Is White House Upgrading Y2K Threat? Koskinen's '3-day storm' now 3 to 7 daysgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
White House specialist talks on Y2K bugs
By Associated Press, 08/17/99 01:01
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) Cars should start, people on life support should live and the world should continue to turn, but the chairman of the President's Council on Year 2000 told concerned Rhode Islanders that the Y2K computer problem should not be taken lightly.
The chairman, John Koskinen, joined by officials from local banks, hospitals and utility companies, told residents gathered at the Marriott Hotel Monday for a ''Y2K community conversation'' to prepare as they would for a hurricane a three-to-seven day ordeal.
''Ultimately, everyone needs a backup plan for whatever glitches might occur,'' Koskinen said. ''We're concerned about overreaction, but we're equally concerned about complacency.''
Koskinen reassured the roughly 75 people in attendance most of them seniors or with local Y2K groups that the federal government will have its computer problems solved before the end of year.
However, he said problems could happen at the local level. In particular, he said 800,000 small businesses nationally have decided not to bother with the problem until something actually breaks down.
This is a high-risk strategy, he said, but: ''We have no ability to go out and shake them by the shoulders and make them fix their systems.''
Two members of Y2K Prepared Rhode Island, a local group, told Koskinen that any confidence is harmful because residents might think there is nothing to fear.
''Our work is being thwarted by the fact that there is so much complacency on the part of the public,'' said Jim Tull, co-chairman of the Rhode Island group. Tull asked Koskinen why the government has not sent direct mailings to every citizen or publicized the problem on multi-channel, prime-time television.
The co-chairman of the group, David Floyd, reminded Koskinen that only two of the government's 43 high-impact programs Social Security and the National Weather Service currently have their Y2K problem completely solved.
Most of the audience questions, however, veered toward practical matters.
''Among my friends, concern varies from not at all, to it's the end of the world,'' said Ed Bennett, 49, whose wife the Rev. Dacia Reid, is the director of the Unitarian Universalists Responding to the Year 2000.
One man asked if his car was going break down because the engines are now equipped with computer software, and another wanted to know if people who need life-saving medications will receive them.
Koskinen said cars will not be affected by the Y2K problem and officials from Westerly Hospital and the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency said they have plans to get medication and treatment to housebound patients.
-- fllb (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 18, 1999
"''Ultimately, everyone needs a backup plan for whatever glitches might occur,'' Koskinen said. ''We're concerned about overreaction, but we're equally concerned about complacency.''
Nice to know that the K-Man is concerned about the complacency HE and the Federal government created!!
-- Ray (email@example.com), August 18, 1999.
"Tull asked Koskinen why the government has not sent direct mailings to every citizen or publicized the problem on multi-channel, prime-time television. "
Hey, that was a good question. Where is the answer??
-- Deborah (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 18, 1999.
I've said before that, in my opinion, the government should at the very least mail a copy of the American Red Cross Y2K brochure...
...to every household in the country. Instead, the public will probably hear this sound bite from the January 1999 State of The Union speech repeated over and over again next year:
But I want all the folks at home listening to this to know that we need every state and local government, every business large and small to work with us to make sure that this Y2K computer bug will be remembered as the last headache of the 20th century, not the first crisis of the 21st.
-- Linkmeister (email@example.com), August 18, 1999.
From: Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr near Monterey, California
...medication and treatment to housebound patients. Those of us who aren't housebound are on our own.
-- Dancr (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 18, 1999.
Once again, I say, it pays to read/listen-to Koskinen's statements very closely. He *always* tells you the story, it's just that the gory details are minimized and slightly camouflaged, but they are there. He's never totally Polly anymore, but he is just whispering *fire*, not shouting it, while at the same time asking you to remain calm, please. Now he has moved the prep period up to 7 days, and that will be moved again. 7 to 14 days coming up in the weeks ahead, watch.
-- Gordon (email@example.com), August 18, 1999.
A while back, someone provided a link to a site which detailed the White House communications plan for Y2K. I remember that September's focus is "Education", with info packets going to schools and such. Anyone else see this? I should have bookmarked it when I had the chance. *sigh*
-- Mac (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 18, 1999.
Drat! And just when I almost had my three days of supplies put away...
-- Mad Monk (email@example.com), August 18, 1999.
I agree with Gordon. Koskinen's subtly sounding more doomer, at least compared to industry boilerplate. I think I may have seen the 3-7 day thing attributed to him before. Unfortunately, the attribution above isn't a direct quote, though I expect to see that soon. I would venture a guess that in September it will clearly be 3-7 days, in October it'll be "a week or so," and in November it'll be "a week or two."
"We're concerned about overreaction, but we're equally concerned about complacency..." won't be relevant by December.
-- pshannon (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 18, 1999.