EDM Wednesday Briefing: Record Heat, Monsoon Season, Delta Woes, DOJ Report
Emergency and disaster management briefing for August 10, 2016: The first seven months of 2016 are the third hottest on record for the contiguous U.S., monsoon season kicks into gear in the Southwest, Delta cancels or delays more than 1,500 flights on the second day of a systemwide meltdown, the DOJ is set to release the results of a civil rights probe on the Baltimore police, and concern surrounding the spread of Zika virus remains high in Florida and Texas.
- July temperatures in the contiguous U.S. in July were 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit above the average temperature for July in the 20th century, making it the 14th warmest July on record. Additionally, the average temperature in the lower 48 in the first seven months of 2016 ranks the current year as the third warmest on record.
- Monsoon season has finally arrived in the Southwest, including New Mexico. The true start of the season is a bit late, as the season typically runs from June 15 through September 30. New Mexico is currently suffering from drought conditions, as well, which is bringing up additional flash flood concerns with significant rains expected in the near future.
- Delta Air Lines had hundreds of additional delays and cancellations yesterday, the second straight day of disruption due to a systemwide computer meltdown. As of Tuesday evening, Delta had canceled 680 flights and another 940 flights were delayed. That followed Monday, when the airline canceled more than 1,000 flights and delayed almost 3,000 others. Delta typically operates about 6,000 flights per day.
- Delta's massive outage is placing the entire airline industry under new scrutiny, as the meltdown highlights the vulnerabilities of the industry as a whole. Delta isn't the first airline to be grounded by a computer failure, industry experts said, so this meltdown is unlikely to be the last.
- A Justice Department analysis on the Baltimore Police Department that will be released today reportedly found serious flaws in police practices against black residents. The civil rights probe examined the Baltimore Police Department’s use of force, searches, arrests and other policing methods, and the report is expected to be highly critical of the department.
- Concern surrounding an outbreak of Zika remained high in Florida as state officials confirmed four new cases of the virus in northern Miami yesterday. That brings the total -- mostly in a 1-square-mile region -- to at least 21 people. In Texas, Zika claimed the life of a baby. It's the first Zika-related death in Texas, and one of at least 15 babies known to be born with Zika-related birth defects in the U.S.
- The Pilot Fire in the San Bernardino Mountains in Southern California grew to more than 11 square miles yesterday. Officials list the fire as six percent contained, more than 5,300 local homes have now been evacuated, and schools are being closed due to the wildfire.
- Maryland Governor Larry Hogan asked for a federal disaster declaration in Howard County due to the flash flooding that hit the region at the end of July. The historic flooding struck the town of Ellicott City hardest, leading to two deaths and the destruction of multiple roads and buildings.
- Tech giant Apple recently announced its own bug bounty program -- a long-awaited event in the cybersecurity community. The bug bounty strategy is growing in popularity in recent months, with multiple, large corporations opening up their systems for hackers and researchers to find weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Apple had long been a holdout in the bug-bounty trend, but now has opened up an invitation-only program for select participants.
- A pair of democratic senators are urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to put forth robust cybersecurity and privacy provisions that will protect the airwaves in which vehicle-to-vehicle connectivity takes place. The senators believe that the ever-increasing connectivity of vehicles is quickly leading to new and serious security threats.
Delta will provide $200 travel vouchers to all customers who experienced a 3+ hour delay or cancellation today. https://t.co/ZUbkhXmrvr
— Delta (@Delta) August 8, 2016