Y2K Preparation Lists


SOU Family Housing Y2K Check List

(Thanks to Wayne Schumacher for providing us with a copy of this list.)

Southern Oregon University Family Housing
1361 Quincy Street
Ashland, OR 97520


Flood, earthquake, fire, power outages -- emergencies can happen at any time. Are you ready if it should happen to you? And now, we could have yet another emergency scenario to contend with; the Year 2000 computer problem (Y2K) is receiving increasing media attention. In fact, recent testimony before government hearings suggest the possibility of power outages and other disruptions to our lives in January, 2000, or before. Preparing your family for emergencies, no matter what they might be, is simply the smart thing to do.

Yes, emergencies can happen at any time. Therefore, the sooner your preparations begin, the better off your family will be. Why not make "Emergency Preparation" a family project this year and get started right away!

In the event of a prolonged emergency, your One Month Emergency Kit should include the following:

1. To prepare for NO ELECTRICITY:

Store emergency supplies:

  • Flashlights with several sets of extra batteries.
  • Candles and matches in a waterproof container.
  • Portable radio with extra batteries.
  • Camping equipment (lantern, cook stove, fuel, pots/pans, utensils, mess kits).
  • Spare blankets/gloves/hats/coats.
  • Manual can/bottle opener.
  • During an extended outage, turn off your major electric appliances at the breaker box.
  • Keep refrigerator door CLOSED as much as possible. Use perishable foods first, then frozen, then dry/canned goods.

2. To prepare for NO WATER:

Store 1 gallon of water per person per day. Use properly cleaned plastic drink bottles and screw caps. Water in your hot water heater can be used. However, if this becomes necessary, specific written directions explaining how to access the water in your hot water heater will be made available.

  • Store water purification tablets and several containers of disinfectant, sanitizing hand wipes.
  • If the water is off, your toilet will not flush: DO NOT USE YOUR TOILET (attach a sign, tape it closed, do not use!) Use chemical toilets provided by SOU Family Housing, if available. If chemical toilets are not available, line toilet bowl with plastic bag and dispose of properly.

3. To prepare for NO FOOD in the stores:

Store a 1-month supply for each person:

  • Non-perishable food: canned meats/fruits/vegetables/juices and freeze-dried foods.
  • High energy foods (peanut butter, honey, jelly, granola bars, trail mix, crackers/cookies, candy).
  • Staples (rice, beans, grains, cereals, noodles, powdered milk/soups, flour, sugar, salt, pepper, instant coffee/tea, ready-to-eat packaged meals, etc).
  • Supplies (plenty of paper cups/plates/napkins/plastic utensils, paper towels, moistened towelettes, liquid detergent, plastic bags with ties, and other supplies you can think of).
  • Personal items (toothpaste/toothbrushes, hand/body soap, toilet paper, feminine supplies, toiletries, etc).

4. To prepare if the BANKS are closed:

  • Have 2 to 4 months cash on hand for living expenses (food, needed supplies and supply replacements, emergency expenditures).
  • Copies/Originals of family records (birth and marriage certificates, wills, contracts, deeds, bank account numbers and financial records, stocks, bonds, insurance policies, passports, social security cards, immunization records, credit card account #s, inventory of valuables, etc).

5. Other SPECIAL ITEMS for your Emergency Kit:

  • "Family Contacts List" of phone numbers/addresses, doctors phone numbers, medical ID and insurance #s.
  • Determine a pre-arranged emergency meeting location outside your home.
  • A First Aid Manual and a good First Aid Kit including scissors, assorted gauze pads and bandages, anticeptic, latex gloves, adhesive tape, etc.
  • Extra set of keys: car, safe deposit box, office.
  • For baby: disposable diapers, bottles, formula, baby medications.
  • For adults: extra prescription medications, spare contact lenses/glasses.
  • Sewing kit with assorted safety pins and needles.
  • Common medications: aspirin, allergy pills, antacid, anti-diarrhea medicine, sunscreen.
  • Basic tools: pliers, wrench, hammer, assorted screwdrivers, duct tape, pocketknife.

6. Y2K considerations:

  • Your computer has been tested for the year 2000 rollover.
  • Your PC software applications have been certified, in writing, as Y2K compliant.
  • You enter the year in 4 digits, not 2, if you utilize dates for sorting, calculating, or keeping time.
  • Home appliances/equipment have been certified as Y2K compliant (VCR, microwave, telephone answering machine, fax, pager, cell phone, your car's computerized systems, other electronics).
  • Your employer is preparing for the year 2000 rollover:

    -- Your employer's computer systems, software, and embedded microprocessors have been fully tested and will properly handle the century date change.

    -- Your employer has contacted all utility providers (electric power, water, gas, telecommunications, sewage, etc.) and is convinced that rigorous Y2K remediation and contingency planning are underway.

    -- All of your employer's critical suppliers have been contacted and have convinced your employer they are ready to provide those critical supplies after the year 2000 rollover.

    -- Each of your employer's critical customers have been contacted and has convinced management of full Y2K compliance within their systems and that they will continue as customers after 2000.

    -- Business continuity and business contingency plans have been developed at your place of business to deal with disruptions caused by work stoppage for any reason.

    -- You understand your company's policy regarding your status as an employee should disruptions result in temporary closing of your employer's business.

(For more information about what can be done to prepare businesses for the century date change, see http://www.sba.gov/y2k -- the home page for the Small Business Administration and Y2K)


No one actually knows when the next emergency will happen, or what exactly will occur on January 1, 2000. Even so, it makes sense to be prepared. While preparing yourself, here is something to think about long before the century date change: Is there somewhere else you might go with your family, perhaps to be with other family members, before the end of 1999 if it looks like computer-related failures are likely to cause a prolonged interruption of basic services?

If so, you should begin planning and communicating with family members now while there is plenty of time to plan ahead. Thoughtful consideration now, while there is no emergency, will be time well spent. It's never too soon to plan ahead, and getting started now will help provide the support and momentum to get on with the very important job of building a mindset of emergency preparedness within your family.

The checklist is not meant to be all-inclusive; rather, it is intended to provide SOU Family Housing residents with a starting point for their family-based emergency preparedness program. Special appreciation to Harlan Smith for his thoughts on "Y2K: What Your Customers Need To Know," John C. Maciha for his book entitled Code 911: Emergency Procedures for Apartment Complexes, the American Red Cross, and FEMA. SOU Family Housing, July, 1998.



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