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City, county have Y2K precautions in place

December 29, 1999

 



Telephone numbers for New Year's Eve.



Hagerstown Police Department:

301-739-6000

Backup city police department numbers:

301-988-3651

301-988-3652

301-988-3653

301-988-3654

301-988-3659

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301-988-3661

301-988-3662

301-988-3663

Hagerstown and Washington County governments' Y2K information hotline:

301-791-3814.

By DAN KULIN / Staff Writer

The Hagerstown Police Department will have eight additional cell phones at its disposal New Year's Eve.

The phones are intended to be used as a last resort in case the regular phone lines malfunction, Police Sgt. Jack Hall said Wednesday.

Hall said city residents who need to contact police should first try calling 911 or the police department directly at 301-739-6000.

"If they feel the phone system went down, as a last resort they should try one of these numbers," Hall said.

In addition to these steps by the police department, the Hagerstown and Washington County governments will operate a Y2K information hotline, which will take calls beginning at 8 a.m. Friday until early on Jan. 1.

The hotline number is 301-791-3814.

The hotline, which also is being called a rumor control line, will connect to both county and city operators who will be able to answer questions about both governments' systems.

The hotline can be used by people with Y2K-related questions or emergencies, should they arise.

Computer systems were left vulnerable to the Y2K computer glitch when early computer programmers, who were trying to save space, designated years with two digits. The fear is that without repairs or upgrades some computers might malfunction when the calendar turns from 1999 to 2000 if they interpret the date as 1900.

Over the past year, both city and county governments have extensively tested their computer systems, and neither government expects major problems.

Both governments, however, advise residents to have contingency plans in place, and to stock up on emergency supplies as if preparing for severe weather.

Recommended supplies include a flashlight, battery-operated radio, spare batteries, bottled water, food, and fuel for heating and transportation.

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