EDM Friday Briefing: Officers Shot in San Diego, Wildfires Burn in CA, Cyber Threats Get Color Codes
Emergency and disaster management briefing for July 29, 2016: Two officers are shot in San Diego, two major California wildfires continue to burn, the White House releases a new color-coded schema to deal with cyber threats, the CDC announces $60 million in Zika funding, two Florida counties halt blood donations due to Zika, and China continues its strong move toward clean energy.
- Two police officers were shot in San Diego Thursday night, and authorities currently have one suspect in custody. The incident occurred around 11 p.m. local time in the city’s Southcrest neighborhood. Details are still emerging, but, according to reports this morning, one of the officers has died.
- Two major wildfires continue to burn in California as firefighters gain control in one and struggle to contain the other. Crews achieved 65 percent containment in the Sand fire in the Angeles National Forest north of Los Angeles, but the fire remains at more than 38,000 acres. Farther north in the state, the Soberanes Fire in Monterey County grew to more than 27,000 acres and the blaze is threatening about 2,000 structures.
- The Soberanes wildfire, which is burning Big Sur, has already destroyed at least 34 homes and at least ten other structures in the area. The blaze continues to grow, with recent reports placing the fire at just 10 percent containment. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection estimated that it will likely take until the end of August to fully extinguish the fire.
- This week, the White House released a new color-coded cyber threat system that introduces a framework to evaluate and assess cyber incidents from within the Federal Government. The Cyber Incident Severity Schema will serve to define the severity of individual cyber incidents and help mold potential responses to the incidents.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced $60 million in funding that will serve to help U.S. states and territories combat Zika virus. The White House originally requested $1.9 billion to fund the U.S. fight against Zika virus, but that effort remains stalled in Congress. The CDC said the $60 million in funding is acting as a stopgap measure until additional federal funding can be secured.
- Officials at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed that the FDA has asked two counties in Florida to halt blood donations due to Zika fears. With Florida health officials actively investigating the possibility of multiple non-travel related Zika cases, the FDA recommended temporarily halting donations in both Miami-Dade County and Broward County.
- New analysis shows that China now accounts for one-third of the global investment in clean energy, compared to its nearly non-existent presence in the renewable energy industry a decade ago. Experts say that China's coal use may have already peaked in 2013 or 2014, as consumption rates have remained flat or slightly declined in the past two years and the country looks to move to renewable energy sources.
- Han Song Ryol, North Korea’s top diplomat for U.S. affairs, said yesterday that the U.S. 'crossed the red line' and that U.S. actions have now put the situation on the Korean Peninsula on a war footing. The diplomat explained how U.S. military exercises south of the Demilitarized Zone in South Korea have become more aggressive and how the U.S. placing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on its list of sanctioned individuals effectively declares war.
- The largest disaster preparedness drill in Vermont history began this week on Monday. All told, the 10-day exercise will occur at 50 sites across the state and more than 5,000 participants will participate. The drills involve a number of different disaster simulations, including a mock infectious disease outbreak in which thousands are infected and hospitals are overwhelmed in response.
- The Southern African Development Community (SADC) declared the persistent drought a regional disaster this week following erratic rain patterns that have led to bad harvests and mass deaths of livestock. The SADC is an inter-governmental organization that includes 15 southern African states. SADC said that the disaster declaration is necessary because more than 40 million people urgently need assistance in the region.