CA Office of Emergency Services (Govenors Office) & Y2K : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

CA Office of Emergency Services (Govenors Office) & Y2K

Hummm. And our national media thinks there is no Y2K problem??? -- Diane

CA Office of Emergency Services (Govenors Office) -- -- Click on icon for Y2K Implications For California Emergency Management

What is the Y2K problem?

On December 31, 1999, equipment and computer devices with date sensitive chips or software may fail as the date rolls over to the year 2000. Other dates related to the new millennium may also trigger equipment and computer failures.

The problem, known as the Y2K or the Millennium Bug, arises from the fact that many computer systems represent years with only two digits instead of four, and fail to correctly handle dates beyond 1999.

The potential impacts of the Y2K problem present serious challenges to California's emergency management organizations. Worldwide computer failures are anticipated in industry, government and health care. Critical infrastructure systems such as power, water, sewer, communications, and transportation could experience outages and failures. The failure of any of these systems could create a disaster situation as well as hinder the response capability of emergency response organizations.

What OES is doing The Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES) will, through a number of initiatives, assist state and local agencies, and private industry to identify potential Y2K failures, the possible consequences, and coordinate contingency actions.

OES is working to reduce the likelihood and severity of Y2K related impacts on emergency management agencies. OES is ensuring its internal systems are Y2K compliant including the Response Information Management System (RIMS) which is used to coordinate the state's response to disasters and other major emergencies.

Additional efforts include developing:

* Informational advisories on specific Y2K issues

* A comprehensive contingency plan focusing on the kinds of consequences that can be expected and coordinating contingency actions

* Contingency plan workshops focusing on Y2K preparedness

* The California Impact Report, an analysis of potential Y2K problems

* Presentations on the Y2K implications for emergency management

In addition, OES will work with the emergency management community to identify other tools and initiatives. OES will also monitor current state and federal law which addresses Y2K concerns, such as liability issues for Y2K.

Emergency Management Challenges

The primary challenges for California's emergency management community are to ensure that:

* Their own systems remain operational, especially emergency response systems

* Utility and other critical infrastructure services remain operational

* Hazardous material releases and other emergency incidents are not caused by Y2K related failures

* Local and state public safety organizations prepare for potential emergencies caused by Y2K related failures

Emergency Management Implications The implications of the Y2K problem are twofold:

1. Impacts to emergency management infrastructure

The failure of systems used by public safety organizations may compromise their response capability. Examples include:

* 911 and police, fire, and medical dispatch systems

* Emergency vehicles

* Communication switch failures

* Traffic systems - e.g. air, train, ship

2. Consequences of potential Y2K related failures

Y2K related failures can disrupt critical infrastructure services and systems, in both the public and private sectors, resulting in emergency situations such as:

* Power disruptions and outages

* Transportation accidents

* Loss of communication systems

* Delays in food supply and distribution

* Loss of drinking water supply

* Sewage treatment failures and resulting releases

* Hazardous material releases and other emergency incidents

* Medical equipment and device failures - e.g. pacemakers, defibrillators

Department of Information Technology (DOIT)

In addition, DOIT is the lead state agency for information management concerns and Y2K efforts. More information on DOIT and its programs can be found at


(The following list represents valuable resources for the Y2K emergency management community.)

The Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES) P.O. Box 419047 Rancho Cordova, CA 95741-9047

Contacts: Information Technology Branch: (916) 464-0789

Planning and Technological Assistance Branch: (916)464-3200 Web site:

California Department of Information Technology (DOIT) Y2K Project Office 801 K Street, Suite 2100 Sacramento, CA 95814 Web site:

United States Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem Web site:

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Web site: Emergency Management Gold '98 Web site:

The Cassandra Project Web site:

For more information: for computer related issues contact Information Technology Branch (916) 464-0789

For contingency planning issues contact Planning and Technological Assistance Branch (916) 464-3200


-- Diane J. Squire (, November 28, 1998


Sounds like a perfectly reasonable thing to do. Prepare for the worst you can prepare for (esp. when you don't know what level of trouble to expect) and hope the worst doesn't happen.

-- Paul Davis (, November 28, 1998.

This sounds like the source where the city of Pasadena got their "to do" and "we are concerned about" lists.

Its a start.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, November 29, 1998.

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