Tropical Depression Henri Causes Mass Flooding and Power Outages After Making Landfall Over the Weekend While Tennessee Experiences Extreme Flooding from Above Average Rainfall


According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Hurricane Center (NHC), Tropical Depression Henri is approximately 60 miles north-northwest of New York City (NYC), moving east at 1 miler hour (mph). After Henri made landfall in southwestern Rhode Island on Sunday afternoon, it moved slowly northwest across the area before weakening from a tropical storm to tropical depression.While the depression is currently almost stationary, Henri is forecast to start moving eastward by later Monday morning and into the afternoon, with maximum sustained winds near 30 mph. The slow-moving depression is expected to produce flooding and heavy rains across portions of southern New England and northern Mid-Atlantic states (including Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island) through Monday.

Tropical Storm Henri – GeoColor: NOAA

Henri is expected to cause additional rainfall of 1 to 3 inches (with locally higher amounts possible) over southeastern New York, New Jersey, and eastern Pennsylvania throughout the day. Henri’s rainfall is expected to result in limited to considerable flash, urban, and small stream flooding, as well as minor to isolated moderate river flooding. According to the New York Times, widespread flooding occurred across New Jersey and New York, causing emergency medical workers to rescue over 80 people stranded in cars in flooded streets.

Henri left over 140,000 customers from New Jersey to Maine without power at its peak on Sunday afternoon, with approximately 75 percent of the homes in Washington County, Rhode Island, without power when Henri made landfall at 12:15 pm EDT. Although most power is restored, there are still 44,538 outages in Rhode Island. In a Sunday afternoon White House briefing, President Joe Biden approved emergency declarations for Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York, with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in position in the region to help with recovery efforts. “We’re doing everything we can now to help those states prepare, respond and recover,” Biden said.

Twitter: The Weather Channel 

In addition to flooding throughout New England and the northern Mid-Atlantic caused by Tropical Depression Henri, residents of Tennessee in Nashville and the surrounding areas are advised to stay alert for flash flooding caused by record rainfall. According to the Humphreys County Sheriff’s Office, 22 people are confirmed dead with roughly 20 individuals still missing after 17 inches of rain fell in the County over the course of 24 hours. Humphreys County, roughly 50 miles southwest of Nashville, is under Flood Warning from NOAA and the National Weather Service (NWS) until late morning on Monday, August 23. As of 1:00 AM CDT, Duck River in Humphreys County was almost two feet higher than normal, which can create impassable roadway conditions for residents east of Highway 13. 

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) advises that individuals in impacted areas refrain from driving, avoid flooded roads or walkways, and continue to monitor local news for updates as the situation unfolds. As of Sunday evening, 10,000 residents remained without power while search and rescue teams performed over 20 evacuations within the impacted area. The State is currently under a Level 3 – State of Emergency, which automatically deploys needed emergency service coordinators to respond to the emergency per the Tennessee Emergency Management Plan (TEMP). Governor Bill Lee spoke on the emergency response capabilities in Humphreys County in a press conference on Sunday afternoon, highlighting the evolving nature of the disaster and the hope that excess stormwater will dissipate by Monday afternoon. 

Twitter: FEMA Region 2

FEMA provides guidance for individuals impacted by the inclement weather brought about by tropical storms and depressions. It’s important to remember that flash floods can develop with little to no warning. It is imperative that individuals seek higher ground and avoid walking or driving in flood waters. Individuals should heed the warnings of local authorities and remain safe as Tropical Depression Henri approaches. The Hagerty Blog Team will continue providing information and updates.



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Western US Wildfires Continue to Intensify Impacting Air Quality in the East


Wildfires across the Western United States (US) and Canada have grown so intense their impact has reached the Eastern part of the country, as wildfire smoke spreads across the continent, triggered by relentless heat waves and a prevalent drought. As officials gear up for an unprecedented, prolonged peak fire season, FEMA Administrator, Deanne Criswell, made her first trip to the Western US visiting Idaho, California, and Oregon — all states currently being impacted by fire activity. 

The New York Times reported wildfire smoke has reached the East coast, triggering health alerts across the country. AirNow issued smoke advisories for Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, North Carolina, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, South Carolina, and Washington. Additionally. Reuters cautioned that smoke drifting from these fires has created a harmful air quality index (AQI) in cities that include New York City, Boston, and Hartford, Connecticut – with residents advised to wear face masks outside to minimize exposure. The cross-country air pollution is a result of hundreds of wildfires that have burned 1.35 million acres over 13 states, according to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC).

NWS Boise: Twitter

The Bootleg Fire in Fremont-Winema National Forest in Oregon is now the largest active fire in the US. According to the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG), the fire has grown to encompass 394,407 acres and is only 32-percent contained. The Bootleg Fire is affecting winds and its intensity has created clouds of fire tornadoes and pyrocumulus clouds that can reach up to 30,000 feet. It additionally impacted weather conditions so severely it led to the creation of a bigger cloud (called a pyrocumulonimbus, similar to a thunderhead) expected to reach an altitude of approximately 45,000 feet. The blaze has grown so large it is generating its own weather. Marcus Kauffman, a spokesman for the state forestry department, said the fire has grown so vast and produced so much energy that it is fundamentally changing the weather. “Normally the weather predicts what the fire will do,” Kauffman said. “In this case, the fire is predicting what the weather will do.”

NWS Boise: Twitter

The entire continent of North America is also facing the impact of severe wildfires. On Tuesday, the British Columbia government in Canada issued a provincial state of emergency; to go into effect on Wednesday and remain in effect for 14 days after wildfires throughout the region resulted in dozens of evacuation orders. At present, there are 299 wildfires burning across the province, in addition to the wildfires plaguing the Western US.

As the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports that experts have begun to analyze the recent severe heat wave in May and June, extreme temperatures in several parts of the Western US continue to create dangerous conditions, according to The Washington PostThe impacts of the extreme heat have been deadly. KUOW, Seattle’s National Public Radio affiliate, reported on July 19 that Washington state’s health officials revised its death toll count to 112, nearly matching the 116 health-related deaths in Oregon. In British Columbia, officials estimate 580 “excess deaths” during the recent stretch of extreme heat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a report that blamed 3,504 emergency department visits in areas of the Pacific Northwest during May and June on heat-related illness. 

On July 13, new regulations by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) took effect which updated the state’s existing outdoor heat exposure rules by providing additional protections for employees exposed to extreme heat. According to KUOW, Washington is now the third state to issue similar emergency rules requiring employers to take proactive measures to prevent outdoor workers from suffering heat-related illness.  


With areas currently experiencing and more expecting triple digit temperatures in the coming days, the National Weather Services (NWS) has issued an Excessive Heat Warning for portions of northeast, southeast, central, and south central Montana, and for portions of north central Wyoming, that remain in effect until 9:00 pm MDT Thursday. In addition, an Excessive Heat Watch for several counties in Kansas and Missouri is expected to go into effect from 1:00pm CDT Friday until 7:00 pm CDT Wednesday.

California Air Resources Board (CARB): Twitter

As the threat of new or worsened wildfires remains and heat waves persist, it is important to follow state and local warnings, and those in fire-prone areas should consider signing up for community alerts. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends building an emergency supply kit or “GoKit” using this suggested Emergency Supply List ahead of a potential fire. Additionally, with regard to COVID-19, consider including hand sanitizer and face masks in your GoKit. 


  • Remember, provides information on how to prepare for Wildfire and how to keep you and your family safe, including evacuation planning, preparing a go-bag, and staying up-to-date on warnings and notices.
  • FEMA America’s PrepareAthon: How to Prepare for a Wildfire.
  • The Los Angeles Times regularly updated tracking of California Wildfires: California Wildfires Map.
  • The National Fire Protection Association provides wildfire preparedness tips: link.
  • Marin County provides a wildfire evacuation checklist: link.
  • FEMA provides an information video about how to be prepared for Wildfires: link.

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Wildfires 2021

Understanding Cascading Impacts: A Situational Update and Case Study of Recent Infrastructure Failures in Texas

There are currently 187,151 power outages of general utilities across Texas caused by Winter Storm Uri, according to PowerOutage.US. The United States (U.S.) Department of Energy (DOE) Extreme Cold and Winter Weather Update reported the number of outages has slowly declined over the week, restoring power to many of the 4 million customers without power on Tuesday, February 16. 

The winter storm and associated disruptions to Texas’ power grid have also majorly impacted the state’s water infrastructure. A spokeswoman for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality spoke with The New York Times, revealing over 800 public water systems providing service to 162 of the state’s 254 counties have been disrupted. Currently, this disruption impacts 13.1 million people throughout the state.

The ongoing power outages have impacted almost every aspect of life in Texas. The Texas Tribune reported on universities attempting to provide students with food and shelter while facing staffing shortages and diminished food supplies. Additionally, incarcerated individuals at prisons and jails have been kept in unheated cells. Many Texans have reported indoor temperatures of 32 degrees and lower which, according to The Dallas Morning News, has created a greater risk of burst or frozen pipes. According to data compiled by The Washington Post, there have been nearly 50 fatalities across the country attributable to these recent winter storms, with 30 recorded deaths stemming directly from the ongoing situation in Texas.


In Texas, the power outages are occurring because power producers are not able to generate enough electricity to meet current demand. To maintain stability within the power grid, operators need to balance power supply (generation) and demand (load). This requires that power suppliers continue to provide energy despite weather-driven disruptions that may be affecting their systems. In extremely cold temperatures, the demand for electricity tends to spike due to requirements for heating, making continuity of operations increasingly challenging. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and the power companies that serve Texas are aware of this phenomenon, and prepare for it in their annual forecasts. However, their models base projections on recent weather history, and Winter Storm Uri significantly exceeded those projections. The impacts of climate change on winter storms and other extreme weather may force ERCOT and other power companies to reassess their models and assumptions.

In addition to underestimating the demand for power this winter, the freezing temperatures also hindered and disrupted the ability of many generators to produce power. The cold weather led to frozen gas pipelines, coal piles, wind turbines, and more, limiting access to resources critical for power generation. As a result of this reduced capacity for generation, Texas’ power companies had to shed load – meaning, stop providing power to customers – to maintain the balance between generation and load. Failure to maintain that balance could result in major grid instabilities, which could cause even more widespread outages and damage to grid infrastructure.

Notwithstanding the harsh winter weather, Texas faces a unique challenge when dealing with potential power outages. The majority of Texas gets power from one self-contained grid known as an “interconnection,” overseen by ERCOT. Meanwhile, the rest of the U.S. is split between the eastern and western interconnections that extend up into Canada. When a state within one of the large interconnections is facing power generation shortages, they can import power from neighboring states. But Texas is all alone in that regard. Texas can import some power through high-voltage ties to surrounding interconnections, but not enough to make up for the current shortfalls. Due to their relatively isolated grid, Texas limited their own ability to rely on neighboring states during high impact, low frequency events that cause severe power outages.

DOE Situation Report: Source

As challenging as these power outages may be for Texans, they are also contributing to outages of other lifeline services due to the interdependencies between them. As a result, actions taken to bolster resilience in one sector can be minimized by a lack of readiness by other sectors and stakeholders to ensure that they can sustain operations and perform essential functions despite shocks and disruptions to their systems. Moreover, because these interdependencies are bi-directional between stakeholders across the value chain, the impacts on lifeline services can be mutually reinforcing: that is, as power outages cause lifeline systems to fail, those failures may contribute to challenges for producing power. 

The water sector is a prime example of this phenomenon. In addition to frozen pipes, Texans are facing water shortages and water quality issues due to the lack of electricity. The pumps that pressurize water systems, water and wastewater treatment facilities, and other critical system components require electricity to function. However, water is also critical for cooling the thermoelectric power plants (e.g., gas-fired, coal-fired, or nuclear plants) that supply the majority of power in Texas – a lack of water could continue to hinder their ability to produce power.

Natural gas providers face similar challenges. In the natural gas sector, extreme cold temperatures have resulted in well freeze-offs and natural gas processing plant outages in producing areas across Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama, according to the U.S. DOE. The producing areas generally account for about 20 percent to 25 percent of total U.S. gas production. Petroleum refineries have also experienced shutdowns, with the worst impacted areas along the Texas Gulf Coast Region, accounting for roughly 20 percent of total U.S. refinery capacity.

While freezing along gas pipelines has been partially caused by gas shortages, gas infrastructure is also increasingly reliant on power to operate. In particular, key gas pipeline system components – including pipeline compressors and industrial control systems – that transport gas to power generators and other users require electricity. In Texas, power outages affecting compressors have contributed to shortfalls in power generation. 

The State of Texas is currently under a Boil Water Advisory which can impact how you perform essential daily functions at home. In accordance with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, Texas DSHS provides tips and tricks for staying safe under the Boil Water Notice. This includes boiling all tap water, including water that is filtered, and only drinking water that is bottled, boiled, or disinfected.

Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS): Source

Additionally, the CDC provides guidance on safe eating after power outages. To reduce your potential for contracting a foodborne illness, never taste the food to determine if it is safe to eat. The CDC recommends trusting your sense of smell and “when in doubt, throw it out.” Generally, perishable foods should be thrown out after four hours without a cold source. 

Telecommunications systems are also suffering due to the ongoing power outages. AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile all noted that power outages were affecting their service to customers. The Federal Communications Commission FCC also reported communications outages for over 300,000 wired and wireless users, as some service providers are without power and relying on backup generators. In some cases, those generators are running out of fuel, and the winter storm conditions have made it difficult to deliver more. Fortunately, however, there have not been reports of more widespread impacts to priority customers like first responders and infrastructure service providers. Communications systems play a critical “enabling” role for all other lifeline sectors, and more severe outages could certainly have impacted grid operations, exacerbating the impact of the power outages.

As the winter storm extends, these issues could begin to compound. Many essential facilities – lifeline service providers, healthcare facilities, grocery stores and food distribution centers, etc. – that cannot operate without power have backup generators for these exact scenarios. Those generators are in place and operating, but some have begun to run out of fuel and may be facing technical issues that require maintenance if they continue to run for prolonged periods of time. 


President Biden has authorized an emergency declaration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is sending extra generators and fuel for them. However, those facilities face two major challenges: 1) there is greater demand for generators and fuel than there are resources available; and 2) the road conditions make distribution a logistics nightmare. Both of these challenges will necessitate prioritization for who gets the resources available.

Lifeline infrastructure systems are likely to only grow more interconnected and interdependent. The risks of cascading failures across sectors are likely to grow as a result. However, infrastructure owners and operators, their government partners, and a range of other stakeholders can make these systems more resilient against potential cascading failures, too. An effective response to incidents more severe than Winter Storm Uri will require:

  • An understanding of complex interdependencies. Understanding where and how lifeline systems interact is crucial to assessing impacts and the potential for cascading failures when disaster strikes. Identifying potential single points of failure can be particularly helpful for establishing response priorities in the immediate aftermath of an incident.
  • Ability for dynamic prioritization. Understanding priorities in a steady state is important, but that prioritization does not take into account the real-life impacts when an event occurs. Once a severe disruption takes place, and as sustainment and restoration efforts are underway, response personnel need to be able to identify the next highest priorities on a cross-sector basis to allocate scarce personnel and resources.
  • Strong relationships, effective operational coordination between partners, and integrated external communications. No one organization or agency is going to be able to respond to a disaster on its own. Industry, government, and other disaster response stakeholders need to share information, coordinate response operations, and work together to limit disruptions to public health and safety, the economy, and national security. This includes having a coordinated public messaging strategy to inform those impacted on the current situation and any protective actions they should take.
  • An emphasis on continuity of operations in crisis response. An emphasis on ensuring the continued performance of essential functions will be key to stabilizing the incident and limiting the disruption’s impacts on the public. Especially for lifeline infrastructure providers, an immediate focus on sustaining and restoring service will contribute to maximizing the number of lives saved in a disaster.


For organizations looking to ready themselves for the interconnected, dynamic, and complex challenges faced in these types of cascading scenarios, they must prepare to be innovative and adaptable in response to disruptions to their facilities, personnel, and resources. Now more than ever, it is critical for all organizations to #ReachforResilience and build that approach into every facet of their operations – from long-lead investment decisions, to day-to-day operations, and disaster planning and mitigation.


Rob Denaburg is a Senior Managing Associate in Hagerty’s Preparedness Division. Rob serves as a lead in Hagerty’s Critical Infrastructure Preparedness work, with a focus on energy. Rob has worked with public and private sector clients to minimize the societal, economic, and national security impacts of infrastructure outages and build resilience against severe natural and manmade hazards.

Ashley Wargo is a Senior Managing Associate in the Preparedness Division out of Hagerty’s Austin, TX office. Ashley serves as the firm’s lead for energy preparedness, working with clients at local, state, and national levels to enhance preparedness efforts through planning, training, exercise, and operations analysis. She works with clients to gather actionable information that can be used to formulate and prioritize improvement actions to enhance response efficiency and service delivery to municipalities and customers.

Patrick Van Horne is a Senior Managing Associate in Hagerty’s Preparedness Division and serves as the firm’s continuity lead. Patrick is an experienced emergency manager leading disaster planning, training and exercise projects, and a co-author of the book, Left of Bang: How the Marine Corps’ Combat Hunter Program Can Save Your Life.

Hagerty Reflects on COVID-19: One Year Later


On January 24, 2020, Hagerty wrote our first COVID-19 Situation Status (SitStat) Blog post titled, “Novel Coronavirus Spreads throughout Asia and is Confirmed in the US.” At the time, there were only two confirmed cases of COVID-19 throughout the United States (US) and little was known about COVID-19s impact on the human body, its Basic Reproduction Rate (R0), or the impact the impending pandemic would have on our society.

To date, the US has had 25.1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and the death toll across the country has reached 419,263. Currently, the US is leading countries across the world in active COVID-19 cases. Globally, the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reports that there have been over 99.3 million confirmed cases of COVID-19; with India ranked second in total confirmed cases (10.6 million) and Brazil ranked third with 8.8 million total confirmed cases. More than 2.1 million people have died from the disease worldwide.

Employees Assist at a COVID-19 Testing Site: Hagerty

On January 21, 2021, President Joe Biden released the National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness, a 200-page plan outlining seven goals to make the country more resilient to COVID-19. This National Strategy “provides a roadmap to guide America out of the worst public health crisis in a century” and “outlines an actionable plan across the federal government to address the COVID-19 pandemic, including 12 initial executive actions issued by President Biden on his first two days in office.” Specific elements include “mounting a safe, effective, and equitable vaccination campaign; protecting those most at risk and advancing equity (including across racial, ethnic, and rural/urban lines); and immediately expanding emergency relief and exercising the Defense Production Act.”

Vaccine distribution (a key area of focus within the National Strategy) continues across the US after becoming available in December of 2020. In order to ensure the most effective and efficient transition to a pre-2020 state, individuals must consider maintaining public health measures after receiving the vaccination. The New York Times quoted Dr. Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University, who stressed, “If we start thinking, ‘We’ve got a vaccine, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, we can stop [public health measures] in a couple of months’ — that’s way too soon.” The vaccine provides collective protection, herd immunity; therefore, individuals should continue to wear masks, wash hands, and social distance to avoid another resurgence of the virus. Many public health officials stress that the fight is not over and we will continue to operate in a pandemic environment until at least July of 2021.

COVID-19 Testing Site: Hagerty

COVID-19 has had lasting repercussions across the globe. The Guardian reported that the virus has resulted in $3.7 trillion in lost earnings for workers across the world, according to findings from the International Labour Organization (ILO). Women and younger workers have faced the greatest loss in hours and job losses, with the ILO noting in its yearly analysis of the global jobs market that 8.8 percent of working hours were lost in 2020, relative to 2019. The percentage is the equivalent to 255 million full-time positions.

The emergence of new contagious variants of the virus has pushed the medical community to vaccinate as many people as possible while fostering research on the efficacy of existing vaccines against the new viral strains. CBS News spoke with researchers at a high-risk biohazard lab in Durban, South Africa, where Senior Researcher Alex Sigal of the Africa Health Research Institute and Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology said the new South African COVID-19 strain might reduce the efficacy of antibodies in patients infected with the original virus strain by a significant amount. “Ten-fold would be conservative,” Sigal told CBS News, cautioning those infected during the first wave would have little protection against the new strain. United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister Boris Johnson also cautioned the new COVID-19 variant in the UK could prove more dangerous than the original strain, according to CNBC.

With the evolution of new strains, pharmaceutical companies such as Moderna have started work on vaccines to protect against COVID-19 variants. In laboratory tests, Moderna reported its COVID-19 vaccine creates an immune response that protects against the COVID-19 variants first identified in the UK and South Africa, according to The Washington Post. Moderna reported a response reduction to the new variants, leading the company to call for incorporating a third shot to the two-dose regimen to increase the current vaccine’s potency. In an interview with Squawk Box for CNBC, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel added that due to the changing variants, “we decided to take into the clinic, out of an abundance of caution, a new vaccine.” The New York Times also reported setbacks stemming from China’s COVID-19 vaccines; with officials in Brazil and Turkey reporting that Chinese companies such as Sinovac have been slow to ship vaccine doses and ingredients, while Malaysian and Singaporean officials have reassured citizens the vaccines would only be approved after the government proved they were safe and effective.

Hagerty Assists at a COVID-19 Testing Site: Hagerty

Throughout the past year, Hagerty has and continues to work with health departments, healthcare associations, and emergency management agencies to prepare for and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since March 2, 2020, Hagerty professionals have been directly embedded in the response to COVID-19 nationwide, supporting clients from New York to California. Hagerty continues to help create and implement innovative public health and emergency management best practices, having observed first-hand the health, safety, and security issues facing federal, state, and local government entities nationwide. From our vast experience during the pandemic, Hagerty provides clients with a robust and deeply nuanced approach to real-world incident preparedness, response, mitigation, and recovery.

Hagerty’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery



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Kīlauea volcano erupts, 4.4-magnitude earthquake recorded on Hawaii’s Big Island

Overnight, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) confirmed an eruption of the active shield volcano Kīlauea on Hawaii’s Big Island. The eruption began at approximately 9:30 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time (HST) on Sunday, December 20. The eruption started within Kīlauea’s summit caldera inside the Halema’uma’u crater. 

The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) also recorded a magnitude-4.4 earthquake beneath Kīlauea Volcano’s south flank on Sunday, December 20, at 10:36 p.m. HST. The earthquake swarm was followed by ground deformation detected by tiltmeters. The epicenter of the earthquake is located approximately 8.7 miles south of Fern Forest on the Big Island, at a depth of four miles, while reports of light shaking with a maximum intensity of IV was reported across the Big Island, according to the USGS. There were more than 500 “felt” reports within the first hour of the earthquake on the USGS “Did you feel it?” service.

Kīlauea Summit Eruption: USGS

The HVO raised Kīlauea’s volcano alert level to “WARNING” and its aviation color code to “RED.” The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that periods of ashfall were a strong possibility from Kīlauea Volcano. Low-level trade winds are expected to propel embedded ash in a southwestern direction, with ash fallout likely taking place over the Kau District and Highway 11 (southwest of the volcano in Hawaii), and affected communities including Pahala, Wood Valley, Naalehu, and Ocean View. The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency, citing the HVO, spoke with The New York Times to caution people to “stay indoors to avoid exposure to ash” since trade winds would push ash to the southwest and into the fallout path of several Census-designated areas of hundreds of people in Pahala, Wood Valley, Naalehu, and Ocean View.

USGS Volcanoes: Twitter

The USGS noted that the south flank of Kīlauea has experienced more than 30 earthquakes of magnitude-4.0 or greater over the past two decades. In 2018, Kīlauea erupted with lava flowing from May through August, destroying over 700 homes and residential areas in the Puna District, southeast of the Waiakea Forest Reserve on the Big Island, according to the National Park Service (NPS). The summit area of the park simultaneously experienced tens of thousands of earthquakes, ash plumes, and the collapse of the Kīlauea caldera. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides information on Volcano safety during and after an eruption.

Kilauea eruption in Halemaʻumaʻu: NPS


Hurricane Delta Impacted the Gulf Coast on Friday Evening, Now a Post-tropical Cyclone Bringing Heavy Rain to the East Coast


Delta, now a post-tropical cyclone, is heading east, bringing heavy rain to the Mid-Atlantic throughout the early part of this week.

Delta’s Path: Source

On Friday evening, Hurricane Delta brought life-threatening storm surge to the southwestern Louisiana coast. This year alone, Louisiana has had four named storms impact the state. Moreover, Delta was the state’s second landfalling hurricane in the past six weeks. As a result, many families displaced from Hurricane Laura were still living in shelters as Delta made landfall. As of Saturday morning, there were nearly 9,500 Louisiana residents in shelters from Hurricanes Laura and Delta combined. Presently, thousands remain without power across Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi. As of Sunday evening, two fatalities  in Louisiana were reportedly linked to the storm. Additionally, in Georgia, intense rain and flash flooding from the remnants of Hurricane Delta may have caused a train derailment that sparked a fire and caused evacuations within a half mile of the location of the spill. 

Twitter: USACE HQ

Mayor Nic Hunter of Lake Charles, Louisiana stated, “Add Laura and Delta together and it’s just absolutely unprecedented and catastrophic. We are very concerned that with everything going in the country right now that this incident may not be on the radar nationally like it should be.” On Sunday, representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) were out surveying the damage across the state.

Rainfall from Delta: Source

As Delta dissipates over the next several days, individuals should continue to stay vigilant and heed warnings about heavy rain, flash flooding, and rapid temperature changes. Additionally, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) warns residents of southwest Louisiana to beware of heavy fog, low clouds, and poor visibility while driving.  

The National Weather Services (NWS) offers advice and guidance for those about to experience, currently being impacted by, or previously affected by tropical storms and hurricanes. Individuals at-risk are encouraged to secure their home, remain up-to-date with information and follow guidance issued by local officials.

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Tropical Storm Marco Tracks Near the US Gulf Coast, While Tropical Storm Laura Follows Close Behind; Wildfires Continue to Blaze Across the State of California


According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s (NOAA) National Hurricane Center (NHC), Tropical Storm Marco is moving 50 miles per hour (mph) north-northwest at eight mph. Marco’s tropical storm force winds extended up to 105 miles from its center. The storm is projected to bring heavy winds to the Gulf Coast later today and has the potential to bring storm surge, heavy rainfall, and gusty winds to parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle. According to the NOAA NHC, Marco is expected to produce between three to five inches of rain across the Gulf coast through Tuesday, although it could potentially bring up to a maximum of 10 inches.

Additionally, according to NOAA NHC, Tropical Storm Laura is about 65 miles east-southeast from Cayo Largo in Cuba, moving west-northwestward at 20 mph with maximum sustained winds near 60 mph. Heavy rainfall and flash flooding has continued over the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, and parts of Cuba. The NOAA NHC also cautioned that hurricane and storm surge watches would “likely” be necessary for parts of the United States (US) northwest Gulf coast area by Monday evening, with an increased risk of dangerous storm surge, wind, and rainfall impact from the upper Texas coast across the north-central Gulf Coast starting on Wednesday.

While both storms were previously predicted to converge, CNN meteorologist Robert Shackelford reported Marco is unlikely to reach hurricane strength. However, if conditions continue for Marco and Laura on their trajectory to Louisiana, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said “there may not be much of a window” for rescuers or power restoration crews to provide emergency response to victims between both storms.

Twitter: NOAA NHC


Over 1.42 million acres have burned since the August 15th lightning siege that started dozens of major fires and lightning complexes across California, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire). The LNU Lightning Complex (made up of the Hennessey Fire, Walbridge Fire, and Meyers Fire) is the largest of the active incidents within the state; encompassing Napa County, Sonoma County, Lake County, Yolo County, and Solano County. It has burned 350,030 acres to date. Cal Fire confirmed the blaze has been responsible for four fatalities and four injuries amongst fire personnel and civilians, and the blaze has damaged 234 structures and destroyed 871. The SCU Lightning Complex is another major complex that has spread across multiple locations in California; moving across Santa Clara County, Alameda County, Contra Costa County, San Joaquin County, and Stanislaus County. The fire has been active for five days but is only 10 percent contained at present.

Cal OES Fire Map: Twitter

On August 24, NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS) issued a Red Flag Warning for the state for dry lightning and gusty erratic outflow winds over the current wildfires affecting California. The affected area includes the entirety of the San Francisco Bay Area and northern sections of the Central Coast. The NWS cautioned that isolated thunderstorms could pose a threat for new fires, with an increased chance that new fires might start with any lightning strike.

The state’s request for a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration was approved on August 22 in an attempt to increase California’s emergency response capabilities for the Northern California wildfires, in addition to supporting impacted residents in Lake, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, and Yolo Counties, according to the Office of California Governor Gavin Newsom. The support is on top of Newsom requesting aid from Australia and Canada to combat the blazes, stating that the fires are “an unprecedented moment” in California’s history. According to CBS News, 10 states, including Arizona, Oregon, Texas, and Washington, have provided firefighters and aircrafts in support of the effort.


The Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, has declared a State of Emergency amid the scale and magnitude of fires that are burning throughout California.

Here’s the breakdown of public advisories from NOAA’s NWS in decreasing order of severity:


  • Coastal North Bay Including Point Reyes National Seashore
  • East Bay Hills and the Diablo Range
  • East Bay Interior Valleys
  • North Bay Interior Valleys
  • North Bay Mountains
  • Northern Monterey Bay
  • San Francisco
  • San Francisco Bay Shoreline
  • San Francisco Peninsula Coast
  • Santa Clara Valley Including San Jose
  • Santa Cruz Mountains
  • Central Sacramento Valley including Glenn, Colusa, Yuba, Northern Sutter, Butte County Below 1,000 Feet (Ft)
  • Northern Sacramento Valley to Southern Tehama County Line Below 1,000 Ft
  • Burney Basin and Northeast Plateau in Shasta County Including northwest Lassen NF north of Lassen NP
  • Eastern Mendocino NF
  • Eastern Portion of Shasta, Trinity NF
  • Northern Sierra Foothills from 1,000 to 3,000 Ft. Includes Nevada-Yuba-Placer RU and Anador-Eldorado RU
  • Southeast Edge Shasta, Trinity NF and Western Portions of Tehama, Glenn RU
  • Eastern Lassen County
  • Surprise Valley California

Air Quality Alert:

  • Fresno
  • Kern
  • Kings
  • Madera
  • Mariposa
  • Merced
  • San Joaquin
  • Stanislaus
  • Tulare
  • Tuolumne


  • Remember, provides information on how to prepare for Wildfires and how to keep you and your family safe.
  • The Los Angeles Times regularly updated tracking of California Wildfires: California Wildfires Map.
  • The National Fire Protection Association provides wildfire preparedness tips: link
  • Marin County provides a wildfire evacuation checklist: link
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides an information video about how to be prepared for Wildfires: link



Here’s the breakdown of public advisories from NOAA’s NHC:






  • Remember, during a storm, it is important to follow the directions of your state and local officials. provides information on how to prepare for a storm and how to keep you and your family safe throughout.




After-Action Reports (AARs) are vital tools federal, state, and local government entities and public and private sector companies can use to learn from their past emergency responses and inform future preparedness and response efforts. Traditionally, AARs are developed following a disaster, event, or exercise. However, not all disasters occur in a linear fashion. Pandemics, such as COVID-19, can stretch over extended periods of time and reoccur, even after a period of decline. With events like COVID-19, where information can change rapidly, collecting data throughout the response is not only imperative, but necessary. This method of continuous data collection, called real-time analysis, can have exponential impacts on the success of response efforts.

The What, Why, and How of After-Action Reporting

An AAR is an in-depth analysis of the management or response to an incident, exercise, or event. Creating an AAR requires meticulous activity, including gathering stakeholder feedback and collecting response data to validate processes that worked, and identify areas of improvement for processes that were not effective. The World Health Organization (WHO) identifies three phases common to all AARs:

  1. Objective observation: Establish how actions were truly implemented, not how they ideally would have happened according to existing plans and procedures.
  2. Analysis of gaps and contributing factors: Identify gaps between planning and practice; analyze what worked, what did not work, and why.
  3. Identification of areas for improvement: Determine actions to strengthen or improve performance and determine how to follow-up.

AARs are key for identifying strengths to be sustained, as well as potential areas of improvement, thus informing lessons learned, best practices, and recommendations for future planning, training, and exercise development. Identifying pitfalls, referred to as areas of improvements within AARs, sets the stage for corrective actions and initiates the process of creating more efficient response procedures and policies. All of this, in turn, informs and enhances preparedness efforts for the next disaster.

Hagerty AAR Expertise

Hagerty has a history of sustaining close partnerships with clients and developing and supporting numerous AARs and Improvement Plans (IPs). We have aided (and are currently aiding) clients with AARs for real-world events and exercises across the nation, including current response analysis and reporting for COVID-19. Each Hagerty AAR/IP is specifically tailored to meet the needs of the client jurisdiction/agency. By combining Hagerty’s expertise of AARs with our response capabilities, we can mobilize, collect data, perform analysis, and ultimately provide real-time analysis and reporting.

The process of building an AAR is instrumental to the overall success of the report. Our approach contains four key phases:

When conducting real-time analysis, Hagerty utilizes key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor emergency response performance. KPIs are developed and defined together with our clients. Furthermore, Hagerty works with our clients to validate our methodology for assessing multiple functions of the response effort. For example KPIs can include:

  • How each Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) (or applicable organizational structure) performed mission essential tasks.
  • Was critical infrastructure and key resources established and sustained.
  • What critical dependencies on third-party providers and private sector entities exist.

Intertwining our AAR process with our ability to conduct real-time analysis on-site allows Hagerty professionals to create and implement operational procedures, processes, and plans that enhance future response and recovery activity.

Hagerty can help in the processes of real-time response analysis, development of AARs, and support the application process to maximize available funding. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation to keep you well-informed. If you would like to work with us or have questions, reach out at

Ashley Wargo is a Senior Managing Associate out of Hagerty’s Austin, TX office and serves as the firm’s lead for after-action reporting. Working with clients around the country to develop reports associated with operations for everything from natural disasters to infrastructure failures. She works with clients to gather actionable information that can be used to formulate and prioritize improvement actions to enhance response efficiency and service delivery to municipalities and customers.

Additional Resources

The following federal resources are intended to support your organization become more resilient, be prepared, etc.