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1998-01-03 09:31:00


Contingecy Planning in Cities: Who's in Charge?


Martyn Emery is the head of Corporation 2000, a company that investigates the y2k preparedness of cities. It was his warning regarding public utility water systems on December 6, 1996, that pushed me into high gear on y2k.

His December 31, 1997 warning, based on an intensive study of New York City and several cities in England, is sobering.

* * * * * * *

The co-ordination, contingency planning and execution of a safe December 31st 1999 - year 2000 transition will prove to be the largest and most complex logistical exercise ever undertaken in peace or war. Every city, state, county and country throughout the entire world will be performing this exercise concurrently. On the front-line will be the emergency services, the health sector, utilities, telecommunications, transportation, military, governmental agencies, media communications, to name but a few.

Whilst it is true that in the past years 'the authorities' have dealt with natural and man-made global disasters, to differing degrees of success. What makes Operation M-Day (TM) so complex is the sheer unpredictability and global pandemic nature of the problem. It is also highly probable that key elements of our infra-structure or economic regions could already be mortally wounded come 1st December 1999! Analyzing the OMB's or the UK Governments (Ranked 1and 2 in the world) quarterly reports provides a good source of real scientific information on progress that we must use objectively, to say that there is a real probability that The Department of XXX will not be fully functionally from November 1999, let alone January 1st 2000.

In the UK, Prime Minister Tony Blair has taken a personal interest in the crisis and has instructed ACTION 2000 to start the process of co-ordinating infra-structure compliance. During January 1998, ALL the key elements (Top 20) of the UK's infra-structure will meet to start the process of developing a strategic alliance to ensure that the management of the year 2000 crisis is something that we can look back on with great pride.

In 1998, computing celebrates it's 50th birthday, with the first programmable device being made in 1948, it is our belief that Information technology is about to experience its first of many 100-year storms. The question is, who in your city or country is accountable for the contingency planning of Hurricane 2000?

From: Martyn Emery

Helpful Sources:

Laura K Kaplan, Emergency and Disaster Planning Manual (New York, 1996);

Zelinsky & Kosinsky, The Emergency Evacuation of Cities (Maryland, 1991);

Fainstan, Gordon and Harloe, Divided Cities: New York And London in the Contemporary World (Oxford, 1992);

Curvin and Porter, Blackout and Looting in New York City, July 13th, 1977 (New York, 1979);

N. Alex, New York Cops Talk Back (New York, 1976);

Clifton Hood, The Building of the Subway (New York, 1993);

George W. Carey, A Vignette of the New York - New Jersey Metropolitan Region (New York, 1978)

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