Stop reading for a moment and go look into your medicine cabinet.
I'll bet that you found at least 15 different kinds of over-the-counter
medicines that you use on a regular basis, including pain relievers,
fever reducers, antacids, anti-diarrhea medicines, and antihistamines.
Take an inventory of those medicines -- you've just created your
over-the counter medications checklist for the Year 2000! You see, that
medicine cabinet is custom-designed for your family's specific needs.
By stocking up on the medications that are on your checklist, you can
ensure that your family will not be slowed down or bed-ridden by simple,
normally-occurring illnesses like headaches, sinus problems, or diarrhea
during the Y2K crisis. Remember, your local pharmacy may not be open --
you won't be able to run out at 3 a.m. and get some more medicines if
you run out. Make sure that you have an ample supply of these
medications -- at least enough to last your family for your planning
scenario. Be sure to check the expiration dates on the medicines that
you buy. Although most do not truly "expire," they may lose
effectiveness and potency if kept too long after the recommended date.
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If you can afford to, stock up on an overabundance of these
medications. Because not everyone will be preparing for the Y2K crisis,
these items will be scarce and in great demand. You may be able to use
them as barter items to trade for goods and services that you may be in
need of. These items are plentiful and inexpensive now, but they will
become scarce and expensive quickly once the Y2K crisis hits.
One final note about over-the-counter medications -- think for a
moment about your extended family. Do you have young grandchildren,
nieces, or nephews? If so, you should consider stocking up on children's
versions of common medicines, such as pain relievers, antihistamines,
and cough syrups, which are specially formulated for the needs of small
children. What about the elderly? Is it possible that your grandparents
may be coming to stay with you? Prepare for their needs as well. It is
important to look outside your immediate family when planning. If you so
choose, you can also plan on stocking up on medications for your friends
and neighbors, too.