Community Leaders Cite Need For Community Awareness Of Y2K (Recommends One Month Stockpile) (USIA) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Remember, this meeting took place in D.C. A very Y2K troubled city.

Also find it "interesting" that a reporter from the USIA (United States Information Agency) attended.


(Suggest stockpiling for at least one month) (520)
By Anita Santos
USIA Staff Writer

Washington -- A panel of community leaders have cited the importance of rising Y2K awareness in all sectors of society and offered guidelines for individual preparedness.

In an April 28 panel discussion sponsored by George Washington University, the Y2K activists also recognized the need for a more effective way of marketing their cause and expressed concern with the running of basic services in the first weeks of the year 2000.

They also discussed the best strategies to make the consequences of a potential mass failure of computers following the year 2000 date change known to the public.

The community leaders cited the low level of interest on the subject as one of their main problems. Because even the experts are not certain of what is going to happen to computer systems, and consequently to all sorts of services that depend on them -- from communication satellites to hospital equipment to fire control systems -- the public becomes confused on what to expect and often chooses to ignore the problem.

Jim Crawford, director of a Southern Maryland action committee on Y2K and one of the panelists, advised the common citizen to do at least two things: be preventive and stockpile necessary consumer items for at least a month, and ask questions at work about what their company is doing do deal with Y2K problems.

"The more people asking questions, the more likely we are to have recognition of the problem and begin to have things fixed," Crawford said. "The awareness will simply increase."

Having a well-know figure speaking about the potential disruptions of services and the need for contingency planning would also be an effective way of getting attention to the subject, said another panelist.

"We need a more efficient marketing strategy," he said. "Credible leaders and speakers are important -- you need somebody who is a moderate influence to speak up."

The community leaders suggested that small groups could be very effective in informing and educating citizens and small businesses on Y2K issues. The groups should first educate themselves, then find out what the managers of their city and the local industries and businesses are doing to prevent Y2K disruptions.

After the groups feel familiar with the topic and have enough useful information to share, they should talk to people one-on-one or distribute pamphlets in the neighborhoods, the panelists advised. Group discussions and websites can also be helpful tools to prepare for the millennium bug, as Y2K is also known.

Separately focusing on sectors such as the banking system, food supply, health care and electricity can be effective in terms of information organization, but the community leaders alerted the audience to the fact that these sectors are all interdependent and if one does not function well, the others most likely will suffer some sort of disruption.

"When businesses realize how dependent they are on their infrastructure, they will start taking action," said Lois Saboe, director of National Y2K Civic Leadership Initiative and the event's moderator.

-- Diane J. Squire (, May 01, 1999


Curious about the ... National Y2K Civic Leadership Initiative?

A search found this message ...

Lowell_y2k Re: National Y2K Civic Leadership Initiative


... There are many efforts in the formative stages. The Civic Leadership initiative has been around for many months. Recently we decided to try to bring the many independent initiatives together to coordinate, collaborate, and network. That is what this is all about. As part of this we will try to get everyone "in the loop".

The "National Y2K Civic Leadership Initiative" is a relatively small group of well intended souls. Most of the work and ideas are those of Lois Saboe. Her group has been involved with the new "35th Sector" of the President's Commission since the formative stages. This "35th Sector" was called "National Work Group for Non-Profit and Philanthropic Organizations" but it now appears destined to become "community planning" or "Community Resilience". The Civic Leadership Initiative is playing a "facilitative role" as the attachment said. The President's Commission has made it clear that they think that we (governments, businesses, and the many civic and non-governmental organizations) need to take care of ourselves. They are helping in awareness and in other indirect ways and have championed these independent efforts. The administration is not controlling, leading, or otherwise running things. Basically, they will be at the table but not involved beyond that. ...


Steve Davis

Steve Daviss Coalition 2000 group is at ...< /a>

-- Diane J. Squire (, May 01, 1999.

Youll note on Steve Daviss home page the links to Koskinens President's Y2K Council.

Perhaps, to better understand what Koskinens group will be offering in terms of community preparedness ... this summer ... it would be wise to look closely at Steves Coalition.

(Hint: hes one of the good guys ... with interesting connections).


See ...

Community Conversations

We are proud to be helping the President's Y2K Council with their Community Conversations initiative. Read a draft of the national Community Conversations document in rich text format. (Note: the hot links not working to the draft file:///C:/WEBSHARE/WWWROOT/c2000/ national.rtf)

President's Y2K Council

Conference Calls

We have now established a regular conference call with the assistance of the President's Y2K Council to facilitate an open dialogue among all participants in Y2K community preparedness. (This is not limited to Coalition participants.) To participate in this discussion send you name, phone, and e-mail address to Jason McNamara at

Community Preparedness Guidelines Revised

At the March 24th meeting of the Coalition we agreed that it was time to move beyond trying to agree on a number of days to prepare for. The one thing that we can all agree on is that we need to universally increase preparedness efforts. As a result, we have revised the Community Preparedness Guidelines based on this concept. This document continues to set the standard for prudent and appropriate community preparedness guidance - tell us what you think.


... This document is intended as Y2K community preparedness guidance for local government and civic leaders. If this message can be delivered clearly and consistently, it will enable local leaders to move forward with emergency and community preparedness efforts. This document is based on Federal Emergency Management Agency and Red Cross guidelines for both Y2K and natural disasters. It is important to note that the level of preparedness will need to be determined based on local conditions and ongoing risk assessments. Please note that preparedness will enable us to deal with shortages or disruptions that may be felt in either a natural disaster or a technological failure. ...

See also ...

The National Y2K Civic Leadership Initiative is also mentioned on the Coalition Participants list.

Interesting group.


-- Diane J. Squire (, May 01, 1999.

 Koskinen has been dropping hints in the last month or three about industry - community awareness and that this summer there will be what I like to call Koshinen and the full monty :o)

A few snips.

Special Feature, 4/19/99, TMF Radio Show Interview With John Koskinen, Chairman of the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion

Koskinen: My world. And we think that's important information for people to have. We're not going to be able to do that across the country company by company. So what we hope to do with the working relationship we have with the major industry groups is get them to encourage all of their members to participate at the local level in these conversations, to get all of the elected public officials to talk not only about what they're doing with public safety and all of the other services they provide, but to in fact provide forums where instead of everybody in the country having to call their telephone company there'll be places to go to get information in some detail about how they're doing and when they're going to be done.

Y2K Today

We've got a website and hotline where we're putting out information, and we're also going to run these programs this summer, where we're going to try to get every major industry association and their members to participate in these discussions. And it won't just be, okay, here's a report; we want real discussions where people can ask their bank or their power company, "Okay, what's your plan look like? What problems did you have? How much money did you budget, and how much have you spent?" y2k/y2k01.pdf


Finally, regulated facilities must also
compile a risk management plan (RMPlan) which consists of a
description of the facilitys RMProgram (i.e., the hazard
assessment, the prevention program, and the emergency response
program). The regulation also requires that the RMPlan be
submitted to the EPA no later than June 21, 1999. EPA plans to
make the RMPlan available to the public.


Another important consideration is that the RMPlans will be
available in June 1999 when the general awareness about Y2K
will be significantly elevated. It is quite likely that these two
issues will be linked for facilities regulated through the
RMProgram. Facilities should therefore expect public queries
regarding their Y2K readiness.

The federal strategy is to provide the public with candid
information and assessments of Y2K compliance status 4 .

4 John Koskinen, Chair of the Presidents Council on the Year 2000 Conversion, Opening remarks at the Y2K Expert Workshop
held in Washington, DC on December 18, 1998.

 The Presidents Council on Year 2000 Conversion
Second Summary of Assessment  Information

Finally, the Council will launch an initiative
this summer to increase Y2K information
sharing at the local level, where many of the
everyday services people rely upon such as
power and water treatment are provided. The
goal of the initiative is to have local
government officials and service providers
hold "community conversations" with
constituents and customers to explain the range
of their organization's Y2K activities and the
outlook for continuity of local services during
the Y2K transition. This information,
combined with national assessments, will give
citizens a more complete picture of what
challenges the Y2K problem may pose to their
communities and serve as the basis for local
preparedness planning.

-- Brian (, May 01, 1999.

It's all in the "timing" isn't it, Brian.

And of course, WHAT, they say.


-- Diane J. Squire (, May 01, 1999.


The gist of it as I understand is that the entities must have the communities safety as the first consern and these contingency statements will be in the public domain for the communities consideration. I like the idea.

-- Brian (, May 02, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ