Home Emergency Management News EDM Wednesday Briefing: Tropical Storm Bertha Set to Make Landfall Near Charleston
EDM Wednesday Briefing: Tropical Storm Bertha Set to Make Landfall Near Charleston

EDM Wednesday Briefing: Tropical Storm Bertha Set to Make Landfall Near Charleston


Emergency and disaster management briefing for May 27, 2020: Tropical Storm Bertha formed off the coast of South Carolina on Wednesday; a recent weather pattern has prompted excessive heat warnings in California and the Southwest; Conagra Foods is recalling several varieties of its Healthy Choice Power Bowls; a Baltimore police officer was shot by a fleeing suspect on Tuesday evening; the NWS confirms an EF-1 tornado touched down near San Antonio Sunday night; Virginia was awarded $1.4 million from FEMA for hazard mitigation; there are several phone apps to help individuals prepare for all types of disasters; and a new study highlights the critical role drones may have in predicting future volcanic eruptions.

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1) Tropical Storm Bertha formed near the coast of South Carolina on Wednesday morning. Bertha is expected to bring heavy rainfall to the state as it tracks inland toward North Carolina and western Virginia, with flash floods and flooding likely for locations along the storm's path. The storm, which is moving to the northeast at 9 mph, has winds of 45 mph and is expected to make landfall later Wednesday near Charleston, South Carolina.

2) A recent weather pattern has greatly increased temperatures in locations from California to the Southwest, prompting heat advisories and excessive heat warnings. Record-setting temperatures were felt in areas around San Francisco and in nearby regions on Tuesday, and the high temperatures are forecast for the Central Valley on Wednesday. Locations in Nevada, Arizona and even parts of southwestern Utah are likely to experience the scorching temperatures by Thursday, with the high heat increasing the risk of fire danger.

3) Conagra Foods has issued a recall for several of its Healthy Choice brand not-ready-to-eat chicken and turkey bowl products. The products being recalled include a variety of Healthy Choice Power Bowls, produced at two separate facilities, that were shipped to retail locations in the United States and Canada. The recall is due to reported foreign matter contamination, specifically small rocks allegedly being found in the products.

4) A police officer was shot in Baltimore Tuesday night after attempting to stop a car driving erratically. The driver, who police believe may have been intoxicated, led police on a chase and also carjacked at least one person to make his escape. After the suspect crashed the vehicle he was driving, he fled on foot, turned and fired a weapon, and struck the officer at least once in the chest.

5) The National Weather Service (NWS) determined that an EF-1 tornado with winds around 100 mph touched down in the west side of Bexar County in Texas. The NWS noted that the tornado was embedded in the leading edge of a storm that moved through the area Sunday evening; the storm also included severe and damaging straight line winds. The tornado was somewhat narrow— at about 50 yards wide — and was on the ground for about a half mile in the Wildhorse subdivision near San Antonio. It ripped off roofs, damaged homes and toppled trees.

6) The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) has awarded Virginia more than $1.4 million to help reduce the risk of loss from future disasters. The funding will help pay for projects that reduce the impacts of future disasters on people and property. Some of the projects the funding is targeted for include quick connects for sewer pump station generators, a water generator transfer switch, and fire station and water plant generators.

7) When a disaster occurs, preparedness is the key for a favorable outcome that minimizes the loss of life and property. Everyone can take steps to be prepared for any disaster, and there are several phone apps that offer a wealth of information to assist anyone with personal disaster preparedness. The FEMA app tops the list with survival instructions for nearly every imaginable disaster from bioterrorism to nuclear explosions. Other helpful apps include the Red Cross' First Aid for Treating Injuries, In Case of Emergency (ICE) and Pet First Aid.

8) A new study documents the high potential for the use of drones to monitor volcanoes, especially those at high altitude, lava filled, and at high risk of collapse or explosion. In the study, drones were outfitted with a series of different camera types, including optical and thermal imagining cameras, to monitor the lava dome of the Santa Maria volcano in Guatemala. The drones gathered critical information without risking human lives, such as flow velocity, movement patterns and the volcano's surface temperature — all of which can help volcanologists predict future eruptions.


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.