Home Emergency Management News EDM Friday Briefing: White House Report Highlights Vulnerabilities in Industries Critical to National Defense
EDM Friday Briefing: White House Report Highlights Vulnerabilities in Industries Critical to National Defense

EDM Friday Briefing: White House Report Highlights Vulnerabilities in Industries Critical to National Defense

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for October 5, 2018: The search for victims in the rubble of a collapsed hotel in Palu, Indonesia, is over as the death toll from the deadly earthquake and tsunami continues to rise; a recall of 6.5 million pounds of beef has been linked to an Arizona-based company; 12 children were hospitalized in California following exposure to chlorine gas; the CDC is investigating a multi-state outbreak of listeria that has caused at least one death; one child has died and three others were injured in a school bus crash in Texas; a new White House report highlights vulnerabilities in industries critical to national defense; Floridians are being warned of an invasive, toxic, parasite-carrying flatworm that has been found in Brevard County; and five cases of Hepatitis A are being linked to a single restaurant in Erie County, New York.

1. One week after the deadly earthquake and tsunami hit the Indonesia’s Sulawesi island, searchers have stopped digging for survivors amidst the rubble of the Mercure Hotel in Palu. Searchers from France were using state-of-the art technology to detect possible signs of life under the rubble, and the sign they found on Thursday could no longer be detected Friday morning, causing them to call off the search. The death toll across the region has reached 1,558, and officials believe scores more are buried beneath deep mud and the debris of homes and buildings that have collapsed.

2. A recall for more than 6.5 million pounds of beef over concerns of potential salmonella contamination was issued by a company based in Arizona. The products, which investigators said sickened 57 people across 16 states, were linked to JBS Tolleson, Inc. in Arizona and included ground beef and beef patties. The products were packaged between July 26, 2018 and September 7, 2018, distributed nationwide, and have an establishment stamp, EST. 267.

3. Twelve children on a competitive swim team in California were hospitalized after they inhaled chlorine gas during practice. The children, ranging in age between 11 and 15, were attending practice in Thousand Oaks at the Daland Swim School when the children began feeling ill, had difficulty breathing and began coughing. It is believed that the swim pump malfunctioned, allowing a buildup of chlorine gas that was released into the water when the pump kicked on.

4. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that an investigation has begun after four people were found to be infected with a strain of listeria monocytogenes in North Carolina and Virginia. The listeria infection was linked to ready-to-eat ham products, and the CDC notes that one death in Virginia was reported. North Carolina-based Johnston County Hams, Inc., has recalled nearly 89,100 pounds of ready-to-eat ham products after the illnesses were reported. An investigation into the suspected listeria contamination continues.

5. One child is dead and three others were injured during a school bus accident outside Dallas, Texas, on Wednesday afternoon. The Mesquite Independent School bus was carrying 41 children from Terry Middle School when the driver lost control. After the driver over-corrected several times, the bus went off the road and tipped over onto its right side, then caught fire. One student died — a 12-year-old girl who got trapped on the bus. Seven people were hospitalized, including three students, three police officers and the bus driver.

6. A newly released report from the White House details multiple vulnerabilities, many of which remain classified, in industries that are critical to national defense. The report lists shortages in both material and labor, including a shortage of the rare earth minerals needed to make radar, limited supplies of fabrics to make troop uniforms and tents, and a lack of American welders. Single supply sources for key components of critical defenses were also cited as contributing to the vulnerability of the nation’s defense, such as a single company that produces propellers for subs, fuel for space rockets, and gun barrels for tanks.

7. The Texas Invasive Species Institute is warning Floridians to be aware of the New Guinea flatworm, an invasive, parasite-carrying flatworm that has recently been found in Brevard County. The invasive worm, first spotted in 2015 in south Florida — specifically in the Miami metro area and Coral Gables — should not be touched, since it produces toxic secretions that cause allergic reactions in humans. The flatworm is also host to the A. cantonensis parasite, also known as rat lungworm — which can affect the brain and spinal cord in humans.

8. County health officials stated that a restaurant in Erie County, New York, has been linked to at least five different cases of Hepatitis A, including an infected worker. The restaurant, identified as Doino’s Pizzeria Bar and Grille in Cheektowaga, had one worker who reportedly felt ill and was diagnosed with Hepatitis A. The diagnosis was not revealed to county health officials. The four other people infected consumed food from the restaurant. Health officials are cautioning patrons who dined there between August 20, 2018 and September 3, 2018, to monitor themselves for 50 days for signs and symptoms of the disease and seek medical attention immediately if any signs are observed.

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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.