Home Emergency Management News EDM Monday Briefing: Updated Planning Guide Now Available for Chemical Plants
EDM Monday Briefing: Updated Planning Guide Now Available for Chemical Plants

EDM Monday Briefing: Updated Planning Guide Now Available for Chemical Plants

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for July 6, 2020: At least 166 people were killed in Myanmar by a landslide that was attributed to heavy monsoon rains; CalFire is battling two wildfires near Lake Anderson in Santa Clara County; PG&E faces extreme pressure to improve its practices as it emerges from bankruptcy; Illinois emergency management agencies promote lifesaving skills to enhance preparedness; a new safety video and updated planning guide for natural hazards is now available for chemical plants; Tropical Storm Edouard breaks record for the earliest number of named storms in a hurricane season; Chicago had another deadly weekend of shootings which killed at least 17 people, including a seven-year-old girl; and Central Oregon firefighters are asking everyone to practice fire safety to help prevent wildfires.

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1) A massive landslide caused by heavy monsoon rains killed at least 166 people in a Myanmar jade mine. Search and rescue teams have recovered at least 166 bodies, but dozens more were feared dead after a hillside collapsed in Hpakant, located near the border of China. Poor migrant workers often scour the hillsides for jades, and reportedly, lax enforcement of safety measures by the government creates dangerous conditions for the miners.

2) A wildfire broke out Saturday near Lake Anderson in Santa Clara County, California, and forced the evacuation of some residents as it quickly consumed nearly 350 acres. Fire crews were able to quickly control the Park Fire, and by Sunday evening, it was at least 70 percent contained and the forward progression had been stopped. Another blaze, the Crews fire, broke out nearby on Sunday and quickly consumed 1,000 acres. CalFire reported that zero containment of the Crews fire had been achieved by Sunday evening.

3) Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) emerged from bankruptcy last Wednesday, but the embattled utility is saddled with $38 billion in debt and faces strict accountability and harsh remedies. The utility company faces extreme pressure to become a safe, reliable and sustainable energy provider in California, thanks to a new bill signed into law last week. The new bill also enables the state to replace the disgraced company with a new, non-profit utility, Golden State Energy, if PG&E fails to meet the strict requirements as it emerges from bankruptcy.

4) The most common — and one of the most expensive — natural disasters across the country is flooding. In 2013, 49 counties in Illinois broke flood records, and emergency managers across the state are promoting preparedness by asking residents to learn life-saving techniques for use during disasters. Life-saving skills include CPR, first aid, fire prevention, and utility management. These skills and the proper training can help residents to assist themselves and other people around them until first responders arrive, which in some cases could be several hours or days.

5) A short, new safety video for chemical plants during extreme weather events has been released by the United States Chemical Safety Board (CSB). The guidance follows the Crosby, Texas, chemical plant equipment failure that occurred as a result of Hurricane Harvey, which forced thousands to evacuate as chemicals decomposed, began burning, and released fumes and smoke into the air. The CSB found a significant lack of industry guidance for planning for severe weather or other natural disaster events, which prompted it to provide an updated Assessment of and Planning for Natural Hazards guide by the Center for Chemical Process Safety.

6) Tropical Storm Edouard has formed out in the Atlantic Ocean and is quickly moving northeastward. The system developed late Sunday night, becoming the fifth named storm this season, which has set a new record for the number of named storms so early in the hurricane season. TS Edouard is expected to become a post-tropical storm Monday as it moves further north and out to sea.

7) Chicago had another deadly weekend of violence that has left 17 people dead, including one incident that left a seven-year-old girl dead. A total of 72 people were wounded in shootings, and three people remain in critical condition from one of the shooting incidents. There were a total of 35 separate shooting incidents from Thursday evening until early Monday morning. According to reports, there have been no arrests of any suspects associated with the shootings.

8) Central Oregon firefighters are asking everyone in the state to practice fire safety to avoid igniting wildfires. To date, firefighters in the central part of the state have extinguished around 100 human-caused fires. The majority of the fires were small, consuming about an acre. According to reports, about half of the fires were caused by embers escaping from campfires.

 

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.