electricity - so just incase the electricity goes out - you don't want to be stuck on empty.)

In case the power fails, plan to use alternative cooking devices in accordance with manufacturer's instructions. Never use open flames or charcoal grills indoors.

Have extra blankest, coats, hats and gloves to keep warm. Don't use gas fueled applications, like ovens, as alternative heating sources. Camp stoves and heaters should be used only out doors in a well-ventilated area.

Have plenty of flashlights and extra batteries on hand. Don't use candles for emergency lighting.

Check batteries for smoke alarms.

Be prepared to relocate on your own to a temporary shelter for warmth and protection during a prolonged power outage or if for any other reason local officials request or require that you leave your home.

Disaster Supplies Kit

Supplies: Six Basics you should have in your home :

  1. Water
  2. Food
    • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables
    • Canned juices, soup, milk (if powdered, store extra water)
    • Staples - sugar, salt, pepper
    • High energy foods - peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars
    • Vitamins
    • Foods for infants, elderly persons and persons on special diets
    • Comfort/ Stress foods - cookies, hard candy, sweetened cereal, lollipops, instant coffee, tea bags
  3. First Aid supplies
  4. Clothing and bedding
  5. Tools and emergency supplies
  6. Special items

Emergency Items:

  • Medical supplies and first-aid kit and manual
  • Portable radio, flashlights and extra batteries
  • Shovels and other useful tools
  • Money and matches in a waterproof container
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Blankets and extra clothing
  • Infant and small children's needs
  • Manual can opener


  • Toilet paper, towelttes (or baby wipes)
  • Soap, liquid detergent
  • Feminine supplies
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal sanitation uses)
  • Plastic bucket with tight lid
  • Disinfectant
  • Household chlorine bleach

Suggestions & Reminders

Store your disaster supplies kit in a convenient place known to all family members. Keep items in air-tight plastic bags. Changer your stored water ever six months so it stays fresh. Rotate your stored food every six months. Ask your physician or pharmacist about storing prescription

Storage Tips:

  • Keep food in a dry, cool spot - a dark area if possible.
  • Keep food covered at all times.
  • Open food boxes or cans carefully and close them tightly after each use.
  • Wrap cookies and crackers in plastic bags and keep them in tight containers.
  • Empty opened packages of sugar, dried fruits, and nuts into screw -top jars or airtight cans to protect them from pests.
  • Inspect all food for signs of spoilage before use.
  • Use foods before they go bad and replace them with fresh supplies, dated with ink or marker.
  • Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation, or cooking and little or no water. Select food items that are compact and lightweight.

How To Store Water:

Store your water in throughly washed plastic glass, fiberglass, or enamel-lined metal containers. Never use containers that has held toxic substances. Plastic containers, such as soft drink bottles, are best. You can also purchase food-grade plastic buckets or drums. Seal water containers tightly, label them, and store them in a cool, dark place. Rotate water every six months.

A Normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. Hot environments and intense physical activity can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers, and ill people will need more.

  • Store one gallon of water per person per day (two quarts for drinking, two quarts for food preparation/ satiation).
  • Keep at least a three-day supply of water for each person in your household.

If the Electricity Goes Off

First, use perishable foods and foods from the refrigerator. Then, use the foods from the freezer. To minimize the number of times you open the freezer door, post a list of freezer contents on it. In a well-filled, well-insulated freezer, foods will usually still have ice crystals in their center (meaning foods are safe to eat) for at least three days. Finally , begin to use nonperishable foods and staples.

Shelf-Life of Foods for Storage

Use within six months:

Powder milk (boxed); Dried fruit and dry, crisp crackers (in metal containers); Potatoes

Use within one year:

Canned condensed meat and vegetable soups; Caned fruits, fruit juices, and vegetables; Ready-to-eat cereals and uncooked instant cereals (in metal containers); Peanut butter; Jelly; Hard canned and canned nuts; Vitamin C

May be stored indefinitely (in proper containers and conditions):

Wheat; Vegetable oils; Dried corn; Baking powder; Soybeans; Instant coffee, tea, and cocoa; Salt; Noncarbonated soft drinks; White rice; Bouillon products; Dry pasta; Powdered milk

One last notice of reminder regarding Y2K

You will notice that on the current Medicaid cards for your children that there is a notice for you to keep those medicaid cards until you receive the next one.

Having Fun With Y2K - A Time Capsule

OK, now that you are prepared for the world to come to a screeching halt for a possible week or so . . . how about plan this fun activity. This would be fun when planning for the year 2000 or 2001.

As a neat section or chapter in your child's Life Book, have them do a time capsule activity. Simply gather pen or pencil, papers - colored, lined and plain, scissors, glue and various magazines or newspapers. I have a habit of keeping magazines that are at least a year old, but if you don't, maybe search for some interesting articles on the internet or at the library. Make copies and save them for later.

When the year 2000 arrives, spend some time creating pages to remember. Have the kids write a letter to themselves to open in 5 or 10 years about the year 2000. Have them write about significant events that have happened over the past year that they want to remember or feel is worth remembering. What about the best book that they have read this year? Let them think of fun stuff they would put in a time capsule.

This is a fun activity that doesn't require anything that runs on electricity (except maybe finding a few articles or news stores before hand.) Have FUN!


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