DHS&EM 18 January 2008 Situation Report 08-018Postmark
Home • dailysitrep • DHS&EM 18 January 2008 Situation Report 08-018
From:Friday, January 18, 2008 12:01 PM -0900
Subject:DHS&EM 18 January 2008 Situation Report 08-018 

SITUATION REPORT 08-018 (as of 11:00 AM, January 18, 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 City of Nikolski has received and begun offloading a major fuel shipment at 4am this morning.

The City of Egegik reported a brief power loss and partial power was resumed yesterday afternoon.  The cause is not yet determined.  The Egegik Light and Power has scheduled a mechanic to assist in full repairs.

High Wind Warning
The National Weather Service Anchorage reports that a strong storm system south of the central Aleutians will move north into the central Bering Sea tonight.  The NWS in Anchorage has issued high wind warning for the following:

- Eastern Aleutians including Unalaska and Nikolski.  High wind warning is in effect until 8 pm this evening.  South to southeast winds 50 to 80 mph will persist through this evening then will diminish to 35 to 50 mph by midnight.

- Central Aleutians including Atka and Adak.  High wind warning is in effect until midnight tonight.  South to southeast winds 50 to 80 mph will persist through this evening then will diminish to 35 to 50 mph after midnight.

A high wind warning means a hazardous high wind event is expected or occurring. People are urged to secure loose objects that could be blown around or damaged by the wind.

Homeland Security
(No credible threat to Alaska reported)

Terror threat from Europe could lead to strict controls on traveling to America. The growing threat of terrorists from Europe has led America to consider forcing Britons and other visitors to go through tougher checks when they enter the country, according to the U.S.’s head of homeland security. He told the BBC that Europe was increasingly seen as a platform for a potential terror attack in America. He explained that he had no plans to scrap the visa waiver program, but could force Britons and others to register online before traveling. The BBC also reported that a posting to a known Islamic extremist website talked about founding a branch of Al Qaida in the U.K. and killing British politicians, including the prime minister.
Source:  January 16, Daily Mail – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_ article_id=508535&in_page_id=1770

Government touts ‘border cards’ as passport alternative. While U.S. citizens will be required to show proof of identification and citizenship at land and sea borders beginning January 31, the truly big changes will occur in June of 2009 when citizens returning to the United States via land and sea will be required to carry passports, just as they are required to when arriving via air today. But there is an alternative. The Department of Homeland Security has approved a number of alternatives for frequent border crossers. First, DHS is working with numerous Border States to develop “enhanced drivers’ licenses” that would meet government security requirements and be accepted at border crossings. Washington State’s first enhanced license should be issued later this month. Vermont, New York, and Arizona also have signed agreements with DHS, and other states are in discussions, said an official from Customs and Border Protection. The State Department is also developing a passport card -- a wallet-sized card that would be cheaper and more convenient than a passport, but would fulfill the same function at land borders. Passport cards and enhanced drivers’ licenses both will have “vicinity radio frequency identification,” or RFID chips, which will identify the holders as they approach border checkpoints. The CBP official said the chips will not transmit sensitive information; rather they will contain a unique number that the CBP can use to automatically call up information on the travelers and query law enforcement databases. The number is useless to anyone who does not have access to the government databases, she said.  Source:  January 15, CNN –http://www.cnn.com/2008/TRAVEL/01/15/border.cards/index.html

Study finds doctors not reporting medical mistakes. Almost two-thirds of doctors say they are willing to report medical errors, but many of them just do not do it, according to a new study by an associate professor of medicine at the University of Iowa, Carver College of Medicine. His study of 338 doctors from teaching hospitals across the country is published in the January 14 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. While 73 percent of the doctors said they would disclose any medical error that caused minor medical harm, and 92 percent said they would report an error that caused major damage, such as death or disability, only 18 percent said they had actually reported minor errors, while only 4 percent said they had made a major error and reported it. Even more troubling, 17 percent acknowledged having made a minor error and not reporting it, while 4 percent indicated having made, but not disclosed, a major error. The occurrence and reporting of medical errors became a major issue in 1999, when the U.S. Institute of Medicine issued a report, To Err Is Human, which estimated that the deaths of more than 100,000 Americans are tied to some form of medical mistake.   Source:  January 15, Health Day News – http://health.usnews.com/usnews/health/healthday/080115/study-finds-doctorsnot-reporting-medical-mistakes.htm

Pacific Rim
U.S. warns of ‘serious concerns’ about Philippine air safety. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has downgraded Philippine airline operations and put them under heightened scrutiny because of their inadequate safety standards, the U.S. Embassy said Tuesday. The decision gives the Philippines a Category 2 rating along with countries such as Bangladesh, Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Indonesia. It means Philippine carriers can continue flying to the U.S. but only “under heightened FAA surveillance,” the embassy said in a statement. The embassy also advised Americans flying to and from the Philippines to use carriers from countries whose civil aviation authorities meet international standards. A spokesman for the Philippine Transport Department did not dispute the downgrade and said his department would conduct an in-house investigation to determine the shortcomings and fix them. On its website, the FAA says the Category 2 rating means the country lacks laws or regulations needed for the certification and oversight of airlines under minimum international standards.   Source:  January 15, Associated Press – http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/2008-01-15-philippine-safetywarning_N.htm

(Nothing to report of significance)

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

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

The Next Situation Report: will be published as of 11:00 AM, January 22, 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.