AMU Emergency Management Original Public Safety

EDM Wednesday Briefing: New Burn Mass Casualty Incident Course

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for November 10, 2021: A bomb threat forces the evacuation of a behavioral health facility in Connecticut; another weather system dumped rain and snow on northern California; increased levels of volcanic gases were observed at the White Island Volcano; police searched a high school campus after a bomb threat was reported on social media; hackers breached the online mobile trading app Robinhood; California’s Diablo Canyon nuclear plant might be worth keeping operational; Kilauea continues its eruption as volcanic tremors remain slightly elevated; and FEMA is offering a VTTX burn mass casualty incident course in April.

1. A bomb threat on Tuesday at a behavioral facility in New Haven, Connecticut, prompted an evacuation of patients and staff. The threat was called into Retreat Behavioral Health at around 3:40 p.m., and an all clear was given at about 5:45 p.m. Police are investigating the incident to determine who is responsible for the bomb threat.

2. Another weather system brought rain and snow to drought-stricken areas of California on Monday and into Tuesday. The swift-moving system dumped more than an inch of rain in the Lake Tahoe region, with elevations below 8,000 feet in the Sierra also receiving significant rainfall. Above 8,000 feet, at least nine inches of snow fell on Mammoth Mountain, a ski resort area south of Yosemite National Park. The snowfall will potentially reduce water shortages when it melts in the spring, helping to refill reservoirs and lakes across the parched state.

3. There has been an observed increase in the levels of volcanic gases being emitted at the White Island volcano in New Zealand. Small ash emissions are still occurring, along with low-level seismic activity that has produced low-frequency quakes. The Volcanic Alert Level remains at 2, while the Aviation Color Code remains at Yellow.

4. Police worked through the night Monday to Tuesday at a high school in Utah after being made aware of a bomb threat against the school that was posted on social media. A search of Logan High School, along with its surrounding campus, did not produce a threat. Police cleared the school to reopen about two hours late on Tuesday. An investigation into the incident identified a student who indicated the threat was posted in an attempt to be “humorous.”

5. A breach of an online mobile trading app, Robinhood, has potentially compromised the data of at least seven million users. According to reports, the company’s customer support system was allegedly hacked on November 3, with the hacker gaining access to the email addresses of at least five million customers. Another two million customers had their full names compromised. Although the hackers demanded a ransom, company officials contacted local law enforcement agencies.

6. The Diablo Canyon nuclear plant in San Luis Obispo County, California, is scheduled to close in 2025, when the plant’s operating license will expire. The state may rethink its plan to shutter the plant, as renewable energies are currently not capable of maintaining a sufficient supply of electricity to the state. California is struggling to maintain sufficient electrical supplies, especially during heat waves. It has had to implement rolling blackouts to prevent a total grid shutdown.

7. The eruption activity at Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano returned to its previous level on Tuesday after a brief reduction on Monday. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), volcanic tremors remain slightly elevated since the beginning of the eruption. All of the lava activity remains confined within the Halema’uma’u crater in Volcano National Park, with the current Volcano Alert Level remaining at Watch.

8. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is offering a Virtual Tabletop Exercise Series (VTTX) Public Health Burn Mass Casualty Incident Course. The course dates are April 12, 13, or 14, and the course lasts for four hours. The course will be broadcast from 12 to 4 p.m. on the given dates. The focus of the class will be on a burn mass casualty event and how the event would impact public health, logistics, limited bed availability, and transportation issues that are likely to occur.

 

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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