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Hazardous Materials Hot Line© July 4, 2024

CSB Issues Statement on Hurricane & Weather Preparedness

The U. S. Chemical Safety Board has issued a statement cautioning facility owners to prepare for an active hurricane season.


Discussion:  The CSB has previously released reports on two incidents that resulted from hurricane & tropical weather.  The Arkema Incident in Crosby TX and the Bio-Lab Incident in Westlake LA resulted in significant incidents.  Emergency response personnel and emergency planners should work with local chemical facilities and the critical infrastructure community to ensure preparedness and protection from weather incidents have been included in the facility planning assumptions and that adequate protective measures are in place.


FEMA Announces $1B for Protecting Communities

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has announced the application period for the Building Resistant Infrastructure and Communities  (BRIC) grant cycle. 


Discussion:  The BRIC program is intended to reduce community risk by proactively strengthening infrastructure and community facilities, including fire stations, police stations, and other critical infrastructure.  By addressing protection gaps before disaster strikes, communities are able to bounce back from disaster quicker and with less impact on the social fabric and economic backbone that supports communities.  Emergency planners should work with local infrastructure to identify weaknesses and gaps and seek ways to close the gaps. 


Haz Mats in History

Response Technologies, Inc. has released several Haz Mats in History videos.  The videos examine incidents that changes the way emergency planning and response are conducted.  This issue highlights the 2022 Weaver Fertilizer Fire in Winston-Salem NC. 


Discussion:  The incident had the potential to be catastrophic to the Winston-Salem community.  However, the responders reacted quickly and took appropriate protective measures.   Responders and emergency planners should become familiar with the hazards in their community and plan for routine and large scale incidents. 


DHS S&T Seeking Real World Testing of Technology

The U. S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate is seeking fire departments willing to test a new technology designed to allow responders to see, and navigate, through smoke.


Discussion:  The helmet mounted device is designed to improve situational awareness, speed response, and limit exposure to carcinogenic smoke by decreasing time of exposure.  Applications to participate are available through the end of July 2024.  

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