Check out what Portland is doing! : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

This is not -- repeat, not -- a Y2K drill.

City officials are drafting ambitious plans to organize Portland's 200,000 households into small, self-sufficient units, marshaled by potentially thousands of neighborhood leaders trained to head off problems resulting from the Year 2000 computer problem.

If approved and executed beginning this spring, the effort would be one of the nation's largest municipal Y2K preparedness efforts.

"We're taking this seriously," Mayor Vera Katz said Thursday. "The purpose is not to raise a tremendous amount of concern, but to be prepared for an emergency. It doesn't mean it's going to happen."

Portland's approach, though mammoth in scale, will try to walk a middle ground between doomsayers who predict social collapse and naysayers who predict a colossal yawn on Jan. 1, 2000. . . .

With little more than 10 months left until the end of the 1900s, Portland citizens have been calling City Hall with fears about the local power supply, food and water availability, emergency services and other basic necessities.

Many callers worry that "significant social breakdown is a distinct possibility," according to a draft preparedness document that has been circulating among city officials this month. Katz hears from residents who are unnerved by "rumors, misinformation and speculation."

"They're very surprised about how many of their friends are thinking in survivalist mode," she said. . . .

The predominant view of city officials is that the risk of long-lasting, widespread Y2K-related failures is small, but that the dangers of bad preparation could be big. . . .

The city's preparedness strategy would tackle the problem from two key directions:

First, the city wants to become a one-stop source of information on every phase of the Y2K issue that could have a major impact on residents. That would include not only the status of the city's own $3 million Y2K repair effort but also the status of other local services, such as utilities, public safety, health care and transportation.

Second, the city wants to create a network of knowledgeable citizens who will lead others in preparing their own households and neighborhoods for potential disruptions in goods and services.

To organize nearly half a million residents, the city would enlist the aid of existing organizations, from the city's 93 neighborhood associations to Boy Scout troops to schools, churches and social clubs. Oversight of the process would fall to the city's Office of Neighborhood Involvement, which already oversees the neighborhood associations and community programs ranging from crime prevention to refugees to neighborhood mediation. . . .

-- Online2Much (
amazed@the.moment), February 20, 1999



-- Online2Much (sighing@the.moment), February 20, 1999.

Finally, a major city official takes a Y2K stand that makes sense.

Was talking with a friend up in Portland yesterday who mentioned that this was on the front page of The Oregonian. They were delighted! Good job Oregon. (California take note).

Also told me she's signed me up for the local FEMA training coming up.

Both Oregon and Washington state community groups are having a significant impact on their towns and cities Y2K contingency plans. Persistence can work!


-- Diane J. Squire (, February 20, 1999.

Three cheers for women politicians!! Maybe we should have a female President. They are more open, honest, and not afraid to admit that we may be vulnerable, and will be more prepared to calmly deal with it.

-- (@@@.@), February 20, 1999.

Thanks for posting this! I sent the link and a brief urging to consider doing something to organize our city to our major...along with thanks for the work they are doing and for posting the minutes of their Y2K Meetings on the web... If I get a response, I'll let you know.

-- Shelia (, February 20, 1999.

Grass roots update on our efforts. Just got back from teaching a y2k prep class for 100+ at Bobs Red Mill- great crowd. Had collated a packet of general and food FAQ about 100 pages for each participant. The focus on this one was food. Another scheduled for March (full) and April.

Also been a series on KOIN KGW and KPTV pretty good stuff.

Did one last month for the church 176 people 1.5 hours- again large number of handouts. Another on financial prep Feb and medical in March all with handouts and all were video taped.

I'm encouraging a grassroots write in to the Oregonian to create one of those special sections like they do for home shows networking with local business, KOIN etc.

Cover food storeage, fuel safety and storeage, community classes available for preparedness etc etc.


-- EC (, February 20, 1999.

This is probably the most encouraging news I've heard lately. Maybe seeing Portland take such a bold step forward in honesty and concern for its citizens will give others the courage to do so. Especially when they see that this does not lead to wholesale panic.

I heard on the radio news this morning that Portland's close neighbor, Seattle, has been taken to task by an independent auditor for what was called their "haphazard" Y2k efforts. The report said that the City of Seattle promised to do better. Oh, goodie.

-- Wanda (, February 21, 1999.

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