Y2K Brings Neighborhoods Together

California communities are finding Y2K to be a bonding experience

There’s so many of us who don’t even know the people who live next door, or down the street from us. Everyone is so busy with their own lives, there’s no time to get to know the neighbors. All that is changing in some California communities where the potential computer Y2K bug is bringing neighbors together.

In Garden Grove residents have been taking classes at the Crystal Cathedral. The seminar is called "Y2K: The Year to Know Your Neighbor". The classes keep people from running to the hills or into isolation and ask people to run next door.

"In our society, we have very little contact with other people, " the Rev. Glen DeMaster told the Los Angeles Times, "but in an emergency, it’s very important to know who to call."

Many residents say the program has already helped them make friends and identify people who may need assistance if the power goes out due to Y2K. The classes ask people to make a list of neighbor’s names and telephone numbers and identify elderly residents who may live alone or need medication.

Many communities are taking actions and each in their own way. In the San Lorenzo Valley near Santa Cruz, four unincorporated towns are working together. The group has developed an emergency network of residents that will be called into action in the case of an emergency.

One mobile home park is really taking the lead in emergency planning. The park, located in Half Moon Bay, was divided into eight sections. Each section is led by captains who communicate with two-way radios. They hold practice drills and are ready in the event of Y2K or an earthquake whichever may come first.

In Mission Viejo, the city is putting together a team of residents who will place stop signs at intersections on January 1 if the power goes out and the traffic signals go dark.

All this togetherness may not break-up once the New Year begins. A lot of the people working together now have formed friendships and bonds that will get them through any other crisis that could come their way.

Source: Los Angeles Times

DATE: 12/2/99

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