Arlington County, Va., prepped for Y2K

Arlington County, Va., has been preparing for Year 2000 for the past three years, and its systems are complete with contingency plans. But county officials must also have a Year 2000 progress report prepared by 11 a.m. on Jan. 1, when the County Board holds its annual meeting.

Both county and school agencies have developed business contingency plans to support the continuation of essential services. The county will activate its Emergency Operations Center on the evening of Dec. 31 to respond quickly if the need arises, said Jim Coliton, a consultant to the county's Y2K Project Management Office.

"The emergency operations center will be staffed by the county manager, the head of the division of technology and information services and representatives from the fire department, police, schools and public utilities," he said. "All the major players will be there, and there are task groups for shelter, communications" and other areas.

About 50 employees will be on duty and another 50 will be on call to come in at 7 a.m. on Jan. 1 if necessary. "We have an A-shift and a B-shift to provide 24-hour coverage of anything that might occur," Coliton said. Arlington County also has 23 reporting stations throughout the district located at schools, fire stations and other areas. In the case of widespread telephone failure, a county vehicle equipped with a radio, cell phones and a CB will move in so people can make any necessary emergency calls.

The general information telephone number for Arlington County government, (703) 228-3000, will be available to deal with Year 2000 issues beginning at 8 p.m. on Dec. 31 and will remain available until all such problems have been remediated.

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