"What will happen when the clock strikes midnight" (Denmark)

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Now we've all (every household in Denmark) been issued with a Government leaflet, entitled: " THE Y2K PROBLEM - WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN THE CLOCK STRIKES MIDNIGHT?"

Here are edited highlights (my translation). It's a weird mixture of reassurance and caution. I felt WORSE after reading it! I wonder what effect, if any, it will have on the behaviour of the Danes.

- snips -

We're unlikely to experience serious problems - but we won't avoid irritating failures.

Denmark is well-prepared. Important businesses and institutions have declared that they are ready for the mischievous Y2K bug. That means that we can be sure that society continues to operate when the clock strikes midnight. On the other hand, no-one can guarantee that we will escape lesser problems, like short-lived power failures or problems with telephone, heat or water.

Keep your money in the bank: that's the safest place for it.

Shop normally: there are no reasons to hoard. Hoarding will only create chaos.

Don't overload the telephone network around midnight, with New Year's greetings. Don't be surprised if your cell-phone doesn't work for a while. Telephone companies estimate that the cell-phone network will be the first to be affected by an overload.

Energy companies which ensure the supply of gas, water, electricity and heat are also ready for Y2K.

(but - )

Have batteries ready for torches and the radio, if the power fails. Smaller problems - such as power failures of a short duration - cannot be ruled out. If services fail for a longer time, you will be informed about the situation by radio.

Hospitals and clinics are ready. They always have generators etc. for emergencies.

Help each other, if problems occur. The authorities are comprehensively prepared, if anything goes wrong. But we don't expect that everything can be cleared up as quickly as normally -especially not if several problems happen simultaneously. Therefore each of us will have the responsibility of caring for ourselves and our neighbours. The elderly and the handicapped will especially have need of a helping hand.

In this way we can ensure that a little problem does not have larkge human consequences.

Happy New Year!

- end snips -

By the way, what happens in Denmark 'when the clock strikes midnight' is that everyone rushes into the yard and sets off fireworks (mostly rockets). There are fires. The fire service, with a plentiful supply of water, puts them out. This year ... ? I'm ANGRY that this danger is not MENTIONED.

-- Risteard Mac Thomais (uachtaran@ireland.com), December 21, 1999


Way to go Denmark great responsible leadership. This is an example of how every nation should be treating this challenge. Be optimist but dilgently prepare

-- y2k aware mike (y2k aware mike @ conservation . com), December 21, 1999.

What they are really saying is - we expect problems in all areas and all sectors - get the drift?

-- K Taylor (KTaylorOre@webtv.net), December 21, 1999.

Thanks for the post! With such a proactive article, I wonder if your media would address your concern as well by getting that message out?

-- Hokie (nn@va.com), December 21, 1999.

Thanks Risteard.

Good luck!


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), December 21, 1999.

Stock up on plenty of Danish pastry.

-- (pigout@jensens.haus), December 21, 1999.

The Danes probably find many of the Y2K bad case scenarios as quite hyggelig (= sort of cosy, but with a bit more communing). Many prep items are standard furniture in Denmark. They like nothing better than to cosy on down, bathed in the warm glow of candles and a wood stove, and of course the occasional nip at the schnapps. They can survive for a long time on "hygge" alone.

-- flkj (flkj@flkj.com), December 21, 1999.

pigout - we don't actually eat 'Danish Pastries' in Denmark, we eat 'Vienna Bread' (wienerbroed).

aelkj - yes, I know, I have 'prepped' a hoard of Y2K- compliant 'hygge' (and I hope you have too).

-- Risteard Mac Thomais (uachtaran@ireland.com), December 22, 1999.

Nothing much will happen at midnight (except you will hear the echo of "Auld Lang Syne" across the N Sea from the UK).

For unprepared companies there will be a series of failures throughout the year, maybe bankruptcies.

-- Sir R (richard.dale@unum.co.uk), December 22, 1999.

Risteard, Have you noticed any 'signs' at street level yet? I've seen nothing to indicate anybody is taking any notice of the government/kommune information campaign. It's all so low key - slip it through the letter box along with the other junk mail, destined for a cursory glance at best. No politician, not even the Research Minister responsible for government y2k actions, has uttered a word on the subject in months. Despite repeated pleas (New Year and at the most recent opening of the parliament), the Danish Prime Minister has made no statements on the subject. No investigative, educative or public information work on any of the TV stations. There have been regular stories in the business oriented newspapers (reporting the self- reported status of various companies and organisations and, more recently, some of the preparations and contingency plans for rollover). The main popular newspapers, Ekstra Bladet, BT, Politiken, have either ignored the subject altogether or trivialised the potential implications.

According to surveys, BITR level awareness appears to be widespread amongst the people. The middle ground is not in the public consciousness, though it is probably in the consciousness of the authorities and the emergency services - and my guess is that's how they want it to stay.

The script as I see it goes: "...Ssssh, ti stille, det skal nok gar ...nu er det jul igen lalala ...Hvaaaa' for nogle?".

NB - Prepped as best I can for what is possible, not what I expect.

-- ilkj (ilkj@ilkj.com), December 22, 1999.

I agree: I'd say that the street-level consensus is - 0 in Denmark, and 2 abroad (if 'abroad' is considered at all). The daughter of a friend of mine is flying to New York, with her partner, to spend New Year's Eve in Times SQuare, and intends to return on Jan 3. I tried to tell them that this was a Bad Idea, but they just laughed at my suggestions of trouble - even the idea that planes might not take off for a considerable time was scorned.

Another friend who works in a camping shop said that all camping stoves had been sold out, but it is Christmas.

-- Risteard Mac Thomais (uachtaran@ireland.com), December 23, 1999.

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