Home Emergency Management News EDM Friday Briefing: FEMA Releases Updates for Two Independent Study Courses
EDM Friday Briefing: FEMA Releases Updates for Two Independent Study Courses

EDM Friday Briefing: FEMA Releases Updates for Two Independent Study Courses

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for May 15, 2020: Typhoon Vongfong slammed into the Philippines with winds equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane; a juvenile has been arrested for allegedly starting the Saddle Fire and three others in Utah; a Florida resident has been charged with starting a wildfire that damaged or destroyed 59 homes; two wildfires merged in South Florida, prompting evacuations and forcing the closure of I-75 in Collier County; FEMA has released course updates to two of its independent study courses; a strong 6.4 earthquake struck in a remote area of western Nevada early Friday morning; Invest 90L has an 80 percent chance of development into the first named tropical system of the 2020 hurricane season; and the bodies of the two Utah teens missing since May 6 have been found.

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1) Typhoon Vongfong rapidly intensified right before it slammed into the eastern Philippines on Thursday. The intensification occurred in less than 24 hours, with wind speeds topping 115 mph and gusts of 143 mph, making the storm equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane. The typhoon made evacuation efforts difficult across the nation, which has been hard-hit by the new coronavirus.

2) A wildfire that has so far scorched more than 635 acres in Utah was reportedly set by a juvenile. Dubbed the Saddle Fire, it is one of four fires allegedly started by the juvenile, and the fire was 70 percent contained as of Thursday. As of Friday morning, the wildfire was being managed by a Type 4 Incident Command and was burning to the north of Midway, in the Wasatch Mountain State Park.

3) A resident of Santa Rosa Beach in Florida has been charged with starting a wildfire that damaged or destroyed 59 homes. The man had allegedly set up an illegal burn barrel behind his home and reportedly left the barrel unattended before the fire was completely out. Embers from the barrel ignited dry vegetation nearby. The wildfire swiftly raged out of control due to high winds, forcing evacuations and scorching 343 acres before it was contained.

4) Two wildfires burning in Collier County in South Florida merged Thursday morning, prompting evacuations and forcing the closure of I-75. The fire created an 8,000 acre blaze that was only 10 percent contained as of Thursday afternoon. At least 13 homes were already destroyed by the blaze that shut down the first 20 miles of Alligator Alley, the portion of I-75 that crosses the state of Florida. Helicopters were being used to help contain the blaze.

5) The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released revisions for two independent courses. One of the courses, the National Response Framework (NRF), An Introduction (IS-800.d), has been revised to include October 2019 updates, including Community Lifelines. The course addresses those who deliver and apply response core capabilities, including first responders and emergency managers. The second course update incorporates the October 2017 updates to NIMS (National Incident Management System), Resource Management (IS-703.b) and applies to any agencies involved in coordination activities during a disaster.

6) A strong earthquake struck in a remote area of western Nevada early Friday morning. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the 6.5 magnitude quake struck at a very shallow depth of 1.7 miles and was centered about 35 miles west of Tonopah, Nevada. The quake was reportedly felt from Utah to California, although no injuries or damages have been reported.

7) It is very likely that the low-pressure system moving slowly through the Straits of Florida will develop into the first named storm of the 2020 hurricane season. According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Invest 90L has an 80 percent chance of development into a named storm this weekend as it moves out over the Atlantic Ocean. Until then, the system will bring rain to much of South Florida, including heavy rainfall in The Keys and in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

8) The bodies of two Utah teens that have been missing since May 6 have been found. The teenage girls, Priscilla Bienkowski, 18, and Sophie Hernandez, 17, went tubing on Utah Lake, located south of Salt Lake City, but never returned to shore. Authorities believe they may have been caught in bad weather on the lake, which likely led to their deaths.

 

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.