As I’ve said many times, I don’t know what will happen as a result of
Y2K. Neither does anyone else — despite what they may tell you. The
truth is that it will probably depend on where you live and what kinds of
systems you depend on.

In some areas, the electricity may indeed go off. In other areas, there
may be rolling brownouts. In still other areas, the electricity may flow
uninterrupted. As the recent Senate Report on Y2K (Sept. 22) put it, “A
prolonged nationwide blackout will almost certainly not occur. …
However, local and regional outages remain a distinct possibility.”

The prices of some retail goods you depend on may go through the roof,
particularly if they are imported. Others may remain unaffected. Again, to
quote the same Senate Report, “The maritime shipping industry has not moved
aggressively toward compliance, leading to the likelihood of disruptions in
global trade.” and, “severe long- and short-term disruptions to supply
chains are likely to occur.”

The point is, that you need to remain flexible in your expectations. If
you expect things to go without a hitch, you will likely be disappointed or
angry. On the other hand, if you expect everything to fall apart overnight —
and it doesn’t — you may feel that you were foolish for having prepared.
Remember, it may take a while for things to unravel.

The one thing that I am absolutely confident of is this: all us are in
for some surprises.

The best way to make it through the next 12-18 months is to remain
flexible. Don’t be surprised when you are surprised. Plan for as many
different scenarios as time and other resources allow and then hope for the

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