Calmly Playing It Safe

As the new millennium rapidly approaches, Lehman's hardware store in Kidron Ohio, has the right stuff at the right time.

The shop is in Amish country, CBS News Correspondent Richard Schlesinger reports, a part of the United States where many people shun modern conveniences. Everything Lehman's sells is non-electric, and lately most of the customers have been non-Amish.

"Y2K has definitely affected our business," Galin Lehman explains. "We've had a lot of people in the store that we've never had before."

Hand-cranked flashlights and other back-to-basics items are drawing customers to Lehman's. Shopper Sheri Hyster says she's not scared about Y2K, but adds, "just in case, though, I'm prepared."

Across the U.S. a lot of people want to be prepared. There are no signs of serious hoarding, however, and people are following the government's suggestions.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's Robert Adamcik suggests that people "maintain enough food and water for perhaps a long weekend for you and your family. Be sure that you have batteries in your portable radios, batteries in your flashlight."

Sales are up modestly for basics like bottled water. And to avoid problems like the British are having with malfunctioning credit card readers, the banking system in the U.S. has an extra $50 billion on hand in case there's a rush on ATMs.

Businesses and governments have spent billions and worked for years in anticipation of Friday night. And despite all the fears of hoarding, Americans appear to be treating Y2K as more of a milestone than a menace.