Some 911 numbers not Y2k compliant (nearly half) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


Updated: Monday, Nov. 8, 1999 at 21:47 CST

Some 911 numbers not Y2K compliant

By R.A. Dyer Star-Telegram Austin bureau

SAN ANTONIO -- As many as half the nation's 911 emergency networks -- generally those in rural areas -- may continue to have the Y2K bug in their computers, a top official for Y2K readiness said yesterday.

Therefore, residents should keep handy the direct dial numbers of local fire, police and ambulance services, said John Koskinen, chairman of the President's Council on Y2K Conversion. He also suggested stockpiling sufficient food, fuel and cash to last for "a long winter's weekend."

"The smaller institutions in the education and health-care fields are moving slower than we would like," Koskinen said in a speech to a convention of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. "The last information we have for the 911 systems are that only half of those systems are already Y2K compliant. So there are still areas where we have work to do, even with only 53 days left to go."

The Year 2000 bug occurs because older computer codes interpret the year 2000 as the year 1900. Koskinen's office has coordinated the nation's response to the computer glitch.

Koskinen said residents in developed nations should expect relatively few problems from the glitch, although Americans would be wise to prepare as they would for a winter storm.

He said the U.S. government has taken precautions against the unlikely event that problems elsewhere cause fuel shortages or other service interruptions here.

"We have filled the strategic oil reserve," Koskinen said. "Over the first few weeks of the Year 2000, ... we'll be able to draw from that reserve."

"Our concern is [also] about the small governments and small businesses. We have concern about small telephone companies. It's been very difficult to get information about how smaller telephone companies are doing."

In Texas, officials expect few problems with 911 systems or with service from the state's big electric and telephone companies. But residents served by smaller utilities and telephone companies may suffer service interruptions during the new year, said Pat Wood, chairman of the Public Utility Commission.

"The worst case is that their local area goes down, but they could be blocked off from pulling down the rest of the grid or the rest of the phone network," Wood said. "That's a key thing that wasn't evident before."

-- Homer Beanfang (, November 09, 1999



That's an important article. Thanks for posting it!

-- Linkmeister (, November 09, 1999.

Homer and Link, thanks for the good information you provide all of us. The last paragragh of this article somewhat surprise me. I guess, thats what they mean there could be some pockets of disruptions.

-- Bill (, November 09, 1999.

I think the "911 and ATM's" are a red herring. So much focus on their "compliancy" as if one couldn't walk in a bank and simply go to the counter, and one couldn't possibly call the police sargeant on duty or the fire department.

I have called the Sheriffs' office. It is real and it does exist.

What in the heck is all this goofy governmentally induced focus on "911 and ATM's?" I think one should wonder. A red herring only exists to deceive.

-- Paula (, November 09, 1999.

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