Feds unhappy with Red Cross for not spouting party line?greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Perhaps there is a little government unhappiness with the Red Cross for not knuckling under completely?
Red Cross y2k pamphlet vs. Gov. pamphlet
from FEMA bulletin http://www.fema.com/y2k/bltn01.htm
The President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion says the transition to Y2K is not a cause for you to disrupt your life. "There is no indication that there will be major national disruptions in key infrastructures such as electric power, telecommunications, banking, and transportation, and most local authorities are leading aggressive efforts to solve the problem," John Koskinen, chairman of the President's Council, says. "However, we are telling people that it is always smart to be prepared for the possibility that anything -- from inclement weather to Y2K failures -- could temporarily disrupt services at any time. Personal preparedness for transition to the Year 2000 is no different from ways you prepare for the usual winter storm. As always, you should have batteries for flashlights and radios, a three day supply of water and non perishable goods, and at least a half tank of gas. The Y2K problem also is a reminder to take care of your billing, bank, and tax records. Having recent copies of records and statements on file at home makes good sense at any time. The President's Council is monitoring the situation, and will provide updated guidance in the months ahead through its web page, http://www.y2k.gov/, and toll free information line, 1-888-USA-4-Y2K. Y2K Bulletin is a special edition of Recovery Times developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Additional copies of Y2K Bulletin are available by calling 1-800-480-2520. Comments may be sent via the Internet to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to FEMA, EIPA, 500 C Street SW, Washington DC 20472. Joe Stocks Director FEMA Office of Emergency Information and Public Affairs Updated: February 17, 1999
Attention Please You are now exiting the FEMA Web Server. You will now be entering the site: http://www.redcross.org/disaster/safety/y2k.html We have provided a link to this site because it has information that may be of interest to our users. FEMA does not necessarily endorse the views expressed or the facts presented on this site. Further, FEMA does not endorse any commercial products that may be advertised or available on this site.Thank you for visiting FEMA. We hope you found your visit informative and enjoyable.
from http://www.redcross.org/disaster/safety/y2k.html Y2K WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW For more than 100 years, the American Red Cross has been at the cutting edge of disaster relief activities, helping people prevent, prepare for, and cope with disasters and other emergencies. That's why your Red Cross has published the following information about "Y2K"--its potential effects and what you can do to be prepared. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is "Y2K" and why are people concerned?
The Year 2000 technology problem, or bug, as it is sometimes called, was created in the early days of computers, when memory in computers was scarce and expensive. Programmers took shortcuts whenever possible to save space. Instead of using a four-digit code for year dates, a two-digit entry was used. This practice persisted, long after the needfor saving space was eliminated. The two-digit code also was used in embedded chips, which exist in many devices that control processes, functions, machines (like cars), building ventilation systems, elevators, and fire and security alarm systems, which are part of our everyday lives. When the year 2000 comes, programs that have been coded with two-digit year codes will not distinguish between the years 2000 and 1900. If the program includes time-sensitive calculations or comparisons, results are unpredictable. No one knows what problems may occur, how widespread they may be, or how long they will last. The good news is that federal, state, and local governments; banks and other financial institutions; retail businesses, and every other group affected by this problem have been working to resolve it, and a great deal of progress has been made.
When could Y2K problems happen?
Most people anticipate Y2K problems may happen December 31, 1999, at midnight. Many experts predict that the problem is more likely to be a persistent one over a few years rather than a single "crash." For example, there may be a computer-based problem with other dates, such as April 9, 1999, which is the 99th day of the year, or on 9/9/99. In the past, a series of nines was used to indicate termination of a computer program, and some experts believe that when all nines show up in a date sequence, some computer systems could read it as a program termination command. There also is some concern regarding fiscal year 2000 dates in those organizations with fiscal years that start earlier than December 31, 1999. Also, the year 2000 is a leap year, and the leap year date 02/29/00 may be a problem for some computer programs as well.
What kinds of things could happen as a result of Y2K problems?
The President's Council on Y2K Conversion, established by the White House, as well as a special Senate Committee, have focused their attention on defining the scope of the Y2K problem. Hearings have been conducted by the United States Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem and have focused on the following eight areas: Utilities and the national power grid International banking and finance Health care Transportation Telecommunications Pension and mutual funds Emergency planning General business
The potential effect of the Y2K technology problem on any of these areas is unknown, and the situation continues to change as federal, state, and local governments; industries; businesses; and organizations, as well as the general public, take actions to reduce the problem. Experts who spoke at the Senate hearings believe that there may be localized disruptions. For example, in some areas, electrical power may be unavailable for some time. Manufacturing and production industries may be disrupted. Roads may be closed or gridlocked if traffic signals are disrupted. Electronic credit card transactions may not be processed. Telephone systems may not work. Because no one can be certain about the effects of the Y2K problem, the American Red Cross has developed the following checklist for you. These are some easy steps you can take to prepare for possible disruptions. All of these recommendations make good sense, regardless of the potential problem.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO BE PREPARED
Y2K Checklist ___ Check with manufacturers of any essential computer-controlled electronic equipment in your home to see if that equipment may be affected. This includes fire and security alarm systems, programmable thermostats, appliances, consumer electronics, garage door openers, electronic locks, and any other electronic equipment in which an "embedded chip" may control its operation.
___ Stock disaster supplies to last several days to a week for yourself and those who live with you. This includes having nonperishable foods, stored water, and an ample supply of prescription and nonprescription medications that you regularly use. See "Your Family Disaster Supplies Kit" for suggestions.
___ As you would in preparation for a storm of any kind, have some extra cash on hand in case electronic transactions involving ATM cards, credit cards, and the like cannot be processed. Plan to keep cash in a safe place, and withdraw money from your bank in small amounts. ___ Similar to preparing for a winter storm, it is suggested that you keep your automobile gas tank above half full. ___ In case the power fails, plan to use alternative cooking devices in accordance with manufacturer'sinstructions. Don't use open flames or charcoal grills indoors. ___ Have extra blankets, coats, hats, and gloves to keep warm. Please do not plan to use gas-fueled appliances, like an oven, as an alternative heating source. The same goes for wood-burning or liquid-fueled heating devices that are not designed to be used in a residential structure. Camp stoves and heaters should only be used out of doors in a well-ventilated area. If you do purchase an alternative heating device, make sure it is approved for use indoors and is listed with the Underwriters Laboratories (UL). ___ Have plenty of flashlights and extra batteries on hand. Don't use candles for emergency lighting. ___ Examine your smoke alarms now. If you have smoke alarms that are hard-wired into your home's electrical system (most newer ones are), check to see if they have battery back-ups. Every fall, replace all batteries in all smoke alarms as a general fire safety precaution. ___ Be prepared to relocate to a shelter for warmth and protection during a prolonged power outage or if for any other reason local officials request or require that you leave your home. Listen to a battery-operated radio or television for information about where shelters will be available. ___ If you plan to use a portable generator, connect what you want to power directly to the generator; do not connect the generator to your home's electrical system. Also, be sure to keep a generator in a well-ventilated area_either outside or in a garage, keeping the door open. Don't put a generator in your basement or anywhere inside your home. ___ Check with the emergency services providers in your community to see if there is more information available about how your community is preparing for any potential problems. Be an advocate and support efforts by your local police, fire, and emergency management officials to ensure that their systems will be able to operate at all times.
The American Red Cross helps people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. We're in your neighborhood every day, providing disaster preparedness information and teaching classes in first aid and other lifesaving skills, to help keep families like yours safer. For more information, please contact your local American Red Cross.
-- argh (email@example.com), March 11, 1999
"For more information, please contact your local American Red Cross."
I did contact our local Red Cross...they told my husband it was just a bunch of hype.
I'm sure not all "local" Red Crosses are the same, but just a tip that some are run by clueless, careless DGI's too.
-- Cary Mc from Tx (Caretha@compuserve.com), March 11, 1999.
>"Feds unhappy with Red Cross for not spouting party line?" >Perhaps there is a little government unhappiness with the Red Cross for not knuckling under completely?
That the recommendations on the FEMA and Red Cross sites differ does not imply that there is unhappiness on the federal side. In fact, the feds may actually be happy that the Red Cross advocates more preparation than they do, because that relieves some pressure for the feds to make more "alarmist" recommendations!
Do you have evidence that there is federal unhappiness with the Red Cross over its Y2k recommendations?
-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), March 11, 1999.
No Spam Please: No, I have no evidence that there is federal unhappiness over Red Cross Y2K prep suggestions. I am just comparing the two pamphlets and noting that the Red Cross acknowledges that the situation could be more dire then the feds (via FEMA) acknowledge. To wit: FEMA says:
The President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion says the transition to Y2K is not a cause for you to disrupt your life. "There is no indication that there will be major national disruptions in key infrastructures such as electric power, telecommunications, banking, and transportation, and most local authorities are leading aggressive efforts to solve the problem ," John Koskinen, chairman of the President's Council, says...
While the Red Cross says:
No one knows what problems may occur, how widespread they may be, or how long they will last...
Hearings have been conducted by the United States Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem and have focused on the following eight areas: Utilities and the national power grid; International banking and finance; Health care; Transportation; Telecommunications; Pension and mutual funds; Emergency planning ; General business . The potential effect of the Y2K technology problem on any of these areas is unknown...
For example, in some areas, electrical power may be unavailable for some time. Manufacturing and production industries may be disrupted. Roads may be closed or gridlocked if traffic signals are disrupted. Electronic credit card transactions may not be processed. Telephone systems may not work. Because no one can be certain about the effects of the Y2K problem, the American Red Cross has developed the following checklist for you...
Be prepared to relocate to a shelter for warmth and protection during a prolonged power outage or if for any other reason local officials request or require that you leave your home. Listen to a battery-operated radio or television for information about where shelters will be available. (end)
Then when you exit the FEMA website and click on the link that FEMA provides for the Red Cross, you see a FEMA message regarding the Red Cross website: ...FEMA does not necessarily endorse the views expressed or the facts presented on this site...
And yes, what you say may very well be true. It may all be part of a federal game plan to slowly, slowly ramp up awareness rather then panicikng people all at once. But at this point, I fall more on the side that the feds are struggling mightily to forestall panic because of fear of bank/market runs etc.. That's why they talk about toasters & VCR's.
The Red Cross info is slightly more alarming to a DGI, I think, (being relocated to a shelter) and therefore perhaps more useful in educating people. As a member of my village governments Y2K committee, which was only formed after I hounded the mayor for a couple of months and to which I was subsequently appointed for citizen input, I had to fight to get the village to mail out a notice to residents and businesses (population 2,500) about possible Y2K problems. I included the FEMA & Red Cross telephone numbers on the notice so that people could call and request both pamphlets, hoping a few might be nudged from their complacency. argh
-- argh (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 11, 1999.
cary: I contacted my local chapter also. They mailed me their Y2K brochure, and without my asking, they threw in a bunch of pamphlets about general emergency preparations as well. Must have been a GI.
-- argh (email@example.com), March 11, 1999.
If FEMA really was unhappy with the Red Cross's Y2k recommendations, it wouldn't provide a link to the Red Cross recommendations in the first place, or would remove a link it already had.
>Then when you exit the FEMA website and click on the link that FEMA provides for the Red Cross, you see a FEMA message regarding the Red Cross website: ...FEMA does not necessarily endorse the views expressed or the facts presented on this site...
That is a standard protective legal statement of the sort that appears on lots of governmental web sites that link to some other site outside the government. It wasn't drafted because of some FEMA / Red Cross disagreement. I've seen dozens of similar disclaimers elsewhere.
Did you try the links from the FEMA site to any other site not in a .gov domain?
If you try clicking on any of FEMA's links to "Federal Aviation Administration's Year 2000 Web Site", "National Association of Counties Y2K Information", "Y2KTask Force for Canadian Government/Industry", or "Year 2000 Canadian Federal Government Site", on the same page as its link to the Red Cross, you get the same disclaimer (only the URL differs) as you get when you click on the FEMA link to the "American Red Cross Y2K Information".
Do you think FEMA is unhappy with the Y2k stance of the FAA, the National Association of Counties, and the Canadian government?
-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), March 11, 1999.
Thanks for the enlightenment on the FEMA disclaimer.
-- argh (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 11, 1999.
Washington, January 6, 1999 -- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials are urging the emergency management, fire and emergency services communities and the public to get ready now for Y2K.
Got that? Get READY NOW!
"Every community, every organization and every individual has an obligation to learn more about their vulnerabilities and take action to prevent potential problems before they occur." Walker said. "Potential problems need to be identified and addressed now."
Look at that last line and read it over again outloud. "Potential problems need to be identified and addressed now."
Get Ready, Get Set............
How will Y2K Affect You?
So how will Y2K affect you? You might not notice it, but little things may happen. Think about all of the things around you that use computers. You wake up in the morning to an electric clock, watch a videotape in your VCR on your TV, play video games, and heat up your dinner in a microwave oven. All of these machines and many other household appliances use a computer chip. Also, most businesses use computers every day. Your bank, your grocery store, and your schools use computers. Police stations, fire stations, and hospitals use computers to help people. If all of those computers make small mistakes, there could be a lot of little problems.
These little problems could affect you in many different ways. You may not have electricity for a day or two. Your computer might add numbers wrong if dates are involved. Some stores might not be able to get in your favorite books and games for you and your friends to buy. All in all, though, the Y2K computer problem should not be a disaster. It will not blow up your computer, and it is not likely to cause serious damage in your community. With everyone helping, it might not even cause any little problems.
So, how can you help? You can help by asking the people around you about the computers they use. Ask your parents if your home computer has been tested for the Y2K problem. Ask your teachers if the computers at school have been tested. If you have a favorite store, have your parents ask the store manager about their computers. By asking people, you make them aware that there might be a problem so that they can fix it in time.
You can also help by preparing for some of the problems you might have. Imagine that you are going to be living in your home without electricity for a few days. Ask your parents to get the things you would need if a storm knocked out your electricity for a day - flashlights, batteries, a battery powered radio, food, water, candles, and maybe some board and card games. Even if the electricity does not go off, it is always useful to have such things around the house. If all of us work together, the Y2K computer problem can be fixed.
Seems like the FEMA message is to prepare. Ther're even willing to use CHILDREN to manipulate their parents in to preparing.
"Ask your parents to get the things you would need if a storm knocked out your electricity for a day - flashlights, batteries, a battery powered radio, food, water, candles, and maybe some board and card games."
Without someone shouting from the rooftop of your local Sam's, or Costco, do you think the language could be made any clearer?
Let's not quibble about for how many days to prepare for, just do it now, per FEMA.
-- Tom McDowell (email@example.com), March 11, 1999.
Having read the Red Cross suggested preps a couple month's ago, I notice their digital message IS getting stonger.
Perhaps, they know they take a fair sized $$ "hit" for all the Y2K unprepared. Far more cost-effective, for them, to advocate general preps now.
FEMA advocates, it just doesn't effectively mass market their message.
-- Diane J. Squire (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 11, 1999.
FEMA is _always below the fold.
Best Regards, Tom McDowell
-- Tom McDowell (BullRiver@Montana.com), March 11, 1999.