Home Emergency Management News EDM Friday Briefing: Cristobal Likely to Regain Strength
EDM Friday Briefing: Cristobal Likely to Regain Strength

EDM Friday Briefing: Cristobal Likely to Regain Strength


Emergency and disaster management briefing for June 5, 2020: A Texas military family, including four children and two pets, were found dead in a vehicle inside the family's garage; two National Guardsman were hospitalized after a nearby lightning strike near Lafayette Square across from the White House; the FDA adds Zoloft to its list of drugs facing a shortage amid the coronavirus outbreak; seven people are dead in Alabama after a shooting near Huntsville; doctors in Pittsburgh believe the coronavirus is allegedly losing its potency; the Sawtooth Fire has scorched nearly 25,000 acres and is now being fought under a Type I Incident Management Team; officials from the WHO announced Wednesday that the coronavirus is not mutating to become more dangerous; and although downgraded to a tropical depression, Cristobal is likely to quickly regain strength once it re-emerges over the Gulf of Mexico late Friday.

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1) The bodies of a U.S. servicemember, his wife and family, including their four children and two cats, were found dead inside their vehicle in a home in San Antonio, Texas. Police responding to the home for a welfare check found a cryptic note on the door and were met with noxious fumes. A drone was sent into the home, and initial indications were that the house was rigged with explosives, which forced the evacuation of at least 200 area homes until the scene was cleared.

2) A nearby lightning strike in Lafayette Square across from the White House sent two National Guardsmen to the hospital. Although the servicemen were not hit directly by the lightning strike, they suffered serious, non- life-threatening injuries. The National Guard has been deployed to help secure the Nation's capital as recent protests have taken a violent turn.

3) Ramifications of the new coronavirus pandemic, along with the secondary impacts of lengthy lockdowns, lost income, isolation and depression, have led to a shortage of the popular anti-depressant medication Zoloft. The drug, which helps address anxiety, depression, and other conditions in nearly 4.9 million people, was placed on a list of drugs that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says are currently facing a shortage. According to reports, the protracted crisis is causing an uptick in calls from people facing mental health concerns.

4) A shooting near Huntsville, Alabama late Thursday night left seven people dead. Police responded to a report of a gunshot in Valhermoso Springs, in Morgan County and discovered the bodies of seven people, all of them adult males and females. Reportedly, the scene was secure and there was no threat to the public although the investigation into the incident continues.

5) Some patterns suggest that the coronavirus may be declining in virulency and in its infection rate. Doctors at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) reportedly noted that the virus is changing and allegedly losing its potency. UPMC doctors noted that of 30,000 people tested, the rate of infection was less than 4 percent. Of another 8,000 individuals who were tested that had no symptoms, only 21 came back positive.

6) The Sawtooth Fire is still burning east of Phoenix in the Superstition Wilderness of the Tonto National Forest. A Type I Incident Management Team assumed command of the fire on Wednesday, with a total of more than 380 personnel assigned to the wildfire. As of Friday morning, the blaze had scorched nearly 25,000 acres and was only 42 percent contained.

7) Officials from the World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Wednesday that the coronavirus, an RNA virus, is not mutating to become more dangerous. Although the virus is mutating, officials say that is expected, but they have been normal changes that occur over time with an RNA virus. They noted that even though the virus has changed, it is not changing in the way it transmits or in its ability to cause a more severe disease.

8) Tropical Storm Cristobal, which weakened into a tropical depression over southern Mexico, is slowly moving eastward. Weather forecasters believe it will regain strength when it re-emerges over the Gulf of Mexico, which is forecast late Friday night. The system currently has winds of about 35 mph, although it is expected to be a strong tropical storm when it is forecast to make landfall along the south central Louisiana coast sometime late Sunday or early Monday.


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.