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EDM Friday Briefing: Drones in Rural/Remote Cardiac Emergencies

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for April 16, 2021: The University of Colorado refuses to pay the ransom demand for its recent data breach; 10 years ago, the number of tornadoes in a single day set a record in Alabama but that was broken 12 days later; the AVO has raised the warning level for the Semisopochnoi Volcano to Red Alert as ash emissions continue; a shooting at a FedEx facility in Indiana left eight dead and several others wounded; CISA released a study analyzing the impacts, costs, and losses of a cyberattack; drones may improve rural and remote community citizens’ survivability of cardiac arrests; parts of New England will get snow and rain from a nor’easter on Friday; and as part of its Outdoor Warning Siren Modernization Program, Hawaii will conduct siren testing on Friday in parts of the City and County of Honolulu.

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1. A data breach compromised more than 310,000 University of Colorado (CU) records, including student grades, transcripts, and medical and prescription data, among other information. Under the guidance of the FBI, CU has refused to pay the ransom demand, which was originally $17 million. The hack targeted an Accellion File Transfer Appliance vulnerability, and CU was notified of the breach on January 25.

2. It was 10 years ago that Alabama was hit with 45 tornadoes in one day — April 15, 2011 — which set a state record for the number of tornadoes in a single day. The tornadoes were rated EF0-EF3s and they were deadly; seven people died and another 12 were injured. That record was shattered just 12 days later on April 27, when 62 tornadoes slammed the state, killing 243 people and injuring thousands. The outbreak included an EF4 that tore through Tuscaloosa, killed 53 and injured another 1,200 people. The super outbreak that swept through Dixie Alley and all the way to Canada on April 27, including deadly tornadoes in Mississippi and Tennessee, spawned a total of 360 tornadoes in a single day.

3. Ongoing ash emissions continue at the Semisopochnoi volcano in Alaska and prompted the highest alert level activation for the volcano — a Red Alert, or warning, on Friday. The Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) noted that the volcano continues to show signs of unrest and spew ash, which extends outward about 200 miles and up at least 20,000 feet into the air. The volcano is located 9.7 miles west of the 180th Meridian in Alaska and is part of the Aleutian Islands.

4. A shooting at a FedEx facility near the airport in Indianapolis, Indiana, left eight people dead and several others wounded in what authorities are calling a Level 1 Mass Casualty incident. The incident occurred at around 11 p.m. on April 15 according to police, who received calls about an active shooter at the facility. According to reports, the alleged gunman died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

5. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has released its study from October of 2020, Cost of a Cyber Incident: Systematic Review and Cross Utilization. The study is meant to help stakeholders understand the impacts, costs and losses to their organization from a cyber incident. The study analyzes and addresses a wide range of incidents, including cost and loss estimates, but does not include more recent incidents such as the SolarWinds attack.

6. Drones may improve the survivability of an Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA) emergency for people who live in rural or remote areas. Access to public defibrillators — Automatic External Defibrillators — is limited in these settings, and a new program seeks to improve this issue through the use of drones. A sneak peak at a webinar podcast discussing this new technology is available on April 23, 2021, at noon CST. Register for the Community Response and Drone Technology to Improve Outcomes from Rural and Remote Cardiac Arrest: The Future is Here! podcast by visiting the website.

7. A winter storm warning is in effect for several counties in Massachusetts as a nor’easter is forecast to dump up to 10 inches of snow in parts of the state. The nor’easter is moving through New Hampshire and expected to bring a wide variety of precipitation to Massachusetts, including rain in the southern part of the state. The winter storm warning is in effect until 8 p.m., and travel may be difficult through the area.

8. Siren tests will be conducted by the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency in various locations in the City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii on Friday, April 16. Siren tests will be conducted between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. as part of the Outdoor Warning Siren Modernization Program. The program includes the upgrades of sirens and the installation of new sirens at various locations as part of the Hawaii Statewide Alert & Warning System for public notification of a pending emergency.

  

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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