Orange alert would mean increased security at airport

If the state joins the federal government at the second-highest color-coded level of threat of terrorist attack, that means more random checks of vehicles at Lihu’e Airport, and stricter scrutiny of passengers at checkpoints as well.

That’s the word from Rod Haraga, director of the state Department of Transportation.

That will mean more Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents at passenger-screening checkpoints at the airport, and more random searches of vehicles, he said.

An orange threat level, one indicative of a “high” risk of terrorist attack and below only red (severe) in the color-coded homeland security advisory system, means individuals should review personal disaster plans, exercise caution when traveling, have “shelter in place” materials on hand, be prepared to donate blood if a need is announced, and contact specific agencies to determine needs if planning on volunteering.

Families should follow the recommendations for individuals, review disaster plans with all family members, ensure that the family communication plan is understood and practiced by all family members, and discuss children’s fears concerning possible terrorist attacks, according to an emergency-preparedness brochure published by the American Red Cross and the state’s Civil Defense agencies.

Neighbors should check on elderly or special-needs neighbors and review disaster plans with them, and neighborhood leaders should be prepared to initiate neighborhood blood drives if the need is announced.

School officials should review emergency plans, be prepared to discuss children’s fears concerning possible terrorist attacks, prepare to handle inquiries from anxious parents and the media, and obtain supplies of educational and resource materials for use with students, parents and staff.

Business leaders should review emergency plans including plans for continuity of operations and communicating important information through the media or other systems, determine the need for restricted access to businesses, consider private security support or reinforcement, contact vendors and suppliers to confirm their emergency-response plans and procedures, and be ready to organize a neighborhood blood drive if the need is announced.

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