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The global guide to Y2K survival

Koreans run to the hills, Kiwis light up a Bar-B -- each to their own

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December is upon us and our thoughts turn to all things seasonal - sherry, tarts, balls, stuffing, turkey and all the trimmings. But let's not forget that if you're planning to stock up on a few essentials in case you get bitten by our old friend the Y2k bug - the millennium ebola, or Mebola to his closest friends - time is running out. So, if you need inspiration, here's The Register's round up of how preparations are going in different parts of the world.

Korea

Koreans - no strangers to adversity - have decided the best thing to do is flee blindly. Korean firms in Russia and ex-Soviet countries intend to evacuate staff and their families, fearing the worst. Presumably they will return to Korea, where - perception being what it is - they think they'll be safe. But just wait 'til they get back home and find everyone else sheltering in the hills.

US

Americans on the other hand have been holed up in the hills for years. Those that have made it out into the cities need to be reminded of the old ways though. From the list of 14 Dos and 14 Don'ts (of just one in several thousand US guides to surviving the year 2000) it becomes apparent that the basic premise is to assume that everything that can possibly go wrong, will. There simply isn't time to cover the vast preparations - nor is there time to implement them. Oh well.

New Zealand

Of course, our buddies Down Under have a far more human approach to impending destruction. Ever practical, New Zealanders have devised ways in which to combine their favourite pastime with global meltdown. That's right - millennial survival consists of little more than planning for a vast barbecue. So enough food for three days, a bar-b-q, torch/candles/light sticks "these are needed to light your BBQ", petrol (I suppose for those difficult-to-start barbecues) and you're done. Somewhat unpleasantly, the official Y2K guide also suggests you can also drink water from the cistern or hot water cylinder - saves having to leave the house after a good feed, no doubt.

How much food?

The amount of hoarded food is also a good cultural benchmark. The Red Cross recommends three to seven days' worth, California and Florida, seven to ten days' and Canada, two weeks'. UK So what about us Brits? The stiff upper is still there. We won't let something like a catastrophe get in the way of our elevenses. Still, if you feel like playing safe, you may want to stock up on tinned food, but you'll need something to heat it up with. Oh, and don't forget to pack a tin opener. ®

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