<a name="4"> What If...? The Year 2000 Date Problem and Local Communities <a name="5">

What impact will the Year 2000 Date Problem in computers have on the lives of people and local communities?

The Year 2000 Date Problem will have a major impact on local communities and the people in them. If you study the "What If....?" possibilities raised in this article, you will see how your own work and private life might be affected.

Let's see how local communities and commerce function in a modern computerised world:

Now let's study the "What If...?" possibilities.

What If.......On and after New Year's Day, 2000
With all these "What If...?" possibilities, and the possible deep disturbance to peoples' normal way of life, do you sense a feeling of "Riots in the Streets" unless local communities do some local Contingency Planning?

Now if you feel that no company or organisation could get itself into the position where any of those "What if....?" possibilities might become reality, please be aware that around the world less than 10% of companies, etc. have probably started doing anything about the problem (as at March, 1997). Those that have estimate three to five years' work is required to complete the conversion or replacement of computer systems (allowing a full year's testing) by the end of 1999. At March, 1997, there are less than three years' left - people resources to carry out the work are getting scare - and 31st December, 1999 is an immovable date. There are no second tries!

If you want to be certain that you are not affected then ask your employer, and/or your suppliers of products and services, as well as the suppliers of public services, whether their computer systems will be fully capable of working after 31st December 1999 without causing any disruption whatsoever to the business or service. If they say "Yes", don't be afraid to question them and to ask them "how they know" - too many people are ignorant of the true condition of their organisation and systems and this is not an area where you can accept glib assurances; it can have too much affect on your livelihood and welfare and that of your family and neighbours.

Finally, find out what the leaders of your local community are doing to provide Contingency Planning to deal with any serious local problems that might arise after 31st December, 1999. Planning needs to start now to pull people together from different services, as well as local employers (perhaps through Chambers of Commerce) and food suppliers. Contingency Planning will need funds to be allocated to support it. Make your local newspapers aware of the Year 2000 Date Problem issue, so that they can spread awareness amongst the community and prevent people waking up to a very nasty surprise in the new century.

Further information is available from The Year 2000 Date Problem - Support Centre, provided by The Computer Information Centre (CompInfo)

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March 26, 2024