Organised Panic or the Y2K Wave in NZ : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

What do the planners think of organised panic.

Sent this to the NZ Y2K Readiness Commission.

To whom it may concern:

I think "motivated action" is what is required. A strong sense of urgency and the shortness of available time.

A secular wave of feeling with the kind of fervour generated by a Billy Graham figure.

My view is that each area across the country could be organised into acting much like a national Mexican wave, call it a Y2K Wave. Some additional coordination would be required to ensure that the wave of supplies went out to stores ahead of time and all the hands lifted goods in sequence across the land. The sequence is important to ensure that surplus transport can do the JIT job now, (wont do it in the future after 2000).

Since the turnover would be increased I cannot see resistence from the retailer. An additional welfare payment could be made to the dependent on a specific day and strong social pressure applied to ensure that the funds went in the right direction.

In the spirit of promoting self sufficiency such "motivated action" may just work.

It certainly beats the disruption likely if preps are not being carried out in time.

A special person will be needed to front this kind of effort.

Any hands up for a place in History?

Got this reply:

Dear Bob

You raise some valid points in your email; all of which will be addressed by the Commission's Public Information Programme, scheduled to begin in July. Our aim is inform the public as to what risks they may have to manage and how to prepare for Y2K disruptions without causing over-reaction. Whilst I believe we have all the issues you raise covered your comments are much appreciated and I will pass them on to the others involved in the Information Programme.


Philippa Cooper Y2K Readiness Commission Email:

There may be stuff turning up here that others could use so I will post relevant stuff later.

-- Bob Barbour (, May 27, 1999


I'm puzzled.

Are you talking about some kind of bucket-brigade of trucks, haul the beans from the bean-growing region, then hauling canned meat the other way, on the return trip from grazing areas, after dropping the beans?

If that's the idea, I like it.

You thinking of citizen action groups to help store owners or bulk breakers, to handle the increased workload, to man the loading docks, etc?

For the last couple years I've been trying to get people to stock up. For most it seems to be something dirty, like pulling your money out of the bank. Go figure.

It also seems like the only way to move food through the pipeline is to BUY it. Even if I want New York to have enough beans, there's no way some bean farmer is going to load up a dozen semi's and start them rolling, on the chance someone in NY will send back money. So the only way to move food is to pull it.

Please show me how this might fit your picture. How do we start the bucket brigade without having a purchase order first? Or maybe we DO have a PO.

Keep talking -- I'm listening.


-- bw (home@puget.sound), May 27, 1999.

Hi bw,

H'mm, Just a sketch of the ideas follows. I was talking about the problem of setting up the conditions so that people can buy more than they normally would so they would have the extra they will need should things get as bad as some of us expect. The standard prep issue looked at from a national/global scale.

JIT is about supply and demand. it works on hindsight. JIT will not handle foresight issues, neither will the invisible hand of the market. They both work on hindsight.

Our stores/economy works on Just in Time (JIT) production, transport and stocking systems. The whole transport system in finely tuned to support JIT. Any serious attempt to encourage extra purchasing has to take JIT into account. The JIT issue runs right through the supply chain. In essence what is required is an extra ordinary increase in supply so that a wave is generated throughout the supply chain now so that a little is left unconsumed in ALL the homes across the nation for later.

Hence my concept of the Y2K Wave.

The Wave has a number of elements already suggested:

these are:

tight time scale, we all know about this, but something like the Y2K Wave must happen before Year 2000 because it will be almost impossible afterwards.

supply, extra is needed over and above what is currently available in stores on a regular basis (otherwise shortages will arise)

infrastructure, extra transport, coordination and scheduling is required to move the supply from sources to destinations across the nation.

restraint, has a number of facets: acceptance by people that they need to set aside personal resources for the future and defer normal buying patterns to cover a possible event. acceptance by people that their Y2K needs may not be met right now, today, but will over the course of the coming months if the Y2K Wave can be made to work. acceptance that there will be enough and there is no need to panic during the passing of a Y2K Wave in a particular area/state/region/city/country.

political legitimacy, the Y2K Wave concept will require political will and at global national and local levels. The concept requires a setting aside of partisan issues. At issue here is national survival.

Because the infrastructure systems have little surplus capacity the supply chain over most of the country will have to continue a usual. Additional capacity will have to be organised and coordinated so that each region/area/city/ contributes their surplus production and transport resources. Only through nationally coordinated sharing of resources will each region/area/city get access to the extra so that the commodities (mainly food/water/candles) can get delivered ahead of time.

The problem is unprecedented and so must be the solution.

-- Bob Barbour (, May 27, 1999.

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