As a part of their testing process, many companies and utility providers are planning to roll the clock forward and run their systems as if they were already operating in the year 2000.

It seems to me that if it is important enough for organizations to advance the clock and conduct live tests, it is every bit as important for individuals and families — even communities — to do so as well.

What I would like to suggest is that you conduct a live test, and, insofar as you are able, create the environment you expect to be functioning in on Jan. 1, 2000 and beyond.

For example, you might want to schedule a Y2K drill for an entire weekend. You could start late Friday evening (as close to midnight as you can) and run the drill through Sunday afternoon. You could then use Sunday evening to debrief with your family on what went well and what still needs some work.

During this period of time, I would suggest that you turn off the electricity, water, natural gas, and phones (you can just unplug them, if you want). Again, you want to simulate the Y2K environment as much as is possible.

Once you’ve finished your drill, write up the results and submit it to our Discussion Group. We have created a special topic entitled

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