Home Emergency Management News EDM Wednesday Briefing: Colorado Gunman Used Periscope to Live-Stream Ambush-Style Shooting

EDM Wednesday Briefing: Colorado Gunman Used Periscope to Live-Stream Ambush-Style Shooting

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for January 3, 2017: A Customs and Border Protection computer outage disrupted travel on New Year's Day; a bomb cyclone is likely to blanket the Eastern seaboard with ice and snow; FEMA has agreed to allow churches affected by federal disasters to apply for aid; 48 people are dead following a bus crash in Peru; Macedonia is rattled by a series of earthquakes; a Colorado gunman used Periscope to live-stream his ambush-style shooting; FEMA extends disaster housing assistance for Puerto Rico; and New York City unveils new security measures following deadly vehicle attacks.

1. A computer outage at Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that began around 7:30 p.m. on New Year's Day and lasted about two hours led to extremely long processing lines and system-wide delays at several major airports around the country. The temporary outage affected the self-service processing systems, causing various errors such as the machines being unable to recognize a person's status, including if they were a visitor, resident or citizen. Officials are still unclear about what caused the service disruption, but alternate procedures were effectively used to screen all incoming international passengers, according to CBP.

2. Weather forecasters are watching the Atlantic Basin for the development of a "bomb cyclone" that could develop due to a strong drop in barometric pressure, making it an extra forceful event. Known scientifically as an explosive cyclogenesis, this storm threatens to dump ice and snow along the Eastern seaboard from New England to Northern Florida. Blizzard conditions may be possible in the Northeast Wednesday night and Thursday, while winter weather conditions, including snow and ice, are possible in the Southeast on Wednesday. The storm may also trap the bone-chilling cold gripping the middle of the U.S. along the Atlantic coastline towards the end of the week.

3. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has agreed to allow churches to apply for disaster aid for any federally declared disaster that occurred after August 23, 2017. The decision follows a lawsuit that was filed by three churches in Texas, along with pressure from President Trump. The FEMA ban on allowing churches to apply for aid also contradicted a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that made it easier for religious groups to get public aid.

4. A passenger bus careened off the side of a cliff and landed upside down on a rocky beach in Pasamayo, Peru on Tuesday, killing at least 48 people. At least three people are missing. About six others were able to be rescued and were transported in critical condition to area hospitals. The bus had 57 people on board when it was struck by a tractor-trailer rig on the often mist-shrouded, winding road known as Devil's Curve -- a road that borders the Pacific Ocean and leads to Lima, Peru's capital.

5. A series of mild earthquakes rattled Macedonia on Tuesday, causing some minor damage near the epicenter and sparking fear among residents. The strongest earthquake registered a 4.8 magnitude and occurred around 5:24 a.m. local time. The quake was centered about 90 miles southeast of Skopje, the capital, at a depth of about 15 kilometers or 9.3 miles, and was also felt in Bulgaria and Greece.

6. The gunman in Colorado who shot and killed a sheriff's deputy and wounded at least six other people on Sunday, including three other deputies, a police officer, and two civilians, live-streamed the event on Periscope. Other reports also indicate that gunman and former Army reservist Matthew Reihl, 37, had an alarming online presence -- which included threats to police officers. Online messages included harassing social media posts about police that were related to a traffic stop in November, and "alarming" posts which also mentioned the University of Wyoming, the school where Reihl obtained his law degree.

7. Disaster housing assistance has been extended for another 66 days for residents of Puerto Rico who were affected by Hurricane Maria to provide shelter for those families and individuals who are still unable to return home following the disaster. According to reports, there are at least 10,000 people receiving assistance under the current program. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced the extension to the Temporary Shelter Assistance (TSA), following a request by the Puerto Rican government.

8. Following two deadly vehicle attacks, New York City has announced its plan to install protective metal barriers in public spaces around the city to help protect pedestrians. The bollards will be installed on heavily populated streets and sidewalks around the city, helping to counter the threat of vehicle terror attacks and car accidents. The city has identified 10 key locations, including Times Square, that will receive the permanent barriers -- which will cost approximately $50 million -- with installation set to begin in March.


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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.