Individual and Community Preparedness : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Hi Folks.

I too am firmly of the view that personal responsibility is the only way to handle Y2K. For some of us that includes helping other people because we accept that other's welfare affects our own.

The meeting of service people in our city was held today. I chaired it. Fifteen people from emergency services plus the City and District Council, the Electrical Energy supply people and the Gas supply people, and the Health/Medical people.

My presentation was well accepted and focussed on the scope of the problem from early next year to four years from now. I have been asked to present to a number of inhouse sessions.

The concensus was that power was the key over Y2K period. Water and sewage also got a mention.

I think the people were 50/50 GIs and rest in denial but they left with an understanding that the issues are greater than just events over the single day and include events before and after.

They also got the idea that some possibilities may have a slow lead-in time and creep up on the city. Loss of small business through Y2K failures, leads to loss of PAYE tax contributions, consequent loss of Government revenue including GST and a reduced role for Government since it can't pay for services, altered some folks from denial to realisation. All these people are involved in city planning for emergencies anyway so Y2K provided a sharp focus for their mitigation and contingency planning. Seems that just talking through the issues that each group faced in doing triage was helpful. The group have agreed to develop city wide contingency plans and intend to meet monthly. A wider community information group is also being formed.

These strategies may work in your community. The key person in my context was the Director of Civil Defence. Once I had buy from him the meeting was easy to get organised and underway with very litle input from me.

Have a local TV interview tonite at six on how Y2K will affect ordinary folks.

Thanks to all who have posted for the perspectives offered.


-- Bob Barbour (, December 02, 1998


Hi Bob:

I'm the acting (volunteer) lead on a regional Y2K task force which is in turn working directly in concert with our state Department of Emergency Services. We are dealing with 11 counties in a very rural area in the upper midwest.

In brief .. I'd like to keep in touch with you and others on this thread for the purpose of exchanging notes and ideas. We want to know what works .. what doesn't .. the steps you're taking.. etc. Right now our goal is simply educating a populace whose greatest concerns are ol' bossy who might have an udder infection .. or whether or not we're going to get enough rain next week. People here don't want to even consider the concept of preparing for something that *might* occur and which is over a year away (on the calendar). If they're even *aware* of the Y2K issues, they frequently take an "I'll deal with it if/when it happens" attitude.

The problem is compounded by the "small town" mindset which is perhaps best exemplified by one county emergency services director with whom I recently spoke. He told me during a phone conversation that "the problem is bigger than us .. and we can't do anything to stop or change it... so I'm not planning on doing any preparedness work at all". This is typical of the attitude here.

We'd love to know how you presented things to people in a manner that was most palatable and accepted. We'd also like to know how you approached the public .. what worked to attract them .. how you discussed it without turning them off, going over their heads or sending them into a panic .. etc.

Any suggestions, hints, ideas, and other assistance you (or others) would be able to offer will be sincerely appreciated.



P.S. The Regional Director for the Emergency Services Department is very "Y2K savvy" .. and 100% for anything we can do to prepare. Now all we have to deal with are about 50% of the county Emergency Directors and a large number of people (1/4 million?) .. who have either not heard of Y2K yet .. simply don't care .. or are playing ostrich.

Thanks again in advance to you and the others for any assistance.

-- Dan (, December 02, 1998.

Hi Dan,

I too am a volunteer.. , an academic out of a research office where some of my colleagues think I still should be. But this problem is too big to be left to folk who work just from hindsight. We need insight and foresight. I asked each of the folks at the meeting to provide both for their area. The discussion was managed as a 'we are all in this together and whatever happens will be the direct result of what we say, what we share, and what we do both internally in our organisations and externally in cooperation with oneanother'. The Y2K presentation was nothing special, just the facts and how it would affect individuals, so far as I could see in six Poer Point Slides most of the stuff came off the Net.

Today was just a start but will lead to other monthly meetings where all the contingency plans will be shared and the public informed of what is happening well in advance so that we get cooperation not panic.

By the way... this is not quite all new stuff for me, my masters research looked at community responses to volcanic hazards using a scenario approach.

Hope the above helps and look forward to exchanging information please email to the address below for further info.

Best Regards, BobB

-- Bob Barbour (, December 03, 1998.

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