The American Red Cross has published information on the Year 2000 problem advising people to be prepared for potential disaster, just as they would for a winter storm.
Despite no one being certain to what extend Y2K will cause public services to fail, in the site?s section on Disaster Services there is Y2K Checklist advising US citizens to prepare for all manner of problems.
It recommends people stock disaster supplies of food, water and medication, have extra cash in case of ATM-machine failure, have extra blankets and warm clothes if heating should fail and to be prepared to re-locate to emergency shelters.
Y2K experts have said that the problem is manageable so it is important not to panic, as that is more likely to cause a disaster than the date change itself. This applies to things like stockpiling food which could cause problems in the supply chain.
There has already been unsubstantiated reports of survivalist stores in Utah running short of dried food due to increased demand.
?The intention is to make people aware of potential problems in their local community and to allow them plenty of time to prepare. We are not expecting disaster,? said Bill Robertson, programme director for Y2K at the American Red Cross.
Robertson, however said there was no consultation with computer companies or analysts before the information was published. The American Red Cross is still in the process of completing its own Y2K work but fully expects to be ready in time.
According to Andy Kyte, research director at Gartner Group, all he will be stockpiling is a couple of bottles of his favourite drink.
?I am certainly not looking for a concrete bunker, I am certainly not looking at digging my own well or stockpiling food. In some places there may be a temporary disruption to the electricity supply as you would expect with a storm.?
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