Home Emergency Management News EDM Friday Briefing: CDC Says Stop Eating Honey Smacks; Cincinnati Launches Smart911 System

EDM Friday Briefing: CDC Says Stop Eating Honey Smacks; Cincinnati Launches Smart911 System


Emergency and disaster management briefing for July 13, 2018: A school bus crash in Colorado injures at least 20 children; salads at McDonald's may be linked to a cyclospora infection outbreak in Illinois and Iowa; a freight train derailment in Arizona may have been caused by flooded train tracks; Cincinnati, Ohio launches new Smart911 system following the death of a teenage boy trapped in a minivan; the CDC warns consumers to avoid eating Kellogg's Honey Smacks; CalFire cites a Woodland man for inadvertently starting the County Fire in Northern California; Typhoon Maria caused widespread water infrastructure and other damage in China; and 8 people are sickened in a Legionnaire's disease outbreak in New York City.

  1. Multiple school children were injured in Colorado on Thursday afternoon when a truck plowed into a school bus and caused it to roll once before coming to rest on its side. The incident occurred in Weld County and investigators allege that the driver of the flatbed truck may have fallen asleep at the wheel which then crossed into oncoming traffic and sideswiped the bus. The bus driver was the most severely hurt, but at least 19 students were transported to area hospitals with varying degrees of injuries, although reportedly, none of them were life-threatening.  
  2. Health departments in Illinois and Iowa are investigating cyclospora infections believed to be linked to salads at McDonald's restaurants. A total of about 105 cases have been reported between the two states, with 90 cases being reported in Illinois, and the other 15 in Iowa, with about a quarter of the people in Illinois stating they had eaten salads from McDonald's in the days prior to becoming ill. Cyclospora cayetanensis is a parasite that infects the small intestine and is transmitted through the ingestion of food or water contaminated with feces.  
  3. A Union Pacific freight train derailed in Arizona on Tuesday after allegedly encountering tracks that were covered with floodwaters. Union Pacific stated that 27 cars in the middle of the train, some stacked two high, and carrying a variety of household goods, derailed parallel to Interstate 10. The tracks are a main freight route between Texas and California, and crews worked through the night to clear the tracks to allow train traffic to resume at reduced speeds through the accident site. 
  4. City officials in Cincinnati, Ohio have launched a new 911 system following the failed response to a 16-year-old student who died after becoming trapped in a minivan parked near his school, despite calling 911 several times. The Smart911 system will allow residents to register specific information including car data, medical information, pets, and emergency contacts with the city's 911 center. Officials, who ensured that the new system is secure, stated that Smart911 works with landlines and cellphones, and when the system receives a call from the phone, it will display the profile on the screen for the 911 dispatcher.  
  5. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Thursday that customers should avoid consuming Kellogg's Honey Smacks after at least 100 cases of salmonella have been reported across 33 states. Samples of the product, which has been subject to a voluntary recall since mid-June, tested positive by the agency for salmonella, prompting the announcement. The CDC stated that 30 of the people infected with the disease, which causes fever, cramps, and diarrhea within 12 to 72 hours of exposure to the bacteria, have been hospitalized.  
  6. The County Fire in Northern California, burning in Yolo and Napa counties, which destroyed at least 20 structures, is now 95 percent contained. Fire officials lifted all evacuation orders on Wednesday, and also announced that an improperly installed electrical livestock fence had sparked the blaze that has consumed nearly 95,000 acres. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire) cited Anthony Edward Darosa of Woodland, as the person who had improperly installed the fence, and the Yolo County district attorney is reviewing the report from CalFire to determine if charges will be filed.  
  7. Typhoon Maria slammed into the Fujian province of China on Wednesday, inflicting 547 yuan ($82 million USD) in damages, which includes 76 million yuan to water infrastructure. Reports indicate that 40 homes collapsed and 110,200 people were affected by the Category 4 storm that interrupted, air, train, and bus service in the provincial capital Fuzhou. The storm, which caused widespread damage and knee-deep flooding, left hundreds of thousands of people without power, and officials are scrambling to support flood control efforts.  
  8. Eight people have been sickened by Legionnaire's disease in the New York City suburb of Washington Heights over the past week, including seven who were hospitalized. Legionnaire's disease is a type of pneumonia caused by the bacteria Legionella, which grows and resides in warm water. Victims of the disease ranged in age from under 40 to 80 years-old, and officials noted that most Legionnaire infections can be traced to plumbing systems ripe for Legionella growth including cooling towers, hot tubs, whirlpool spas, and humidifiers.  

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.