Los Angeles City Fire Department Y2K Web-site

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Los Angeles City Fire Department Y2K Web-site

The Los Angeles City Fire Department http://www.lafd.org http://www.cityofla.org/LAFD/index.htm

The Year 2000 - The LAFD and other City agencies prepare for Y2K http://www.cityofla.org/year2k/index.htm

PREPAREDNESS INFORMATION http://www.cityofla.org/year2k/pi.htm

General Description

Under the City's Year 2000 Project, the City's "State Of Readiness" is measured by its level of Year 2000 compliance coupled with the adequacy of its contingency plans. In addition to the contingency planning efforts of public and private sector institutions, there is the need to provide guidance to residents in terms of Year 2000 mitigation and emergency response preparations. The information below is meant to be a primer of what you should do to prepare for the Year 2000.

What is the Year 2000 problem?

The Year 2000 problem is a direct result of the industry wide data processing dependency on date information and the common programming practice of representing the year in a date field with only two (2) digits. In order to save cost and space, programmers used "shorthand" for handling dates (e.g. 1997 was represented as 97). However, since the 'century' digits were omitted, some computer programs will assume'1/1/00' to mean 1/1/1900 instead of 1/1/2000.

How does it impact me?

"So, there's a problem with dates in computer programs. How does that impact me?" Computer programs are used to give instructions to a computer to perform some function. That function could be to turn off the lights in a building, turn on the heater or air conditioner, calculate the interest on a loan, delete records after a certain date, etc. This type of date problem can affect personal computers, computer networks, telephone systems, just to name a few.

Since we have come to rely on computers for almost everything we do, it's important to begin making plans in case those "computers" are not available or do something incorrectly. Preparing for the Year 2000 is similar to preparing for an earthquake, the only difference is now you know when it will come and there will be a few more things you'll need to prepare. Your initial level of preparedness should begin with disaster preparedness. In general, the following are those emergency preparedness steps you should already be taking:

* extra supplies of essential commodities such as food and water; * adequate waste and trash disposal supplies; * emergency lighting; * a family communications plan * first aid kit and other health care information and supplies.

In addition, you will require guidance as to emergency preparations that should be taken as a result of Year 2000's unique aspects. These may include:

* updated financial transaction records for bank accounts, mortgages, mutual funds, credit cards, insurance policies, etc. * identify appliances, equipment, services and utilities that may require remediation * identify methods to fix your personal computer, if necessary.

What can you do?

As stated above, plan for this as you would plan for an earthquake.

If you need to know if something you own is year 2000 compliant, you will need to contact the manufacturer or visit their web site. For example, to make your Personal Computer Year 2000 compliant, contact your PC manufacturer.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Preparedness web site http://www.fema.gov/pte/prep.htm contains more information on steps you can take to prepare. This site also has links to many other sites. Just click on "Links to related Y2K web sites are available from FEMA's Global Emergency Management System (GEMS)".

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), November 27, 1998


Three cheers for L.A. City Fire Dept. At least they are acknowledging a potential problem. Any other municipalities taking proactive stances such as this one? Police or EMS departments? Any hospitals?

We need some good news.

-- Sara Nealy (saran@ptd.net), November 27, 1998.

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