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EDM Friday Briefing: CISA’s New ECC Drone-Related Call Guidance

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for September 10, 2021: Kilauea is quiet again, but the Alert Level remains at Advisory while the Aviation Color Code remains at Yellow; thousands of residents in San Luis Obispo were left without power during a heat wave on Thursday; an upcoming webinar is scheduled to help EMS and 911 centers implement telemedicine within their organizations; a Red Flag Warning is in place for a large swath of Northern California until 11 p.m. Friday; the EPA may bump a Superfund site in a westside Atlanta neighborhood to its NPL; CISA released new guidance for Emergency Communication Centers (ECCs) for drone-related calls; new evacuation orders were issued by Lassen County for the Dixie Fire; and a newly released report about the health impacts on 9/11 responders coincides with the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and is the third in its series.

1. Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano is quiet again after about two weeks of earthquakes and ground deformation. The recent intrusion of magma beneath the surface in the area south of the caldera has slowed substantially, with no current indications the summit will resume eruption. However, the current Volcano Alert Level remains at Advisory, while the Aviation Color Code remains at Yellow.

2. Residents in San Luis Obispo lost power on Wednesday night and Thursday morning during a heat wave. Temperatures were forecast to reach between 96 and 106 degrees Fahrenheit in some areas on Thursday. Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) noted that the exact cause of the outages was unknown, although it appears the outages affected thousands of residents in the northern part of the county.

3. An upcoming webinar will help EMS and 911 organizations implement telemedicine to deliver high-quality, cost-effective care. The webinar, which is being hosted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Office of EMS (NHTSA OEMS), will be held on September 22 at 2 p.m., and registration is required. A 45-page framework guide is also available from the Federal Interagency Committee on EMS and is designed to assist organizations with the implementation of telemedicine.

4. The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a Red Flag Warning for parts of Northern California that are facing an increased fire danger. The warning is in effect until 11 p.m. Friday night, and residents are urged to use caution as winds increase and dry lightning becomes possible. Firefighters are already battling two major wildfires in Northern California: the Caldor Fire near Tahoe and the Dixie Fire to the north.

5. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may add another site to its Superfund National Priority List (NPL). An area on the west side of Atlanta has been investigated by the EPA since 2019 for lead in the soil, and a total of 93 properties have now been remediated. The area under investigation was recently expanded to include a total of more than 2,000 properties, leading to its proposed addition to the NPL.

6. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) just released new guidance on responding to drone-related calls. The guidance addresses responses to these calls by Emergency Communication Centers (ECCs) and follows recent information released by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The guidance release also coincides with outreaches by the FAA during September, including the UAS Symposium and National Drone Safety Week from September 13-19.

7. The Dixie Fire continues to burn in Northern California, consuming a total of nearly 930,000 acres. On Thursday, Lassen County made multiple changes to its evacuation status and also issued new mandatory evacuation orders. In addition, Red Flag Warnings were issued for Reno and are in effect until 11 p.m. Friday night. Erratic fire behavior was observed Thursday evening with the arrival of a cold front, and firefighters are using all available resources to build containment lines in the rugged, remote, and steep terrain in Lassen Volcanic National Park.

8. The health impacts on 9/11 responders continue to emerge. A newly released report that coincides with the 20th anniversary of 9/11, notes that nearly three quarters of responders on 9/11 have long-term illnesses. The 2021 report shows that nearly half of the firefighters and one-fourth of EMTs suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), followed by upper and lower respiratory problems. This is the third report issued by the Fire Department New York (FDNY) World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program, with two previous reports being issued in 2007 and 2016.

Kimberly Arsenault serves as an intern at the Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency where she works on plan revisions and special projects. Previously, Kimberly spent 15 years in commercial and business aviation. Her positions included station manager at the former Midwest Express Airlines, as well as corporate flight attendant, inflight manager, and charter flight coordinator. Kimberly currently holds a master's degree in emergency and disaster management from American Public University.

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