Emergency and disaster management briefing for September 15, 2021: Illinois approved $700 million in subsidies to keep two nuclear plants in operation; an Air Quality Advisory is in effect for the Bay Area in California; DSNAP has been approved for 15 parishes in Louisiana to help families in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida; La Palma Island has been rocked by nearly 3,000 earthquakes as a volcanic eruption appears imminent; the Dixie Fire has now reached 75% containment and fire suppression repair has begun; county officials cautioned residents in Plumas County impacted by the Dixie Fire about potential scams and frauds during recovery efforts; an update is available for two zero-day vulnerabilities that have been identified in Google Chrome; and the NHC is tracking three systems in the Atlantic Basin, two of which have a 60-90% chance of development.

1. The closure of two nuclear plants in Illinois was avoided after the state approved $700 million in subsidies to the parent company, Excelon. Exelon planned to close the Byron Nuclear Generating Station on Monday and the Dresden Generating Station in November. The company will receive the subsidies over five years for its generation of virtually carbon-free power.

2. An Air Quality Advisory is in effect for the San Francisco Bay Area on Wednesday. The Bay Area Quality Management District noted that smoke from area wildfires has moved into the area and produced hazy, smoke-filled air. Residents were reminded to set their home and car air conditioning units to re-circulate in order to avoid pulling in smoke-filled outside air.

3. Hurricane Ida left a swath of devastation as it moved across Louisiana, leaving many families with severely damaged or completely destroyed homes. On September 14, the federal government reportedly approved a Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) to help families recovering after the hurricane. The DSNAP assistance must be requested by each parish. Also, federal program rules dictate that the assistance can only be implemented after other federal food programs have ended; power, telephone, and internet are restored; grocery store shelves are open; and mail delivery is in operation.

4. On September 11, a series of earthquakes began to occur under the La Cumbre Vieja volcano area of La Palma Island in the Canary Islands. The earthquake activity is likely due to magma intrusion. A total of nearly 3,000 earthquakes have occurred in just four days, with the quakes becoming shallower, ground deformation occurring, and ground uplift of nearly one inch observed. A Yellow Alert is in effect as the likelihood of a volcanic eruption continues to increase.

5. The Dixie Fire, which has consumed over 960,000 acres, is now 75% contained with fire suppression repair now underway. The cause of the wildfire that began on July 13 is still under investigation, and estimated containment is now forecast for September 30. The Dixie Fire later merged with the Fly Fire that began on July 22, creating a massive blaze. The combined fires have now impacted a total of five counties, two national forests and one national park.

6. Residents across Plumas County, California, who were impacted by the Dixie Fire are being cautioned about potential scams once recovery begins. The county administrator shared a fact sheet from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that details information of how con artists and criminals may exploit residents attempting to book services or receive assistance in the aftermath of the wildfire. Anyone applying for assistance from FEMA will be required to have a home inspection. Residents should ask for the inspector’s identification, and beware of phony inspectors.

7. Two critical bugs were reported to Google for its Chrome web browser, for which the company has released a security update. According to reports, the update was released on Monday, September 13 and patched a total of 11 vulnerabilities – two of which were identified as zero-day vulnerabilities. When a security problem is classified as a zero-day vulnerability, it indicates that bad actors already took advantage of those security issues without the knowledge of Google.

8. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is tracking three systems in the Atlantic Basin for their potential development. One disturbance, located northeast of the central Bahamas, is producing a large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms. It is forecast to have a 60-70% chance of development. Another low-pressure area situated off the coast of Africa shows increased signs of organization with its showers and thunderstorms. This system has a 90% chance of becoming a tropical depression over the next two or three days.





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