Theory=90% of all Individual Preparation Has Been Completedgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
My feeling? Prep fever is over. Most peopleThe FEMA/Corporate message has prevailed. FEMA/Corp. has not only stepped up its information campaign, it has refined it. This, coupled with the American public's anemic attention span, has put y2k back in the box, for better or worse.
History will show that y2k fever peaked just before the Time cover story.
There seem to be lot of parallels between Clinton's management of his public relations and the y2k. Leaving partisan politics out of it, I think Clinton did a remarkable job of holding on to office. In early 1998, Sam Donaldson and others were predicting he'd be out of office within a week, yet through steady denial and by attacking the opponents, Clinton outlasted the public attention span.
FEMA has not been battling nearly as long as Clinton did, but FEMA started with a lot more credibility, and FEMA may, in fact, be absolutely correct in its assessments. For this reason, FEMA's battle for public opinion lasted about 3 months, whereas Clinton had to battle for much longer to wear down his opponent.
There could still be some shortages before January, because the y2k preppers (like those on this forum) are not going away, and many specialty items have a limited supply; small denomination gold, certain generators, limited production lanterns, certain photovoltaic panels, etc. No investor is going to spend $10,000,000 on a PV production facility between now and January, so supply will be somewhat limited.
We're still on the back stretch of the bell lap. Things could change. But that's the way I call it at this stage of the race.
-- Puddintame (email@example.com), March 23, 1999
I wouldn't be surprised if the people on this forum had finished 90% of their personal preparations (not counting, of course, the people who occasionally show up on the forum to announce that they're adamantly opposed to the idea!). But my guess is that the people on this forum are representative of only 1-2% of the overall population...
The numbers are slowly growing, though. One of the recent Y2K community meetings in my town attracted 5% of the population ... and if they each have a spouse or "significant other" at home, that might well mean that 10% of the population is now listening closely to the Y2K situation.
I think it might take only one or two "serious" events to change the mood of the public, and send them all down to the local grocery store en masse. Look how much of a fuss has been made of the NJ food-stamp problem; it's apparently takes up much of the front page of the second section of today's New York Times. And that's just one bug in one system, which affected a mere 180,000 people and potentially cost the state a mere $49 million. Wait until 46 states experience their FY rollover in one swell foop on July 1 ... if we have a dozen or more situations similar to the NJ food-stamp problem, I think you'll find a very strong shift of opinions...
-- Ed Yourdon (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 23, 1999.
Human action occurs in waves. This is reflected vividly in stock markets and in most other markets. The phases are act, reflect, act, reflect-----------
This may be a reflection phase. Time will tell.
-- Watchful (email@example.com), March 23, 1999.
I generally agree we are in a quiet period, but I think there are at least 3 events that could greatly change all this:
1. A slowly developing cash shortage, especially small denomination bills ($1 and $5). I still believe that there are an inordinate numbers of really mangy $5 bills out there and that people will eventually notice this and be concerned.
2. A deteriorating stock market that even the media can't adequately contribute to non-Y2K factors. (Unless, of course, we are skyrocketing towards Dow 15,000 later this year!)
3. Although I'm not expecting this to happen, if the NRC closes any or enough nukes to affect generator capacity (and if people realize there is a capacity issue), then I think there would be a reaction to this as well.
4. Plus, with winter approaching, it will be getting colder and a springtime-type optimism will no longer prevail.
Of course, that backs into the busy holiday times. Perhaps there will be a market for Y2K Personal Shoppers by then for those few items that are still available!
-- Brooks (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 23, 1999.
We are a generation of procrastinators and foolish thinkers. April 15 (tax day) is just a few days away and what do we see on the news that day? The local news photographing people and the long lines at the post office dropping off something they should have done a month ago. I'm afraid there will be millions that will be left a day late and a dollar short. I know there are people in my community that are preparing, but not enough of them. I know my local government is preparing, but not in ways that will be beneficial to it's citizens, the word is everyone is on their own. I believe there are going to be more surprises headed our way and I'm confident that my preparations will pay off.
-- bardou (email@example.com), March 23, 1999.
Ed's right, more or less...although we're *still* only at about 40 percent of where we need to be by the end of the year (but a lot of stuff in transit, as it were). More to the point, though, I keep seeing references to prep efforts slowing down, when in fact what I'm seeing is just the reverse - folks who weren't even interested in listening six months ago are now starting to take their preparations seriously...from where I stand I see more folks preparing now than ever before...and more becoming aware that it's gotta be done BEFORE December.
-- Arlin H. Adams (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 23, 1999.
I agree with Ed Y, though my evidence is anecdotal. I see "quiet", major moves towards preparation taking place among my wealthy business friends (at least) for the first time, with respect to energy, food and, especially, investments. This now includes some Wall Streeters. They're not pulling the trigger all the way, but they are getting trigger-happy. And very nervous.
I still think we're home "free" until September or October with respect to panic and mass prep, but I would not be surprised to see a weird Y2K event change that in a hurry.
-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), March 23, 1999.
I have little doubt that Puddintame, Ed, Bigdog, et al are right. Theres probably a FEW like me, who really only started 1/99. But of all the new people who WERE interested/concerned about Y2K, only I and my brother are preparing.
In other words, there are extremely few new people becoming GIs compared to the general pop, even if they were originally concerned.
-- Jon Johnson (email@example.com), March 23, 1999.
I personally can't agree that "Prep fever is over". Although I might slack off thinking about Y2K for several hours during work, certain thoughts or sights will trigger an impulse for me to refocus upon planning the next things to accomplish. Obviously, I'm infected with this Y2K prep bug, but I'm not always feverish. :)
However, I concur with you in general; most people I've encountered are tired of the whole matter; those who stocked up on some items feel they've taken sufficient precautions and will gradually add to their provisions, but they're not fanatical; others say they will do something later in the year. The rest are DGIs.
Although I see none other locally stocking on my level, I'm consistently stocking up until the stocks crash down.
So if prep fever is over now, then when the panic starts, it could be considered a "chronic reinfection".
-- dinosaur (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 25, 1999.
Maybe for some, 90% is finished, for others it is just beginning. Upon heading home today from my business trip there were 4 new GI's in W.Virginia area, 1 in Pitts, and 2 in Ohio.....They were making their lists to get started since they were "way behind"....I counted that as a really exciting week!!:>
-- Moore Dinty moore (email@example.com), March 25, 1999.
If we can gauge interest in prep by the number of busy signals we get from this forum, then I think preppers have increased since the infamous Time article in which Mr. McCullagh played a proud part. Newbies: see thread
For myself, we have to slow down tremendously because the house is on the market and we can't clutter it up any more than it already is. (The expensive, rented, climate-controlled, 10 x 15 storage room is FULL of clutter and the bulk of our Y2K supplies!)
-- Old Git (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 26, 1999.
IMHO, many people's idea of y2k preparation is to take their money out of the bank, maybe after mostly opting out of the markets. They're leaving this till later,(silly them.) This aspect of y2k preps has hardly begun.
-- humpty (email@example.com), March 26, 1999.