EDM Tuesday Briefing: Government Focuses on Cyber Security, Wildfire Forecast Points to Risk in Hawaii, California
Emergency and disaster management briefing for May 3, 2016: A new cybersecurity agency aims to develop new policies, Colorado looks to invest in a cybersecurity training center, the NIFC releases its latest wildfire risk outlook, authorities contain the Shenandoah wildfire, and Venezuela continues to take drastic measures to combat its worsening energy crisis.
- The National Governors Association (NGA) announced that five states will join forces in a cybersecurity policy academy that will work to create comprehensive new strategies to bolster national cybersecurity. The five states -- Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Nevada and Oregon -- will aim to develop in-depth cybersecurity measures that can protect against the ever-changing cybersecurity threats of 2016 and beyond.
- Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper is actively campaigning for the state's legislature to fund what he is calling the National Cybersecurity Intelligence Center. Hickenlooper envisions the center as a partnership between the state, private industry, and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and wants it to be a cybersecurity training ground for government officials, students and business owners alike.
- The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) published its National Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlook for the U.S. yesterday, which forecasted wildfire danger in different regions of the U.S. through the end of August. Current wildfire danger is elevated in parts of the East, but, according to the NIFC, that danger will dissipate and wildfire danger increases in Hawaii and parts of California as the summer progresses.
- Authorities announced that the wildfire that burned thousands of acres in Shenandoah National Park has been fully contained. The fire, which burned across more than 10,000 acres at its worst point, was one of the largest fires in the park's history. Hundreds of firefighters from across the nation assisted in battling, and ultimately containing, the wildfire. Officials are still investigating the cause of the fire.
- Venezuela continues to battle through an energy crisis that is directly tied to the severe drought in the nation that isn't showing any signs of letting up. The most recent measures taken by the country to conserve electricity include moving time forward 30 minutes and reducing the workweek of government employees to just two days.
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will reimburse states, tribes and local governments about $1 million for costs associated with a wastewater spill from a Colorado mine. The EPA accidentally triggered a massive spill of wastewater from the inactive Gold King Mine in southwestern Colorado last August while doing preliminary cleanup work. The 3-million-gallon water spill released arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury and other dangerous pollutants.
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) denied Louisiana's appeal for a major disaster declaration that would help the state recover from severe storms and tornadoes in February. On February 23 alone, 13 tornadoes tore up southeastern part of the state. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards had appealed FEMA's original denial for federal aid, but the agency upheld its denial and maintained its position that the "event is not of the severity and magnitude that warrants a major disaster declaration."
- The Northeast Power Coordinating Council’s (NPCC) new summer reliability assessment concluded that adequate power supplies are forecast for the New York, New England and Eastern Canadian power grids, this summer. Energy transmission will also be improved throughout New York and New England due to multiple transmission project completions.
- A recent report from the Seismological Society of America (SSA) spoke of the impact that is being made by the growing group of citizen seismologists in the U.S. Not only is the quantity of earthquake data that citizen scientists provide increasing, but the quality of the data is improving, too.