Should I go to my town meeting on Y2K? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Our Y2K town meeting is tomorrow. It's entitled: Y2K is AOK. They have said it will be aired over the radio. I think they'll have speakers for an hour and then give an hour for Q&A. At first I was excited, I was going to ask the forum for ideas on some questions. But they also let it be known their objective was to quell any and all "FEARS" , put them rest. With that premise, I guess I should just stay home, all they will do is state, everything is fine. But I would like to know if there are any contingency plans being made...Maybe I would bring too much attention to myself by asking questions and challenging the panel. What should I do?

-- Marsha (, October 04, 1999


"Maybe I would bring too much attention to myself by asking questions and challenging the panel."

At this late date that is what I would worry about.

So sad and lonely....

-- David Lee Roth (Diver Down@Van Halen.ou812), October 04, 1999.


why not go, sit in the back and keep mum (even though that may be hard). you might find that some friends or acquaintances of yours have some concerns that you were not aware of. you would then have the opportunity to approach them after the meeting to share your opinions without having to "publicly confess" your reservations to the town at large.

a good luck smooc

-- corrine l (, October 04, 1999.

I went to the MPLS/St. Paul town meeting awhile back and IMHO, don't waste your time. The serious questions that were asked, were virtually dismissed out of hand. The responses are carbon copies of the spin of the day. However they showed real concern about your home appliances working. You would be much better served just to park your butt here and take in the doomer(GI) and polly(DGI) points and article reference's. Collectively, this board, and others like it, do a far better job at giving you the "Big Picture". When I went they didn't even discuss any global implications ather than to say that countries around the world are working on it and America is well insulated, or something to that effect. Your VCR will work---Relax.

-- CygnusXI (, October 04, 1999.

I personally would suggest going to the meeting. You'll likely learn more by looking at people's eyes and watching their faces than you will by listening to what they say. Even if they state that everything is fine, HOW they state that is important, and body language can be telling. You can't get that over the radio. Don't put yourself on the line, if you're uncomfortable doing that, but please do be counted as a concerned citizen. The more people who show up at these things, the better. They'll know people are paying attention...

-- pshannon (, October 04, 1999.

Marsha, I personally attend all of our local Y2K events.
I have found the "kill the messenger" syndrome
common. But there is always people there that want
to hear more than what the "experts" have to say.
I get to give an update on the newest glitches,
but I'm not sure that I've helped the situation at
all. There is a polarization that occurs. Those that
are urging preparation are considered the real problem
with Y2K; panic mongers! Our group is basing their
preparations on FEMA's guidelines to prepare for any
emergency, i.e., tsunami or earthquake. It is not the
same as preparing for the long term shortages that are
likely at the end of the year. I wouldn't challange the
panel, as they would become agressive in their attacks
on your credibility. I would suggest in providing info
to help wake people up. Even at this late date.

-- spider (, October 04, 1999.


We didn't have a community meeting.....out local paper interviewed all the happy faces and published the 'don't worry' announcements.

Among them was this gem,(paraphrased)

"We don't need a back-up generator for the water plant because we can operate the valves manually"

[How do you get the water out of the ground?]

To quote Diane,


May be worth a laugh or two if your people are as DGI as mine.

-- de (, October 04, 1999.

I went to a community meeting recently. My advice would be to keep quiet and non-confrontational. Take notes, be prepared with questions which will get your neighbors thinking. When the question-and-answer segment begins, ask the questions which they avoided covering in their rote speech. In our meeting, there were only about 80 people, and only about 3 had any questions, so I got in quite a few questions without feeling that I was monopolizing the session. I actually learned a few things, and I hope my questioning made a few others think about the issues.

-- cmd0903 (, October 04, 1999.

By all means attend the meeting. But do not make any references to the fact that you are preparing for more than the standard BS of a "3-day storm" At this late date, you don't want to call atttention to yourself. You might get branded as a "Hoarder" or worse. DO talk to some of your neighbors at the meeting who are GI's

-- BillyBob (, October 04, 1999.


Hi 'de', you quoted:

"We don't need a back-up generator for the water plant because we can operate the valves manually"

Sad isn't it?

That statement (or belief) is probably becoming more and more prevalent now that the utility districts have found out that they can't get a generator now, even if they won't one!!!

And I have that on good authority. is too late!!!


-- no talking please (, October 04, 1999.

well, if it were me.........i would want the folks at the meeting to "intelligently question" whether they are hearing the truth so in anything i did would have that focus (plus present key facts from the opposing view).

here are a few ideas--you could get a few "believing" friends and stand outside with signs (of course off the property or even have them on your cars), hand out leaflets with the same purpose, hire a plane and a sign to fly overhead your town, place an ad in your local newspaper about the meeting and tell people to QUESTION what they hear, stand up and ask a nice question (if they don't just leave it at written questions only) then on your second question make some sort of statement regarding the facts you know.

however NO ONE would ever do this, would they? because it takes guts to be a "prophet" and risk looking like an idiot. better to be silent, listen to the lies, let everyone in the meeting be led astray, and then go home and finish your own preparations, right?

-- tt (, October 04, 1999.

"First Rule of a Firefight...don't attract attention to draws fire!" An old friend named 'Murphy' came up with that in the ole' days concerning proper conduct in combat. Hate to say it, but you need to sit in the back, pretendeding to be just another one of the sheeple. The last thing you want to do is draw too much attention to yourself, or reveal your GI attitude. One particularly shocking instance in out own town meeting here was that 'panic mongers and horders' would be dealt with if and when the time warranted it. Hopefully my shock was not revealed to my neighbors in my expression. Like they said in other threads, it's amazing what you can learn at those meetings.

I learned it's almost time to move.... Good Luck

-- Billy-Boy (, October 04, 1999.

I would say go. Even though TPTB will try to spin a happy-face line, you may be able to pick up tidbits of local preparedness information. At the meeting I went to, the television commentator made fun of one lady who admitted buying a portable toilet, but he was also surprised to find that 75% of the TV audience was preparing for Y2K (including some of the local officials who were sitting in the audience as ringers). After the meeting, you may be able to ask questions of an individual, who might be more willing to talk without a microphone in his/her face.

-- Margaret J (, October 04, 1999.

Go quietly, & take notes. That's what I did. You might hear some good local stories (not covered on this board).

I heard one. A local very well-known, very high-tech employer is planning to keep staff & their families on site during the rollover, & is debating how best to ship in food, water, fuel & porta-potties w/o arousing the attention of the locals... the totally un-prepared locals... in other words... US.

IOW, high-tech companies can & should prepare to the hilt, but the rest of us are supposed to do the 3-day storm thing. And yes, this report came from a polly. Handwriting... wall... you know.

-- what should (, October 04, 1999.


I was really excited when our local water supply plant leased four huge generators from TVA in case a tornado knocked out some power lines. They were supposed to be on line 7-1-99, they're still sitting in a field waiting for TVA to install them. The plant manager said he figured they get to them after the first of the year.

Glad I got the well put in.

-- Steve (, October 04, 1999.

I wouldn't waste my time going if I were you. You'll only get yourself stressed out by having to sit there and listen to all the arrogant ignorance (kinda like reading some of the well-known pollys on this forum) and misinformation being parroted by people who should know better.

Of course, someone should go and take careful note of the names of all those who are responsible for misleading the public on this. There will be those in 2000 who will want to know who lied to them now.

-- cody (, October 04, 1999.

Don't waste your time. I'm willing to bet if they are there to calm everyone's fears, that they do not have a contingency plan. You should be the one to have the contingency plans - less than 90 days to go and what are YOUR plans? Your government is not going to protect you because there aren't enough bodies to go around. It's best that you get with your neighbors (IF THEY ARE GIs), and make your own plans.

-- bardou (, October 04, 1999.

it would be valuable to go and just listen. my husband and i went to our local y2k community conversation, thinking it would be nonsense, but it was better than expected. for one thing, we were surprised to find out that the majority of the audience had serious concerns they wanted addressed. also, we heard some valuable information from the utilities, about their current readiness, and their contingency plans. some of what they said, slipped out inadvertently, they didn't plan on saying it, but sometimes truth slips out in response to questions, especially if the PR flak gets nervous.

-- jocelyne slough (, October 05, 1999.

Go. Stick around afterwards. You may learn quite a bit, as I did. Or not. Either way, you should prepare.

-- Steve (, October 05, 1999.

I know this will probably get to you too late to matter, but anyway.........

I go to these things on occasion, and used to ask lots of probing technical questions. Crowd went yawn and the panelists were usually ready with pat answers that avoided an answer. (Except one medical corp guy who was real straight forward and sounded like they had done everything right. I wanted to cheer!).

Now I just ask one question.

"If the doom and gloom people are right, and major disruptions and failures are unavoidable, would you be allowed to tell us that is the case?"

That usually sets them back and makes them stammer. The crowd goes "Hmmmm...". One speaker asked what I meant by that question, I replied that I wanted to know how much faith I should put in what they were telling us tonight, so naturally I wanted to know if they would be free to report the truth no matter what it is, good or bad. In other words, if YOUR company was going to suffer badly would you be allowed to tell us?" Of course she said "Yes", but I don't think the crowd believed her.

One Chamber of Commerce meeting I asked a local hosptital rep how much $$ they had set aside. He drew a blank and said "Huh?". I said "You company's income is from insurance companies and government agencies. You haven't mentioned whether these 'customers' of yours will be able to pay you. How long will your doors be open if they stop? How much $$ do you have in reserve?"

Go, have fun!

-- Art Welling (, October 05, 1999.

From: Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr near Monterey, California

Go. You may have an opportunity to meet other GIs. Take hundreds of blank index cards, go early and drop a few on each seat. Take note if anyone goes around and collects them before people arrive & if so, distribute them again. Pass more out before each presentation. Collect them before Q&A periods & deliver to the speaker or pannel. Include questions of your own which may have been well written in advance of the meeting. Providing a means for questions to be asked anonymously will allow people to get answers to their questions without announcing to the unprepared world their GI status.

I went to such a presentation at a neighboring county, and was pretty scared by a few things. They took written questions and I submitted several. The ones I asked were designed to make converts. For each one, the entire line-up of panelists got a horrified look on their faces. I couldn't tell if it was because they had just GI'd or if they just didn't know how to spin their answer. They just shook their heads sadly and said, "Oh, boy... you know, that's right." For example, I asked "after people have known about this problem for years and not done anything to fix it, how can they tell us that it will only take at most three days to fix? Why don't they just fix it now?"

One of the more disturbing answers, though, came in response to my question, "What preparations are being made to deal with the possibility of civil unrest?" Answer: "Nothing. We can't imagine that that would be a problem." From the peanut gallery (me): "Try harder."

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage), October 05, 1999.

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