EDM Tuesday Briefing: Senate Gun Vote, New CA Fires, Heat Wave, Power Grid
Emergency and disaster management briefing for June 21, 2016: Senate Republicans vote down four separate gun control measures, California's wildfire situation worsens, the Southwest continues to battle a deadly heat wave, the NOAA reports May 2016 as the hottest month ever, the threat of power grid failures looms over parts of CA.
- The Senate voted down four separate gun measures Monday in the midst of a recent wave of gun violence in the U.S. Last week, Senate Democrats forced 15 straight hours of discussion about gun control just days after the worst mass shooting in U.S. history in Orlando. Republican leaders then agreed to allow votes on several gun control measures. But the partisan paralysis continued with yesterday's stalling votes.
- With California already fighting multiple wildfires, new wildfires began Monday near Los Angeles. Two fires grew to about 5 square miles combined, and chased people from their suburban homes as the state also deals with a relentless heat wave. Progress was made on Sherpa Fire, which has been burning since Thursday -- officials reported 62 percent containment of that fire as of late last night.
- The searing heat wave slamming the Southwest and Southern California that led to several record highs over the weekend continued yesterday. There have been six confirmed deaths associated with the heat wave thus far, all in Arizona. Excessive heat warnings remained in effect Monday in parts of Arizona, Nevada, Utah and California.
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information reported May 2016 to be the thirteenth consecutive warmest month across the globe. Data showed May 2016 to be the month with the highest ever recorded average temperatures since record keeping began -- on both land and sea.
- The heat wave hitting southwestern regions of the U.S. has brought on obvious effects like worsening drought conditions and increasing wildfire risk. It has also caused issues with the power grid in many regions, as well. Various power outages were been reported over the weekend in Southern California as record temperature put a huge strain on the region's power grid. California energy officials warned homes and business on Monday to conserve electricity, and the potential for rolling blackouts was very high on the first day of summer.
- The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently analyzed global response to climate change in an effort to determine how climate change adaptation can ultimately lead to better risk management. The GAO selected five governments in particular to analyze, and chose those governments because each has enacted laws as a part of its overall approach to climate change adaptation.
- Grenada’s Tradewinds 2016, a joint EDM training exercise with partner nations, was held June 4 – 14. Seeking a whole society approach, the exercise was designed to teach law enforcement and other first responders enhanced capabilities for addressing human-caused threats and natural disasters, along with how to provide humanitarian relief in a coordinated and cooperative manner.
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) denied the emergency declaration request from Florida Governor Rick Scott on Monday. Scott requested a declaration following the mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub that turned out to be the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. The governor called the response disappointing and said it was "unthinkable" that the federal government did not accept the request.
- FEMA announced that it awarded Oregon more than $2 million to help with recovery from the severe winter storms that occurred December 6-23, 2015. Regions of the state experienced severe straight-line winds, flooding, landslides and mudslides in the winter storms. FEMA’s Public Assistance grants will fund 400 eligible projects in 14 counties.