AMU Editor's Pick Emergency Management Original Public Safety

EDM Monday Briefing: FEMA NIC Seeking Feedback on Resource Typing Documents

Emergency and disaster management briefing for November 15, 2021: A new guide from the U.S. Forest Service is meant to assist firefighters as they reintegrate into their families; new heavy bridge inspection protocols are to be adopted by Arkansas following the I-40 bridge crack investigation; as severe weather hit the area, three tornadoes touched down in Connecticut; Eustace, Texas was evacuated after a gas leak was discovered; the Lassen Resilience Campaign seeks to raise funds to assist in restoring the Lassen Volcanic National Park after the Dixie Fire; the Fernandina Volcano is showing signs an eruption is likely imminent; during week two, CISA asked the ESS to focus on soft target planning against threats; and FEMAs NIC is seeking feedback on 24 fire management and suppression resource types.

Wildfire season is winding down, and many firefighters have returned home, or are preparing to return home after months away. To assist firefighters with reintegration into their families and normal life, the U.S. Forest Service released the resource, Reset: Firefighter and Family Members’ Reintegration Guide. The publication is meant to offer resources to firefighters as they achieve closure to the wildfire season, and provide helpful and relatable information supporting their transition home. The Guide is meant to compliment the National Wildfire Coordinating Group’s (NWCG) publication, Preparedness Guide for Firefighters and Their Families, released in July of 2019.

Interstate I-40 reopened over the Mississippi River after a substantial fracture that compromised the structural integrity of the bridge connecting Tennessee and Arkansas, was found and repaired. The shutdown snarled traffic through Memphis for months, and disrupted transportation infrastructure across the nation. An investigation into the incident has highlighted pertinent changes needed for inspections, including the need for periodic ultrasounds of welds on heavy bridges, and the same inspector will no longer conduct consecutive inspections on heavy bridges.

Three tornadoes touched down in Connecticut and moved into Rhode Island over the weekend, as severe weather moved through the area. There were no reported deaths or injuries from the tornadoes, however, the two EF-0, and one EF-1 tornado, caused widespread damage. The tornadoes downed trees and power lines, and ripped apart barns and sheds. This is the first time a tornado has been recorded in November for the state of Connecticut since record keeping began in 1950.

A gas leak on Friday evening in Henderson County, Texas, prompted the evacuation of Eustace, and sent high school football teams home early. Residents noticed a strong smell of rotten eggs just before 10:00 p.m., and once alerted, authorities issued evacuation orders to protect residents. Four shelters were opened for area residents, and officials noted that although it was safe for residents to return home, a shelter-in-place was needed. An all clear was not expected to be given until Saturday morning due to the pooling of natural gas in low-lying areas.

The Dixie Fire scorched nearly 1 million acres, decimating about 69 percent of the Lassen Volcanic National Park in California. Efforts to help restore the park are underway, and the Lassen Resilience Campaign was created to assist in raising funds to help with park restoration and future resilience. The money will help to fill gaps in federal funding, and their first fundraising project combines art with the park.

The Fernandina Volcano in the Galapagos Islands is showing signs that an eruption may be imminent. Significant ground deformation within the volcano’s caldera has been observed–with ground uplift–over the last 18 months, along with deflation in various locations. According to Volcano Discovery, this is likely due to continued magma intrusion and migration about two kilometers under the surface, indicating that an impending eruption is likely.

Week two of Infrastructure Security Month, whose theme is “Build it In”, focused on planning for soft target security. Planning for the Emergency Services Sector (ESS) to strengthen against security risks during public gatherings is critical to ensuring safety. To help the ESS, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) put together a list of resources to help in planning against threats to soft targets, including active shooter incidents, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), vehicle-borne attacks, and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Integration Center (NIC) is seeking feedback on resource typing documents. The feedback period is open until 5:00 p.m. on December 10, 2021, and FEMA is seeking feedback on 24 fire management and suppression resource types. The resource typing documents they are seeking input on include 9 personnel positions, 6 typed teams, and 9 types of equipment.

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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