Some Cities Flunk Y2K Self-Assessment Survey

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If Y2K preparation were an academic class, Hartford, Conn., would get an A, Salt Lake City would get a B and New York City would get a C.

These are a few of the results from a nationwide survey designed to get communities thinking about their current Y2K readiness status.

Representatives of 41 towns, cities and counties recently graded their emergency preparedness efforts using a 'report card' designed by the Center for Y2K & Society.

Participants answered 30 yes-or-no questions relating to utilities, public safety, information disclosure and other topics, scoring one point for each positive response. Point totals were translated into corresponding letter grades for the purpose of assessment.

Results so far indicate that areas needing the most work include ensuring the availability of key food stocks and supplies, ensuring that health care institutions including nursing homes will be able to continue offering full services, and distribution of preparedness information to individual households.

In Tucson, Ariz., city official Bob Cook said he took the survey questions at face value as he answered the survey questions. Tucson was one of three communities receiving an F. Cook blames the low grade on a lack of cooperation between the city government and the local Y2K planning group.

Cities like Tucson that earned less than 7 points, for a grade of F, are encouraged by the center to begin Y2K work on an emergency basis. Those scoring an A (24-30 points) have not necessarily completed planning but are progressing at a reasonable pace, said Philip Bogdonoff, the center's director of outreach.

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