Calif. County internal handout addresses Y2k : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

This was circulated to selected departments a few weeks ago inside the county government of a California County. The pamphlet has not yet been released to the public. The county is still considering how to prepare the public for Y2K, along with at least one of its neighboring counties (whose staff did not know about this guide, either).



Year 2000 Personal Readiness Guide


Here are some steps experts suggest you take to ease problems that may be associated with the Millenium Bug. Follow those that seem most critical to you and your family.

1. Start a Year 2000 protection plan. Know what you will do in case problems arise. Follow news developments so that you will know how to respond. Think of your plan as a Y2K insurance policy.

2. Obtain multiple proofs of identification. These should include an original Social Security card, a certified or notarized copy of your birth certificate, a valid passport, a current drivers license, a voter registration card, plus any student or military IDs. These will help prove your identity should the need arise.

3. Collect paper records of your important possessions so that you can prove ownership if necessary. Include deeds, titles and proofs of purchase to homes, property, cars, boats and other big ticket items.

4. Secure hard copies of other important records, including financial documents. These should include mortgage and loan agreements, credit card statements, state and federal tax returns, health and prescription plans, leases, veterans benefits statements, safe deposit contracts, major warranties and insurance policies for car, home and life and accident coverage. You may need these to establish that you are covered by a particular agency or to confirm what you owe, when you owe it and to whom. For example, keep a record of premium payments with your insurance policy. A system error may show that you're uninsured. Also, include in this file a Personal Earnings and Benefits Statement from the Social Security Administration. Ask for Form SSA-7004.

5. Create a paper file on companies or agencies you deal with on a regular basis. Experts call these "electronic handshakes." The list should include electricity, water, telephone, cable TV, as well as credit card providers and mortgage holder. Include copies of bills received and payments made, in case questions arise. Computer errors occur even in the best of times.

6. Keep paper copies of all significant transactions between now and June 2000. This will help you avoid billing errors.

7. Consider adjusting your withholding allowances so that your tax bill evens out with the amount held. Some experts say that for the next few years its better for you to owe the government a small amount than having the government owe you. If there's a computer glitch, you may experience delays in getting your refund.

8. Ask your employer for hard copies of your work record, including employment dates, performance reviews, bonus calculations, vacation and sick pay accumulations, payroll deductions and current pay level.

9. List the various accounts that you have with your bank. These could include checking and savings, certificates of deposit, retirement accounts, trust and investment accounts and safe deposit boxes. List account numbers for each. Be sure to keep safe deposit slips well into the year 2000.

10. Take extra care if you bank by computer. Make sure your own computer is Y2K compliant and begin keeping paper records of all transactions. Use the same precaution when making purchases by computer.

11. Write down how much you charge every time you use your credit card. You can list totals in your check book, starting at the back and working forward. That way you can keep checking and credit card transactions in one place.

12. Don't get into a situation in which you're dependent on your credit card, especially if it has an expiration date after Jan. 1, 2000. Some card readers may not be able to accept your card. Experts say this problem will become less serious as more merchants put in readers that are Y2K compliant. The same advice applies for debit cards. Carry at least one credit card with an expiration date other than "00" in the year. Also, consider carrying travelers checks in case of an emergency.

13. As the year 2000 approaches and for a little thereafter, double check all interest calculations. They are based on time and date and because of Y2K problems are very error prone, experts say.

14. Ask your mortgage lender for a statement detailing the interest and principal payments you have made to date, along with a payment schedule showing how your loan will amortize. Keep canceled mortgage checks as proof of payment through the first half of the year 2000.

15. Make a note to check with your mortgage company to be sure that your property taxes and homeowners insurance have been paid. Then, confirm that with the appropriate tax authority or insurance company. Don't assume anything, experts say.

16. Know when your insurance premiums are due. If your insurance company suffers a computer glitch and you don't get a due notice, you can be prepared to pay the premium. You want to make sure that your coverage isn't terminated.

17. Make a copy of all prescriptions you have had in the last year. Ask your doctor to help you build up a month's supply in case there's a computer problem at your pharmacy.

18. Make sure that embedded chips in life-sustaining equipment, such as heart pacemakers, are Y2K compliant. Check with your doctor to get the model and serial number of your device. If he or she can't confirm compliance, check with the manufacturer. You want to make sure that the device will keep working after Jan. 1, 2000, and, if applicable, that it continues to record data. Most should be fine, but don't take a chance.

19. Check with your company benefits office about what the firm that administers your 401(k) account is doing to resolve its Y2K problem.

20. Talk to your investment counselor about moving retirement funds if you will be making withdrawals during the first half of 2000.

21. Read the annual reports from companies in which you own stock. They should be keeping stockholders aware of their progress with compliance projects. Your investment counselor should be able to help in this area.

22. Keep paper records of investments as proof of holdings and acquisition costs. They will insure against computer problems at the company holding your accounts.

23. Request documentation on the amount in your Social Security and Medicare accounts before Dec. 31, 1999. Keep them until you can verify that your balance is the same after Jan. 1, 2000.

24. Obtain a current status report for life insurance policies. This document will show your cash values and/or accumulated dividends and current beneficiary.

25. Closely monitor your credit report. Any errors in the system could be magnified by computer snafus. Check it for the first few months of the year 2000.

26. Collect hard copies of all immunizations, grades, attendance records and grade-level completions for any students in your family.

27. Obtain tuition receipts, grade reports and semester transcripts for any collegians in your family. Also, pay close attention to any student loan activity, getting documentation on what's been paid, what's due and when.

28. Check with your auto dealership to determine if your car has any data sensitive chips that might cause a problem. Or check with the manufacturer. Auto makers will liely begin to post this kind of information on their web sites as the big day approaches.

29. If you have any major bills due early in January 2000, consider paying them in December.

30. Once the year 2000 arrives, double check all bills, premium notices and financial statements to make sure they're accurate. Don't let a computer glitch cause you to be shortchanged or overcharged.

31. Check previous balances. Look for unusual fluctuations in utility bills. Make sure names, address and account numbers are correct. Confirm that prices and quantities match information in your records.

32. Secure a source for emergency heat in case the power goes out when the millenium comes in. Have extra bedding and warm clothes available.

33. Have a portable radio handy and a good supply of batteries. Make sure you have flashlights and candles available.

34. Collect some extra food and water just in case. Make sure your grill is working properly in case you need it for cooking.

35. Gas up the family wagon on Dec. 31, 1999, just in case the pumps aren't working the next day. Set aside some extra money for an emergency fund. Have enough cash on hand to carry you for at least a week. There could be problems with ATMs and Jan 1., 2000, is a weekend date.



-- Ann Y. Body (annybody@anywhere.disorg), January 28, 1999


Thanks, Ann. This news item from our local city rag (Pop. >1M): "Y2K Ill could hit XXXXXXXXXX [county]" Sez our county's computerized tax collection system is "obsolete" [duh]. Our commissioners have "set into motion a plan to buy a new system" at the request of our "tax assessor-collector". Sez it'll be installed by July. Sez "the existing system is plagued by computer-programing limitations, obsolete hardware and Y2K problems." All who live in this county and who read this article (buried on the second page of the second section of the paper) will be relieved to know that $50K has been approved for staff overtime for "Y2K-related programming through the end of the year and to seek contract contract proposals for evaluating other computer systems that pose Y2K risks" [great, so my county HAS YET to enter the ASSESSMENT phase of it's Y2K project]. Our other good news is that our county has a $3.9M contract with some software company somewhere "to test and reprogram the county's computer systems to fix Y2K problems". End of story. Hope you all out there are makin' your preparations. If you live in a county that's as on-the-ball as mine-- you'll need 'em.

-- Nowi Gedit (, January 28, 1999.

Both of the above posts would carry a lot more credibility if they had real locations attached to them. "A city >1 million?" A nameless California county? Why not name the city and the county, if these items really exist? Otherwise, they're just whispers in the ether, with no substance and no believability. I'm not flaming either of you. I just want hard info, and these posts aren't.

-- Cash (, January 28, 1999.

the city that is being referred to is San Diego. went to the county department of emergency preparednes just to check out what flyers and info if any were available. Walk into the lobby and the clerks are busy folding pamphlets that are only for supervisors only. there must have been 500 flyers they were folding. When asked do they have any information about y2k they get nervous. Asked to get copy of what they were folding and said it was sensitive material. Well they obviously forgot about the copies they crumbled by the copy machine

-- alice (, January 28, 1999.

Thanks Ann & alice.

Good advice whatever the source.


-- Diane J. Squire (, January 28, 1999.

Ann -

Most regulars on this forum know that I live near Sandy Eggo. Was this Y2K memo distributed within County staff? I can make some inquiries, but would prefer to have some idea where the memos may have ended up, so I can direct the search.

Cox Cable ran a pretty good piece on "San Diego and Y2K" the past few weeks. Unfortunately, they concluded without making any real recommendations on prep, not even the bare minimal 14 days which even the most mainstream sites recommend. They did note that County Supervisor Dianne Jacob is hosting a Y2K meeting in March. That ought to be interesting: March 6 is 300 Days and Counting...

-- Mac (, January 28, 1999.


It is not San Diego. However, I would be very interested in what San Diego City is printing but not distributing. Can you please post it soon for study and analysis? Thanks.


I thought about identifying the county, but since the pamphlet is not yet publicly distributed, I thought it better to try to keep in good relations with the employees (my sources), and also to try not to get the people who came up with the pamphlet into unnecessary trouble with their superiors, in case identification would make trouble. I hope that you could at least understand my rationale, if not agree with it.

I believe that some counties are now working on public Y2k awareness plans. As soon as they are done for the county in question, or if I get permission to reveal the county from the people supplying me with the pamphlet, or if I can figure out some other compelling reason to divulge the county, I will identify the county in this forum.

Thanks for your patience and understanding,


-- Ann Y. Body (annybody@nowhere.disorg), January 28, 1999.

But Ann, since you post anonymously and the chances of someone else on this forum being able to i.d. you from such limited information is slim to nonexistent, why not i.d. the county now? Do you know that someone in the group you are trying to protect regularly visits here? do their supervisors? that info alone is worth knowing. As I said previously, posting vague info like that contributes nothing, since it lacks credibility. I learned my lesson in that regard the hard way -- I sent a similar post (good info, no names or places) to c.s.y2k and got justifiably roasted for it. (Yes, I post there with some regularity, but under another name, as I explained in an earlier thread.) Please, I urge you to give us more detailed data.

-- Cash (, January 28, 1999.

ann here is the web link for san diego 2000 remediation page is are planning to run the county wide test in July...your are not holding the national secret !!! for other information contact office of disaster preparedness at 619-565- 3490 and department of information 619 531-5539.

-- alice (, January 29, 1999.

listed on the FAQ section of the san deigo website for 2000 is an interesting web link they Jeez talk about leaving your garage door open ---somebody definately didn't think about spin countrol or trying to keep residents ignorat about liability y2k lawsuits... interesting site its already starting in full bloom

-- alice (, January 29, 1999.

San Diego has it's own y2k website at

-- Jon (, January 29, 1999.

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