Massachusetts Y2K bunker ready : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

-- Linkmeister (, December 13, 1999


[Fair Use: For Educational/Research Purposes Only]


Y2K Bunker Ready - (FRAMINGHAM) -- While the rest of the state rings in the New Year, and the new millennium, about 200 people will be down in a 40-foot-deep concrete-lined bunker in Framingham, monitoring the Y-Two-K situation. Governor Paul Cellucci will stay in touch with the group of police officers, National Guardsmen, state officials and lawmakers through a secured communications line. While revelers party, the group in the bunker will be keeping an eye on the power grid and other infrastructure. They'll also use global maps, 24- hour news reports and overseas telephone lines to monitor the Y-Two-K bug in Europe and Australia, where it will hit first. Officials tell "The Boston Globe" they don't expect a catastrophe, but local disruptions, like those experienced during a severe winter storm, are still possible.


-- Linkmeister (, December 13, 1999.

Thanks Linkmeister.

Wasn't there a phrase used during the cold war called "nuclear winter"?

Circumstances like a "winter storm". Do you know anyone who goes into a bunker when the weatherman forecasts heavy snow?

-- maid upname (, December 13, 1999.

Fair use and the whole story.

Riding out Y2K

In Framingham bunker, a full alert on New Year's Eve

By Michael Crowley, Globe Staff, 12/12/99

On Dec. 31, as citizens around Massachusetts begin arriving at New Year's Eve parties, about 200 officials - legislators, police, National Guardsmen - will descend 40 feet underground into a concrete- walled bunker to monitor the coming of the year 2000.

Inside the bunker's atomic blast-proof walls, the group will watch over power grids and global maps and 24-hour news reports, and stay in telephone contact with Australia and Europe, to see how the date rollover to 2000 affects those continents first.

Even as they plan their huddle inside the Framingham fortress, which has its own food, water, and air supply, officials emphasize that they do not expect catastrophe and say disruptions akin to a powerful winter storm are more likely.

Still they will be ready. A secured communications line is being dedicated so the governor, who lives 10 minutes away, can keep abreast of the situation around the state.

''If something goes bad, he's going to get in his car and come here,'' said Peter Judge, spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

The agency is even posting armed guards outside the bunker entrance, in the unlikely event that pranksters or people frightened about Y2K disasters try to gain entry.

The underground operations center - commissioned during the Cold War by President Kennedy - will be on alert from Dec. 30 through Jan. 1. The agency is bringing in about 30 extra cots for officials who will be working shifts of up to 24 hours.

Those officials will represent agencies throughout state government, as well as the state's utilities. They include a liaison from the US Department of Defense, members of the state National Guard, and state Public Safety Secretary Jane Perlov. Also expected are state Representative Lida E. Harkins and Senator David P. Magnani, cochairs of the Legislature's Science and Technology Committee, and a throng of reporters.

The building - staffed year round by the emergency agency's workers - is often used to oversee disruptions such as northeasters, as well as disasters such as the October crash of EgyptAir 990 off Nantucket. It was last at a state of full alert during Hurricane Floyd this fall.

Built in 1962 as part of the Cold War Civil Defense program, the bunker was designed to keep state leaders alive through a Soviet nuclear attack. Kennedy wanted one in each state, but only New York and Masssachusetts ever built them.

It boasts 14-inch-thick reinforced walls, an eight-inch-thick steel door, and massive springs that allow it to move up to one foot in any direction - and absorb the shock of a nuclear bomb.

To help those elites underground survive, backup power generators were installed, along with specially purified air and water, bunk beds, and a cafeteria.

''We could close the doors and 300 people could survive here for 30 days,'' Judge said. (Most of those people, at least: the bunker is equipped with a small morgue capable of storing two bodies.)

Those heading underground are viewing the experience as something in between a serious exercise in emergency management and a sleepover party.

''They said we can't bring alcohol in, but they didn't say anything about the parking lot, so we'll be tailgating,'' Magnani joked recently to the State House News Service.

The officials will spend most of their time in the bunker's main operations room, where six wall-mounted televisions will be tuned to news reports and giant maps will be used to identify and track trouble spots in Massachusetts and around the world. In a nearby communications room outfitted with radio equipment and weather computers, red, orange, and black phones will provide direct hot lines to the Seabrook, Pilgrim, and Plymouth nuclear power plants, as well as to federal agencies such as the Secret Service.

Despite the bunker's ominous-sounding amenities and precautions, officials say their time underground might be uneventful. But the hours leading up to midnight on Dec. 31 and the first days of 2000 will be filled with considerable tension.

The bunker's state of alert will begin at 7 a.m. on New Year's Eve, when the date change first arrives in populated time zones across New Zealand and Australia. State officials say those locations will offer the first indications of how modern industrialized society is affected. The Framingham bunker will also be wired to London's Heathrow airport for word of how Europe has been affected.

The mood in the bunker at midnight will be based on what Y2K has wrought elsewhere in the world, Judge said, especially in countries with comparable technology and Y2K awareness.

''It depends on how the previous 17 hours go. Obviously if things are not going well elsewhere we may have a little more trepidation,'' Judge said.

Judge noted that even if midnight passes quietly, it will be too soon to exhale. ''Just because everything doesn't go black at 12:05 doesn't mean we're all set. It's going to go through the next day before we have a feel for how things are working.''

Val Asbedian, the top state official monitoring Y2K readiness, expects little more than ''annoyances'' come Jan. 1, many of which could take hours or days to materialize.

Asbedian, who will be in the bunker, acknowledges that midnight will be a hold-your-breath moment. ''You can't help but be waiting for it,'' he said. But he adds the pivotal moment will likely pass quietly.

''It will be anticlimactic,'' he said. ''And we will have missed out on some hell of a good parties.''

-- Peg (, December 13, 1999.


-- Peg (, December 13, 1999.

The Massachusetts bunker is brought to you by a state whose official recommendation is that a three day supply of food and water "will do". (Sheesh, at least Kosky goes with "at least" three days...)

-- Brooks (, December 13, 1999.


Your post says "only two states" built them. Colorado has a bunker (see post-don't know where now-Bunker Golden Co.)

When did Colorado build theirs?

-- maid upname (, December 13, 1999.


Built in 1962 as part of the Cold War Civil Defense program, the bunker was designed to keep state leaders alive through a Soviet nuclear attack. Kennedy wanted one in each state, but only New York and Masssachusetts ever built them.

I have no idea when Colorado built theirs.

-- Peg (, December 13, 1999.

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