St. Paul MN setting up an emergency radio network for the rollovergreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
St. Paul is concerned that even if the phone system has no Y2K problems, there could be an overload of calls:
-- Linkmeister (email@example.com), September 28, 1999
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City preparing radio network for year 2000
* Plan anticipates computer failure or phone overload
KARL J. KARLSON STAFF WRITER
In preparation for possible Y2K computer complications, St. Paul is setting up a 72-point emergency radio network citywide, just in case something goes wrong with the telephone system on New Year's Eve, city officials said Monday.
Utilities and telephone services are ready to handle any Y2K problems, Mayor Norm Coleman said at the latest in a series of preparedness updates on possible computer glitches related to the year 2000. Some fear that older computers could malfunction if they can't understand two-digit computer codes used to designate the year 2000.
Even if all computers function, there is the potential for telephone system overload, Coleman said.
``It is not directly related to Y2K, but it is the millennium, the New Year, and there is concern about Y2K,'' Coleman said. ``It could be the Mother's Day of all Mother's Days,'' he said in reference to what is traditionally the busiest telephone day of a year.
If the phone system malfunctions, citizens will be able to call for help from any of 72 sites, which will include the city's fire and police stations. Other locations, including 14 SuperAmerica service stations, will have radio-equipped Parks and Recreation trucks.
No city resident will be more than six blocks from a site, said Tim Butler, the city's emergency communications director. He said city workers and volunteers will staff the sites. They will assess any problem a citizen has and radio for the appropriate help, such as the fire department or an ambulance.
``The sites will be staffed from 9 p.m. until necessary,'' Butler said.
In cases of phone failure, Butler said, the radio system should be used in cases where citizens would call 911.
A map of the radio sites will be mailed to each city residence in November.
Coleman said the recent experience of Salt Lake City prompted the creation of the network.
``When a tornado hit downtown Salt Lake City (on Aug. 11), the mayor found she couldn't call anyone even with a cell phone to find out what was happening. The system was overloaded,'' he said.
When the Y2K issue first got attention, there seemed to be a great concern that everything would be affected by the computer glitch, Coleman said. Now that many companies have checked their systems and pronounced them ready, people may have become too complacent, he said.
``It is 95 days away, and we need to be prepared,'' he said.
-- Linkmeister (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 28, 1999.
it's a decent plan. wish other large cities had a clue.
-- jocelyne slough (email@example.com), September 28, 1999.
Ahh, radio. The twentieth century's first communications technology is still, after all, the most reliable and dependable.
Radios on trucks? Limited range..... they should invest in some cheap metal pipe and put roof antennae up.
-- Forrest Covington (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 28, 1999.
I agree,Its a decent plan. Norm Coleman got it about 2 years ago. He raised the issue of organizing shelters at the same time. The local media put him through the meat grinder.
-- Bill (email@example.com), September 28, 1999.