DHS&EM 16 January 2008 Situation Report 08-016Postmark
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From:Wednesday, January 16, 2008 11:24 AM -0900
Subject:DHS&EM 16 January 2008 Situation Report 08-016 

SITUATION REPORT 08-016 (as of 11:00 AM, January 16, 2008)

Homeland Security Advisory System – National Level:  Yellow-Elevated
Homeland Security Advisory System – Alaska Level:  Yellow-Elevated
Maritime Security (MARSEC) Level – Level I – Low.
Military installations in Alaska are at FPCON A.
State of Alaska Cyber Security Alert Level: Guarded
World Health Organization Pandemic Phase - Phase 3: No or very limited human-to-human transmission (An Influenza Pandemic situation report, which contains an explanation of the WHO Pandemic Phases, is attached to this situation report and updated every Tuesday)

Threat Level Changes
No change.

State of Alaska Situation
(Updates to this section from previous Situation Report are in Italics)

Rural Alaska Fuel Shortages
The SECC continues to work with communities in rural Alaska that are facing fuel shortages and/or power generation problems.  The SECC is coordinating with local, state and federal agencies and other organizations to ensure that the situation in these communities does not reach the point of becoming a disaster emergency.
The National Weather Service in Fairbanks has issued the following:
Heavy Snow Warning
- Northern And Interior Seward Peninsula including Buckland, Deering, Candle, Council, Haycock, Pilgrim Springs, Serpentine Hot Springs and Taylor.  Heavy snow warning is in effect until 3 pm this afternoon with snow with accumulation of 3 to 7 inches is expected today.  Heaviest snow will be from Buckland east. Accumulation is in addition to snow which fell overnight. Blowing snow with locally low visibility will also occur.

- Lower Koyukuk and Middle Yukon Valleys including Galena, Nulato, Huslia, Kaltag, Ruby and Koyukuk.  Heavy snow warning remains in effect until 6 pm this afternoon.  Snow and areas of blowing snow will continue today. Additional accumulation of 2 to 6 inches is expected. Heaviest snow will be over the Nulato Hills.

Blizzard Warning
- Upper Kobuk and Noatak Valleys including Ambler, Shungnak and Kobuk.  Blizzard warning remains in effect until 9 pm this evening.  Snow will combine with winds to cause visibility near zero at times until 9 pm this evening. Southeast winds 15 to 25 mph with local gusts to 40 mph are expected. Snowfall will increase in intensity through the day and reach a peak during the afternoon.  Accumulations of 4 to 8 inches can be expected before the snow tapers to flurries during the evening. Heaviest snow will be over higher terrain.

Current weather warnings and watches for Alaska can be found at the following National Weather Service web site:  http://www.arh.noaa.gov/

Travel Advisory
State of Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF), Northern Region Maintenance and Operations has issued travel advisory for the Dalton Highway at/or near Atigun Pass, milepost 245-250:  Reports high winds of 30 plus mph with low visibility, heavy drifting and blowing snow travelers are advised to use extreme caution while traveling through this section and watch for equipment out on the roadway.

DOT&PF Road Information:  can be found at http://511.Alaska.gov/ or by calling 511.

Homeland Security

Oil rises towards $94 as commodities rally. Oil rose to nearly $94 a barrel on Monday, halting a three-day losing streak amid a wider commodities rally, as the dollar’s weakness and tensions involving Iran countered worries of a global economic downturn. U.S. light crude for February delivery rose $1.04 to $93.73 a barrel by 1315 GMT, off lows of $92.41 earlier in the session. Oil, which hit a record high of $100.09 on January 3, has since mostly fallen on growing fears of a possible economic recession in the United States, which could curb demand in the world’s biggest oil consumer. The verbal exchanges between Washington and Tehran have rekindled worries that Iran, the world’s fourth-largest crude exporter, could cut oil exports to retaliate against U.S. pressure over its nuclear program. In Nigeria, militants fighting for regional control of the country’s oil-producing south detonated a remote-controlled bomb on an oil tanker on Friday, causing a big fire. Analysts said the oil market was caught between the opposing influences of short-term tight supply and downside risks to oil demand from a slowing economy, with geopolitical events and speculators driving prices in the near-term. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said on Sunday a slowing global economy would not affect oil demand in the short term and lead to a price collapse.  Source: January 14, Reuters http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080114/bs_nm/markets_oil_dc_5

Scam targets military spouses. The American Red Cross is warning military families about a scam that puts a soldier’s identity at risk. The group says scam artists are contacting military spouses, saying they work for the “Red Cross.” The caller tells the spouse their loved one has been injured in Iraq and has been transported to a hospital in Germany. However, before doctors can treat him, the caller says, they need to complete paperwork. The caller asks for the soldier’s social security number and birth date. The American Red Cross says their workers do not directly contact families or dependents of servicemen and women.  Source: January 14, WITN 7 Washington – http://www.witntv.com/home/headlines/13763802.html

FCC warns of fraud via phone relay service. The Federal Communications Commission is warning businesses that people posing as hearing-impaired consumers have been misusing the Internet-based telecommunications relay service (TRS) to commit fraudulent business transactions. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and FCC regulations require that calls made using TRS be “functionally equivalent” to telephone calls. Reaching a specially trained communications assistant on TRS and instructing them to make a call is, in effect, the same as receiving a dial tone. Anyone can use TRS, and unfortunately, the FCC says, people without disabilities who are posing as hearing-impaired are using TRS and stolen or fake credit cards to scam businesses. While the ADA prohibits businesses from rejecting calls made using TRS, businesses can take steps to protect themselves against fraud. The FCC is working with the Department of Justice, FBI and Federal Trade Commission to stop fraudulent transactions made by phone or over the Internet. To better protect you, the FCC urges merchants accepting orders by telephone for goods or services to take steps to ensure that any order placed by phone is valid and the purchaser is authorized to use a particular credit card. Merchants should also beware of callers who are happy to order “whatever you have in stock; supply multiple credit cards as one or more are declined; can’t provide the credit card verification code number (the three-digit number on the back of the card); want goods shipped through a third party and/or to an overseas location; and change delivery or payment method after the order has been approved.” If you believe you have been a victim of fraud or attempted fraud, report it to the FTC at www.ftc.gov or 888-FTC HELP.  Source: January 13, Baltimore Sun – http://www.baltimoresun.com/business/bal-z.ml.scam13jan13 ,0,2315581.story

Nearby blast puts nuclear plant on temporary high alert. Workers at the Prairie Island nuclear plant were put on high alert temporarily after a man blew up a dump truck about a mile away. Goodhue County, Minnesota, authorities say a Welch Township man used explosives he had ordered through the mail to blow up the truck on his property Sunday. Workers at the plant heard and felt the blast around 5 p.m. The vice president of the plant site said the plant was put on heightened security from about 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. until officials could determine what had happened. He said the plant returned to normal activity once investigators determined that the blast was not connected to the plant.  Source: January 14, Associated Press – http://wkbt.com/Global/story.asp?S=7619072

Pacific Rim
(Nothing to report today)

Pakistan Intelligence Guided Militants, Sources Say. Pakistan's premier military intelligence agency has lost control of some of the networks of Pakistani militants it has nurtured since the 1980s, and is suffering the violent blowback of that policy, two former senior intelligence officials and other officials close to the agency say.  As the military has moved against the militants, they have turned on their former handlers, the officials said.  Joining with other extremist groups, they have battled Pakistani security forces and helped militants carry out a record number of suicide attacks this year, including some aimed directly at army and intelligence units as well as prominent political figures, possibly even Benazir Bhutto.  The growing strength of the militants, many of whom now express support for al-Qaida's global jihad, presents a grave threat to Pakistan's security, as well as NATO efforts to push back the Taliban in Afghanistan.   Source: The New York Times, 01/15/2008, http://www2.tbo.com/content/2008/jan/15/na-pakistan-intelligence-guided-militants-sources-/

Lebanon blast hits U.S. embassy car. At least three people were killed when an explosion hit a U.S. embassy vehicle in a Christian neighborhood of Beirut, security sources told Reuters on Tuesday.  The sources also said that a passenger of the diplomatic vehicle was wounded in the attack.  They said the blast was heard loudest in the Dora suburb in north Beirut. Smoke rose into the sky from a coastal road in the area.   Source: Reuters01/15/2008, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22665350/ 

The Next Situation Report: will be published as of 11:00 AM, January 17, 2008. A significant change in the situation or the threat level will prompt an interim report. Please direct questions regarding this report to the SECC at 907-428-7100 or secc@ak-prepared.com.

How to reach the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management: Phone the State Emergency Coordination Center (SECC) by dialing (907) 428-7100 or 1-800-478-2337, 24 hours per day.  Information on emergency topics is available on the Division's web site at http://www.ak-prepared.com.  Homeland Security information may be found at http://www.ak-prepared.com/homelandsecurity/

How to reach the Division of Administration – State Cyber Security Program:  If you have questions you may contact Darrell Davis, State Computer Security Officer darrel.davis@Alaska.gov.

For further information:
Being prepared: Ready.gov
Countries:              U.S. State Department Background Notes.
Maps:           United Nations Cartographic Section
                University of Texas Library Map Section.