the Concord Magazine

Aug/Sept '99
The Ezine for and about Concord, Massachusetts

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Stronger Neighborhoods and Y2K: Questions and Answers

By the Staff of the Concord Magazine.

concord y2k We asked members of Concord Citizens Y2K (CCY2K), the ad hoc community group devoted to strengthening Concord neighborhoods, some of the questions our readers have been asking us about their town-wide effort. Di Clymer, Jimi Two Feathers, and Deborah Bier answer below.

To reach CCY2K, call Di Clymer at (978) 369-7172 or Jimi Two Feathers at (978) 371-2502 or email or

Is anyone in Concord really interested in these neighborhood meetings?

Answer: DC -- "We have identified at least 75 cohesive neighborhoods in Concord. Thirty of them have a designated Neighborhood Contact to be the link between their neighborhood and the town emergency team. Several have had neighborhood meetings already. If you have not yet heard about a meeting in your neighborhood, please contact us (see above). Through the fall, we want each and every neighborhood to have one or more gatherings. The sooner the better to give everyone the most time to discuss and make decisions."

I don't think there's going to be any problems due to Y2K. Why should I care about this neighborhood program?

Answer: DC -- "I think good neighbors mean a higher quality of life. As Concord residents, we often find we don't know many of our neighbors very well. We value stronger, closer neighborhoods, and we hope that while we talk about preparing for neighborhood crises should they arise, we will get to know each other better. "

Answer: JTF -- "It also means greater safety. We need to be helpful to each other for whatever type of need might arise. This may be due to an area crisis like a blizzard or power outage, or an individual one like an illness or injury in the neighborhood. "

What do you think it going to happen on January 1, 2000?

Answer: JTF -- "No one knows for sure, but I'm guessing probably not a whole lot. Problems due to Y2K are likely to happen sometime after January 1st in the weeks that follow. With the exception of the telephone: between people phoning each other on New Year's Day to wish each another happy millennium and picking up the phone to see if there is still a dialtone, it is very possible this could overload the system."

How much food and water should I store? For how long?

Answer: JTF --"That's up to you. Each person needs to decide for themselves even if they want to store anything at all. And then, you need to decide what span of time you want to have covered. At this time, the Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are asking people to store a week's worth of food and water. Some individuals have decided to store less or more. This is a personal decision only you can make for yourself. Once you make that decision, there are many places you can find out specifics, like in your neighborhood meetings, on the Web (here is a bibliography), or take one of the upcoming Concord Carlisle Adult Ed programs."

Aren't our town officials going to take care of any problems that might arise?

Answer: DB -- "They've made it pretty clear that their resources will be stretched very thin and will be trying to take care of only the worst problems. A lot of things are going to have to be taken care of within the neighborhoods.

"That's why neighbors are getting together in neighborhood meetings, talking about their particular neighborhood's risks and strengths, and deciding how they are can best meet the possibile needs themselves. Each neighborhood is different and only its members can decide this.

"Some neighbors are meeting in groups, helping each other figure out what they may need to learn or to store. Others are getting together and making joint purchases of emergency supplies (such as a CB radio) which not every household would need, but would serve the entire neighborhood in an emergency. The combination of creativity, life experience, and common concern is bearing some wonderfully inventive fruit!"

Isn't all this getting people together to talk and think about Y2K just going to frighten everyone and make us panic?

Answer: DB --"I think it's just the opposite: it's NOT talking about what concerns us that makes anxiety and fear grow. Like the invisible monster that lurks underneath the bed, it can reach enormous and distorted proportions as it hides in the dark.

"Getting together and learning how many strengths, tools, and skills we have as a group helps us feel more able to cope. Knowing we are doing our best to prepare also makes us feel strong and more sure.

"When I first thought about preparing my home and family for possible Y2K disruptions, I was in a panic trying to imagine how I was going to do it all myself -- how I would even figure out what I needed to do. But the minute I decided to work with my neighbors on this, I instantly felt relieved and optimistic. In talking with others, I have heard again and again how they have had this same experience. "

Text: ©1999 The Concord, MA Homepage
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