Clinton Readies 50 State Emergency Declarations : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

If this has been posted already, I apologize in advance.

Clinton Readies 50 State Emergency Declarations

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BP) -- Fifty declarations of emergency, one for each state, have been prepared for President Clinton to sign on New Year's weekend if regional computer glitches occur in the United States due to the "Y2K" problem.

"For the weekend beginning New Year's Eve, we have prepared 50 emergency declarations in case there is any scenario in which a local area's problems cannot be handled by local and state emergency personnel and a request for a presidential declaration of emergency is requested by a governor," said Mark Wolfson, a spokesman for the Federal Emergency Management Agency told Baptist Press.

FEMA, based in Georgia, is responsible for coordinating the federal government's nonmilitary response to all national emergencies, such as those caused by acts of terrorism, war, hurricanes, tornadoes and disruptions of power or other necessary services which could be sparked by Y2K glitches related to computer's coping with the turn of the millennium.

Federal authorities and civilian experts on the Y2K bug expect, at most, regional essential service disruptions in the United States. But widespread, serious and life-threatening problems could occur in other nations, especially those such as Russia, which lack the funds to pay to upgrade their systems to prevent Y2K computer glitches.

"We could see massive failures of power, phone and other communications systems in Russia and other nations that have reasonably developed infrastructure but which have failed to spend the billions needed to ensure their systems will not crash," said Michael Hyatt, author of "The Millennial Bug" and "The Y2K Personal Survival Guide," both published by Regenery Press. Hyatt is a vice president of Thomas Nelson Publishers in Nashville, Tenn.

How overseas problems impact the United States is not clear at this point. But Hyatt and others have said if power failures occur in the midst of the bitterly cold winters in Russia, North Korea, China and in other nations, deaths from exposure and other problems may result. "Such disruptions could quickly lead to disorder, which could create problems not only within that nation, but for its neighbors, the United States and other nations," Hyatt said.

What concerns Hyatt most of all is that terrorists might use any glitches that do occur in the United States to launch terrorist strikes here, relying on the Y2K computer failures to divert or severely limit police response to such actions. Hyatt said the United States and/or its allies could be hit by terrorist acts coordinated with battles between nations. Or skirmishes could break out between nations that are unrelated to the terrorist actions other than the belligerents also rely on the Y2K problems to impact any response by the nation being attacked.

The Y2K bug is a problem created by a programming decision made when personal computers were in their infancy. Because computer memory was much more expensive to produce a decade and more ago than it is now, programmers for most computer software abbreviated the year each program was created to the last two digits. By doing so, there is an expectation that computers will read the year 2000, which will appear only as 00, as being 1900 instead of 2000.

American businesses, industry and local, state and federal government agencies have spent billions of dollars to rewrite or replace aging computer software created with only two digits for the year. But computers that have not been corrected could shut down and refuse to operate, or eliminate or otherwise damage existing software as it would appear to the computer's electronics that the software has not yet been created.

"I consider myself a Y2K agnostic," Hyatt said. "All the data we have on Y2K is self-reported. Very little is certified. We really don't know if the original problem would have created any crisis. But still, it is best to err on the side of being prepared."

Hyatt said individuals should have a three-day survival kit on hand to ride out any disruptions in power or food supply. Each kit should include three days of non-tap water, canned food, batteries, flashlights, battery-operated radios and so forth. A gallon of bottled water should be purchased and set aside for each member of the family for three days or more.

"Everyone should have a three-day emergency kit comprised of such things anyway," Wolfson said. "There are always storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and other natural disasters that could strike your area, disrupting essential services and forcing you to rely on whatever you have at hand."

A list of emergency items to have on hand can be found on the White House Y2K preparedness site, available at

() 1999, Baptist Press)

(Post date: December 7, 1999)

-- hiding in plain (sight@edge. of no-where), December 16, 1999


Thank you for an important post.

-- Irving (, December 16, 1999.

Bear in mind that if a state calls out the National Guard, the state pays for it. If the federal government calls out the National Guard, the federal government pays for it. Hence, the likelihood is that the federal government will be requested to call out the guard for a particular state; may as well have the papers ready just in case.

-- Old Git (, December 16, 1999.

Just for the record, I have never made any comments about a "three- day emergency kit." I don't know where Baptist Press got this statement from. It sure wasn't me. In view of what could happen, I think this amount of preparation iw woefully inadequate. I don't believe Y2K will result in TEOTWAKI, but I do believe the impact will be more significant than a three-day winter snowstorm.

-- Michael S. Hyatt (, December 16, 1999.

"I consider myself a Y2K agnostic," (Michael) Hyatt said. "All the data we have on Y2K is self-reported. Very little is certified. We really don't know if the original problem would have created any crisis. But still, it is best to err on the side of being prepared."

What? What? What? We don't know? The original problem? What is this garbage? Has the original problem changed? Would have systems run just fine if we had left them alone?

People go to this guy for commentary? Really, people.

-- Buster (, December 16, 1999.

hiding in plain sight@edge. of no-where...

Great post, many thanks.

And Mike Hyatt, thanks for the great work you have done.

-- Uncle Bob (UNCLB0B@AOL.COM), December 16, 1999.

I see you there, Michael. I've held your few higher than this in the past, but you've got to explain this agnostic stuff better than that. Really. I consider it's likely the reporter confused this position, so convince me of your position.

-- Buster (, December 16, 1999.

Old Git,

Good point. So if a state is announcing that the National Guard will be deployed on the 12/31/1999 to "help with directing traffic and crowd control", one could safely understand that the state is anticipating problems bigger than they have admitted publically. Newport, KY across the Ohio from Cincinnati announced today that the Ky National Guard will be deployed to assist Ky law enforcement during New Years Eve. On 12/31, Newport is hosting something called the Liberty Bell celebration or something similar in name.

-- Bill P (, December 16, 1999.

Personally and IMHO, I think Y2K will be just a small and only somewhat exciting taste of what is to come after that. The people will be shocked as they see the year roll in with minor inconveniences. This will temper society for the big fall later. NOBODY will believe the cryers when the warning goes out. Nobody will pay mind to those who warn of danger. And the trap is set.

Doomers from this forum even will become convinced that they prepped for the worst once, and it was nothing like they thought. Never again will they be budged by the words of caution. They were "conned" once, never again.

I say to you, lay not aside your sense of caution people. The storm will subside, but the Tsunami is soon to follow.

-- Sgt. Rock (sly@dark.nes), December 16, 1999.

That's it, Sarge. Now turn 'Apocalypse Now' back on and get me a beer!

-- Bad Company (, December 16, 1999.

Thanks for the post hiding in plain sight.

A special thank you to Michael Hyatt. Your efforts are much appreciated out here in the vast hinterlands.

-- snooze button (, December 16, 1999.

THANK THE LORD YOU SPOKE UP IN THIS POST MICHAEL!! I just about lost my faith!! :-) You are the LAST PERSON i expected to revert to the "bump in the road" scenario!!!!!!!

-- tt (, December 17, 1999.

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