December 27, 1999
What NOT to do before Y2K?
by Marshall Haley, staff reporter
After governmental agencies have spent most of the year warning people how to prepare for events that probably won't happen, the King County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) just sent out a list of what NOT to do before Y2K:
Keep up your level of preparedness, because we can't predict when the next earthquake or other disaster will strike.
- Don't go overboard these last few days and buy things you don't really need. Being prepared to deal with any disruption for 3-7 days is sufficient.
- Don't store more than 10 gallons of fuel on your premises. Doing so is illegal, not to mention dangerous.
- Don't rush out and fill up your auto's gas tank the last few days of December. Just keep the fuel tank above half full, as a normal way of doing things.
- Don't take large amounts of cash out of the bank. Your money is safest in the bank. Just have enough cash to last you a long weekend.
- Don't use the telephone unnecessarily the first several days of January 2000. If everyone attempts to use the phone at the same time, we can collectively crash the system.
- Don't call 911 except to request emergency assistance. We need to keep the lines open for true emergency calls.
- Don't panic if you hear about isolated outages or problems. People and systems will be in place to quickly fix problems.
- Don't return items to stores that you don't need if Y2K doesn't "happen."
"People in King County should feel confident that their government has made plans for every possible contingency," said Eric Holdeman, Manager for the King County Office of Emergency Management (OEM). "King County will have staff in the (EOC) ready to respond to any situation that might develop during the rollover period. Additionally, we have worked with our private utilities and corporate partners to share information and respond in a coordinated manner."
One final tip from your local paper: New Zealand is in one of the first time zones that will enter the new millennium. Since you shouldn't use your phone ("not that anything BAD will happen if you do"), establishing short-wave radio or e-mail contact with someone down under might tip you on whether or not to get ready to panic later that day!