Preparedness

California Wildfires: Emergency Preparedness and Resources

California Wildfires: Emergency Preparedness and Helpful Resources

Firefighters battling wildfire

Firefighters are battling a total of 17 fires ravaging throughout California, including the Mendocino Complex Fire. The blaze has nearly doubled in size, making it the largest in the state’s history.

Environmental Health professionals are critical to ensuring the best practices are implemented to ensure that everyone in California has access to clean air. NEHA pledges our support in assisting them in any way possible.

NEHA and its members are deeply concerned for the people of California whose lives have been severely impacted by the wildfires. We stand ready to help as the smoke creates unlivable conditions for many towns and cities in the surrounding areas.

We are committed to working closely with the California Environmental Health Association (CEHA) and other organizations as they struggle with the aftermath. Below are helpful resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, California Air Resources Board, and California Department of Public Health. These resources were created to assist environmental health professionals with emergency preparedness after a wildfire or mass fire.
 

​Resources for Local Health Departments

Helicopter pours water over wildfire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resources for the Public

Resources From NEHA's Journal of Environmental Health

 

 

 

California Wildfires: Emergency Preparedness and Resources

California Wildfires: Emergency Preparedness and Helpful Resources

Firefighters battling wildfire

Firefighters are battling a total of 17 fires ravaging throughout California, including the Mendocino Complex Fire. The blaze has nearly doubled in size, making it the largest in the state’s history.

Environmental Health professionals are critical to ensuring the best practices are implemented to ensure that everyone in California has access to clean air. NEHA pledges our support in assisting them in any way possible.

NEHA and its members are deeply concerned for the people of California whose lives have been severely impacted by the wildfires. We stand ready to help as the smoke creates unlivable conditions for many towns and cities in the surrounding areas.

We are committed to working closely with the California Environmental Health Association (CEHA) and other organizations as they struggle with the aftermath. Below are helpful resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, California Air Resources Board, and California Department of Public Health. These resources were created to assist environmental health professionals with emergency preparedness after a wildfire or mass fire.
 

​Resources for Local Health Departments

 

Helicopter pours water over wildfire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resources for the Public

Resources From NEHA's Journal of Environmental Health

 

 

 

Int. Society for Disease Surveillance Conference

The International Society for Disease Surveillance (ISDS) conference is the premier event dedicated to the advancement of the science and practice of biosurveillance. Every year, the ISDS conference draws approximately 400 professionals from a broad range of disciplines to learn the latest achievements, analytic methods, best practices, conceptual frameworks, and technical innovations in the rapidly evolving field of disease surveillance.

EH Preparedness Webinars

NEHA aims to improve the capacity of environmental health to address emergency health threats and improve the national preparedness, response, and recovery framework. The NEHA EH Preparedness Webinars page provides up-to-date information on community preparedness topics and resources. 


Fentanyl Contaminated Properties: How Can We Clean Them Up?

Thurs, December 3, 2020, 2:00 - 3:00 PM ET

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid pain reliever that can be deadly even in small amounts. Emergency responders and hazmat teams risk potential exposure to the opioid when responding to incidents at mixing houses, pill factories, or in makeshift laboratories found in apartments, hotels, houses, garages, and storage facilities. EPA has developed a fentanyl fact sheet to support EPA on-scene coordinators’ providing assistance to local, state, tribal, and county hazmat partners in remediation of opioid contamination.

When developing the factsheet, EPA researchers identified research gaps in the sampling and cleanup approaches of fentanyl contaminated materials. Since the fact sheet was developed, EPA researchers have tested multiple off-the-shelf, easy-to-access products for their ability to decontaminate fentanyl on common materials. 

Speakers include:

Dr. Lukas Oudejans

Dr. Lukas Oudejans is a Research Physical Scientist with the US EPA Office of Research and Development’s Center for Environmental Solutions and Emergency Response. Over the past twelve years, he has gained vast experience in homeland security programs related to research, development and evaluation of innovative technologies for the decontamination of materials contaminated with chemical or biological agents. Currently, he is leading multiple research efforts to assess and improve on decontamination options for biological and chemical contaminated materials including contamination associated with synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and fentanyl analogs. Dr. Oudejans holds a Ph.D. in Experimental Physics from Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

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EPA's Research on Environmental Cleanup and Disinfection of SARS-CoV-2

Tues, June 30, 2020 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM ET

EPA scientists are building on a foundation of world-class research by applying their knowledge to reduce the risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This research will help states & territories, tribes, and local governments, including public health agencies guide homeowners, business owners, and others reduce the risk of exposure. This webinar will highlight research EPA is working on related to environmental cleanup and disinfection.

Reducing the risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 relies on effective cleaning and disinfection. Presenter and EPA scientist Dr. Shawn Ryan will discuss how EPA researchers are assessing the use of disinfectants on many different surfaces and objects as well as determining the best environmental sample collection methods and the limits of detection for SARS-CoV-2. To determine the effectiveness of these approaches, researchers are also developing a method to quickly analyze surface samples for the live virus, both before and after the disinfection process. Dr. Ryan will also discuss the development of strategies to decontaminate PPE.

Speakers include:

Shawn P. Ryan (ryan.shawn@epa.gov)

Shawn P. Ryan is a chemical engineer for the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA), serving as the Director of the Homeland Security and Materials Management Division in the Office of Research and Development’s Center for Environmental Solutions and Emergency Response.  Dr. Ryan also leads the EPA’s Homeland Security Research Program.  Previously, Dr. Ryan led the Decontamination and Consequence Management Division within ORD’s National Homeland Security Research Center (NHSRC) since 2010.  He also served as the Deputy National Program Director for the Homeland Security Research Program (HSRP) in 2018. Dr. Ryan has been a leader within ORD spearheading EPA partner engagement throughout the research process. He has initiated and led several large-scale interagency projects that have made significant advances in Homeland Security and served as models of partnership between ORD and EPA Program Offices and Regions. Dr. Ryan has over 19 years of experience at the EPA, including 16 years leading research to support EPA’s Homeland Security mission. His expertise includes process engineering, reaction kinetics, and environmental engineering, and his research at the EPA has focused on biological and chemical agent-related decontamination. Dr. Ryan received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering in 2001 and his BS in Environmental Engineering in 1995 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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EPA's CyAN Mobile App Provides Early Detection of Algal Blooms in U.S. Freshwater Systems

Wed, Nov 13, 2019 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT

The CyAN App is a mobile application that uses satellite data to map the location of harmful algal blooms in waters across the US. The app provides weekly information about cyanobacteria concentrations in many of the largest water bodies in the country. This information can be used to inform decisions regarding recreational and drinking water safety. The CyAN App is designed for use on Android™ devices and is available for download on Google Play™. This webinar will provide a general overview of the app including what it is used for, why and how it was developed, and who it was designed for, as well as state case studies from their beta testing of the CyAN app.

Speakers include:

Blake A. Schaeffer, Ph.D.
Blake is a physical scientist with EPA's Office of Research and Development in Durham, North Carolina. His research focus is on the use of satellite remote sensing technology to monitor water quality in coasts, estuaries, and lakes. Blake's interests generally include integrating remote sensing technologies into water quality management frameworks.

John M. Johnston, Ph.D.
John is a supervisory research ecologist with EPA's Office of Research and Development in Athens, Georgia. His research focus is on water quality monitoring and modeling to forecast ecosystem services and their influence on human health. John's interests include life cycle impact assessment, remote sensing, spatial modeling, and sustainability analysis.

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Extreme Storms, Flooding, and Health Impacts: Guidance for Environmental Health Professionals on the Ground

Tue, Sep 24, 2019 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT

This webinar for environmental health professionals and the communities they serve will give an overview of the health impacts of extreme storms and flooding, including lung health impacts, and practical tips from local environmental health professionals. Speakers will share their personal experiences and lessons learned while serving communities that have experienced extreme storms and flooding.

Speakers include:

  • Cynthia Goldstein, Environmental Health Administrator for the Florida Department of Health in Polk County
  • Janice Nolen, National Assistant Vice President for Policy at the American Lung Association
  • Christine Ortiz Gumina, Project Coordinator for Program and Partnership Development at the National Environmental Health Association

Video Link: https://register.gotowebinar.com/recording/6288537310049609990


Community Tools and Resources: Ways to Mitigate The Adverse Health Impacts of Wildfire Smoke Webinar (May 2019)

The impact of wildland fire smoke on air quality and health is an issue growing in importance to many health officials across the country, as well as federal, state and local decision-makers. This webinar gives an overview of EPA’s tools and resources available to provide public health guidance and education before, during and after wildfire events.

Speaker: Dr. Tom Long is an Assistant Laboratory Director for EPA’s National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory (NHEERL).

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Environmental Health and Emergency Management Webinar (July 2018)

This NEHA-hosted webinar featured Karla Black, emergency preparedness coordinator at the Kent County Health Department in Grand Rapids, Michigan, who discussed incorporating environmental health response to flooding, Ebola planning, and vapor intrusion. Additionally, Black provided an overview of Grand Rapids Health Department's radiation exercise.

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EH Topics: 

EH and Emergency Management Webinar

This webinar will discuss incorporating environmental health and incident command system (ICS) responses in planning for floods, Ebola, and vapor intrusion. Additionally, it will provide an overview of the Grand Rapid Health Department's radiation exercise.

Speaker: Karla Black, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, Kent County Health Department, Grand Rapids, MI

Webinar Title: Environmental Health and Emergency Management

Host: Christine Ortiz Gumina, cortizgumina@neha.org

Public Health and Disasters Conference

Public Health and Disasters is an annual, multidisciplinary national conference that brings together professionals from public health, health care, emergency management and other disciplines involved in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from public health emergencies. The conference includes tracks specific to PHEP Coordinators; emergency planners, epidemiologists, environmental health specialists, and healthcare emergency managers.

EPA Tools and Resources Webinar: Wildfires

Exposure to wildland fire smoke is a community health issue that has gained the attention of public health professionals and organizations, especially in states where fires are becoming more frequent and intense. Emissions from wildland fire smoke have significant health implications for those nearby as well as those living farther downwind of the smoke. EPA offers a suite of wildland fire resources that can be used by state environmental and public health agencies to help communicate health risks and ways to reduce exposure with the public before, during and after smoke events.

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