SEATTLE, Wash. -- As strains of "Auld Lang Syne" lilted to a close in Alaska's outer islands, emergency managers across the entire Pacific Northwest cautiously cheered a relatively glitch-free Y2K "rollover." As predicted, there were no major infrastructure failures, no serious power outages, no financial crises, and no massive meltdowns of any kind. The smooth transition validated years of behind-the-scenes preparation from emergency managers at all levels of government, industry, health care and volunteer organizations. FEMA regional director David L. de Courcy credits Y2K with strengthening emergency management working relationships at all levels.
"We're not out of this yet. There may well be some issues to deal with next week as corporate America goes back to work," said de Courcy. "But it's not back to business as usual. I suspect that as a nation, we have never enjoyed such a high state of readiness. Homes, hotels and hospitals, schools, businesses and charitable organizations enter the year 2000 with emergency plans in place, as well as a good 72 hours of emergency supplies. Sustaining this level of preparedness will serve us well, whatever Mother Nature dishes out in the coming years."