30% in U.S. to stockpile for Y2K

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There are several threads below talking about this poll. Here is the article in USA Today:

07/23/99- Updated 05:25 PM ET

Poll: 30% in U.S. to stockpile for Y2K

WASHINGTON (AP) - Almost one-third of Americans, anticipating problems from the Y2K computer bug, plan to stock up on food, water and other supplies, and one-quarter of the population will take extra money out of the bank, an Associated Press poll found.

Most Americans -- 66% -- expect only minor problems when computer programs try to deal with the new millennium, but many are joining Julie Alexander in playing it safe.

''I thought I might keep my shelves better stocked,'' said the woman from Strafford, Mo., among the 31% planning to set aside provisions. ''We probably will have extra cash on hand.''

Don Haynes, an Elmira, N.Y., construction worker, plans to be even more cautious with his money.

''I'm going to leave the minimum in the bank to keep the account open,'' Haynes said. ''When I get my first statement in January of 2000, I will say, 'OK, I guess I'm going to trust you guys' and put it back in.''

The poll of 1,008 adults, conducted for the AP by ICR of Media, Pa., found that women (38%) were much more likely than men (23%) to stock up on supplies. In addition, 42% of blacks planned to take precautions, compared with 29% of all others.

The federal government has been working to fix potential Y2K problems in its computers and advising state and local governments and private businesses to do the same.

Without fixes, many computers -- originally programmed to recognize only the last two digits of a year -- will not work properly beginning Jan. 1, 2000, when those machines will assume it is 1900.

Overall, 66% said they expected the Y2K bug would cause only minor problems in the United States and 18% thought there would be no problems at all, while 11% expected major problems. People 65 years old and older were twice as likely as those under 35 to expect no problems from the computer glitch, with about one-fifth of the older Americans saying there would be no problem.

While a majority didn't expect the problems to be serious, there was widespread belief that they would be pesky. Thirty percent said they expected Y2K problems would last for a week or two at the start of the year, while another 32% said the problems would persist longer.

Fears about the banking system may not be warranted because that is one business that has worked hard to prepare, said a government expert on the Y2K bug.

''If we're confident about any industry, we're confident about the banking industry,'' said John Koskinen, chairman of the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion.

Still, the poll found three out of 10 respondents said banks would be most at risk because of the Y2K bug. Nearly as many said they believed the power supply would be the most at risk.

''I expect in the year 2000 ... computers are going to be a little haywire,'' said 46-year-old Rosalinda Tostado, a Chicago health clinic administrator. ''We work with a lot of computers and we always have problems.''

At her clinic, the staff is preparing to dispense medicine and keep records by hand rather than relying on computers at the start of the year, if necessary.

But for 68-year-old housewife Sarah O'Farrell of Montgomery, Ala., the publicity about Y2K seems exaggerated.

''Everybody is preparing for it,'' she said. ''But I don't think it will have too much effect.''

O'Farrell says she doesn't use computers and ''doesn't intend to because I have a brain,'' though her daughter has a degree in computer science and her grandchildren use them.

The experts say it's prudent to be prepared for some problems, even if they aren't major.

''We don't think there will be significant failures in the national infrastructure,'' Koskinen said. ''The power grids look like they will hold, telecommunications nationally will function ... and the Federal Aviation Administration is announcing that they're done.''

But he said it's harder to tell what will happen locally.

The telephone poll was taken July 16-21 and has an error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

USA Today

-- Gayla (privacy@please.com), July 24, 1999



They say "plan" to or "will" or "maybe". WHEN?

Can you say "stampede"?


-- Sally Strackbein (sally@y2kkitchen.com), July 24, 1999.

They PLAN to stock up by the end of the year just like all the companies, industries, banks, and governments PLAN to be "ready" by the end of the year.

I'm picturing.. oh.. say... Noah's Ark. Ark is built. Miles and miles from anyplace to sail it. Sun is shining. No water in sight.

One crazy guy (and perhaps his somewhat grumpy wife) are busy stocking the place with pallets and pallets of food, clothes, hay, whatever. Not a cloud in sight.

Starts to rain. No problem. Good for crops. Old crazy guy keeps shopping and stocking up.

Isolated reports of flooding. No problem here. Old crazy guy heads back to Sams/Costco and picks up some guns/ammunition at Walmart.

Sun comes out again. See... no problem. The few people who got a few supplies when they heard about the floods eat them up at the post-flood party.

Old crazy guy hears the weather report. Heads back to Costco/Sams/Walmart.. more stuff. Wife frowns.

Starts raining again. No problem. Good for crops. Isolated flooding. No problem. Sun came out last time didn't it?

Keeps raining. Roads washed out. No one can get to the Ark. Old Crazy guy sails away.


Alternate ending.... Old crazy guy, his wife and many, many others killed in stampede to get into the Ark as floodwaters rise. Ark damaged in the stampede. Sinks. TEOTWAWKI

-- Linda (lwmb@psln.com), July 24, 1999.

Gayla, this 30% stockpiling figure is NOT REAL!

The actual percentage is LESS! In my neck of the woods the DGIs are smug and confident. IF there MIGHT be future problems, then they MIGHT consider stocking up on some provisions. Until that perilous day arrives, they are watching, waiting, wondering...but they are NOT stockpiling.

They don't have a clue!

-- Randolph (dinosaur@williams-net.com), July 24, 1999.

Alas, I am afraid it is too true - many acknowledge the need to prepare and procrastinate.

I truly hope all that read this forum are about satisfied with their level of preps.

Act 1, scene 1 of Y2K the Epic is about to begin - the orchestra is warming up.

-- Bill P (porterwn@one.net), July 24, 1999.

Randolph, that doesn't seem to hold true for Texas. As I've shared before, one of my family members works in the warehouse (filling orders) for Academy. (Sporting goods store) They can't keep up with demand. While overtime has always been a November, December occurence in the past, they are now working EVERY Saturday. In August they will add a graveyard shift and work around the clock. They are shipping thousands of Coleman stoves and cast iron Dutch ovens (among other things.) Somebody's preparing!

-- Gayla (privacy@please.com), July 24, 1999.

Gayla, I perceive Y2K preparations vary in differing degrees of activity across America. I realize I'm in a low prep zone, while you're in a high prep zone and will probably suffer supply shortages harder. Just In Time supply systems will choke when the real panic commences.

-- Randolph (dinosaur@williams-net.com), July 25, 1999.

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