Y2K Doomsayers Smarter Than Most People Think

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Y2K Doomsayers Smarter Than Most People Think

AURORA, Ill., Jan. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- While they've been the punch line of late night talk show monologues and criticized in political cartoons, several disaster-related organizations are praising so-called "Y2K Doomsayers" for taking Y2K precautions.

"Those families that prepared for Y2K were doing the right thing whether those supplies were needed over New Year's or not," said Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Director James Lee Witt in a statement. "We congratulate those who prepared for Y2K and urge them to begin the New Year prepared for any eventuality."

FEMA is encouraging those who bought bottled water, batteries, flashlights and other equipment in anticectric generators, commends Americans for their efforts related to Y2K and recommends that homeowners keep their generators ready for other unforeseen power outages.

"Our customers are prepared, not paranoid," said Steve Krawczyk, Coleman Powermate president. "Many families can now feel secure knowing that they can sustain power during the next blizzard or rotating blackout."

Ron Hoch, a retired utility worker in Lansing, Ill., learned the value of an electric generator last spring when a snowstorm knocked out the power to his home for nearly four days.

Hoch, like nearly 70 percent of American homeowners, has a gas-powered furnace. But when the power went out, so did the furnace, which uses electricity to run the furnace fan. Concerned about the possibility of freezing water pipes, Hoch used a portable electric generator to restore power to the furnace.

"Many of my neighbors ran out to purchase new snow throwers after the storm hit," said Hoch. "Frankly, my family would rather have a warm, comfortable house instead of a snow-free sidewalk. I'd hardly consider that being paranoid."

According to Krawczyk, the threat of power outages is becoming even more common with America's aging infrastructure. In Chicago, six power outages last summer plagued more than 100,000 customers in the city and suburbs because of overloaded cables.

"Unlike Y2K, the real causes for power outages will not mysteriously go away at midnight," said Krawczyk. An independent audit of the local utility warned customers to "expect more of the same this summer."

According to the White House, the average American household experiences 13 hours of power outages each year -- and that is not including weather- related outages, which average 72 hours when a big storm hits.

01/12/2000 08:02 EST http://www.prnewswire.com

-- Cyndi Crowder (cyncrowder@aol.com), January 12, 2000

Moderation questions? read the FAQ