Emergency Preparedness and the Year 2000 Challenge
FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY WASHINGTON DC
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The Year 2000 Y2K transition created one of the greatest emergency preparedness challenges ever faced by the Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA and State and local emergency management organizations in the United States. This event was unique in the annals of emergency management because it had the potential to affect many different geographical areas and systems simultaneously. FEMAs normal mission of reducing loss of life and property and protecting Americas critical infrastructure from all types of disasters made it a key Federal Agency involved in Y2K preparations. FEMA used an Executive Secretariat, including representatives from all major Agency components, to lead the Y2K program. FEMA approached the problem from three perspectives information technology, emergency preparedness, and response. This structured management approach was effective, providing coordinated decisions allowing for quick actions on the Agencys part. FEMA also supported the Presidents Council on Year 2000 Conversion, chairing the Emergency Services Sector Working Group, and leading the Catastrophic Disaster Response Group Federal Departments and Agencies in preparing for potential responses to Y2K consequences. The Y2K transition resulted in few disruptions and was successful in large part because of extensive preparedness, technical assistance, and outreach activities on the part of FEMA and many other organizations.
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