By Jackie Bartz
Channel 2 News
5:29 PM AKDT, March 14, 2011
State and Federal Officials report the West Coast is not in any immediate danger from increased radiation levels following several explosions at nuclear power plants in Japan.
"We've got the best people we have available monitoring the situation," said Greg Wilkinson, Public Information Officer for the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. "We've got scientists, we've got physicians, we've got the people from the military, I mean everybody is keeping an eye on this."
Meteorologists with the National Weather Service say the jet streams are forecasted to move in a way that could bring radiation from Japan to the Aleutians and Western, Alaska.
"Almost the entire winter the winds are blowing from west to east," said David Percy, a Meteorologist with the National Weather Service Center.
But in order for the radiation to reach the United states, it would need to travel high enough into the air to get into the jet stream, and experts say that is not expected to happen.
"This is not expected to go global, any radiation leaks are going to be contained locally," said Wilkinson.
Pharmacists in Anchorage report fielding phone calls from people asking about where they can get potassium iodide. Potassium iodide is used to treat people after they've been exposed to elevated levels of radiation.
Wilkinson says it is not necessary to go pick up potassium iodide, because if any radiation explosure happens, the state can get enough potasssium iodide from the Federal government to treat Alaskans.
The Alaska Department of Health and Human Services says the earthquake and tsunami in Japan are a reminder to update your earthquake preparedness kit.
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