Click the button below to see the latest COVID-19 updates from American Military University’s first-responder experts on Twitter. AMUdisasterCREW brings you daily emergency and disaster planning tips, pics, videos, news and a lot more.
Emergency and disaster management briefing for March 13, 2020: All Ohio schools will be closed for three weeks due to the coronavirus; the WHO has declared COVID-19 a global pandemic; healthcare facility operational preparedness requires redundancy for PSPS; Disney officials announce closure of resorts in California, Florida, and France amid ongoing outbreak of the coronavirus; torrential rainfalls prompted flash flooding closed roads in the Coachella Valley; the U.S. State Department and the CDC issued new travel alert levels as coronavirus spreads across Europe; another person has died from injuries sustained in the deadly tornadoes in middle Tennessee last Tuesday; and barge traffic on inland waterways faces navigation challenges with flooding and planned essential maintenance this spring and summer.
Start an Emergency & Disaster Management degree at American Military University.
1) Beginning after school Monday, all public, private, and charter K-12 schools in Ohio will be closed for three weeks as part of an extended spring break to help combat the spread of the coronavirus. The move to close schools across the state until April 3, comes amid five confirmed cases of the coronavirus that were reported in Northeast Ohio counties: three in Cuyahoga, one in Trumbull, and one in Stark County. The governor left decisions up to each district as to whether they conduct classes online, or just have an extended break, and it is unknown if the closure will result in an extension of the school year.
— American Military University Disaster Crew (@AMUdisastercrew) March 12, 2020
2) On Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the rapidly spreading COVID-19 a global pandemic. As of Thursday, 127 countries had reported cases of the coronavirus, while the total number of global cases so far has exceeded 134,745. As the virus quickly spreads, countries are declaring emergencies, closing schools and businesses, and urging residents to avoid sick individuals. In the United States, multiple states, along with large school districts, have announced school closures for anywhere from two weeks up to one month, with some K-12 and higher-learning institutions moving to online instruction.
There are simple things we each must do to protect ourselves from #COVID19, including 👐 washing with 🧼 & 💦 or alcohol-based rub.
WHO is launching the #SafeHands Challenge to promote the power of clean 👐 to fight #coronavirus.
Join the challenge & share your 👐 washing video! pic.twitter.com/l7MDw1mwDl
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) March 13, 2020
3) As the threat of wildfires continues, Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) now need to be addressed as planned disasters due to the impact they have on public health and safety. A PSPS cuts power to locations at-risk for wildfires, and the absence of electrical power becomes a life threat, especially for long-term care facilities and hospitals, along with other agencies and healthcare facilities. The key to ensuring the safety of residents and patients is to create redundancy, including back-up power supplies, and ensuring that operational plans--such as for evacuations--are in place, along with mutual aid agreements to help ensure safety and redundancy.
📣 New Podcast! "Do Public Safety Power Shutoffs Work" on @Spreaker #calfire #county #devoe #disaster #em #emergency #fire #management #pg_e #power #psps #rosa #santa #sonoma #todd #weekly #wildfire https://t.co/DDwIpkKdlh
— Sitch Radio (@SitchRadio) January 9, 2020
4) Amid the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19, Disney announced the closure of its resorts in California, Florida, and Paris, France, along with its Disney Cruise Line cruises, through the end of March. The closure of the resort parks will begin at the close of business on Sunday, March 15, and will include Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park in California, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, and Disneyland Paris Resort. All new departures on the Disney Cruise Line will be suspended beginning on March 14. Universal Studios announced it would also close its theme parks in California and Florida temporarily amid the ongoing outbreak of the new coronavirus.
Closures begin at the close of business on March 15, and remain through the end of the month. https://t.co/ya9zFKKfqB
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) March 13, 2020
5) Afternoon rains soaked the Coachella Valley in California on Thursday, prompting flash flood warnings and road closures. Hardest hit areas for road closures due to flooding included Palm Springs, East Valley, La Quinta, and Cathedral, where officials urged residents not to drive through floodwaters. By the afternoon, rainfall amounts were from one inch to nearly two inches in some locations, with significant delays on area freeways and highways due to rising floodwaters.
6) The U.S. State Department has issued a Global Level 3 Health Advisory, cautioning Americans to reconsider travel abroad due to the global outbreak of COVID-19. The State Department cautions that with the ongoing outbreak, even countries not currently restricting travel or enforcing quarantines, could impose restrictions without warning. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued its highest level warning--a Level 3--advising Americans to avoid all nonessential travel to Europe amid the spreading virus.
— I.E.N. (@BreakingIEN) March 12, 2020
7) The deadly tornadoes that struck middle Tennessee on March 3rd--and caused widespread damage--have claimed another life. A man in Putnam County, where an EF-4 tornado touched down, died Thursday of injuries he sustained during the tornado. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), a severe storm cell spawned about 10 tornadoes that caused a total of 25 deaths, injured dozens, and left at least a 60 mile trail of destruction across Nashville and Putnam County.
Death toll rises in Putnam County, Tennessee tornado to 19 https://t.co/FNR1HwY30x
— John Angelbeck (@john_henry68) March 12, 2020
8) Flooding will again be likely along inland waterways this year, creating issues for the movement of barges. The Army Corp of Engineers also has planned essential maintenance on the navigable link between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River in six areas, disrupting barge operations for 120 days beginning July 1. The maintenance is necessary, and should occur after the flooding threat, but extends the likely disruption of navigation through inland waterways--part of critical infrastructure that is essential for the movement of grains and other consumables.