Home Emergency Management News EDM Wednesday Briefing: CDC Warns Insect-borne Illnesses are Increasing Exponentially

EDM Wednesday Briefing: CDC Warns Insect-borne Illnesses are Increasing Exponentially

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for May 2, 2018: The NLE 2018 will test preparedness and response efforts of the Whole Community, three states, including Kansas, were hit with over a dozen tornadoes on Tuesday, severe weather set to impact the plains Wednesday as a strong storm system slowly moves eastward, the CDC warns that insect-borne illnesses are increasing exponentially, synthetic opioids are now being blamed for the majority of the nation's overdose deaths, Arizona received federal fire fighting assistance from FEMA for the Tinder Fire, May Day protests turn violent in Puerto Rico, and a floating Russian nuclear power plant poses the risk of a major radiological incident and an environmental disaster despite assurances it is safe.

  1. On April 30, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) kicked off its National Level Exercise (NLE) for 2018 near Hampton Roads, Virginia, in the Mid-Atlantic Region. The exercise incorporates the Whole Community and involves over 250 agencies and organizations across public, private, and non-governmental sectors and tests their emergency preparedness and response efforts during the exercise. This year, the simulated incident involves preparedness for, and response to, the landfall of a major hurricane, in preparation for the 2018 hurricane season. The simulated exercise will continue through May 11 and will also incorporate lessons learned from the 2017 hurricane season.  
  2. A strong storm system slowly moving across the United States, has placed over 25 million Americans at risk of severe weather, including damaging winds, large hail and tornadoes, at least through Thursday. The system already spawned violent storms on Tuesday that produced 18 tornadoes across Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. Softball sized hail was also reported in Kansas and Nebraska on Tuesday.  
  3. https://twitter.com/AMHQ/status/991620326055346176

  4. The strong storm system is set to continue its impact on the Great Plains Wednesday into Thursday, with violent storms expected in parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri, while widespread and damaging straight-line winds are also likely to be generated by this system. Throughout Wednesday, individuals living in parts of western Oklahoma and southern Iowa are at an enhanced risk for tornadoes, large hail, and strong winds.  The threat will move eastward on Thursday, slightly decreasing in intensity, but residents from Texas to Illinois should remain on alert for changing weather conditions.  https://twitter.com/JoanneFOX5/status/991618957684695040
  5. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned that insect-borne illness are on the rise following a new report recently published. At least nine new diseases have been introduced or discovered in the United States since 2004, and according to the CDC, the number of people contracting the illnesses is rising exponentially. The report indicates that many factors are involved in the increased number of illnesses, including jet travel, a lack of vaccines, and suburban reforestation.  
  6. According to new findings, synthetic opioids, such as Fentanyl, have now surpassed prescription opioids as the number one killer in the opioid crisis. The new report, published in JAMA, suggests that 46 percent of all overdose deaths involved synthetic opioids, as opposed to 40 percent involving prescription drugs. The report also indicates that synthetic opioids are more frequently being found in "illicit drug supplies of heroine, cocaine, methamphetamine, and counterfeit pills."  
  7. At zero percent containment, the Tinder Fire was burning out of control in Coconino County, Arizona on Sunday, threatening at least 700 homes in and near Blue Ridge and forcing the mandatory evacuation of at least 1,000 residents. The wildfire was also threatening critical infrastructure, including communication and power lines, along with various businesses and churches, prompting the state to seek federal assistance for its fire fighting efforts. Arizona petitioned for, and was granted funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help fight the Tinder Fire. Funds were granted under the Fire Mitigation Assistance Grants (FMAG) as part of the Disaster Relief Fund, and will provide up to 75 percent reimbursement of fire fighting costs.    
  8. In Puerto Rico, May Day protests turned violent and police threw tear gas and arrested protestors after they threw rocks and committed vandalism. In the violence that ensued, fifteen police officers were injured and at least eight people were arrested. The protests were organized to draw attention to what they believe are crippling austerity measures and school closures recently approved in a fiscal plan in an effort to help the territory recover from its staggering debt load.  
  9. A floating Russian nuclear power plant is headed to the Arctic atop a massive barge. The floating plant uses decades old technology, and despite its touted redundancies in safety features, there have been concerns that it could result in a major radiological incident. The floating nuclear plant is also destined for an area where the weather can quickly escalate to conditions that become extremely harsh, placing the floating plant at risk of also creating a major environmental disaster.  

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.