FEMA preparing for Y2K disaster
February 24, 1999
ATLANTA (CNN) -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency -- used to dealing with unpredictable disasters such as hurricanes, floods and fires -- finds itself in the rare situation of knowing when a crisis may strike.
FEMA workers are gearing up for a potential Y2K emergency, predicted to happen when some computers fail to recognize the year 2000 and cease to function.
"Given the current level of information available, we should prepare for Y2K as we prudently prepare every year for a
FEMA and other federal agencies are also meeting with state and local emergency managers to determine who's ready for Y2K and who is not.
"The department is confident that electric power will not be a Y2K problem," said Janet Benini of the Transportation Department.
Although a number of Washington bureaucrats have made similar assurances, some local officials are wary.
"They haven't finished their total assessment and we haven't finished ours," said Bob Lay. an emergency manager in Brevard County, Florida. "Until we finish that assessment, I don't know that I can paint the same rosy picture."
Officials in nearby Miami-Dade County are asking residents to have enough food and water stored up for 14 days, which would see the area through a disruption similar too that caused by Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
Meanwhile, FEMA has planned a national Y2K readiness exercise for June.
"If preparing for Y2K helps prepare America for earthquakes, hurricanes or floods or anything like that, it will have been well worth the effort," said Walker.
Correspondent Marsha Walker contributed to this report.
White House shifts Y2K focus to states
FEMA: Federal Emergency Management Agency
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