Things that normally go wrong (even without Y2K)
1% to 2% of the nation's 227,000 ATM's are down or out of
cash at any given moment.
One in 10 credit card transactions fail because of equipment
breakdowns, over-the-limit accounts or consumer errors.
In the past three years, weather problems or equipment
failures knocked out power for almost 1.7 million customers
in the U.S. and Canada in late December or early January.
Just over four rail accidents a year on New Year's Day.
Pipelines carrying natural gas and other hazardous materials
averaged 16 reportable disruptions for Dec. 31 through Jan.
3 over the last three years.
Public telephone network connections to 911 emergency
centers fail somewhere in the country nearly every week.
Over the last two years, an average of 41 phone system
failures affecting at least 30,000 customers for at least 30
minutes have occurred between January and March.
An average of 25 suspected computer intrusions are reported
daily (many affecting multiple users).
Sources: President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion;
Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions; Software
Engineering Institute of Carnegie Mellon University. Wall
Street Journal, Dec. 17, 1999
Daniel P. B. Smith