News

Unalaska to Participate in Alaska Shield 2016 State-wide Exercise

Friday, April 01, 2016

Alaska Shield is a biennial exercise designed to bring together local, State, federal, and nongovernment partners to practice their ability to respond to infrequent events that require swift and detailed coordination. Alaska Shield 2016 will focus on the ability to respond to terrorism and cyberattack.

Alaska Shield 2016 will be April 1-2, 2016, with more than 14 communities and 25 organizations participating in the exercise.

There is no terrorist or cyber-attack threat in Unalaska at this time. There will be an active shooter exercise event held at Unalaska City Hall to train first responders and community leadership in how to respond if such an event were to occur. Local law enforcement and city staff may establish security barriers around the exercise locations. Local law enforcement has been trained to respond to active shooter events; this is their opportunity to train in a local facility.

People are asked not to interfere with the exercise. Research has shown that most terrorism events end when law enforcement confronts the perpetrator. It is critical that law enforcement be able to practice entering, searching, and securing a building. The exercise will also give Emergency Medical Services and other medical providers the chance to practice addressing mass casualties.

Planning for Alaska Shield 2016 began in 2014. Each Alaska Shield exercise focuses on different elements of emergency response. In 2014, Alaska Shield was focused on local, State, federal and non-government response to a massive earthquake.

In addition, local, State, federal, and private-sector organizations will be practicing their response to a cyberattack. Cyberattacks may include web page defacement, denial of service, and data theft. Residents of Unalaska will not experience any reduction of service to their private internet services as local, State and federal Internet Technology professionals conduct the cyber drill.

More information on the drill can be found at the State of Alaska Emergency Management website, as well as the City's website.

The FBI encourages people to Run, Hide, Fight if an active shooter event occurs near you.

2016 Valdez Alaska Shield

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

City of Valdez and Valdez School District personnel will participate in the 2016 Alaska Shield statewide exercise to practice and discuss law enforcement capabilities, emergency medical response, and communications in a school active shooter scenario April 2, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
All scenario activities will occur in and around Gilson Middle School. For your safety and the safety of exercise participants, please avoid the area.

Press Release: Alaska Shield 2016 to Test Alaska's Homeland Security Response

Monday, March 14, 2016

For Immediate Release 

March 14, 2016

Contact: Jeremy Zidek (907) 428-7077 

Press Release: 

 

 Alaska Shield 2016 to Test Alaska’s Homeland Security Response

 Full-scale Exercise to Engage 14 Communities and Numerous Response Organizations

 

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Alaska Shield 2016 is a state sponsored Homeland Security exercise. The scenarios and events within the exercise will vary by local jurisdiction, but will all be homeland security-related. Scenarios may include on-scene law enforcement exercises, active shooter exercises, mass search and rescue operations, cyber-attacks, and chemical/biological events. 14 local jurisdictions, more than 9 state agencies, 12 federal agencies, and 27 Non-Governmental organizations (NGOs) are scheduled to participate in events April 1-3. Each community participating in Alaska Shield 2016 has established individual training objectives and developed an exercise plan testing their ability to respond locally, and in coordination with state, federal, and non-government response partners.

Planning for Alaska Shield 2016 began two years ago. The exercise is designed to examine and evaluate 13 core capabilities of participants: community resilience; cybersecurity; environment response/health & safety; fatality management services; intelligence & information sharing; mass care services; mass search and rescue operations; on-scene security and protection; operational communications; operational coordination; planning; public health and medical services; and public information and warning.

"Events around the world have shown us that the last thing we can be is complacent. Many times when we turn on the news, we see and hear about some new terrorism or cyber-attack. Like each of the previous Alaska Shield exercises we have identified a possible real-world hazard and we are testing our ability to respond, and find ways to be better prepared,” said DHS&EM Director Mike O’Hare. “These are complicated events and everyone needs to work together in a swift and well-orchestrated manner to stop the damage, and quickly help those affected by the events.”

There is no known terrorist or cyber-attack threat targeting Alaska or Alaskans at this time. There will be an active shooter exercise event held in various locations around the state to train first responders and community leadership in how to respond if such an event were to occur. Local law enforcement and city staff may establish security barriers around the exercise locations. Local law enforcement has been trained to respond to active shooter events; this is their opportunity to train in a local facility. 

"We want community members to understand that these are exercise events being conducted by local emergency responders and emergency management in conjunction with the State of Alaska. No one is in danger,” said O’Hare. “People can help by respecting the importance of the training and avoid the exercise activity areas to protect the safety of those involved.”

In addition, local, State, Federal, and private-sector organizations will be practicing their response to a cyberattack. Cyberattacks may include webpage defacement, denial of service, and data theft. Alaskans should not experience any reduction of service to their private internet services as local, State and Federal internet technology professionals conduct the cyber elements of the exercise.

 

More information on the exercise is available at www.update.ready.alaska.gov







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What is Alaska Shield 2016?

Monday, March 07, 2016

Alaska Shield is a biennial statewide exercise program that unites local, state, federal, and private organizations to prepare Alaskans for natural and manmade threats.

Alaska Shield 2016 exercise scenarios vary by local jurisdiction, but will be homeland security-related. Scenarios may include on-scene law enforcement exercises, active shooter exercises, mass search and rescue operations, cyber-attacks, and chemical/biological events.

More than 15 local jurisdictions, 9 state agencies, 12 federal agencies, and 27 Non-Governmental organizations (NGOs) are scheduled to participate in events April 1-18. The main portion of the exercise is scheduled to be conducted April 1-3, with a HazMat Symposium and exercise April 5-6 and a medical response exercise April 18.

Planning for Alaska Shield 2016 began more than two years ago. The exercise is designed to examine and evaluate 13 core capabilities of participants: community resilience; cybersecurity; environment response/health & safety; fatality management services; intelligence & information sharing; mass care services; mass search and rescue operations; on-scene security and protection; operational communications; operational coordination; planning; public health and medical services; and public information and warning.

At the time of this posting, there is no specific, credible information about a terrorist threat against the state. The exercise scenarios are plausible and based upon open source intelligence and national and international news agencies. Training, conducted in realistic environments, under realistic circumstances, ensures Alaskans maintain the highest levels of proficiency and readiness for any threat. Artificialities are built into the exercise for practical purposes, i.e. time allotments and logistical limitations.

Previous Alaska Shield exercise scenarios

2007: Terrorism Exercise

2010: Earthquake Exercise

2012: Cold Weather Exercise

2014: Reenactment of the 1964 Earthquake using today’s infrastructure and population

 

Communities and organizations participating in Alaska Shield 2016

Monday, March 07, 2016

Alaska Shield is a statewide exercise. While DHS&EM is the lead for planning the exercise, local jurisdictions, state and federal agencies, and non-governmental and private organizations establish their own goals and objectives to best enhance their training and mission readiness.

Local jurisdictions participating in Alaska Shield 2016 include the Municipality of Anchorage; City of Craig; City of Fairbanks; City and Borough of Juneau; City and Borough of Sitka; City and Borough of Kodiak; Matanuska-Susitna Borough; City of Unalaska; North Slope Borough; City of Cordova; Fairbanks North Star Borough; City of North Pole; City and Borough of Ketchikan; City of Valdez; and Kenai Peninsula Borough.

State of Alaska agencies participating in Alaska Shield 2016 include the Office of the Governor; Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management; Alaska State Troopers; Department of Administration/Enterprise Technology Services; University of Alaska Emergency Management; Department of Military and Veterans Affairs; Department of Health and Social Services Division of Public Health; Department of Environmental Conservation; and Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.

Federal agencies participating in Alaska Shield 2016 include the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Transportation Security Administration; Alaska NORAD Region; National Oceanic & Atmospheric Association (NOAA); Alaskan Command (ALCOM); U.S. Forest Service Cordova District; Federal Emergency Management Agency Region X; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; U.S. Army Alaska; Fort Wainwright; National Guard Joint Forces Headquarters Alaska; U.S. Coast Guard District 17; and U.S. Coast Guard Sector Anchorage.

Non-governmental and private organizations participating in Alaska Shield 2016 include American Red Cross of Alaska; Matanuska Telephone Association; Alaska Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters; Central Mat-Su & West Lakes Auxiliary; Fairbanks Memorial Hospital; Mat-Su Borough School District; Mat-Su Regional Medical Center: Providence Hospital of Valdez; Providence Hospital of Anchorage; Alaska Regional Hospital; Cordova Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts: Petro Marine Services; SEAPRO; Matanuska Electric Association; Alaska Partnership for Infrastructure Protection; Amateur Radio Emergency Services; ENSTAR Natural Gas; Chugach Electric Association; Mat-Su CERT; Chickaloon Village Traditional Council; Cordova Radio KLAM/KCDV; Kodiak Island Borough School District; Kodiak Community College; Cordova Community Medical Center; Cordova Community Baptist Church; Cordova Little Chapel Church; and Cordova School District.

How will Alaska Shield impact me and my community?

Monday, March 07, 2016

With more than 15 local jurisdictions, 9 State agencies, 12 Federal agencies, and 27 private organizations participating in Alaska Shield 2016, chances are good that you or someone you know may be involved in the exercise April 1-3.
While every effort is made to prevent direct impacts on those not involved, depending on where you live or work, you may see an increased law enforcement presence, responders in biohazard suits, closed public facilities, cordoned-off areas, and/or the use of moulage (the application of mock injuries). We ask that you respect the importance of the training and avoid exercise activity areas to protect the safety of those involved.
As always, if you see something you know shouldn’t be there – or someone’s behavior that doesn’t seem quite right – say something. Contact your local law enforcement agency and describe specifically what you have observed, including who or what you saw; when you saw it; where it occurred; and why it’s suspicious. It takes a community to protect a community.
It is important to remember that Alaska Shield 2016 is an exercise. Training is the foundation of everything we do as emergency managers and first responders because it prepares us for whatever emergency arises.
During the planning of the exercise and at the time of this posting, there is no specific, credible intelligence about a terrorist threat against the state. The exercise scenarios are plausible and part of long-term planning and preparing for all possible threats -- natural and man-made. All training, conducted in realistic environments, under realistic circumstances, ensures Alaskans maintain the highest levels of proficiency and readiness for any threat.

State to Open Disaster Assistance Centers for Kenai Wildfires

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

For Immediate Release                                                                                                                   

June 30, 2015

Contact: Jeremy Zidek, (907) 428-7077, (907) 441-2337 cell                                                       

JBER, Alaska — The Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHS&EM) will open a Disaster Assistance Center (DAC) for the state Individual Assistance (IA) Program for the Kenai wildfires July 7-8.

The DAC will take applications for state IA programs and provide information from other state and non-profit assistance agencies.

“I encourage those impacted by the Kenai wildfires to apply for individual assistance as soon as possible. Take photos of damage before you clean up and keep your receipts. The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management staff will be available at the DAC to answer any questions,” Mike O’Hare, director of DHS&EM said.   

The center will be located at: Sterling Elementary School July 7-8; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Applicants may also apply by phone or online: 1-855-445-7131 until August 18, 2015. Online at ready.alaska.gov

  • Applicants will need to provide the following when applying for individual assistance:



     • Description of damages and/or losses 



     • Home ownership documentation



     • Insurance information



     • Personal identification 



       Proof of occupancy (utility bill)

Applicants who wish to apply for state assistance telephonically can call the IA hotline at 1-855-445-7131. The deadline to apply for IA for those impacted by the Kenai wildfires is August 18. 



 



 



 







 



 







State to Open Disaster Assistance Centers for Sockeye Fire

Friday, June 26, 2015

JBER, Alaska — The Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHS&EM) will open Disaster Assistance Centers (DACs) for the state Individual Assistance (IA) Program June 29, 30, and July 1.

The DACs will take applications for state IA programs and provide information from other state and non-profit assistance agencies. Those impacted by the Sockeye Fire are encouraged to apply for individual assistance as soon as possible.

“The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management will work with all available partners to insure that the recovery phase is as swift and well-coordinated as the response effort,” Mike O’Hare, director of DHS&EM said.   

The centers will be located at:
Willow Community Center & 
Houston Middle-School
June 29 – 30, 10a.m. – 7p.m.
July 1, 10a.m. – 6p.m.

Applicants may also apply by phone or online:
1-855-445-7131 until August 18, 2015
Online at ready.alaska.gov

Applicants will need to provide the following when applying for individual assistance:
• Description of damages and/or losses
• Home Ownership Documentation
• Insurance information
• Personal Identification
• Proof of occupancy (utility bill)

The State IA Hotline was activated on Monday, June 22 and has received a number of IA applications. Applicants who wish to apply for state assistance telephonically can call the IA hotline at 1-855-445-7131. The deadline to apply for IA for those impacted by the Sockeye Fire is August 18.

  

Current Fires Map at the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Visit the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center website for current fires map and other fire information. http://afsmaps.blm.gov/imf_fire/imf.jsp?site=fire

State Emergency Operations Center Activated to Respond to Sockeye Fire

Monday, June 15, 2015

For Immediate Release                                                       

June 15, 2015

Contact: State Emergency Operations Center News Desk 907-428-7140

              

    JBER, Alaska - The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) activated yesterday evening to respond to the Sockeye fire in Willow Alaska. The SEOC preparedness level is currently at level 3 indicating an actual event is occurring.  The center is staffed and responding to the requests for assistance from the Matanuska-Susitna Borough (MSB) and the Division of Forestry.

 

The MSB deployed firefighting resources to the fire, activated its incident management team, requested additional firefighting support through mutual aid agreements, and established emergency shelters for self-evacuated residents.

 

The Division of Forestry (DOF) is responding to the fire with wild land firefighting crews and air assets. The Alaska National Guard has provided air assets to battle the fire.

 

For shelter and road closure information visit www.matsugov.us

 

For fire status information visit the Alaska Wildland Fire Information page

www.akfireinfo.com

 

For weather and red flag warnings visit the National Weather Service Alaska Region Headquarters page at www.arh.noaa.gov

 

The SEOC will continue to monitor the situation and stands ready to provide emergency assistance if requested by a community.   

 

Follow the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management on Facebook and on Twitter @Alaskadhsem.

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