This warning has to be encouraging. I had wondered if all the preparation by the Feds was going to remain clandestine. I wondered if the Feds, with FEMA, would set us up so that the New World Order could use Y2K to take our freedoms away. This article shows quite the opposite. This is a sound and well thought out warning. If Americans don't get ready, and if we do lose our freedoms during a tragic crisis, then no one can say the Feds didn't warn them. I suggest you print this and hand it to your chief of police and school superintendent. Tell them you expect them to get ready.
Agency says local communities need to focus on problem
By Stephan Archer © 1999 WorldNetDaily.com
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is urging local communities, the emergency services professionals and the general public to get ready now for the Year 2000 computer bug problem.
Computer failures across the nation and world could be widespread if the Y2K problem isn't resolved by Jan. 1, the agency warns. These potential failures may result in serious consequences for the nation at the turn of the millennium, says FEMA.
According to Mary Walker, a spokeswoman for FEMA in the Office of Emergency Information, some of the consequences of Y2K-related computer failures will be minimal, such as the shutdown of individual personal computers. Others, however, could have dire consequences, such as power and communication failures with immeasurable impact on the nation's commerce and infrastructure.
According to FEMA, most states have expressed concerns about these more serious consequences of Y2K. Power failures top the list of issues raised by the states. FEMA said that many states are also concerned about their limited resources to assess, test and remediate systems.
Although many government agencies -- both statewide and nationwide -- are officially remaining optimistic that the computer problem will be resolved by the Year 2000, Walker advised that everyone take precautions as if planning for disaster.
"We recommend that people prepare for Y2K the way they would for any other disaster," said Walker. "The thing to do is to get ready and take the measures that need to be taken so that there isn't a problem."
In other words, storing up supplies such as food, water, flashlights, batteries, prescription drugs and warm blankets and making sure that battery-operated radios work would be the normal procedure for preparation of the potential millennial crisis.
Walker added that any problems associated with Y2K would be sporadic.
"We don't expect to see a Y2K problem on a massive scale," said Walker.
Supporting this statement by Walker, a recent FEMA survey has shown that although emergency management directors at the state levels are well underway in their preparation for the Y2K crisis, the emergency service systems at the local government level remain largely untested.
"Clearly, the most serious potential for problems is at the local level, and this is what we are concerned about," said Mike Walker, deputy director at FEMA headquarters in Washington.
Stressing the importance of Mary Walker's earlier statement about preparation, Mike Walker said, "It is very important that counties, municipalities, school districts and other organizations that have not yet begun to work on Y2K issues, start now. While some failures will be minor annoyances, some may have more serious consequences."
The Y2K computer bug is the result of many years of computer programming in which year dates were recorded with two digits instead of four. The year 1999, for example, would simply be 99.
Although computers were programmed in this fashion to save memory space, this practice has now created the current Y2K problem because computer functions that rely on year date records won't know if the date record "00" (for the Year 2000) should actually be 1900 or 2000. It's this programming method that can cause computer failures across the world creating havoc for thousands of agencies, businesses and individuals.
"Every community, every organization and every individual has an obligation to learn more about their vulnerabilities and take action to prevent potential problems before they occur," said Mike Walker. "Potential problems need to be identified and addressed now."
For those who want to find out more about how Y2K could affect them, a Y2K consumer hotline has been set up. They can be reached at 1-888-USA-4-Y2K or 1-888-872-4925. More information is available at FEMA's website [http://www.fema.gov/y2k].
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