Hartford, CT Community Conversations 6/7: Summary of Question Suggestions

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OK, this is last new thread on this topic (I promise...)

Below are the questions suggested thus far. If you are going tonite, you might want to print this and take it along.

Thanks to everyone for their help. We'll let you know how it goes....


I think the biggest thing you may be able to get them doing is acknowledging the international problems. Get them to prognosticate on their current assessments, especially impact on the supply chains and global trading situation.

Then ask them to explain "how" they think the overseas situation will impact us domestically.

Ask them too, to better explain their "one-size-fits-all" 3-day Y2K preparation recommendations, when they've already admitted that problems will be localized and of unknown duration.

Ask "what" circumstances would cause Koskinen to suggest "more" than a three-day's preps.

See if there is a "way" to get him to admit there are unknown events that require more than the "average" readiness.

Good luck!

(Sure hope he makes it to the S.F. Bay Area).



Here's one:

Why is it, if government and industry come up with fallback failure operating procedures, it's "contingency planning", but if I do it, it's "panic" or "hoarding"?

-- Dan Webster


Why are the British and Canadian government sponsoring extensive public education/preparation programs?

It seems from information found at the National Retailers Federation web site that the vast majority of point of sale equipment (1997 80%) was not compliant. Spot checks of a few major manufactureres showed that they weren't even testing many cash registers for compliance. Should small to medium sized retailers replace their cash registers?

Hypothetical question to the panel: You are an urban apartment dwelling couple in New England with an infant, a preschooler, four elderly parents nearby, no fireplace, gas heat. How would you prepare? When?

Recently, three polls or studies of IS staff in the US Fortune 500 appeared in the New York times. All showed that deadlines are slipping, budgets are rising, and up to 22% did not expect to finish critical systems by January 1. Do you feel that the publicly reported corporate compliance figures can be trusted?

The council has stated that all US Government critical systems will be ready on time. How many federal systems in total require remediation, and how many are considered "critical"?

-- Lewis


Bill, Make a list of different questions that concern you by matter of importance. There is the possibility that others will ask some of your questions (and recieve answers) before you have the chance. The main questions will be;

Power- fuel supply backups for them, what method are used to deliver those supplies.

water- ask if your water is "gravity fed" or needs "technical help" to get to your home.

Hospitals- ask if there is a "central" group overseeing ALL of the hospitals in your area and what are their findings. Also ask if thety have a "site" for people to get this info. If they do not, ask them to do it.

comunications- this area is one of the least to worry about as there have been few problems.

Emergencies- 911, fire and life support (aid cars etc) police. Ask what their Y2K status is and how they can be contacted if the poer is out or the phone lines are too busy to contact them.

-- Cherri


Mr. Koskinen states, "Clearly, especially if people start these conversations as we hope they will do in June, they should not expect, and I don't think the public does expect everybody to be done then." First question: Didn't you attempt to reassure us that most would meet June deadlines? Second question: Don't you think that MOST believe the work has already been finished? Isn't that what we've been told? Lastly Mr. Koskinen, allow me to tell you just ONE thing that *I* expected, sir. I expected that my Government would have gone to far greater lengths to let people know some of the things they COULD be expecting long,long before now. (feel better now Cherri?)

-- Will continue


one fun one to ask is how many pumping stations are there in the sewer system? I've talked to more than one individual who has led their town's putative leadership into suddenly realizing that sewers often contain PLCs as well...



A good way to look at your local preparedness is to find out the information Hospitals have on local utilities, business, govenment. As it is critical they have acurate information to assess the risks they might get clearer answers than the average Joe.

If the hospital infomation doesn't jive with the offical line of the critical entities then you have problems. Might be a way to narrow in on the lagging efforts.

May I also mention that lawyers are community members also and if a group can find helpfull legal advice at Pro Bono rates one may attract the attention of local governments - utilities. Lawyers would know some tough questions eh? :o)

Identify the really critical stuff, anything that is a hazard in the local area is a risk. Ask for binding documents from these entities and if they are not forth comming, go to the press.

If you understand the Y2K problem then educate the press in your area. Email them imformation and CC the local goverment, legal, utilities in the area as a record that everyone has been informed. Use information from GAO reports and other Government documents showing the risks. Don't forget the SEC Y2K filings from local corps. in your area. Lots of relevent information on there.

All entities are required to provide the community with contingency plans, expect a detailed community response by the Entity involved. It must contain recommendations on what local area residents should do in the event of a failure.

Ask about duration of failure. Do they have plans for a failure that is a month or longer?

To ask the right questions in your local area one must educate and be educated on the issues that Y2K represents.

Some thoughts.

-- Brian


If I get a chance to ask a question:

In March the Senate Y2K Committee issued a major report which stated, "The fundamental questions of risk and personal preparedness cannot be answered at this time."

On the very day that report came out, gov't officials, led by our own Sen. Dodd, began proclaiming, "Prepare as you would for a 3-day snow storm."

My question has two parts: First, if the fundamental question of personal preparedness could not be answered at that time, how did Sen. Dodd and others arrive at their 3-day recommendation?

And secondly, since a recommendation to prepare for a 3-day storm is essentially a recommendation to do nothing -- as most homes already have 3 days worth of food, etc. -- when will gov't officials, including Sen. Dodd, offer a recommendation which will actually prompt citizens to do something?

-- Bill Dunn


As I noted in another thread, my experience with a recent community conversation (reps from utilities, telcos, city, etc.) was rather unsatisfactory. They completely controlled the question period (in writing and time was kept very short) and my simple question about project status was intentionally not asked (the "keeper of the questions" stated as much).

Go with this in mind: you will in all likelihood not be allowed to publicly ask hard questions. You may, however, have an opportunity to chat with some of the reps "offline" (at a break, f'rinstance), as I did. Should this happen, be polite and understanding, not confrontational. Talk with them, person-to-person. Have your conversation at this level. This was all that I took away from the session, but at least it was not a complete waste of time.

-- Mac


Hi Bill,

JIT, just in time systems are based on hind sight knowledge as you know.

My questions are related to JIT systems, locally, nationally and Internationally.:

How are JIT systems going to cope with Y2K for which we have no clear understanding of possible outcomes, no surplus capacity to move anything.. even transport to cope with more than ordinary system flaws (which will continue anyway)?

We will need the surplus to feed those who have not prepared or cannot prepare.

-- Bob Barbour


Sorry Bill, I know this isn't what you're looking for but, If I could attend, I'd ask them when they're going to start acting like fellow Americans, in a tough position, rather than spoiled children clinging to thier stash of lolli-pops! Are we ALL in this together, or am I just kidding myself into believing that this country stands for something MORE than pocket-books? Maybe the joke is, there aren't enough of us who feel that way anymore. (athletic, large men in dark suits with dark glasses, approach woman in the back rows and calmly ask, in monitone voice, "would you please follow me miss")

-- Will continue


-- Lewis (aslanshow@yahoo.com), June 07, 1999


Bill, Questions: If, as you say, Y2K is no big deal, why are companies like General Motors spending 100's of millions of dollars to be sure they and all (100%) of there suppliers are (100%) compliant? Second, why is the Federal Reserve system demanding 100% compliance from all banks that deal with it or face expulsion from their network (banking)? The only agency of any public consequence promoting their compliance is the Fed. Why do you think they are being so heavy handed in dealing with the money interests of this country? Are they afraid of corrupted data destroying the whole financial system?

-- rob (rgt350@aol.com), June 07, 1999.

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