1999 - Media Hysteria
“Only 75% of federal mission-critical systems would be finished by January 1.”
- Westergaard.com Inc (Computerworld Staff 2000a)
A December 1999 poll of 1,011 adults, jointly convened by USA Today and the National Science Foundation found that 7% of those polled expected major problems to result from Y2K mistakes; 55% believed the effects would only last a couple of days; 42% planned to stockpile food and water; 21% planned to withdraw money from their bank accounts; 34% expected both banking and accounting systems to fail; and lastly, 51% planned to avoid air travel on, or around, January 1 2000 (Computerworld Staff 2000a). Evidently, the media had been successful in pushing its fear agenda, thanks to well-known media personalities and its usage of propaganda.
The CBS 6 and RTE news reports below are good examples of how emergency services prepared for Y2K in the United States of America, and Ireland: