Koskinen: "Very real Y2K dangers still exist in many small and midsize communities"greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Navy Y2K "Worst-Case" Scenario
By David McGuire, Newsbytes
August 23, 1999
A US Navy document predicting widespread electrical and water system failures come Jan. 1, 2000 was not only based on old data, it used a methodology designed to produce a worst-possible case scenario as well, John Koskinen, chair of the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion, today told Newsbytes.
"The context for this is that if there was no information (from a utility provider), they put it down as a possible failure," Koskinen said in an interview. That methodology made failures seem far more likely than they probably are, he said.
The report, which was removed from the Navy Website earlier this week, predicted far more significant outages and failures than have periodic reports from Congress and the President's Council.
But in a statement today, Navy officials said the document was a "work in progress," and was not intended as a public statement on Y2K readiness.
"The Department of the Navy maintains an internal working document referred to as the Master Utilities List that records the ongoing status of these utilities' own Y2K assessments," the statement said. "The information contained in the document is used to facilitate the Department's Navy-wide shore contingency planning efforts. There are no indications of likely widespread failures of water, electricity, gas or sewer."
Commissioned to give Naval leaders a clear understanding of their potential Y2K exposures, the report examined the Y2K readiness of utility companies that serve US Navy bases.
Of the roughly 400 communities surveyed, the report cited 60 areas where failures were "likely."
But while the methodology of the Navy survey may have resulted in an overly bleak assessment of the readiness of local utility companies, it does point to the very real Y2K dangers that still exist in many small and midsize communities, Koskinen said.
"There are not going to be national failures, but people need to continue to look" into the readiness of their own community systems, he said.
The report episode should serve as a warning to companies and other organizations about the need for Y2K reporting, according to one congressional source.
"This is why companies need to be communicating with people (about Y2K)," a source close to the Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem told Newsbytes today. "If you put it out as a big unknown, then it lets people's imaginations go wild."
-- Gayla (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 22, 1999
Translation: It ain't my turf, it ain't my fault.
Call it a pre-emptive strike in "the blame game".
-- King of Spain (email@example.com), August 22, 1999.
Koskinen's insistence that there will be no "national" failures seems to me to be rather deliberately disingenuous...and it is one reason why I put no trust in any of his utterances. Last time I looked, we had no "national" water, sewage, or electrical systems. They all are local, to one degree or another. Classic misdirection. What a guy!
-- Norm Harrold (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 22, 1999.
Koskinen has no clue! People in small towns have a much bigger chance of surviving Y2K than people in New York City!!! In fact NY will be a hell hole in 2000!!!
-- Y2K ready (Y2K@ready.com), August 22, 1999.
Your chances of surviving in a smaller community prepared is better than someone living in a huge city in an apartment on the 35th floor with limited space to store supplies. The biggest threat to survival is having no water, no food, and disease. No everyone can leave the city because there's not enough space to put everyone. Communities that were once sleepy towns 5 years ago are booming and running out of space. People are migrating from the city to suburbia to the hills and country. I just hope that nothing happens and things remain calm, but I have my doubts.
-- bardou (email@example.com), August 22, 1999.