Powers that be Ready in Albuquerque

On Dec. 30 the city of Albuquerque will open its emergency operations center to ring in the New Year.

As Clint Hubbard, the city's chief information officer, put it, a crew will head in to the city's 911 center to "get all the systems spinning."

Early on there will be representatives from the fire and police departments as well as public works. But by 4 a.m. on Dec. 31, things will be stepped up a notch.

Representatives from the rest of the city's departments will join the others, as well as people from the local power company, the hospital and the phone company. They'll be tracking New Year happenings as the turnover starts on the other side of the globe. At that time all city department heads and their support staff will be on call.

"We'll be in a ready status," Hubbard said. "We feel pretty confident that we're going to make the rollover and we're not going to have a big event."

To protect City Hall, the utility departments and other city offices will be on guard.

Providing that nothing is going wrong, the emergency crew will be able to head home Saturday morning, Hubbard said.

The information technology people will shut down every system that is not "mission-critical," such as the public safety systems, before the rollover, Hubbard said. So at about 8 a.m. Saturday, if all is well, people will return to their various city departments and turn everything back on.

Albuquerque got a jump start on possible Year 2000 issues a year ago when the mayor put together a Millennium Committee. The group, comprised of city staff and corporate and civic leaders, met monthly for briefings about what was going on in each others' areas. That way everyone was able to get familiar with not only Y2K issues, but also the key people in the city who would combat them, Hubbard said.

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