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The Federal Emergency Management Agency has issued plans which include the use of the military as a domestic police force in the event of Y2K civil disturbances.
The plan also provides for the movement of large numbers of people into shelters in the event of a disaster associated with Y2K computer failures.
The FEMA plan of action for the Y2K crisis is outlined in the report “Contingency and Consequence Management Planning for Year 2000 Conversion: A Guide for State and Local Emergency Managers.” The plan was recently made available to local governments throughout the country.
As part of the FEMA Federal Response Plan, there is a detailed plan for the evacuation, shelter, and care of large populations. Such plans for shelter are in place for any major disaster, but they have been incorporated into Y2K consequence planning by FEMA.
The plan describes the details of care for up to 300,000 people including registration, feeding, emergency first aid, mail delivery, and all other aspects of care for a minimum of 30 days following the start of the crisis.
FEMA predicts that the magnitude of the disaster “will rapidly overwhelm the capacity of State and local governments to assess the disaster and respond effectively to basic and emergency human needs.”
There are references in the FEMA documents to the use of the military and their equipment as part of the Y2K Federal Response Plan. The National Guard and local law enforcement are also included in the plan.
“Each state has the general responsibility for law enforcement, utilizing local resources, and State resources, including the National Guard (to the extent that the National Guard remains State authority and has not been called into Federal service or ordered into active duty),” says the FEMA plan.
In the event that a problem or disturbance is beyond the ability of local law enforcement to handle, FEMA has provided a means within the plan for federal law enforcement and the U.S. military armed forces to be called into action.
The plan specifies that it is the President who will call the National Guard into federal service, and “use the Armed Forces, to end the emergency or suppress the disturbance.”
Franklin Frith, hired by Michigan to help prepare local governments for the consequences of the Y2K problem, believes the time will come when the federal government will place citizens in shelters and take control of private businesses.
Mike Prince, a public affairs officer for the emergency management office of the Michigan State Police, calls Frith an extremist, and says he is not aware of such plans.