State Emergency Operations Center Update

On Monday, December 14th the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) reached the 9-month mark for the activation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  NH Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) and our Emergency Support Function (ESF) partners continue to support the mission of returning health and normalcy to the State of New Hampshire.  With the vaccine arriving in the state, the view to an end of the pandemic is starting to come into focus.

The SEOC continues to facilitate the myriad of critical conference calls and online conferences – for everything from the Governor’s Press Conference to Governor and Council meetings to the weekly local informational calls with NH communities.  As the center point for these narratives, the SEOC works to keep our partners informed and connected as we work through the multitude of logistical challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As 2020 comes to a close, the SEOC remains committed to the following operational objectives:

  • Procure, store, inventory, and distribute PPE supplies for Healthcare Providers, Schools, and Election Functions;
  • Support public health measures, including testing, viral spread monitoring and control, vaccine distribution, state workplace safety, and contact tracing;
  • Provide quarantine and isolation housing for first responders and healthcare workers;
  • Leverage state-level assets to support requests from stakeholders;
  • Collect, track, and analyze data to inform state-level decision-making;
  • Liaison with business and industry partners in New Hampshire; and,
  • Develop and release pertinent incident-related information to media, stakeholders, and the public.

COVID-19 Vaccination Program Begins for New Hampshire

On Tuesday, December 15, the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine was administered to Elliot Hospital ICU Nurse Heidi Kukla during a historic press conference held outside the hospital in Manchester.

Between the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, the State expects to soon have 40,000 doses in the state for distribution, with additional doses arriving on a weekly basis. These first doses will continue to go to front line healthcare workers, first responders, and long-term care facilities. 75% of the doses will be administered through hospitals, health care providers and pharmacies. The other 25% will be administered at 13 of the State’s fixed sites as well as some mobile sites.

As of 12/29, the State has distributed 31,805 doses of  vaccine to front-line responders and long-term health care facilities around the state. Of those doses, 12,690 have been administered. The vaccine requires two doses for protection to reach 95% efficacy.

Plans continue to develop and roll out at a frenetic pace, as delivery mechanisms, planning, and messaging strategies are all developed during the constantly-evolving vaccine distribution situation.

The State expects that it will take several months to get everyone vaccinated, and encourages everyone to continue wearing masks, social distancing and avoiding travel during the holidays.

For the most up-to-date information on New Hampshire’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, go to: NH.gov/covid19.

The state’s vaccination plan can be found here: https://www.nh.gov/covid19/resources-guidance/vaccination-planning.htm

 HSEM is very excited to present an online opportunity to learn critical pointers about emergency preparedness for faith communities from subject matter experts. We invite you to take advantage of learning about precautions, the latest COVID-19 guidance, cyber security, fire and life safety, being a resource in your community during disasters and so much more. These sessions will all take place on Tuesday evenings in January 2021, from 6pm to 8pm, two sessions per night.

Here’s the best part—you will learn safely from your own home, office, or place of assembly while socially distanced.

With a combined planning team including representatives from NH Homeland Security and Emergency Management, US Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Attorney’s Office (NH), as well as representatives from various, religious traditions, we will be hosting these online sessions with the following topics that are relevant to faith communities:

January 12, 6:00PM – 8:00PM Session 1 – Fire & Life Safety, AED, First Aid, CPR NH Fire Marshal’s Office (Danielle Cole and Sean Toomey) and Division of Fire Standards and Training and Emergency Medical Services (Bill Wood, Preparedness Coordinator)
  Session 2 – Updates on COVID-19 Safety Precautions and the Latest Guidance NH Department of Health and Human Services (Patricia Tilley, Deputy Director, Division of Public Health Services)
January 19, 6:00PM – 8:00PM Session 1 – Crisis Communication NH Department of Safety (Paul Raymond, Jr., Public Information Officer)
  Session 2 – Emergency Operations Plans, Continuity of Operations Plans, Standard Operations Procedures (SOP) for Houses of Worship Department of Homeland Security (Jason Climer, Protective Security Advisor)

Temple Beth Abraham in Nashua (Richard Cohen, Director of Security)

January 26, 6:00PM – 8:00PM Session 1 – Basic Cybersecurity, Safeguarding Funds Online and Practical Pointers for Houses of Worship NH Information and Analysis Center (Hannah Popovitch); others TBD
  Session 2 – Whole-Community, All-Hazards Preparedness, Chaplaincy, Facility Use in Disasters NH Homeland Security and Emergency Management (Bob Christensen, Operations Chief); Londonderry Police Department Chaplain, Gerald Goncalo, Town of Barnstead Emergency Management Director, Wayne Santos

These sessions are FREE and will be presented using ZOOM, online. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions via a chat feature to program moderators who will forward to our subject matter experts in real time. Please follow this link to create a Zoom account: https://zoom.us/signup

To register, use this link: https://prd.blogs.nh.gov/dos/hsem/?page_id=10674  After submitting the registration, you will see an online confirmation that you are registered. While you will not receive an email confirmation, you will, as a registered participant, receive an email within one week prior to the first session an email that contains additional presentation information including the ZOOM link and password to participate. We invite you to include subject-related questions while registering so we can forward to our presenters so they can provide answers during their presentations.

You will be able to register for one, two or all three dates. We will ask for your email in the registration in order to forward the presentation information; but, you have the option of opting out of our houses of worship contacts database if you wish. We do not share our database with anyone else, however, for any reason.

We do anticipate recording the presentations and posting them to our Houses of Worship Resource Page, located at https://prd.blogs.nh.gov/dos/hsem/?page_id=5994 so organizations can use them subsequently with their leadership teams and congregations.

The NH Homeland Security and Emergency Management team of elves extends their gratitude to everyone who supported and donated to this year’s Operation Santa Claus effort. Even though this year’s effort had a completely different look due to the pandemic, through the generosity and support of community businesses and members, the team raised $2,378 and was able to give a happier holiday to a record-setting 26 local children this year. The children, ranging from ages 5 months to 15-years, have each received gift cards totaling $140.  Thank you for your continued support of this worthwhile endeavor!!

HSEM Staff Updates


Olivia Barnhart,  Assistant Chief for Planning and Grants: As the EMPG Coordinator, Olivia has been successful in streamlining the program and working with applicants and HSEM staff to get millions of dollars out the door.  She has the drive and ability to learn quickly, yet cautiously, and have no doubt she will be successful as the Assistant Chief leading all of HSEMs Grant programs.

Brian Eaton, Program Planner II (Planning and Grants):  Although Brian’s primary responsibilities over the last year and a half have been focused on REP,  he has lead other HSEM initiatives with ease such as NHALERTS.  During the COVID response, Brian has been integral in providing technical assistance at the Governor’s press conferences as well as creating all the online documentation necessary for vaccine registration.  Brian’s technical capabilities and attention to detail will lend well as the planner working with state agencies and municipalities.

Austin Brown, School Preparedness Supervisor:  Austin joined us in June as a Program Planner I to assist with the COVID PA work and has done a great job. We look forward to his work in the School Emergency Preparedness Program.

Heather DunkerleySenior Field Representative: Heather has been with HSEM since 2013 and held various positions (EMPG Coordinator, State Hazard Mitigation Officer, & Special Facilities Field Rep) not to mention that she was an EMD for 10 years in Gorham before she came to HSEM.  She has a wide breadth of knowledge and years of connections that will serve her well as a Senior Field Rep.

Maria Eklund, Program Planner I (Planning and Grants):  Maria joined Operations in January, diving into things, and then COVID happened.  Maria has been instrumental with the 211/4496 Call Center operations, facilitating high visibility conference calls for hours on end (LEACT) and assisting with SEOC operations in between.  Maria’s ability to think quickly along with her demonstrated ability to work collaboratively will be key skills needed working with FEMA PA applicants.

Marilyn Burkowski, Administrator II (Information and Analysis Center): As the cartographer assigned to the IAC from 911, Marilyn has been an extraordinary asset for not only the IAC but also the SEOC and other Dept/Agencies – her skills are amazing.  Marilyn will assist Lt. Villers in the IAC with strong leadership and providing direction for the many areas in which they provide assistance to their stakeholders.

See Something, Say Something® Resources 

Did you know that there are school-specific See Something, Say Something® materials available free from HSEM?  To find out more, or to place an order, go to the HSEM resource center See Something Say Something for Schools Order Form.

There are also free See Something, Say Something® materials that are available for distribution to other interested partners.  To place an order, go to the HSEM resource center See Something Say Something Order Form.

You can also contact the Community Outreach Office at 271-2231 or hsempio@dos.nh.gov to place an order or for more information.