While no one can predict what will take place when the calendar rolls over to the next century, it seems increasingly possible that anything from the videocassette recorder in the den to warning systems protecting the United States from nuclear missiles could go awry.

Between those extremes is the need for churches and individuals to prepare. Michael S. Hyatt, author of The Millennium Bug (Regnery Gateway, 1998) and Y2K: The Day the World Shut Down (Word, 1998), says Christians "need to take the initiative and become proactive. If all this fails, it becomes very much a consumer problem." He suggests lobbying utilities and government agencies to demand Y2K compliance early and to prepare for problems if such compliance is not achieved.

Hyatt recommends that individuals assess their homes, businesses, and churches in terms of Y2K vulnerability. This includes a canvass of essential systems (electrical, water pumping, heating/cooling, security) to see if any of the controls of these systems might be affected by Y2K issues. In businesses and churches, Hyatt says it is important to obtain written certification that banks and other suppliers have Y2K-compliant systems in place in case liability from failed systems or services becomes an issue later.

Checking embedded systems—the chips that run everything from microwaves to elevators—can be more difficult. In terms of critical systems, it is worth checking with the supplier or manufacturer to receive written confirmation of Y2K compliance. If systems can be fixed to handle Year 2000 issues, repairs should be scheduled as early as possible. December promises to be a busy repair month.

While survivalists and those of a more pessimistic bent are focusing on amassing vast quantities of food and other goods, it will be prudent to have at least a small supply on hand in case of an initial disruption in food supplies. Emergency generators cost under $400 and could provide enough energy to keep a refrigerator, freezer, and small appliances going.

Editor's note: Kellner (Kellner2000.com) has authored the book Y2K: Apocalypse or Opportunity.

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