Contingency Planning: Electric Ultilities : LUSENET : Millennium Salons : One Thread

As mostly non-technical people, there's not a lot we can do to directly impact the year 2000 problem at our power companies. We can't "get in there and fix it." But we can point our local power people in the direction of information and knowledge that will help them cope with the situation. Probably the single best resource for them on the web is Rick Cowles' Electric Utilities and the Year 2000 web site located at

As it regards contingency planning, anyone in your community who thinks there probably won't be that big a problem with power ought to read the contingency planning page on Rick's site. It's location is Here's an excerpt...

"At this late stage in the game, its safe to say that the chances are slim that any private industry or government sector will successfully complete a total Y2k remediation program. Those who have been working on it for quite some time have a shot at completing the most mission-critical systems, but any entity that got off to a late start on its Y2k program can expect problems down the road. Given the delayed recognition of impact from embedded systems exposures, and the lack of resources and tools to identify and remediate such exposures, the probability of Y2k impact on manufacturing and industrial processes is exponentially higher...

"...The theme of the January, 1998 Washington D.C. Y2K interest group (WDCY2K) was Contingency Planning. Somewhere on the order of 300 people (standing room only) listened as speaker after speaker hammered the message that government and private industry must start thinking now about planning for system recoveries in the aftermath of Y2k. Most telling was a request by Dr. Joe Clema of System Resources Company. Dr. Clema asked the audience of Y2k professionals: "Is anyone confident that your mission critical systems will be fixed and tested on time?" Not one hand out of 300 was raised.

"Ive been thinking about contingency planning in the electric utility industry for some time now. It took an email and conversation with a colleague who is not only a systems professional, but also a volunteer fireman, to bring contingency planning into perspective for me. At this stage, contingency planning needs to be viewed in the framework of emergency management system preparation and scenarios - in other words, a fire drill."

Another thing you can do is make you power company y2k people aware of the "Player's Only," password protected forum Rick started for power industry IT people. The following is a note Rick wrote concerning it. You may want to pass it on to your local power people:

"At the request of several folks in the electric industry, I've set up a separate password protected forum for electric industry reps who wish to exchange information in a more 'closed' environment. Access to the "Players Only" forum is limited to legitimate electric utility employees.

"Industry reps wishing to utilize the "Players Only" forum should contact me via email to request access to this discussion group, and I'll provide details at that time."

Rick Cowles

-- Bill (, June 07, 1998

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