The Nation's First
Y2K Grassroots Community Preparedness Survey

Published Online
Thursday, May 20, 1999


Part Three:

Task Force Directors are marked with an *

We received no responses from parts of the world not listed here (we assume the response from other countries was limited because the survey was directed primarily at U.S. grassroots efforts).


 British Columbia:

Nelson, Jonathan Reams

108 Mile Ranch, Jeffrey Newman



Mississauga, Halonen & Dale


Additional Comments for John Koskinen & Other Y2K Leaders/Groups from the U.S. & Australia

Berkeley, California

Petaluma, California

West Central, Ohio

Redway, California

South Bay, California

Buffalo, New York

Southern California

Rochester, New York

Cadillac, Michigan

Wernersville, Pennsylvania

Rapid City, South Dakota

Whidbey Island, Washington

Racien, Wisconsin

Gainesville, Florida

Victoria, Australia



Go to:


Part One

Part Two

Part Three


The Survey Itself:
Part Three:

British Columbia | Ontario

Additional Comments for John Koskinen
& Other Y2K Leaders/Groups
from the U.S. & Australia

 Go to Anonymous Comments Section




British Columbia


Jonathan Reams
Nelson, British Columbia, Canada

West Kootenay Y2K Alliance

Community organizer, ordinary citizen, business person, public speaker.

West Kootenay Y2K Alliance
Phone: (250) 229-5317 (Home)
Phone: (250) 505-1114 (WKY2KA Office)

Mailing Address (home):
Box 1313, Ainsworth, B.C., V0G 1A0

1. In general, since January, has your Y2K community organizing work been going:

c) worse: I guess "c" or worse. Our expectations folowing our very successful fall symposium have not been met in terms of having masses of people ready and willing to organize. However, this comment does not reflect how we have dealt with this situation, and I will save that for later comments.

2. Has public interest in Y2K preparedness:

b) stayed about the same: I was giong to say "c," but maybe "b" is more accurate. The initial interest may have been superficial, and as much in our perception of people's initial reactions as in their real degree of interest in taking action. There remains a small group of committed people working on preparedness issues, but not enough to make a substatial impact on the community.

3. Have relationships with your local government about Y2K:

c) slacked off or gotten worse: It seems that interest has simply slacked off, and we have lost interest in banging our heads against the wall.

4. Is there anything else about your Y2K community work that you would like Y2K Czar John Koskinen, national Y2K organizers and/or other local Y2K groups to know?

Our group here has a core of people who are very much interested in keeping open to what can be learned from this process. While our outward efforts have not had the results originally intended, we have spent a great deal of time trying to uncover how we can and are being effect in preparing. This has been focussed less on the practicalities of physical survival and much more on how we can create a psychological/spiritual groundedness that will allow us to be able to meet whatever does happen. We realize that even the most informed projections of what could happen are only guesses, and that they often miss what is going on beneath the surface. Our perceptions of how our community should react and organize made sense to us at the time, but we now see the limits of our vision more clearly, and why others did not jump on the bandwagon. This has made us very open to emptying ourselves of preconceived ideas about what will happen and how to prepare. (This is on a group level, as individuals each of us is doing whatever we feel called to do).

I think that our aim at present could be summed up by saying that when things happen we want to be a group who is able to not panic, keep our collective heads about us, and be present to the moment. For us, Y2K is much more about a process of learning to become clear and present in the moment, and we are coming to trust that this will stand us in good stead no matter what happens.


Jeffrey Newman
Central BC, Canada

Director 108 Mile Ranch Y2K Preparedness Group

Community organizer, maintainer of a website, public speaker.

108 Mile Ranch Y2K Preparedness Group
Phone: (250) 791-9206
Fax: (250) 791-9207

Mailing List:
P.O. Box 767, 108 Mile Ranch BC, V0K 2Z0, Canada

1. In general, since January, has your Y2K community organizing work been going:

a) better

2. Has public interest in Y2K preparedness:

a) increased

3. Have relationships with your local government about Y2K:

a) moved ahead well






Gary Allan Halonen (& Bill Dale)
Mississauga, Ontario

Community Prep & Recovery Network
Millennium Salons (a community preperation resource website)

Seven websites are connected to the network: Oregon; Rainy River, Ontario; Mississauga, Ontario; West Montana; Sonoma County, California; Lakes Area, Minnesota; Mississauga, Ontario (the main site)

Y2K Writer, Policy Analyst for governments, maintainer of a website.

Phone: (905) 949-6331

Mailing Address:
1055 Bloor Street East, Suite 704, Mississauga, Ontario L4Y 2N5

1. In general, since January, has your Y2K community organizing work been going:

c) worse

2. Has public interest in Y2K preparedness:

c) decreased

3. Have relationships with your local government about Y2K:

b) not changed much since January

4. Is there anything else about your Y2K community work that you would like Y2K Czar John Koskinen, national Y2K organizers and/or other local Y2K groups to know?

The unsubstantiated remediation progress numbers have lulled the public into a dangerous mode of complacency. Will have to work harder to get the populace prepared later, if ever.





Additional Comments for John Koskinen
& Other Y2K Leaders/Organizers
from the U.S. & Australia

(These comments come from people who wished to remain anonymous.)



We have been making an emphasis on neighborhood organizing. At Earth Day, our group had a booth, and over 100 people met in small neighborhood based groups to discuss activities in the neighborhoods. Berkeley Y2K Resilience Network has now had two large citywide forums, each with about 80 - 90 people attending, and several action groups have spun off: a newsletter group, a sustainable neighborhood organizing group, a preparedness group. Several Y2K Study Circles (a 6-week discussion class originated by the Northern California Earth Institute) have been held in Berkeley and Oakland. We have a website listing. We're now partially funded by the City of Berkeley and are working closely with the City Manager's office, with plans for future forums, skills trainings, and citywide mailings.

--- Berkeley, California



There are tremendous amounts of grass-roots resources who can be called upon to help share truthful information. We can be allies in preventing panic and overreaction, especially if we are trusted with the truth about status and readiness.

Even though the public attention seems to have moved away from Y2k, this is a good time to quietly move forward with our own preparations, information sharing, and personal outreach to more 'at-risk' members of our communities.


--- Petaluma, California



The media (newspaper) here still doesn't seem to be interested in informing the public about the possibilities.

--- West Central, Ohio



There were more people preparing before than there is now. Unfortunately, our government propaganda has made them think it will not be that bad, so it is almost like we are moving backward in some areas. The overall summary is broke down into two types of people:

1. Believers of the government who have stopped doing anything.

2. Non-believers of the government who no longer trust anything out of the government or media's mouth and have doubled their efforts of stockpiling. The more the media says it is getting better, the harder they stockpile. It is almost a reversed reaction.

--- Dansville, N.Y.



Start being more truthful about getting prepared. Panic can only exist in ignorance. There is still time for an oderly preparation by the country. Tell FEMA to go back to a two week time frame.

--- Redway, California



Only two people got in touch with me (by email) after seeing my name in The Cassandra Project list. Neither came to anything. I am in touch with three churches. There is no significant coordination between the three that I can perceive. I know of many pastors. I cannot say they are interested in doing anything about Y2K except pay lip service when they are forced to do so.

My suggestion: Group neighboring cities (seven of them in each group, perhaps) and let them closely coordinate their activities under one designaged coordinator. Members of each city should include the mayor.

--- South Bay, California



The community is worried. A lot of people are talking about taking their money out of the banks by mid-summer. People are saying they don't believe what the politicians and community leaders are telling them about this problem.

--- Buffalo, New York



Free market will bring mediation into focus as a commerce friendly solution IF the business community and the public understand what it is!

--- Southern California



Local community and church groups in the Rochester, New York area have been active in trying to raise the awareness level on Y2K state of readiness and on the need to prepare. State, local and county government has been cooperative in trying to get information to the public. My feeling, however, based on the absence of success specifics from the government, leads me to believe the government informational efforts are little more than a public relations exercise.

--- Rochester, New York




It would be very helpful if the goverment and local community goverment would talk about this issue and at least give citizens access to basic information regarding preparedness of things like our water system, electric, natural gas, and what contingency plans are being made in case of outages.

--- Cadillac, Michigan



People are really getting suspicious of the government. I'm not talking about "paranoid survivalists," but ordinary people. They don't trust what they are being told. They don't believe that everything is going to be alright. But, unfortunately, they don't know where to go to get credible non-government sponsored information that will give them hard facts and no legal speak. I believe that if the government doesn't address this problem seriously and honestly, the panic that could result in the latter part of the year could be more devestating that any effect from Y2K.

--- Wernersville, Pennsylvania



Governor Jankilow of South Dakota was blunt and to the point in his 1999 State-of-the-State address (January 13, 1999):

"The unknown can be as dangerous as what we know. I've deliberately bit my lip for the last two years on this subject matter, and now we are down to 12 months. We face an absolute catastrophe in the world because of this problem. On the other hand, it may not be much of anything. The biggest problem is, we don't know. But don't take anybody lightly that tells you that the roof could come falling in. I can tell you today that if year 2000 hit today, the electric grid that serves South Dakota would go down. It would not stay up, and don't believe anybody that tells you it would. Now, by the year 2000, it might, but today it will go down. Year 2000 doesn't come in the middle of June when the temperature is decent. It's coming on December 31 in the middle of winter.

"We can't take the risk that our telephone and telecommunications companies won't operate. We can't take that risk. They have to function. We must have hospitals where they've got electricity and gas. It has to work. There's no program Bill Janklow or you folks together could implement on December 31 to take care of telephones, medical, law enforcement, and the utilities. They must work. We must let the public know, every step during the course of this year, what is Y2K compliant, and what isn't...."

"The law enforcement and the fire departments, their equipment has to function&emdash;911&emdash;I can tell you that the task force that this Legislature mandated be put together in legislation last year that's completing its work got a report last Thursday. I believe that says the top eighteen 911s in South Dakota are not Y2K compliant. As a matter of fact, one of the major vendors that provides equipment says, If you bought it from us before, get this, 1997 we're not going to make it compliant. If you bought it afterwards, we will. So they are faced with the prospect of buying new equipment that may have been purchased in 1996. But right now the top 18 are not compliant, but they are working on it.

"We've got to make sure that we have municipal water and rural water. Have to have it. No other choice. We've got to make sure that sewer systems&emdash;municipal water is meaningless if you can't flush it or let it go down the kitchen sink or the bath drain. The sewer systems have to work. We have to make sure that those places that live on natural gas, the natural gas has to work. And the electrical generation&emdash;our power companies, our various investor-owned utilities, our public power systems&emdash;those that generate, those that distribute, those that do both, they have to function, because one of them going down can suck the whole system down on the grid. So we are going to put together a group of people, and they will be making reports with regularity to the public with respect to these specific areas&emdash;state government, for those local governments that choose to be involved, fine. I'll not attempt to force them to do anything. But all the rest of them I'm going to use the gubernatorial powers that I have that deal with emergencies and crises to get the information and make it available to the public. I do know the Public Utilities Commission has met with respect to&emdash;electrical utilities had a meeting and I believe telephone utilities, so far. So they're also working on this endeavor. But, folks, this is terribly critical, and so, rather then being an alarmist, I'm just going to tell you that we will try and get the information to the public as fast as we can intelligently and effectively assemble it. And we will be prepared, at least to deal with, hopefully, those limited emergency situations that we have to deal with December 31.

"There could be some disruptions in April, and there could be some disruptions on September 9. This is obviously out of my bailiwick, but they tell me that programmers used to end their programs with 9999, four nines. Well, that happens to be also 9-9 of 99, and the computer doesn't know the difference. So, for some, it may trigger when it gets to that. When it sees that date it may trigger and say that's the end of the program, shut it off, and shut it down. For some it may erase it. The problem is nobody knows where all those 9999s are. That's the problem. If they knew where they were, because they were long ago put in place by people who've long since passed away, moved away, gone into other occupations, or won't tell you, whatever the case is..."

Regardless of the governor's pro active approach, our local government officials ignore Y2K completely. The local mayor responded to inquiries about Y2K by announcing Y2K good citizen awards! It is like leading cattle to slaughter. In a region where cattle ranching is one of two major industries, the analogy is pertinent.

The South Dakota Department of Information and Technology and SD Public Broadcasting have produced a responsible video for beginners that is available on request. Unfortunately, unless one listens to NPR at the exact right moment, know one knows about it.

--- Rapid City, South Dakota



Local groups need strong, ego-free leadership. Y2K is larger than people's egos, yet they cannot set them aside even for this important work. I fear the real leaders will emerge only after a crisis occurs.

--- Whidbey Island, Washington



County government is making a good public agency attempt to work on Y2K. County extension agent is talking with community groups. City government is disengaged. Inner city residents we work with can't relate to the issue. General community response is "We are used to winter blizzards -- no big deal." Technology is still just another tool in this old manufacuturing community. We have yet to recognize any cultural transformation I experienced in places like Seattle.

--- Racien, Wisconsin



People seem to be saying that we are resourceful, and that businesses won't let themselves lose money by being unable to cope, so few people are expecting serious problems.

--- Gainesville, Florida



If you're serious about making sure we get through this problem, you have to start a REAL public education campaign ASAP.

--- Victoria, Australia