Home Emergency Management News EDM Friday Briefing: NOAA Forecasts Above-Average Hurricane Season
EDM Friday Briefing: NOAA Forecasts Above-Average Hurricane Season

EDM Friday Briefing: NOAA Forecasts Above-Average Hurricane Season


Emergency and disaster management briefing for May 22, 2020: President Trump approved a federal disaster declaration for areas in Michigan amid ongoing flooding and dam failures; three people were injured when a gunman who opened fire at an outdoor mall in Arizona; PG&E plans to use mobile diesel generators for vulnerable populations during PSPS; emergency management officials urge residents nationwide to ensure preparedness ahead of flooding, hurricane and wildfire seasons; the shooting at the Naval Air Station Corpus Christi is being investigated as terrorism-related; a new online tool provides realtime evacuation information in San Mateo County; NOAA is predicting an above-average hurricane season for 2020; and more than 100 people are presumed dead after a Pakistan International Airline plane crashed in a residential area just prior to landing at Karachi's Jinnah International Airport.

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1) President Trump approved a federal disaster declaration for areas in Michigan impacted by recent flooding that led to two catastrophic dam failures earlier this week. The disaster declaration will provide federal assistance, including the coordination of all disaster relief efforts by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The assistance provided by FEMA is meant to bolster state and local response efforts to the disaster in order to alleviate hardship and suffering of the local population.

2) Three people were shot Wednesday evening when a gunman opened fire at an outdoor mall in Arizona. All three victims are expected to survive, including a 16-year-old girl and 30-year-old woman. The other victim, a 19-year-old male, was listed in critical condition as of Thursday. The shooter was apprehended, and police identified him as Armando Hernandez, Jr., 20, who reportedly admitted he was trying to gain respect after being bullied earlier in life.

3) Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) has stated that it will use mobile diesel generators to help prevent disruptions to power service for its customers this year during Public Service Power Shutoffs (PSPS). The mobile generators will provide backup power to vulnerable populations, including medically vulnerable persons and isolated communities, during a PSPS. The bankrupt utility company is struggling to provide permanent and innovative ways that meet state requirements for a permanent backup plan that is less costly and less polluting. It also needs to secure power to customers while also preventing deadly wildfires due to equipment malfunctions.

4) As hurricane and wildfire seasons approach, along with the potential for flooding from spring snowmelt and heavy rainfall, now is the time to create or update a family emergency plan. Emergency management officials across the nation are urging citizens to identify hazards that could affect them — either directly or indirectly — and make an emergency plan. An emergency plan should include more than just emergency supplies; it should identify sheltering locations inside the home based on possible threats, emergency contacts, and where to go if the home is evacuated. Assistance in developing an emergency plan can be found at Ready.gov.

5) A shooting at the Naval Air Station Corpus Christi early Thursday morning wounded one sailor and left the gunman dead. The gunman attempted to speed through a gate at the base, but was stopped by barriers. When the shooter exited his vehicle and opened fire, he was killed in an exchange of gunfire with base security personnel. According to reports, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is investigating the shooting as a terrorism-related incident.

6) An online tool that can assist emergency managers and residents during an evacuation order has been implemented by San Mateo County in California. The online tool will provide agencies countywide with the ability to decide when and which residents to evacuate, along with allowing the real-time monitoring of evacuation traffic — a critical tool for some residents who have a single evacuation route. The tool will also provide residents with real-time information regarding which zones are currently under evacuation orders.

7) The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released its hurricane season forecast for 2020. There is a 60 percent chance the season will see above-normal activity, including named storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes. NOAA is forecasting there will be anywhere from 13-19 named storms, 6-10 hurricanes, and 3-6 major hurricanes, which may or may not hit the United States. However, emergency management officials continue to urge residents to be prepared.

8) A Pakistan International Airlines plane crashed just prior to landing at Karachi's Jinnah International Airport Friday morning. The aircraft, an Airbus A320 traveling from Lahore to Karachi as Flight PK8303, was allegedly carrying 99 passengers and eight crew members when it crashed in a residential area near the airport. According to reports, the A320 aircraft attempted to land at least two or three times prior to its crashing.


Kimberly Arsenault 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.