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Security Brief: Emergency Management, Health, and Hazards (EMH2) Week of March 21, 2022

Week of Monday, March 21, 2022 | Issue 44

Alyssa Schmidt, Megan Bilney, Emergency Management, Health, and Hazards (EMH2) Team

Jennifer Loy, Chief of Staff




Map of US States affected by tornado[1]



Date: March 23, 2022

Location: London, England

Parties involved: Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London; London residents; English government; Metropolitan Police

The event: The British government has implemented a high air pollution warning in London. The mayor stated it was due to a build-up of local emissions and the movement of pollution particles from across the continent. The government and the police have urged people to avoid unnecessary car travel and seek alternative travel to reduce local emissions.[2]

Analysis & Implications:

  • The heightened air pollution is very likely to impact individuals with asthma, as they will very likely have increased difficulty breathing. Air pollution is likely to impact immuno-compromised people, with increased vulnerability to harmful effects and very likely to place additional demands on oxygen supplies within hospitals. As people are leaving their houses more and preventative protocols are eliminated, all individuals, including those with good immune systems, will likely be impacted by the high air pollution, likely leading to irritation in the airway and lung illnesses. This will likely stretch medical resources and personnel between treating COVID-19 and pollution-related cases.

  • The mayor’s measures of alternative travel are likely to decrease local emissions, but are unlikely to be sustained as alternative transportation will likely be inconvenient for residents. As traffic levels return to pre-COVID-19 levels, increased air pollution events will likely occur as individuals will likely have to commute to work. Increased long-term air pollution is likely to increase illnesses in humans, likely resulting in the need for increased economic input into the healthcare system.


Date: March 22, 2022

Location: Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Mississippi, USA

Parties involved: US government; Texas residents; Oklahoma residents; Louisiana residents; Mississippi residents; local emergency medical personnel; search and rescue teams

The event: A tornado hit Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Mississippi, causing damage to many homes and killing one person. High waters were threatening motorists in Louisiana while power was out in Texas. In Louisiana, more than 8,000 households are living in temporary housing, including mobile homes and trailers.[3]

Analysis & Implications:

  • Since the tornado impacted multiple states, emergency services are very likely spreading resources across the impacted states. The increased pressure on the system and damage to roads will very likely reduce response times and available resources to prevent non-emergent cases from escalating. Communication with emergency medical personnel will likely be delayed because of power outages, likely impacting the effectiveness of care to impacted individuals.

  • The number of individuals in temporary housing is likely to increase the risk of fatalities due to the unstable structures and strain on the healthcare system. Vulnerable individuals, such as those in temporary accommodation and older individuals, will likely require welfare checks and monitoring until they can return to their homes. Reparations for the impacted areas will likely impact the economic stability of the individuals and will likely lead individuals to seek governmental assistance.

  • Unsecured chemical products on farms are likely to be swept away by the high water levels. If chemical spills occur close to town centers, it is very likely to pollute drinking water and bodies of water. Polluted water is very likely to increase disease within humans and result in animals and plants dying. Reduced plant and animal diversity will very likely alter the area, leading to long-term consequences, including environmental degradation and remaining species are likely to have increased vulnerability to pests and diseases.

  • The death of farm animals will likely impact the meat and poultry products produced, likely exacerbating the current supply chain problems and accessibility to resources. The destruction of farmland will likely impact the crops grown for the current year and following years until proper reparations of the land are completed. Farmers working in the impacted areas will likely be without work until they can acquire new land and animals, likely negatively affecting the economic stability of these individuals.

________________________________________________________________________ The Counterterrorism Group (CTG)

[1]Map of US States affected by tornado” by Megan Bilney via MapChart

[2] High air pollution warning issued for London, BBC, March 2022, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-60842537

[3] Tornadoes rip through Texas, more storms threaten US’s south, Al Jazeera, March 2022, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/3/22/tornadoes-rip-through-texas-more-storms-threaten-uss-south

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