Can we realistically avert a panic? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Can anyone think of a way to avert a panic at this point?

-- Reporter (, February 04, 1999


There should be but there won't be a panic until, perhaps, October of 1999 but, more likely, February of 2000.

If it happens in October, it is most likely to be a banking/market panic feeding off each other.

If it happens in February, 2000, it will be due to disasters elsewhere in the world and evident breaking down of the supply chain .... plus banking and market panic.

However, there will be ever-increasing difficulty of getting supplies because tens of millions of people are gradually getting into the preparation game. This will raise the mass level of anxiety but not to a panic level.

-- BigDog (, February 04, 1999.

You can't avert it. You can't cause it. You might contribute to it, or help ameliorate its eventual effects, but that's the likely extent of your ability to influence the situation as of now. You have helped (along with nanny government) to create a lowing herd (I know, I know, you're just giving 'em what they wanted). So now you get to wonder what the herd will do.

Fun, isn't it??

-- notime (, February 04, 1999.

The sort answer is "not at this point". If the govt. had been honest several years ago and up front with the people it probably could have been minimized if nothing else. However, with this "everythings fine" talk, when people start to realize they have been lied to and times almost gone, they will panic.

-- Steve Watson (, February 04, 1999.

I think that things are getting ripe for a big panic right now. The trigger could easily be April, when a number of places roll over to fiscal year 2000. Right now, John Q. Public is aware of this thing called Y2K, but is somewhat re-assured by all the happy-face BS that is being spouted in the news media (e.g., Time magazine). However, come April, it might be: "Granny, who lives in New York State, says she didn't get her check due to Y2K problems!" And that is when all hell could break loose, as John Q. realizes that Y2K is real, it is a big problem, and it is coming for everyone.

-- Jack (, February 04, 1999.

The way to avert panic is to TELL THE TRUTH. Get individuals and communities to start preparing now. Maybe they'll be afraid, but that's nothing compared to what will happen when they realize they aren't prepared, it's too late, and they can do nothing.


-- E. Coli (, February 04, 1999.

The first time a vendor says "you can't get that product anymore" and this is echoed around the country is when you are going to see the rumblings of a panic. If there are NO MORE generators to be purchased anywhere from anyone by 1/1/2000 - need I say more? (insert any product in the place of generators that the general populace perceives as necessary to help them through y2k) Hold onto your hats, a panic is coming.

-- Bumble Bee (, February 04, 1999.

Oops. My first try at bolding and italizing. Sorry Okay, let's see if I can get it right this time.

-- Bumble Bee (, February 04, 1999.

-- Ned (, February 04, 1999.

bold off. Italics off. Did it work?

-- Arnie Rimmer (, February 04, 1999.

Why didn't that work?

You close bold <B> with </B>

If this doesn't work I give up.

-- Ned (, February 04, 1999.

one last time..bold off I say!

-- Arnie Rimmer (, February 04, 1999.

I agree with E Coli. People need to be told the truth and prepare. Last month we got hit with some pretty nasty winter weather and I didn't freak because I have been preparing and had fuel, food, candles, etc. It's a great peace of mind to have a stash. I used to be Mother Hubbard with bare cupboards, but now I'm running out or room! Stash-a-holic in the making!!!

-- shivermetimbers (, February 04, 1999.

Italics off please.

-- Craig (, February 04, 1999.

I think that whatever happens in 1999 (or 2000) as far as public reaction is a fait accompli. It'll depend on what utilities, businesses and government agencies did or did not do in 1996 and 1997 on remediating their systems.

How to avert this public reaction? The government is working on that...

"Feds Plan Y2K Spin Control" =all

WASHINGTON -- Fear of Y2K panic have prompted the federal government to begin quietly preparing a media strategy to assuage public fears of blackouts or other potential infrastructure failures.

John Koskinen, assistant to President Clinton and chair of the White House's Y2K council, has entered into discussions with a public- relations firm, Wired News has learned. The firm has recommended conducting awareness surveys and honing a "stay-calm" message based on the results.


At the council meeting, the Federal Communications Commission's Marsha MacBride and the US Postal Service's Richard Weirich reportedly suggested a federal project to monitor the public's reaction to Y2K. An Agriculture Department representitive complained that the agency's most frequent telephone inquiry has become: "How many cans of food should I stockpile for my family?"


When an industry-advisory group met for the first time last Thursday [January 21, 1999], members fretted over how to prevent public overreaction to Y2K. The members at the group include incoming Securities Industry Association chairman Roy Zuckerberg, United Airlines chairman Jerry Greenwald, North American Electric Reliability Council chairman Erle Nye, and Scott Anderson of the American Bankers Association.


In response to a Senate request, the General Accounting Office last fall compiled reports on each industry's Y2K readiness, but has not yet released the complete results to the public. Some agency Y2K officials worry that the bulky quarterly reports published by the White House's Office of Management and Budget every four months contain too much information.

Even though Koskinen said as recently as two weeks ago that "our strategy is based on the premise that the public has great common sense and will respond appropriately when they have the necessary information," the Clinton administration and Congress have taken steps to close meetings.

A bill that Clinton signed last fall was widely touted by the White House and a bipartisan group of legislators as a way to limit inappropriate Y2K liability. But a key provision bars the public from attending meetings of the Y2K council and its subcommittees. The Year 2000 Information and Readiness Disclosure Act says the federal open- meeting act "shall not apply to the working groups established under this section."


-- Kevin (, February 04, 1999.

Starting to be honest NOW and explaining what the concerns are that could cause problems. Being truthful and encouraging "prudent" preparation for all kinds or reasons ... Y2K, natural, manmade, environmental, even personal disasters.

The whole house of cards relies on public confidence. I see very little evidence for the government's confidence in the public, so why should they have any in the government?


-- Diane J. Squire (, February 04, 1999.

We could avoid panic - but it would require the combined talents of Churchill and FDR to mount a massive mobilization akin to what they did in between August 1941- and May 1942.

The current world's leaders do not have the talent, desire, nor do they see the need to do it. They are apparently being blinded by their desire that there be no problems, not realizing the key technical fact that the computers and processes worldwide don't care what they say or think - they don' tread the mass media (other than CD roms), and the programs and processes can't be fooled by propaganda or rethoric.

Given that, in three months it will most likely be too late to avoid panic - we just don't know what the form of the panic will be. Nor who they will blame - else why worry about the governemnt begining the current "blame the hoarders" attack strategy? - nor who they will attack.

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (, February 05, 1999.

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