Emergency and disaster management briefing for October 7, 2019: President Trump approves a federal disaster declaration for six counties in Texas after Tropical Storm Imelda; multiple Lawrence County first responder agencies participated in a disaster exercise to improve coordination and communication; an un-ticketed individual without identification boarded a Delta Airlines flight in Orlando, Florida; East Tennessee fears raising wildfire risk amid escalating drought conditions; researchers have allegedly developed a hydrogel liquid that would likely prevent the spread of wildfires; four people are dead and five wounded following a shooting at a members-only bar in Kansas City; the NWS issues its first alert for the arrival of the Santa Ana winds and the possibility they bring of enhanced wildfire risks; and health officials warn that passengers on an American Airlines flight to Charlotte in September were exposed to Hepatitis A.
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1) President Trump granted a federal disaster declaration request from Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Friday, following damage sustained from Tropical Storm Imelda. Six counties were included in the disaster declaration after initial assessments found at least 900 homes that sustained major damaged or were completely destroyed by floodwaters. The assessment met the minimum requirements for a federal disaster declaration, which requires the flooding of at least 800 homes with a minimum of 18 inches of water.
PSA: President Trump granted a Major Disaster Declaration for the State of Texas triggering the release of Federal funds to help people recover from Tropical Storm Imelda.
Constituents of #TX08 located in Harris County are eligible for individual assistance grants.
— Rep. Kevin Brady (@RepKevinBrady) October 4, 2019
2) First responders from multiple agencies along with more than 30 volunteers participated in a disaster exercise in Lawrence County, South Dakota, on Saturday. The disaster included a plane crash and bus collision, which challenged participants to work through coordination and communication issues among the multiple responding agencies while handling dual mass casualty incidents. The exercise included first responders from Lawrence County Emergency Management; Spearfish fire, police, and EMS; Black Hills Life Flight; and Regional Health Spearfish Hospital.
Lawrence County Emergency disaster exercise https://t.co/3zfSkYKX8l
— KEVN Black Hills FOX (@BlackHillsFOX) October 5, 2019
3) Local law enforcement agencies are working with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on an investigation into how an un-ticketed individual with no identification was able to pass through security and board a Delta Airlines flight on Saturday. The incident occurred in Orlando, Florida, when a female who was not listed on the flight manifest boarded Flight 1516 without a boarding pass or identification. Once the individual was removed from the plane, passengers were deplaned, then dogs and TSA agents searched the aircraft. All passengers and their bags were re-screened before being allowed to re-board the airplane.
HOW did this happen?
— Hadas Brown (@HadasBrownWESH) October 7, 2019
4) Nearly three years after the horrific and deadly Gatlinburg Fire, Tennessee's third-driest autumn season is sparking fears of wildfires. An exceptionally wet winter along with high humidity and low winds have kept the fire danger at bay, but that could change if more rain does not come by November. The U.S. Drought Monitor map, released last week, shows abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions for East Tennessee. However, weather forecasters noted that it is still nowhere near the conditions that sparked the deadly wildfire in November of 2016.
US #Drought Monitor 10 3 19: Conditions improved in the Pacific Northwest, but warmer than normal temperatures dominated the eastern two-thirds of the country, leading to rapidly developing drought. Nearly 19.3% of the Lower 48 area is experiencing moderate drought or worse. pic.twitter.com/m61D2HLkIc
— Drought Center (@DroughtCenter) October 3, 2019
5) Researchers from Stanford University have allegedly developed a substance that has the ability to stop the spread of wildfires. Touted as environmentally-safe and long-lasting, the thick hydrogel liquid was tested under the supervision of CalFire in grassy roadside areas near San Luis Obispo, California, for its effectiveness. According to reports, the thick liquid was also found to extend the life of fire retardants. Over time, it was able to break down and wash away without harming the environment.
— HSToday (@HSTodayMag) October 4, 2019
6) Four people are dead after two suspects opened fire at a members-only bar in Kansas City, Kansas, early Sunday morning. A total of nine people were shot and five were wounded, but they were listed in stable condition at local hospitals. Police are reviewing surveillance video to see what sparked the incident. Police believe the incident was isolated and may be related to an earlier disturbance at the bar. Authorities noted that although they do not believe the shooting was random, the shooters are still at large. Anyone with information on their whereabouts should contact police.
Nine shot, four dead in shooting at Kansas City, Kansas, bar: police https://t.co/QUv3yRPYIQ
— The Kansas City Star (@KCStar) October 6, 2019
7) As summer winds down, the National Weather Service (NWS) is cautioning residents in Southern California about the arrival of the Santa Ana winds, which could elevate the wildfire risk. Portions of Ventura County are already under elevated critical fire weather conditions through Tuesday due to warm and very dry conditions. The arrival of the Santa Ana winds -- which occur when winds from the desert plateau descend down mountain ranges, warming and drying the air -- is likely to further dry out plant vegetation, which in turn enhances the risk of wildfires.
— National Weather Service (@NWS) December 16, 2017
8) Passengers traveling on an American Airlines flight to Charlotte in September were likely exposed to Hepatitis A. The flight occurred on September 21, and passengers who traveled from San Francisco, California, to Charlotte, North Carolina, were notified of their likely exposure to the disease while on board the flight. All were encouraged to get the Hepatitis A vaccination. Mecklenburg County Health officials noted that of the 18 local passengers, all have been notified and received the vaccination for Hepatitis A.
A case of hepatitis A on a Charlotte flight was confirmed, compromising the health of 18 passengers. https://t.co/xeI5KyQQQi
— FOX 46 Charlotte (@FOX46News) October 5, 2019