HAZARDOUS EVENT DEFINITIONS
CIVIL DISTURBANCES-Collective behavior that results in a significant level of law-breaking, perceived threat to public order, or disruption of essential functions and quality of life.
CLIMATE CHANGE - A non-random change in climate that is measured over several decades or longer. The change may be due to natural or human-induced causes.
CYBER CRIMES-Criminal offenses committed via the Internet or otherwise aided by various forms of computer technology, such as the use of online social networks to bully others or sending sexually explicit digital photos with a smart phone.
DAM FAILURES-The collapse or failure of an impoundment (water held back by a dam) resulting in downstream flooding.
DROUGHT-A water shortage caused by a deficiency of rainfall, generally lasting for an extended period of time.
EARTHQUAKES-A shaking or trembling of the crust of the earth caused by the breaking and shifting of rock beneath the surface.
ENERGY EMERGENCY-An actual or potential shortage of gasoline, electrical power, natural gas, fuel oil, or propane-of sufficient magnitude and duration to potentially threaten public health and safety, and/or economic and social stability.
EXTREME TEMPERATURES (COLD)-Prolonged periods of very low temperatures often accompanied by exacerbating conditions such as heavy snowfall and high winds.
EXTREME TEMPERATURES (HEAT)-Prolonged periods of very high temperatures often accompanied by exacerbating conditions such as high humidity and lack of rain.
FOG-Condensed water vapor in cloudlike masses lying close to the ground and limiting visibility.
HAIL-Condition where atmospheric water particles from thunderstorms form into rounded or irregular lumps of ice that falls to the earth.
HAZARDOUS MATERIAL INCIDENTS/FIXED SITE AND PROPANE STORAGE SITES-Hazardous Material Incident-An uncontrolled release of hazardous materials from a fixed site, capable of posing a risk to health, safety, property, and the environment.
HAZARDOUS MATERIAL INCIDENTS/TRANSPORTATION-An uncontrolled release of hazardous materials during transport, capable of posing a risk to health, safety, property or the environment.
ICE/SLEET STORMS-A storm that generates sufficient quantities of ice or sleet to result in hazardous conditions and/or property damage.
INFRASTRUCTURE FAILURES-A failure of critical public or private utility infrastructure resulting in a temporary loss of essential functions and/or services.
LIGHTNING-The discharge of electricity from within a thunderstorm.
NUCLEAR ATTACK-A hostile action taken against the United States which involves nuclear weapons and results in destruction of property and/or loss of life.
NUCLEAR POWER PLANT ACCIDENTS-An actual or potential release of radioactive material at a commercial nuclear power plant or other nuclear facility, in sufficient quantity to constitute a threat to the health and safety of the off-site population.
OIL/GAS WELL INCIDENT-An uncontrolled release of oil or gas, or the poisonous by-product hydrogen sulfide, from wells.
PETROLEUM AND NATURAL GAS PIPELINE ACCIDENTS-An uncontrolled release of petroleum or natural gas, or the poisonous by-product hydrogen sulfide, from a pipeline.
PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCIES-A widespread and/or severe epidemic, incident of contamination, or other situation that presents a danger to or otherwise negatively impacts the general health and well-being of the public.
RIVERINE (FLUVIAL) FLOODING-The overflowing of rivers, streams, drains and lakes due to excessive rainfall, rapid snowmelt, ice, or high winds.
SABOTAGE (TERRORISM)-An intentional, unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political, social, or religious objectives.
SCRAP TIRE FIRES-A large fire that burns scrap tires being stored for recycling/re-use.
SEASONAL POPULATION INCREASE-A population change for an extended time period, in the county, beyond the normal level of people to which resources are allocated.
SEVERE WINDS-Non-tornadic winds 58 miles per hour (mph) or 50.4 knots per hour (kph) or greater.
SNOWSTORMS-A period of rapid accumulation of snow often accompanied by high winds, cold temperatures, and low visibility.
STRAIGHT-LINE WINDS- Damaging winds are often called “straight-line” winds to differentiate the damage they cause from tornado damage. Strong thunderstorm winds can come from a number of different processes. Most thunderstorm winds that cause damage at the ground are a result of outflow generated by a thunderstorm downdraft. Damaging winds are classified as those exceeding 50-60 mph. Damage from severe thunderstorm winds account for half of all severe reports in the lower 48 states and is more common than damage from tornadoes. Wind speeds can reach up to 100 mph and can produce a damage path extending for hundreds of miles.
STRUCTURAL FIRES-A fire, of any origin that ignites one or more structures, causing loss of life and/or property.
SUBSIDENCE-The lowering or collapse of the land surface caused by natural or human-induced activities that erode or remove subsurface support.
SURFACE (PLUVIAL) FLOODING-the accumulation of water in low-lying and inadequately drained areas, following heavy precipitation events, including structural or power failures in municipal sewage systems, causing water to flood or back-up into houses, other structures, and infrastructure. caused when heavy rainfall creates a flood event independent of an overflowing water body.
TORNADOES-A violently whirling column of air extending downward to the ground from a cumulonimbus cloud. (The wind speed of tornadoes is 65 mph or greater.)
TRANSPORTATION ACCIDENTS: AIR, LAND, AND WATER-A crash or accident involving an air, land or water-based commercial passenger carrier resulting in death or serious injury.
WILDFIRES-An uncontrolled fire in grass or brushlands, or forested areas.