Mayor Richard M. Daley Announces Chicago's Plans for the Rollover : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

-- Linkmeister (, November 19, 1999


[Fair Use: For Educational/Research Purposes Only]

Thursday November 18, 1:12 pm Eastern Time

Company Press Release

SOURCE: The Mayor's Office of Chicago

Mayor Richard M. Daley Announces City's Plans for Y2K Rollover

On Heels of Announcement of City's Y2K Readiness, Mayor, City Representatives, Sister Agencies and Local Utilities Gather at Y2K Command Center to Discuss Approach

CHICAGO, Nov. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Today Mayor Richard M. Daley, Superintendent of Police Terry G. Hillard and acting Fire Commissioner James T. Joyce announced the City's plans for handling the rollover to the new millennium, as well as the City's readiness for addressing the Year 2000 (Y2K) computer bug this New Year's Eve.

At a press conference at the City's Y2K Command Center at 1411 W. Madison Avenue, the Mayor and other City officials were joined by representatives from Chicago's sister agencies, such as the Chicago Housing Authority and Chicago Transit Authority, and local utilities, including ComEd, Peoples Energy and Ameritech, who will all have staff at the Command Center over New Year's weekend.

``One of the most important things we have to deal with related to Y2K is people misinterpreting everyday inconveniences for Y2K failures. Therefore communication in the moments leading up to the rollover and the few days after will be very important. The Command Center will become a communication hub that will help us provide accurate, up-to-date information to the media and Chicago residents. We will hold a series of media briefings on Friday, December 31 and throughout the New Year's weekend to ensure that Chicago is kept informed,'' said Mayor Daley.

Mayor Daley continued: ``While it is the City's responsibility to take the Y2K computer bug seriously and be prepared for whatever might occur, the turning of a millennium is an historic event that many will celebrate. We encourage Chicago residents to act responsibly this New Year's Eve.''

Approximately 30 local, state and national organizations, including several City departments, utilities, County representatives, members of the financial community, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the FBI will be represented at the Y2K Command Center, which will be located at the City's existing 911 Center. The Command Center will be staffed from 6:00 a.m., Friday, December 31 through 6:00 p.m., Monday, January 3.

In early November, the City released its third Y2K report card, which announced the City's Y2K readiness. The City has conducted all Y2K repairs and all testing of its 10,000 personal computers, mid-range servers and communications devices and embedded chips, and has surveyed its major vendors with an excellent response rate.

Throughout the year, the City has been coordinating Y2K preparation, contingency planning and communication efforts with several businesses and organizations to make sure that the Chicago region is prepared for Y2K and able to address any potential Y2K disruptions that may occur on January 1 and in the months following despite the best efforts of the public and private sectors to prepare. The City has coordinated its efforts with companies that provide critical services, such as energy, telecommunications, food and banking; groups such as the American Red Cross and Building Owners and Managers Association; Chicago's sister agencies; and the state of Illinois.

The City is now finalizing its Y2K contingency plans in anticipation of the December 31 rollover. For example, while no problems are expected, the CTA plans to stop its trains in stations a few minutes before midnight until a few minutes after midnight to assure passenger safety.

Contingency planning has been a major focus of Chicago's emergency services departments, which have updated the City's emergency plans, such as those used for the six recent Bulls championship celebrations, to take into consideration Y2K-specific issues.

``On New Year's weekend, the Chicago Police Department will be on the alert for any issues that could pose a threat to a citizen's welfare and public safety. We will have members of the Police Department at the Command Center to quickly determine those situations that are truly Y2K-related, and communicate information to Chicago residents. However, no matter what happens with Y2K, by celebrating responsibly Chicagoans and visitors can help make this a safe and healthy holiday that everyone can enjoy,'' said Superintendent Hillard.

In addition to asking people to act responsibly New Year's Eve, the City also urges Chicago residents to take public transportation. To facilitate this, the CTA is offering free rides from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. on the night of New Year's Eve.

The City has been conducting extensive outreach and distributing materials to Chicago residents and businesses to calm Y2K-related concerns and help people prepare for Y2K. At today's event, the City displayed a poster entitled, ``Y2K is nothing to fear,'' which outlines personal tips for preparing for Y2K. The City will distribute this poster broadly and will continue Y2K outreach to residents through end of the year to make sure that Chicagoans get the information they need about Y2K.

Updates on the City's Y2K efforts and informational materials, available in English and Spanish can be obtained by calling the City's Y2K hotline at 312-744-7246 and the City's web site at .

SOURCE: The Mayor's Office of Chicago


-- Linkmeister (, November 19, 1999.

"[P]eople misinterpreting everyday inconveniences for Y2K failures".

Don't you hate it when the lights go out every day? Or when the sewers back up every day? I sure hate it when my phones go dead daily (or is that "Daley"?). I hate it when the busses stop at midnight every night. Every day, it seems that nothing at all works, at least in the Windy City.

But I've gotten used to it. So I certainly won't misinterpret failures on 1/1/2000 as being Y2k-related. No siree. Thanks for the reminder, though.

-- Getting stranger (, November 19, 1999.

Having lived in Chicago for 20 years (before I GI and moved to rural Wisconsin this year) I feel sorry for Mayor Daley.

He's up against the complete incompetence of the Commonwealth Edison utility. They were awful this summer when they lost power downtown and I would never want them on my side. Too many screw ups. What people don't think about enough either is that People's Gas isn't much better. I had a friend who worked there in their accounting department. She quit. She said it's a royal mess.

Mayor Daley's heart in the right place. And believe me, that city will mobilize to try to save people if they need to. Daley feels it personally when people die. But they may be overwhelmed by the task at hand. I wish them Godspeed. I've begged my friends there who won't leave to please, please, please prepare or at least think about coming up to my place if things get bad. They, of course DGI.

And that assumes they can get enough gas for the 157 mile trip.

The Sanitation authority should be okay....but I don't know that for a fact. Just what I saw while a reporter there.

It's darn cold in Chicago in January. I hope Y2K is a 1 and not even a 6 or 7. There are plenty of 7-11's there. Lots of people would be toast.


-- Lara (, November 19, 1999.

Thanks Linkmeister, here are a couple to add to the topic:

Chicago Sun Times

Daley tries to nip Y2K fears

November 19, 1999


City Hall will have its say on the newscast after Sunday's made-for-TV disaster flick "Y2K--The Movie" to soothe viewers who might be panicked into thinking Armageddon is coming Dec. 31.

And the CTA is planning to dock its L trains at stations five minutes before midnight on New Year's Eve and keep them there for about 10 minutes to make sure no one gets stuck if the power goes out.

But Commonwealth Edison doesn't expect that to happen.

"We're confident we'll be able to deliver electricity on New Year's Eve and well into 2000," said Edison's Y2K expert Alan Ho.

After a disastrous summer for ComEd, CTA President Frank Kruesi is taking no chances.

"If there's a problem with electrical distribution, it's important that we have trains in stations. I'm not interested in trying to evacuate trains that are elevated or in subways--not docked in stations," Kruesi said.

City Hall has spent four years and $55 million troubleshooting computers and equipment with embedded chips in search of situations where the year is logged as two digits instead of four--99 instead of 1999. In those cases, computers could interpret the dawn of the millennium as 1900 instead of 2000, and they could malfunction or shut down.

On Thursday, Mayor Daley held the latest in a series of Y2K updates at the 911 command center that will serve as the city's headquarters on New Year's weekend.

He urged Chicagoans to "prepare for a major snowstorm--not the end of the world." And he disclosed plans to carry that message to viewers who stay tuned after Sunday's Y2K disaster movie for Channel 5-WMAQ's 10 p.m. newscast.

"We don't want anyone to panic. We don't want anyone to get hurt. We want everyone to celebrate responsibly," the mayor also said.

Beth Boatman, the city's Y2K official, said she's getting a lot of panicky letters, many from senior citizens asking, "Will my toilet flush. . . . That seems to be the major concern. . . . There seems to be a fear that's out there. That's what we're trying to concentrate on right now."

Daley urged homeowners and businesses with hard-wired burglar alarm systems to get them checked before New Year's Eve to prevent a slew of false alarms that night and scaring people into thinking there's a rash of burglaries.

The mayor was asked how he plans to spend New Year's Eve--whether he would batten down the hatches at the 911 command center or party with guests from around the world.

"Well, I have to go over there [to the party]. I have to do my Milly," he said, referring to the city's Millennium dance.


Chicago Tribune

City ready for smooth Y2K rollover

By Gary Washburn Tribune Staff Writer November 19, 1999

Chicago Transit Authority trains will pull into stations just before midnight on Dec. 31 and hold in place until motormen get an all-clear to continue, officials said Thursday.

The precautionary measure, designed to prevent trains from being stranded between stations if power goes out, is just one of the steps public agencies and the city have prepared to avoid computer-related problems as 1999 yields to 2000.

But officials still don't expect major difficulties, Mayor Richard Daley said Thursday at a press conference on Y2K readiness where he urged Chicagoans to take common-sense measures contained in a brochure being distributed by the city. The pamphlet recommends such things as having a battery-operated radio available in the unlikely event of an electrical outage, having grocery shopping done in advance and having up to a week's supply of prescription medicine on hand.

"Prepare as you would for a snowstorm, but not the end of the world," Daley said.

Some scattered, but minor, incidents may occur in the city, said Elizabeth Boatman, the city's point person on Y2K.

For example, burglar alarms in some buildings could be triggered at midnight on Dec. 31 if system alterations have not been made, and "sweep card" security doors in some buildings may not open.

But city services are expected to be provided without problem, Boatman said.

"We feel we are in excellent shape for the rollover," she said.

Metra, the commuter rail agency, plans to add extra trains after midnight to serve downtown partygoers and workers who will be on the job to handle Y2K matters. But the agency, whose fleet is mostly diesel-powered and has been deemed Y2K compliant, has not planned any special operating procedures.

The city, which has been preparing for Y2K for nearly four years, has spent $55 million to upgrade and replace computer equipment and check and replace microchips in more than 600 city buildings, the city's airports and bridge houses and 10,000 street and alley lights, officials said.

The city will operate a Y2K command center beginning early in the morning on Dec. 31 that will be staffed by officials of the Police and Fire Departments; other city departments; state, county and federal law enforcement agencies; the CTA and Metra; the American Red Cross; and the Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago.

Also present will be representatives of Commonwealth Edison Co., Peoples Gas, Ameritech and local financial institutions.

Heading the operation, located in the city's 911 emergency center on the West Side, will be James Joyce, the city's new fire commissioner.

The command center will be open through Monday Jan. 3, and media briefings will be scheduled each day. Special briefings will be held as needed, including to allay unfounded fears, officials said.

Indeed, one of the biggest concerns among officials remains the possibility of trouble created by panic or concerted action.

ComEd, for example, does not want customers to turn off their lights just before midnight in anticipation of a blackout, then turn them back on when the power doesn't fail. That alone could blow the system.

Or if someone's telephone does not work, it may be because a flood of calls has overloaded a circuit, not because of a Y2K failure, Daley said. But, "whatever happens, we will immediately get the information out," Daley said. "We don't want anyone to panic. We don't want anyone to get hurt."


-- Deborah (, November 19, 1999.

I just moved to Chicago in May. How do I spell IDIOT? L-U-D-I.

-- Ludi (, November 19, 1999.

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