Red Cross Preaches Y2K Readiness (Also FEMA Preparedness Checklist Links)

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Red Cross Preaches Y2K Readiness (Also FEMA Preparedness Checklist Links)

This media lead came from someone on another thread, but is interesting enough to receive a top level post. Most of us know about this, but I find it interesting to see how the press handles the news (newbies may appreciate). Also the FEMA preparedness checklist links below are quite good. -- Diane

Denver Rocky Mountain News

http://www.insidedenver.com/news/0126y2k1.shtml

Red Cross preaches Y2K readiness

Relief agency urges households to gather week's worth of food, necessities for Jan. 1

By Kevin Flynn News Staff Writer

The American Red Cross suggests that households have at least a week's emergency supplies on hand to prepare for possible computer-related disasters that come with the year 2000.

"What we're suggesting for families for Y2K (Year 2000) is to be ready for a week," Juanita Lewis told a gathering of alternative health providers Monday night.

"And if you have a different opinion about what Y2K may bring, be prepared for whatever you think you need to be," she said.

Lewis is a disaster services specialist with the Mile High Chapter of the American Red Cross.

She and Lee Engelking, disaster services chairman for the chapter, gave their presentation to the Complementary Wellness Group meeting in the Barnum Library in Denver.

Engelking said the chapter is preparing for disruptions caused by computer glitches by arranging for emergency shelters, water and food distribution.

Computer experts predict that there may be some disruption in services. Computer programs that read years by only the last two digits may malfunction when their clocks hit Jan. 1, 2000.

Because the program may not correctly read the change from "99" to "00," bad data could result and disrupt basic services such as power, communications or transportation.

Predictions of what may happen range from very little disruption up through those who see widespread and long-term disaster.

The Red Cross isn't predicting any particular disaster, but is preaching preparedness.

The group has a national Y2K task force, Lewis said, but its emphasis is on being ready.

"We are identifying facilities with independent power, major food suppliers and warehousing," she said.

Kent Johnson, director of Complementary Wellness, said preparation is the key to handling disruptions. "If people are prepared, the fear level is bound to be lower," he said.

The Red Cross has published brochures on family preparations for emergencies.

For a Y2K emergency, in addition to at least a week's supply of food, medicine and other essentials, the Red Cross recommends that a family have cash on hand in case electronic systems such as automated teller machines and credit card readers don't work.

It also recommends an alternative heat and cooking method for the home, extra flashlights and batteries.

January 26, 1999

See also ...

Red Cross Y2K suggestions:

http://www.redcross.org/disaster/safety/y2k.html

Great FEMA Preparedness Page lists:

http://www.fema.org/pte/prepare.htm

Emergency Preparedness Checklist

http://www.fema.org/pte/emprep.htm

Family Disaster Plan

http://www.fema.org/pte/displan.htm

Financial Disaster Preparedness

http://www.fema.org/pte/finplan.htm

Disaster Supplies Kit

http://www.fema.org/pte/supplies.htm

Emergency Management Guide for Business & Industry

http://www.fema.org/library/bizindex.htm

Food & Water in an Emergency

http://www.fema.org/pte/foodwtr.htm

More Preparedness tips in the FEMA library

http://www.fema.org/library/lib07.htm



-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), January 26, 1999

Answers

Am I getting paranoid or do I hear the turbines of the Federal emergency preparation engines spooling up? (Of course, we don't want to start a panic so slooowly, ever so slooowly.....)

-- RD. ->H (drherr@erols.com), January 26, 1999.

Our local FOX station (ch 17 - Grand Rapids MI) covered this on their 10:00 news segment. "COMING UP ON FOX 17 NEWS: Find out why the Red Cross is saying that you should stock up on food, drugs, batteries, and other essentials."

AFTER THE COMMERCIALS...the smiling faces are back. "Are you prepared for the Y2k problem?...the Red Cross sez you'd better be!" They (with their "camera smile) stated everything matter- of-factly, saying that if the bug bites to have extra cash, blankets, food and water on hand. "The Red Cross sez this is no means to panic, but to prepare for possible problems..." The anchors went on to say that "we should have extra blankets, for those Michigan winters can get quite cold..." It came and went in a blur...the Red Wings got more air time.

-- Tim (pixmo@pixelquest.com), January 26, 1999.


this is the answer i received from emailing the website of the American red cross email address.

Regarding your query about a brochure form of our "Y2K: What You Should Know" information:

copies of that document as a brochure are available exclusively through your local Red Cross chapter. Your email was sent to the Red Cross national headquarters. The responsibility to meet public demand for copies of Red Cross materials remains with our local chapters. We make materials available for our local chapters to order from our central warehouse, and then can provide them to you. Please note that your local Red Cross chapter is charged for the cost of printing materials they order from our central warehouse. The "Y2K" brochure, whose stock number is A44891, comes in packages of 25 for a list price of $1.50 per package. Your local chapter is also charged for the cost of shipping.

So I contacted my local Red Cross and gave them the stock number and ask for the total charge for the brochures and shipping -- i ask for a package of 25 -- guess what ?? they did it for free -- including shipping.

I have been giving them to my "maybe i will get it" and "sorta get it" family and friends. the brochure fits in a business size envelope for mailing.

P.S. for you who have ask -- hubby is home and being sorta careful I think this Heart Attack mellowed him out a bit -- but he is still a handful.

-- ALURKER (nobody@nowhere.com), January 27, 1999.


Tim,

After Peter Jennings this evening, my local ABC affiliate on their evening local news magazine talked about Y2K, mentioned the American Red Cross and mentioned setting aside some bottled water and extra cash. A woman in town to speak at a Y2K conference tomorrow was also interviewed, and she mentioned the Federal Reserve printing up extra cash to deal with the demand.

Y2K isn't theoretical anymore. The wheels are turning. The government is preparing.

The only question now is, when will the general public start buying a few extra groceries each week?

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), January 27, 1999.


A local TV station also had an article about y2k last Saturday morning. Basically they talked about the Red Cross suggestions, but also said we should prepare as if for a hurricane.

-- Flagirl (Flagirl@mrssurvival.zzn.com), January 27, 1999.


Tim,

That is something that I have noticed before...The reports on TV about Y2K sometimes DO give the facts but its sort of like, "Experts predict that utilities may be out of commission for up to one month. Telephone service could be sporadic for a slightly longer period which could cause some minor inconveniences to the public in the early weeks of January. Now lets look at the weather.." And I stand up and scream at the TV, "No utilities for one month, no telephones and you say 'MINOR INCONVENIENCES'!!!!???" At that point my husband usually reminds me that they cannot hear me and I collapse in frustration. Why can't people see that even one week without electricity in a large city is a BIG problem? How can the media report the facts and not at least notice that what they are saying is a BIG deal?

I will never understand. If things ever get back to even semi-normal, I won't be the same.

Mom (frustrated)

-- Mom (kitty@cat.com), January 27, 1999.


Tim,

You don't expect them to understand what they're reading from the teleprompter, do you?

-- Faze the Nation (dazed@confused.com), January 27, 1999.


You know that IAEM Newsletter I started a thread on a week ago? In it, they reprint the Red Cross Preparation checklist. At the top of the article, it says in effect that this is the revised, current version.

Hmmm, sez I.

I had printed out the original a while back, so I did a quick comparison of versions. Nothing earth shaking, but several subtle changes to tone down the message.

Obviously I have nothing better to do...

-- Lewis (aslanshow@yahoo.com), January 27, 1999.


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