Local News

State Agencies Go Into Y2K Mode

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RALEIGH — While most people are ringing in the new year, the North Carolina National Guard hopes the phones do not ring.

The guard's communications center will kick into 24-hour operational mode before most people pop the first cork.

The center links 95 armories statewide. If anyone needs the guard, a rapid deployment call-in system is in place.

"We're prepared for a reasonable level of readiness," said Maj. Robert Jones of the North Carolina National Guard. "We have the capability to bring people in, should the possibility exist, we want to provide the citizens of North Carolina with the comfort to know that we have a plan.

"We have the ability to bring people in to help their local authorities if need be," Jones said.

North Carolina emergency managers will have a handful of extra workers in their communications center.

The approach is an on-call system to get people in fast if necessary.

"We can call out the state emergency response team within an hour's notice if we need to," said Renee Hoffman of theNorth Carolina Crime Control and Public Safety. "We really don't think that's going to be necessary.

"We certainly hope it's not going to be necessary, but if we need to get a lot of people in quickly to deal with any situations we can."

Wake County emergency response teams are also on-call.

"Should we need to have an additional operation period we already have a second shift so to speak lined up for the emergency operations center," said Martin Chriscoe of Wake County Emergency Management. "We have backup to the backup plans and people to back up those folks."

"We think we're as prepared as we can be right now," Chriscoe said.


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