Contact: Stephen M. Apatow
President & Executive Director, Humanitarian Resource
Eastern USA: (203) 668-0282 Western USA: (775)
Internet: http://www.humanitarian.net Email:
YEAR 2000: IS SAFETY & PREPAREDNESS THE OBJECTIVE OR
STABILITY IN THE FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY?
Most Americans are under the impression that
everything is OK with regards to the Year 2000
technology problem. According to the Center for Y2K
* A recent review of the Y2K readiness of 55
communities housing 40 million Americans shows that
the majority are unprepared for Y2K.
* Many 911 systems appear likely to fail and the
medicaid system is at risk in over a third of the
* Continuing problems with medical facilities and
programs such as unemployment, child support, and food
stamps, the persons now most likely to be harmed by
Y2K are those least able to protect themselves:
children, the poor, the elderly and the sick.
The Center for Y2K & Society has distributed 20,000
copies nation-wide of the ``Y2K Community Report
Card'' designed as a self-assessment tool for
communities to determine their degree of preparedness.
Evaluations were conducted by mayors' offices, city
and state Y2K coordinators, emergency managers, Red
Cross chapters, hospitals, non-profits and community
Following are the most troubling findings:
* Less than one-third of respondents have back-up
plans to pay health care providers in the event that
checks are not mailed from Medicare, Medicaid, or
private insurance systems. For example, the Health
Care Financing Administration (HCFA) says 22 states
are at high to medium risk of Medicaid program
* Most sewage treatment plants, telephone companies,
and local utilities have not been independently
audited, therefore it is difficult to determine to
what extent these utilities may suffer from Y2K
* Only one-half of respondents have backup plans for
assuring payment of key benefits such as food stamps,
unemployment and child support, should such systems be
* Less than one-half of respondents are ensuring that
nursing homes will be Y2K ready in the event of a
prolonged disruption. Over 1.6 million Americans
reside in nursing homes.
* One-half of the communities do not know if they will
have a 30-day supply of critical medications on New
Year's Day. Disruptions in the delivery of
pharmaceuticals may threaten the medically-dependent
in these communities.
Additional information is accessible on the Y2KGLOBAL
INFRASTRUCTURE RISKS WEB SITE:
U.S. SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE URGES COMMUNITIES TO
PREPARE FOR POTENTIAL HAZARDOUS CHEMICAL ACCIDENTS.
On October 21, 1999, The U.S. Senate Special Committee
for the Year 2000 technology Problem released a report
prepared by the Texas Engineering Experiment Station's
(TEES) Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center
headquartered at Texas A&M University in College
Station. Its results include the following:
* 86.5 percent of firms surveyed are not currently
prepared for Y2K.
* 85.6 percent have not coordinated emergency plans
with local/community officials. A majority have not
linked contingency planning to community emergency
services such as police, fire and rescue, or
* 79 percent said they had never before been surveyed
about Y2K preparedness.
* A majority of respondents do not belong to industry
organizations or trade associations, which have been
the primary gatherers of Y2K preparedness information
in the private sector.
* 4.1 percent said Y2K presents A potential for a
An estimated 85 million Americans live within five
miles of one of the 66,000 sites that handle hazardous
COMMUNITY & FAMILY PREPAREDNESS
Humanitarian Resource Institute in cooperation with
the FEMA Community & Family Preparedness Program has
constructed a one stop Community & Family Preparedness
resource guide on the internet. Included on this web
site is the Preparedness Guide for Chemical
Emergencies which was produced by the National
Disaster Education Coalition: American Red Cross,
FEMA, IAEM, IBHS, NFPA, NWS, USDA/CSREES, and USGS.
* Why Talk About Chemical Emergencies?
* What Is a Home Chemical Emergency, and a Major
* Chemical Emergency?
* Awareness Information
* Preventing Chemical Emergencies in the Home
* What to Do During a Home Chemical Emergency
* Plan for Major Chemical Emergencies
* Media and Communicate Education Ideas
* What to Do During a Major Chemical Emergency
* What to Do if You Are at the Scene of a Chemical
* How to Shelter-in-Place
* Evacuation During a Chemical Emergency
* What to Do After a Major Chemical Emergency
The Community & Family Preparedness Resource Guide, as
well as the "Your family Disaster Plan" and "Your
Family Disaster Supplies Kit" guides can be found at:
The "Your Family Disaster Supplies Kit Guide" is
available in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Tagolog,
Cambodian and Vietnames
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