I've heard so much about Y2K in regard to businesses. What should I, as a homeowner, worry about? Is there something I should be doing?
It depends on what sources you ask. Some people and organizations fear the total shutdown of utility services and commerce, and recommend hoarding of food and other resources. The Kansas Department of Administration, however, advocates that people follow the American Red Cross Y2K guidelines, which warn against hoarding food, medicine or supplies. Instead, prepare as you would for a severe storm.
The Red Cross advocates that people:
- Inventory household date-sensitive equipment like computers and VCRs, and contact manufacturers about their Y2K compliance.
- Monitor government and local utilities regarding Y2K compliance. The Lawrence-Douglas County Y2K Compliant Community Information Task Force was established to check into these issues.
- Stock disaster supplies to last several days to a week for yourself and those who live with you. This includes having nonperishable foods, stored water, and an ample supply of prescription and nonprescription medications that you regularly use.
- As you would in preparation for a storm of any kind, have some extra cash or traveler's checks on hand in case electronic transactions involving ATM cards, credit cards, and the like cannot be processed.
- As you would in preparation for a winter storm, keep your automobile gas tank above half full. Have extra blankets, coats, hats and gloves to keep warm.
- In case the power fails, plan to use alternative cooking manufacturer's instructions. Don't use open flames or charcoal grills indoors. Do not plan to use gas-fueled appliances, like an oven, as an alternative heating source.
- Have plenty of flashlights and extra batteries on hand. Don't use candles for emergency lighting. Examine your smoke alarms now.
- If you plan to use a portable generator, connect what you want to power directly to the generator; do not connect the generator to your home's electrical system. Don't put a generator in your basement or anywhere inside your home.