496 call hot line with Y2K worries

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I went to the inlaws this weekend and they ask me very sarcastically if I was still worried about y2k. I said I was no longer worried because I was prepared. They laughed and said if things get bad we will come over to your house. I said don't bother and the conversation ended very abruptly. I think they decided to prepare a little more than originally planned. Have you noticed it is no longer a computer problem but rather y2k worries and fears that we need to conquer. Very strange indeed. LINK

Register Staff Writer 11/22/1999

Anxiety grows as 2000 approaches.

Crisis counselors at First Call for Help, a hot line run by the Polk County Chapter of the American Red Cross, have received a sudden rush of calls from people who fear power outages, food shortages and other crises as the new year starts.

"We're already seeing an increase in anxious people. They're worrying. They're up at night," said Karen Hyatt-Smith, First Call for Help director.

Counselors logged 496 calls in September and October from people with Y2K worries, Hyatt-Smith said. That's about 16.5 percent of the 2,991 calls received in those months.

Counselors started tracking the calls this fall after they noticed more of them, Hyatt-Smith said.

The callers often are people with limited access to information, she said, including the homebound and mentally ill.

"People are afraid of how they're going to have their basic needs met," Hyatt-Smith said. "Some of those calling in don't know how to prepare. Others are just anxious about having heat - what will they do if it's dark? If they can't use the phone?"

Counselors try to calm callers by appealing to their common sense and getting them to be realistic about their fears, Hyatt-Smith said.

"They are going to get through it. There are places in the community that are going to help them," she said. "Mayhem is not going to happen."

-- y2k dave (xsdaa111@hotmail.com), November 23, 1999


My In laws are driving 12 hours to spend Christmas with my family (I told them I wouldn't be travelling that time of year because of Y2K).

They plan on driving back to their home in time for the New Year, but if they can't, they know we're prepared.

I didn't stock enough for them also! Great.....

I can see it now. They'll try to drive back to Miami, but will see 3- 4 hour lines at gas stations because of shortages due to people "topping off" their tanks and gas cans. Now way I would try to take that trip on the 28th or so....

-- Duke1983 (Duke1983@aol.com), November 23, 1999.

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