State distributin Y2k brochure through schools (NY) (Sheesh! ...hoping that parents will take steps to prepare...)greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
State distributing Y2K brochure through schools
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - State officials are relying on schoolchildren as a big part of their latest attempt to inform the public about how to prepare for Y2K.
About 1.8 million "Y2K and You" brochures are being distributed through local school systems with the hope that parents will then take steps to prepare for possible disruptions in utility services and food and drinking water supplies.
Another 2 million brochures are being distributed through local governments, libraries and other public places.
"We feel schools are an important part of our community, and their mission of education is certainly consistent with our objective, which is to get Y2K information out to citizens," said Gary Davis, Y2K project director for the state Office of Technology.
While each school district has been asked to distribute the pamphlets, they are not required to do so.
The brochure warns readers to prepare for possible problems associated with the Y2K computer bug by checking electronic devices for Y2K compliance, buying enough food and water to last three days and having a moderate amount of extra cash on hand.
The pamphlet also includes a letter from Gov. George Pataki, reassuring that "As of September 1999, all of New York state's 'mission critical' systems and services that impact public health, safety and welfare are 100 percent compliant."
The brochure advertises the state's Y2K toll-free hotline, (877) 925-4697, which currently has recorded information and will be staffed 24 hours a day both Jan. 1 and 2. The line is designed to provide information about the state's readiness and to answer citizens' questions, Davis said.
In the city of Albany, only the district's 6,000 elementary students will be receiving the pamphlets.
"We find that sending things home with secondary students is not always the best way to reach people," said David Albert, a spokesman for the city school district.
Albany school officials are cautious about sending non-school-related materials home with students but school board members agreed that the Y2K pamphlet was worthwhile, Albert said.
By Friday, workers at the district offices had counted and divided the brochures by school and were about to deliver them to the 12 elementary schools, Albert said.
Davis said the brochures are not a sign that state officials are panicking over what may happen during the changeover into 2000.
"Just the opposite," Davis said. "This brochure has been planned for six months or a year. ... This is just so that individuals will feel better prepared and will know where the state is regarding the year 2000."
The Y2K bug stems from a common programming practice of using only two digits to represent a year. Computers that are not fixed might misinterpret "00" as 1900, disrupting systems that run power grids, guide airplanes and coordinate traffic lights.
Tests show that banks, utilities, phone companies, air traffic controls and other key systems are essentially ready. However, smaller businesses and local governments might not be fully prepared and problems abroad might affect U.S. commerce.
-- Homer Beanfang (Bats@inbellfry.com), December 10, 1999
"This brochure has been planned for six months or a year. ..." Holy cow, we planned it a year ago too, and we SENT IT WITH THE KIDS A YEAR AGO. What the heck is it going to do to send it in December 1999? Gee, I sure hope the brochure says something about not waiting too late to prepare ...
-- bw (email@example.com), December 10, 1999.
Does it come with a complementary "Chicken Little"?
-- Hokie (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 10, 1999.
To have three days of food in the house?
-- Mara (MaraWayne@aol.com), December 10, 1999.
4 days would be considered hoarding.
-- the Virginian (email@example.com), December 10, 1999.
My 11 yr old had this in his backpack Wednesday!!!! We live on Long Island, New York. He said the tacher told him to bring it home and show his parents??? Better late then never!! I must say it went over well with my friends who think i'm a wacko :)///NOT ALONE>>
-- BLUE (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 11, 1999.