INTERESTING... (Associated Press):Tests of Kosky's Info. Center haven't gone as well as hoped! : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

By way of WXYZ-TV Detroit's web site. Scroll about half way down....

Troubles In Disneyland on the Potomac?

-- PJC (, December 18, 1999


Everything's goin' be alllllll right with these geniuses.

-- PJC (, December 18, 1999.

State Agencies, Police Prepare for New Year's Eve

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Computers have been tested, traffic lights have been rewired and emergency plans have been drafted, practiced and drafted again. Now, state officials must sit back and wait for the year 2000.

``This is a very unusual time for everybody,'' said Michigan State Police Capt. Edward Buikema, who leads the state's Emergency Management Division. ``We're really not expecting any problems with the critical infrastructure. We've spent a tremendous amount of time, money and energy on this.''

The state appropriated $55.6 million to make sure its thousands of computers would recognize the year 2000 and make other preparations for the millennium.

By early November, the state had spent $37.8 million, including money for outside contractors to evaluate if the state was adequately prepared.

Still, state officials admit it's difficult to feel totally ready for this New Year's Eve, since no one has ever seen the likes of a millennium changeover.

Some computers could smoothly change dates from the 1900s to 2000; others could fail. Police could face the usual round of New Year's mischief, or incidents on a much larger scale than expected.

Matt Davis, spokesman for the state Department of Corrections, said it's impossible to predict what will happen, but ``we've exhausted the limits of what we foresee is possible.''

``We're confident that we can meet any short-term crisis,'' Davis said. ``We always have emergency plans in existence. Whether it's the end of the millennium or the beginning of the millennium, it doesn't matter.''

To keep a handle on Y2K events, the Michigan State Police will staff at levels slightly higher than for a normal holiday weekend, spokesman Dave Verhougstraete said.

In addition, 100 police and other state officials will staff the state's emergency operations center in Lansing from the afternoon of New Year's Eve through New Year's Day, Buikema said.

That office will be responsible for collecting reports from emergency management coordinators across the state.

The reports will contain information about any power outages, food shortages, telecommunications disruptions, transportation problems or any other issues related to Y2K.

Once information is collected from local police, the state will make it available through news briefings at the emergency center. The briefings are being sent live to television and radio stations around the state.

The office also will prepare a report for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is running the President's Y2K Information Coordination Center in Washington, D.C. Tests of that system haven't gone as well as hoped.

Earlier this month, computers at the national center crashed when states tried to send their data, Buikema said. But he expects the system to be working in time for the New Year.

``For the most part, we expect counties to report no problems,'' Buikema said. ``I highly doubt we will have any Y2K-related deaths or injuries.''

Gary Naeyaert, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, said getting information to people will be critical, especially if weather _ not Y2K _ is to blame for power outages and other mishaps.

``We could have problems that are not unique to Y2K, but in a year where an impassable road would cause anxiety, we want to make sure people don't panic,'' he said. ``People's fear is more important than the reality.'' [ oh dear there they said it outright! ]

Naeyaert said the Department of Transportation will be staffed as it would be for a blizzard during the New Year's weekend.

He said the department also has tested timed traffic lights -- the only kind of traffic lights that require computer chips -- for Y2K compliance.

Naeyaert assured drivers that even if the timers fail, the lights will continue on a normal rotation without the timer.

``I predict this is going to be the biggest nonevent of the millennium,'' Naeyaert said of potential Y2K problems.

Mark Wesley, a spokesman for the state's Emergency Management Division, agreed that calming people's fears about Y2K has been a major part of the state's preparation.

``We don't want people acting irrationally and turning minor inconveniences into a crisis for us,'' he said.

With that in mind, the Emergency Management Division is running public service announcements on 84 radio and television stations telling people that the state doesn't expect any disruptions of power or other services.

The state also targeted senior citizen centers and nursing homes with special brochures warning them not to give out Social Security numbers or other information for people who claim to be selling ``Y2K insurance'' and other bogus, millennium-related items.

``We felt we should address this with the seniors because in any disaster situation, they're especially vulnerable to people who run scams,'' Wesley said. ``There have already been some reports of that going on.''

-- they think reality (doesn't@count.anymore, surprise!), December 18, 1999.

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