Don't get frantic on Y2k cities say - Detroit, 8 other areas urge calm measures : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


Don't get frantic on Y2K, cities say

Detroit, 8 other areas urge calm measures

October 15, 1999


WASHINGTON -- Please, don't panic.

That is the message Detroit and several other large, older cities want to get across to their residents as Y2K approaches.

With just 77 days left until the calendar crosses into the Year 2000, officials from Detroit and eight other cities said Thursday they are well on their way to making sure services such as electricity and emergency dispatching continue to work after midnight Dec. 31. Now, their biggest concern is making sure residents don't do something rash, such as withdraw all their money from the bank.

"People don't know about the chips in their computers; they just want to know if things are going to work," said Vesta Jackson-Crute, Baltimore's Y2K public information officer.

Jackson-Crute made the comments during a break Thursday from a closed-door Y2K conference in Washington among officials from Detroit, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, Boston and New York.

The cities started meeting last year to swap ideas after they realized they faced a lot of the same problems. They all are larger, older cities with aging infrastructures and massive computer systems, which means there is a larger potential for something to go wrong.

Most of the cities said they were in good shape. Baltimore has put together a cable TV show and community forums. Detroit has a troubleshooting command post. "I think we have everything under control," said Estella Ball-Webster, Detroit's Y2K manager.

The basic rule of thumb for the public: Prepare for Y2K just as you prepare for a storm, and get those preparations out of the way now, as opposed to late December, officials said.

As long as people take care of a handful of items -- have flashlights and radios, fresh batteries, bottled water, gas in the car and about twice as much cash on hand than you would normally have for a weekend -- they should just relax, officials said.

"We don't want people to panic; we'd like them to prepare and we'd like them to prepare early," said John Koskinen, chairman of the President's Council on the Year 2000 Conversion.

-- Homer Beanfang (, October 18, 1999


The article says---

"Please don't Panic"----excuse me-did I miss something???

Who is in a panic? Nobody I know--how about you. Where do the newspapers come up with this stuff? first its no big deal, then its a big deal.

I love this one. """""Their concern of the public doing something rash--like taking all their money out?

I don't know about anybody else, but when I hear things like:

(((((((((DON'T PANIC)))))))))

My ears hear Panic!!!!

-- David Butts (, October 18, 1999.


-- dopey articles (wake@up.mooos), October 18, 1999.

No information, no justification here, no data - only a PR release to try to keep the public quiet in the cities.

But look at the reports these same cities have passed to Congress - NONE are claiming they are finished. AT BEST, they are self-reporting they "plan" to finish in October and November and december - most with only the very basic of services complete.

None audited, none tested, none actually done yet.


So, why the closed doors? Hmmm?

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Marietta, GA) (, October 18, 1999.

If these cities want to public to get preparatiobns out of the way now, as opposed to late December, then these cities will have to make an effort to get the message across. Do any of these nine cities have a media campaign currently urging the "prepare but prepare early" message?

-- Linkmeister (, October 18, 1999.

74 days.


-- Jack (jsprat@eld.~net), October 18, 1999.

When I read stories like this one, I can't get the scene from "Animal House" out of my mind when the ROTC cadet is frantically telling the crowd to "Remain calm -- All is well".


-- Wilferd (, October 18, 1999.

We just had one of those "community" Y2K "discussion" forums if you can call it that. It was hosted by the local PBS TV station. Put on by all the local government agencies including the police, fire, water and social services with a contingency from the banking and power industry. Boy am I reassured now. I guess I can begin giving away all my preps because, according to them, they have it all under control.

Let's see ... "Don't take your money out of the bank". "Don't do anything different with your buying habits". "Don't buy food". "Don't store fuel in your garage or yard". "Don't worry, the power will still be on". "The grocery stores will have plenty of food".

Apparently, everywhere else in the United states, you only have 72 hours of food in the supply, JIT system but in our town, 250,000, we have oh ....6 or 7 weeks in the wharehouses and loading docks. Neat, huh?

The whole presentation was so choreographed it was sad. Pre-planned questions to pre-planned government or banking responders who had prepared answers/notes in their hands. I told people before it aired to expect to hear only reassuring good news but I didn't know they were going to pass out pablum laced with prozac.


-- S. David Bays (, October 19, 1999.

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