Media Coverage: Back Up Power : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Does anyone know what back up power the media had available for their Y2K reporting efforts around the world beyond the ability of the local utility to provide back up power in the event of power loss? I ask this question because it occurred to me that the first thing the utilities would have in place for immediate reponse to power failures are back up systems. If these systems immediately kick in, would we notice it beyond perhaps a flicker or a few second delay? Has anyone inquired as to whether or not back up systems are running anywhere around the country or world? It appears Y2K became a national security risk the last two weeks before the rollover. This then became a similiar concern for the rest of the world. Yeltsin's resignation was a strong message on the Eve of Y2K. Would any country after all of that risk announce to the world that they had systems down? Could back up systems give the appearance of all is well? I am very happy, almost elated today that the power is up. It just seems the "all is well everywhere" is almost too good to be true. Just a thought. Any comments?

-- Jeanette Thomas (, January 01, 2000


Response to Y2K Media Coverage Back Up Power

About 'It just seems the "all is well everywhere" is almost too good to be true. Just a thought. Any comments?'

I have worked for a long time with businesses and systems that were on the very edge saying to myself, "how long can this continue?" Businesses that I thought would be gone 30 years ago are still in business, barely hanging on.

Systems fail all of the time. Every day, some group of residents of our country are without power or telephone service, but it doesn't get much attention. I was personally been told by my boss 17 years ago to "keep quiet about how bad things are for us. We might be able to recover from this. If word of this leaks out, all of our customers will leave us and we will fail for sure. If you say anything to anyone, I will sue you for every penny you dream of ever making." The business failed and as an employee (not an owner) I lost $10,000 in back salary and expenses. I saw it coming and didn't say anything. Perhaps that is one of the reasons I have been speaking out about potential Y2K problems -- to not repeat a past error.

So, we have constant failures. Some part of the telephone office and telephone network is not working at any time, yet it is not serivce-affecting so the customers never notice. When I managed technical systems I always set as my goal to know about failures and fix them before those failures affected our customers. There is a point where failures accumulate faster than we can fix them. It is at those times that customers notice problems.

So for me, Y2K is about whether the failures will surpass the threshold and become visable. Perhaps our technical systems are more resilliant than even I thought. So far, so good.

-- Ray Strackbein (, January 01, 2000.

Response to Y2K Media Coverage Back Up Power

I suspect something of that nature happened on one of the local channels here in Seattle. We were watching the celebration take off, as the turnover struck here, and were not more than a few minutes into it when the TV screen went totally off...just dead. It took about 10 seconds for that to sink in, and we looked at one another, wondering exactly what it was that had quit: the power, the TV or the station. Before that half-minute of time was done, the station came back on again, and not a word about the 'hiccup' was ever mentioned.

-- Irv Thomas (, January 02, 2000.

Bakup systems are no doubt part of the contingency plans for any major media outlet. However, speaking from a rural small town point of view, our regional radio station, which servies 4 towns ranging from 5,000 to 90,000 had NO backup power we were told during a citizen's audit.

The newspaper chain had no backups plans, no extra supply of ink or paper and no generators.

Had there been anyt problems we would have been relying on national an diternational radio broadcasts.

The city had plans, we were told, but they were not released to residents.

-- Richard Wright (, January 02, 2000.

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