Y2K Preparation Includes Planned Shutdowns of Power

Washington State University has addressed the Y2K problem and has taken
steps to avoid disruptions on campus. However, despite a great deal of
planning and remedial action, there is still a remote possibility that outside
energy supplies could be interrupted. With cooperation from all personnel,
these potential problems can be minimized.

Regional power providers have made preparations for Y2K and it is anticipated
that all systems will operate without disruption. It is possible that some
unforeseen condition will result in a temporary outage.

As a precaution, WSU will prepare to use the campus power plant as an
emergency resource. This will require a short-term planned outage on Friday,
Dec. 31, and again on Saturday, Jan. 1.

The planned outages will last only a few minutes each as electric feeder lines
are switched to maximize distribution of power plant resources in the event of
an interruption of electricity from the outside.

WSU is prepared to provide a limited amount of energy to campus facilities on
a priority basis. The power plant is capable of generating two megawatts of
electricity. This is not enough power to run everything on campus; therefore,
electrical loads must be rationed to effectively distribute the power plant’s

All campus departments are required to reduce electrical loads by shutting
down equipment before Dec. 31 as a precaution against sudden power outages
during the rollover period.

Under a short-term (24 hours or less) outage, power will be supplied to a
number of campus facilities that are served by power feeders from the
generation plant. These facilities are mainly on the west side of campus.

Should a longer outage occur, the power loads will be reduced further so that
electricity can be distributed to priority facilities, including those on the east
campus. This means some west campus facilities will lose power so that higher
priorities can be served.

All departments are instructed to take the following steps before Dec. 31:

— Shut down or unplug all non-essential equipment. This includes items such
as computers, portable heaters, personal refrigerators, clock radios, research
equipment, lighting and any devices that use water.

— Protect research projects. Critical experiments and other functions that
require electric energy may not be protected in the event of a power outage.
Provisions should be made on the assumption that power could go out for an
extended period. Projects should be shut down or stabilized during the rollover
period. Departments are encouraged to utilize alternative means of protecting
critical research that cannot be suspended. If emergency generators are to be
used, contact Facilities Operations immediately at 509/335-9000 for assistance
in making proper connections.

Should a major outage occur, all employees are instructed to:

Tune in to local news. Most broadcasters have emergency power. The WSU
News Bureau is prepared to notify local and regional media if Y2K problems
develop and changes in schedule or other measures are required. If necessary,
WSU will issue an emergency announcement with instructions for essential

Check for updated information. Once services are restored, call the campus
emergency hotline at 509/335-7777. Internet users can go to the WSU home
page, which will have current information. The Office of Student Affairs will
also have updated information. That number is 509/335-4531. This line will be
staffed during business hours and will have a voice recording at other times.

If there is no outage, energy will be brought back to normal levels in a
systematic manner before the end of the rollover period.