Forthcoming White House preparedness advice compares Y2K to winter storm : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

haven't written about Y2K in a while (too many Microsoft security holes keeping me away), but I thought y'all would enjoy this. no, no need to thank me.

WASHINGTON -- Spooked about Y2K and hungry looters bashing in your front door? Planning to cash in your 401(k) and head to the hills with a stash of Krugerrands?

There's no need to fret, if you believe the federal government. The infamous computer glitch will only be as bad as a troublesome winter storm, the White House is planning to tell the public next week.

A "preparedness checklist" prepared by the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion downplays the possibility of serious problems, comparing Y2K to bad weather and telling the public to stockpile only modest amounts of food, water, medicine, and cash.

The draft list, dated 30 August and provided to Wired News by a source, is sure to draw fire from Y2K alarmists who argue that computers supporting the water, gas, and electrical infrastructure are at risk and more extensive personal preparations are necessary.


-- Declan McCullagh (, September 01, 1999


It's the holes in your head that have kept you away.

-- BigDog (, September 01, 1999.

Silly me. And here I thought it was the pedestrian conversation combined with "how to dig your survival toilet" inanity and unimaginative insults.

Oh, wait.

-- Declan (, September 01, 1999.


Folks, we are going to have such "FUN" next year.....

A whole country to FOF.

I still suspect we will see the winter storm analogy ramped up to about two weeks before the end of December.

-- Jon Williamson (, September 01, 1999.

For newbies, Declan is the turncoat "reporter" (read snide arrogant unscrupulous mercenary) who was featured in last year's Time magazine Y2K cover story -- the Ridicule Instigator.

Declan "reports" on Y2K only for the "clever" inane slings, digs and pokes he can jab at Preparer's expense. His attitude speaks for his mentality. Read at your own risk, and remember, he wants your click-through to bolster his "hit" ratings.

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, September 01, 1999.

Oh, what clever repartee!

As for correcting the errors -- where to begin? I don't get paid extra if you click on my Wired articles (I think it would be nice and you'll get info there, but that's up to you). I wasn't featured in last year's Time y2k cover since there wasn't one. I did contribute to this year's. I don't ridicule personal preparation in general. I do get a good laugh at some extremists who are preparing for TEOTWAWKI when there is little evidence to back them up.

I am, however, known to be occasionally snide.

-- Declan (, September 01, 1999.

When I read Declan's post, I thought his intention was to ridicule the White House. Apparently that wasn't his purpose, but that's certainly what his post really does.

-- Peter Errington (, September 01, 1999.

"I did not have sex with that woman", now it's "prepare for a winter storm".... If he says,"don't worry about y2k, everything is fixed" no one would belive him. If he tells the truth that, "we are entering a shit storm" everyone would panic. So we are stuck with, "prepare for a winter storm" Now he can say, "I told you to prepare, sorry it's worse than we anticipated"

-- Bill (, September 01, 1999.

Yeah, Billy boyyyyyy lied to us. But, you know what? The majority of dumbed down, drool laden Americans will still believe the jerk.

Bill is the hubby and the people(most not all) are the dumb wife who keep's coming back even though she get's bitch slapped every night.

(this was not a dig on hubby's or women, just an analogy.)

-- CygnusXI (, September 01, 1999.

Thanks for the post Declan.

Uh, guys, can we try for a smidge of graciousness here?

It's Koskey and the Off-White House that deserves your current attention.


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

Blind graciousness extended to Declan, with his track record? Been there, done that, in 1998. He has proved himself worthy only of wariness on our part.

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, September 01, 1999.

I have a question. Is this modest preparedness checklist going to be mailed to each household, or will it just be announced at a press conference and then forgotten about?

-- Linkmeister (, September 01, 1999.

Ashton & Leska,

I'm not saying don't be "wary..." I still fume over that Time Magazine "Millennium Maddness" article as well. Shoddy journalism, IMHO, but it WAS a collabrative effort. However, Declan has produced *some* valuable Y2K articles as well, and he doesn't qualify as a troll here.

And... Hey Declan... not everbody posting here is an "extremist..." just like not everything you write is worth reading. (But I doubt that any reporter can make that claim).


BTW, you might want to be aware of this...

California State Senator Mails Out Y2K Prep Warning Letter (Silicon Valley) 001Kgg

... or not.


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

Declan is hedging big-time on Y2K for future a$$ignments/projects. He's got material either way it shakes down.

I must speculate that if Declan had kids (or even if his girlfriend was pregnant), his protective instincts would handily override his snide chip.

-- lisa (, September 01, 1999.

Actually Linkmeister, I'm sure the Whitehouse will place this valuable information on a public website which is as visible as my underwear is when I'm changing my pants in the bedroom.

(what a classic that was, lol)

All kidding aside, the media will push this in the public's face. They approve of Billy's spin control on EVERYTHING. They are his machine. Declan is either a simple minded polly (DGI) or a dangerous GI polly who wants to protect *his* tree even if it means the forest burns. One is sad and the other is a criminal.

-- Will continue (, September 01, 1999.

"I don't ridicule personal preparation in general. I do get a good laugh at some extremists who are preparing for TEOTWAWKI when there is little evidence to back them up."

Does anyone with sound mind, find something peculiar about this statement?

-- Dave Butts (son of harry) (dciinc@aol.comj), September 01, 1999.

Will continue,

Information similar to what's in Declan's article has been on the Web since at least June, when the "Community Conversations" started. I wouldn't consider the info in Declan's article to be particularly notable, unless it was going to be mailed to the general public. And of course, if it's one's own community that's hit by, say, water or sewer problems, three days might not be nearly enough preparations.

Here's a link I found out about at a June "Community Conversation". What was the Navy saying about utilities in June? The preparedness info given here matches a copy dated 6/3/99 that I was given at a "Community Conversation" in June.


How should people prepare for the Year 2000 transition?

The President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion is advising people not to disrupt their lives because of the Year 2000 transition. There is no indication that there will be major national disruptions in key infrastructures such as electric power, telecommunications, banking, and transportation. Most local authorities are leading aggressive efforts to solve the problem.

However, the President's Council is telling people that it is always smart to be prepared for the possibility that anything-from storms to Y2K-related failures-could temporarily disrupt services at any time. As always, people should have batteries for flashlights and radios, have a three-day supply of water and non-perishable goods, and make sure that the gas tanks in their cars are never less than half full. The Y2K problem is also a reminder to people to take care of their billing, bank, and tax records. Having recent copies of records and statements on file at home makes good sense at any time.

The President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion is monitoring the situation, and will provide updated guidance to the public in the months ahead through its web page ( and free information line (1-888-USA-4-Y2K). In particular, if there is a need for specific, additional precautions, the President's Council will make sure this information is available promptly to the public.

It is also a good idea to ask your local government, your bank, your utility company, and the other organizations you rely upon what they are doing to be ready for the Year 2000. Additional precautions may be appropriate if you are not satisfied with the information you receive directly or through public announcements.


-- Linkmeister (, September 01, 1999.

Declan -

Y2KCULTURE hasn't been updated for months. Do you just lose interest?

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.hid), September 01, 1999.

Y2K official says stock supplies but sees no major problems
JIM ABRAMS, Associated Press Writer
Monday, August 30, 1999 article.cgi?file=/news/archive/1999/08/30/national0112EDT0427.DTL

[Fair Use: For Educational/Research Purposes Only]

(08-30) 01:12 EDT WASHINGTON (AP) -- Americans should keep a supply of food and water on hand and save their bank records, but they needn't worry about major disruptions -- or inadvertent nuclear war -- when computer clocks reach the year 2000, the White House's top official on the Y2K problem says.

The federal government's computer systems have been fixed, the nation's aviation and railroad systems are safe, power grids and communications systems will hold and banks are in good shape, John Koskinen, President Clinton's chief Y2K adviser, said Sunday on CNN's ``Late Edition''

The administration is satisfied that only humans, not computers, could launch nuclear weapons, he said. The one concern -- that Russia's early warning systems would fail and leave the Russians in a heightened state of anxiety -- was being addressed, he said.

But Koskinen said Americans shouldn't become too complacent, because some local communities are lagging behind in ensuring their utility and communications systems are ready. ``We are worried about some of the smaller or not so small educational facilities, some health care facilities,'' he said.

He said his office is encouraging Americans to contact local utilities and other public services to make sure they are working on any Y2K problems.

Americans should also take commonsense precautions, including saving financial records and making sure they have battery-powered flashlights and radios and a three-day supply of water and food. ``It's going to be a long weekend in the middle of winter,'' he said.

Koskinen said Americans should also note future State Department assessments about the risks of traveling to foreign countries, because they will include updates on possible Y2K-related disruptions.

Developed countries are generally doing well in fixing computers, but some developing countries lack the resources and time to get ready before Jan. 1.

The concern is that many computers that use only two digits to read dates will mistake the year 2000, or ``00,'' as 1900, causing computers to malfunction or break down.

The good news is that 99 percent of banks, including smaller ones, are ready, Koskinen said, and a report next month will say that 95 percent of the mission-critical computer systems in the federal government are Y2K compliant.

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

To answer the above question: Yes, compared to some other topics, Y2K no longer strikes me as particularly interesting.

-- Declan (, September 01, 1999.

To answer the above question: Yes, compared to some other topics, Y2K no longer strikes me as particularly interesting.

-- Declan

Well I doubt that your research is very good if that is what you think.

TEOTWAWKI is one thing but social disruption is another. Plus I am sure you wouldn't have a clue about preparing for a "long weekend" of disruption in Chicago or any other major city during the dead of winter. Three Day preps is a bigger joke than Y2K.

-- Brian (, September 01, 1999.

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