Major Presidential Disaster Declarations

HSEM Field Representative Courtney Jordan inspects road damage in Unity during a disaster assessment.

At Governor Christopher Sununu’s request two Presidential Major Disasters have been declared under the provisions of Section 401 of the Robert Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act as a result of severe storms and flooding that occurred July 17 – 19, 2021 and July 29 – 30, that overwhelmed state and local resources and required an immediate and urgent response. 

Governor Sununu’s request that storms from Aug. 1 and 2 also be included in the second presidential disaster was denied, but New Hampshire Homeland Security and Emergency Management plans to appeal that decision.

At the peak of these incidents, flash flooding and riverine flooding occurred that prompted numerous local Emergency Operations Centers to open, washed out roads and other infrastructure in dozens of communities across the state, threatened the integrity of multiple low head dams, flooded homes with over 4 feet of water, washed out driveways leaving residents isolated, created sinkholes around residential properties, prompted the evacuation of individuals from flooded homes and campgrounds, and required the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) to open and provide coordination for information sharing and resource support, including the delivery of supplies for sheltering operations.

As a direct result of the incident, New Hampshire sustained major damages to state and local infrastructure that led to numerous requests for state assistance. Reported damages were concentrated in Cheshire and Sullivan counties where the heaviest rain fell across both of these events; however, other areas of the state saw intense rain and flooding that threatened public safety and damaged infrastructure. The impact of these events were felt throughout the local mutual aid and state systems as personnel and assets were diverted to the incident areas. The response consumed staff time and exhausted available resources due to significant flash flooding conditions that caused extensive roadway destruction and left debris that restricted travel and emergency operations. Fortunately, there were no deaths or serious injuries associated with these incidents.

These rainfall and flooding events were preceded by weeks of above average rainfall in southwestern New Hampshire, where following these July – August incidents many areas of New Hampshire saw record breaking rainfall totals for the month of July.  The total FEMA verified amount of damage for the two storms is $7,849,589. Costs are anticipated to increase as communities and state partners are able to gather additional costs and manage information for both emergency and permanent work.

For more information or questions, please contact nhpa@dos.nh.gov or your local field representative.

2021 Northeast Infraguard Public/Private Partnership Award

Director Jennifer Harper holds her 2021 Northeast Infraguard Public/Private Partnership Award.

NH HSEM Director Jennifer Harper was a recipient of the 2021 Northeast Infraguard Public/Private Partnership award.

The award recognizes the efforts of an InfraGard member, or IMA, and an outside entity (such as a Fusion Center, Office of Emergency Management, Local Police Task Force or other entity separate from InfraGard’s existing relationship with the FBI and DHS) to develop and maintain an enduring collaborative partnership that positively impacts InfraGard and the local community.

 “On behalf of the InfraGard National Board of Directors, we congratulate these individuals and are grateful to them for their deep dedication to InfraGard and our mission. InfraGard is a volunteer driven organization, and we enhance the protection and resilience of our critical infrastructure,” said Ivan Wolkind, board chair. “It is individuals such as these who help InfraGard stand out as the premier public-private partnership working to increase our nation’s security.”

From the letter of nomination: “NH Director Jennifer Harper is a founding member of the New Hampshire Infragard Member’s Alliance and has played an integral role, as an active member of our Board, in the progressive success of the New Hampshire IMA since its inception in 2013.

Director Harper has continuously promoted various initiatives in growth, information sharing, education, and a spirit of collaborative atmosphere. She has paved the way for the state of New Hampshire (and associated local and county entities) and all 16 critical infrastructure and key resources to create a close bond of critical information sharing.  She has initiated a very significant impact through education, homeland security awareness, training and exercises in the NH public/private partnership that have enhanced the security, readiness and resiliency within our IMA’s local, county and state level communities.  Without this direction, our chapter would not have achieved what we have in 2021.”

Founded in 1996, the InfraGard National Members Alliance, or InfraGard National, is an FBI-affiliated nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening national security, community resilience and the foundation of American life. InfraGard is one of the FBI’s longest-running outreach programs and its largest public/private partnership, with over 70,000 members representing 77 InfraGard chapters nationwide.

All InfraGard chapters are geographically linked with one of the FBI’s 56 Field Offices, enabling law enforcement and the American business community to collaborate on localized educational programs, training events and information-sharing initiatives that help mitigate threats and promote safety and security. Exemplifying leadership, patriotism and purpose, InfraGard’s vision is to provide meaningful contributions towards preserving human life and making our nation a safer, more resilient place for all.

The core of the InfraGard program rests in a partnership between the public sector, as represented by the FBI, and the private sector, as represented by an IMA, and other public and private partners, such as the DHS.  Collaboration is recognized as a basic tenet by which the InfraGard mission is furthered.  Such collaborations benefit not only the InfraGard membership, but also the local community.

The InfraGard National Members Alliance protects United States critical infrastructure and the American people by cultivating communications, collaboration and engagement between the public and private sectors; the alliance unites the knowledge base, work and resources of these stakeholders to mitigate threats to national security, improve resilience, and strengthen the foundation of American life.

Seabrook Station Radiological Emergency Preparedness Tabletop Exercise

NH Homeland Security and Emergency Management kicked off the start of the Seabrook Station Plume Exercise Cycle with a tabletop exercise on Wednesday, September 22nd at the Pease Air Guard Base in Portsmouth.  Over 140 stakeholders joined members of the HSEM staff for a full day of conversations on best practices and procedures for emergency preparedness and response to an incident at NextEra Seabrook Station Nuclear Power Plant.

The New Hampshire State and Local Tabletop Exercise (TTX) is the first of four exercises in the cycle, the goal of which is to ensure an effective and coordinated response by Seabrook Station and local, state and federal partners based upon a hypothetical incident. The first Combined Functional Exercise will be held on December 8, 2021, the second will be held on February 9, 2022, and the series will culminate in a FEMA-graded exercise on April 6, 2022.

The exercise focused on participants’ emergency response plans, policies and procedures as they relate to a radiological release at Seabrook Station.  The state of New Hampshire and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts participated in the tabletop exercise along with the communities in the Emergency Planning Zone around Seabrook Station, and numerous state partners including NH Department of Health and Human Services, NH Department of Transportation, NH State Police, NH Fish and Game, NH Department of Environmental Services, NH Department of Agriculture, NH State Parks, the NH National Guard, and the US Coast Guard.

2021 Hurricane Workshop

HSEM Assistant Chief of Recovery Vanessa Urango talks about a variety of hurricane conditions during the workshop.

On Wednesday, September 18th HSEM brought Emergency Suport Function (ESF) partners together at the NH Army National Guard Edward Cross Training Center in Concord to update plans on how New Hampshire can be best prepared to respond to an impending hurricane threat.  With the hurricane season in full swing, the object of the workshop was to begin updating plans for areas of responsibility and needs during an active response to a hurricane. Conversations focused around information sharing, pre- and post-hurricane responses, areas of concern, and best practices.  The workshop was the beginning of an exercise series designed to engage all ESF partners in a full-scale exercise on hurricane response in 2022.  For more information, please contact William Haynes at William.R.Haynes@dos.nh.gov.

Emergency Preparedness Starts With You!

Community Outreach Coordinator Vanessa Palange and Staff Member Brenda Larson at the Nashua Rotary Club

Members of the HSEM Community Outreach Office presented on emergency preparedness for members of the General Federation Salem Area Woman’s Club on September 7th and the Nashua Rotary Club on September 13th.

September was National Emergency Preparedness Month.  All month long, HSEM has been encouraging New Hampshire residents to stay informed, have a plan, make a kit, and get involved.  Follow HSEM on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for emergency preparedness tips and updates.  Contact the Community Outreach Office – hsempio@dos.nh.gov or 223-3647 to schedule an emergency preparedness presentation for your club or organization.

School Resource Officer Conference

The NH Juvenile Police Officer Association hosted their 7th annual School Resource Officer Conference at the NH Army National Guard Edward Cross Training Center in Pembroke on August 11th and 12th.  This two-day event brought together almost 40 professionals from over 25 different agencies around New Hampshire to train and discuss best practices for SROs.  Day one presenters included the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Averse Childhood Experience Response Team (ACERT), the Juvenile Justice Transformation Panel, and discussions about SRO Certification with NH Police Standards and Training Council Director John Scippa .  Day two focused on The Mirror Project, a program intended to educate juveniles on the value of building respectful and building cooperative relationships with law enforcement.  Participants learned how to take the program into their communities to foster improved understanding and more positive outcomes for mutual benefit.  The program includes explanations of the role of law enforcement and their intent on having healthy relationships with the community, and includes videos of good and poor interactions to critique, role plays, and information about the beneficial results of positive interactions.

Ready the Prepared Puppy visits Deerfield Parks and Recreation Summer Program

Ready the Prepared Puppy with Deerfield Parks and Recreation children.

On July 21st, Ready the Prepared Puppy met with over 30 elementary school children at the parks and recreation department in Deerfield. Ready and his helpers performed a skit about emergency preparedness for the summer camp attendees. The kids learned all about preparing for emergencies: having an emergency kit, knowing what to do, and having what you need to stay safe. If you would like Ready the Prepared Puppy to visit your community or school, contact the HSEM Outreach Office at hsempio@dos.nh.gov or (603) 223-3647. 

Upcoming Training Opportunities

AWR-311 Small Vessel Security                                                                                                 10/27/2021                        https://ruraltraining.org/course/AWR-311/?scheduled=true&id=3426

This 8-hour, DHS/FEMA-certified, tuition-free course is to provide participants tools that aid in the prevention of a small vessel incident and to assist them in increasing response capabilities and  critical thinking skills should an incident occur.

G290 Public Information Officer                                                                                               10/27-28/2021                  https://nhfa-ems.com/events/g290-public-information-officer-basic-bethlehem/

This two-day course will consider the value of communication before, during and after an incident. It will help PIOs identify critical audiences, both internal and external.

G291 Joint Information System/Joint Information Center Planning                          10/29/2021                        https://nhfa-ems.com/events/g291-joint-information-system-joint-information-center-planning-for-tribal-state-and-local-pios-bethlehem/  

This one-day course will outline the communications needed for different incidents and define the roles of the PIO within ICS.

MGT-347 ICS Form Review                                                                                                          11/2/2021                            https://my.teex.org/TeexPortal/Default.aspx?MO=mCourseCatalog&D=FP&C=MGT347&S=691

The course will prepare you to work with the ICS Forms used in the Incident Command Planning process to assist in the development of an Incident Action Plan (IAP).

MGT-904 ICS-300                                                                                                                             11/2/2021                            https://my.teex.org/TeexPortal/Default.aspx?MO=mCourseCatalog&D=FP&C=MGT904&S=612

This ICS 300 course focuses on the Incident Command System (ICS) for supervisors in expanding incidents. ICS 300 outlines how the NIMS Command and Coordination component supports the management of expanding incidents as well as describes the incident management processes as prescribed by ICS.

AWR-144 Port and Vessel Security                                                                                          11/4/2021                            https://ruraltraining.org/course/AWR-144/?scheduled=true&id=3425

This 8-hour, DHS/FEMA-certified, tuition-free, awareness level course developed to introduce small, rural, and tribal agency first responders to the maritime security requirements of high-risk, regulated facilities in their jurisdictions.

HSEEP Exercise and Evaluation 2020                                                                                       11/17-18/2021                        https://training.fema.gov/generaladmissionsapplication/staticforms/startapplication.aspx.

HSEEP provides a set of guiding principles for exercise and evaluation programs, as well as a common approach to exercise program management, design and development, conduct, evaluation, and improvement planning.

MGT-417 Crisis Management for School-Based Incidents for Decision Makers    3/8-9/2022          https://ruraltraining.org/course/MGT-417/?scheduled=true&id=2279

This two-day course will provide content instruction, develop concept-specific skills, and provide opportunities for law enforcement, school personnel, and community stakeholders to collaboratively apply the course objectives in scenario-based applications.

WebEOC                                                                                                                                              10/5/21                 https://prd.blogs.nh.gov/dos/hsem/?page_id=561&ee=1235

The course is designed to teach users the basics of WebEOC, NH’s crisis-disaster management software. Participants will be introduced to logging into WebEOC and all of the boards used for situation awareness and sharing information.

WebEOC                                                                                                                                              11/2/21                 https://prd.blogs.nh.gov/dos/hsem/?page_id=561&ee=1236

The course is designed to teach users the basics of WebEOC, NH’s crisis-disaster management software. Participants will be introduced to logging into WebEOC and all of the boards used for situation awareness and sharing information.

WebEOC                                                                                                                                              12/7/21                Check HSEM Resource Center for open registration

The course is designed to teach users the basics of WebEOC, NH’s crisis-disaster management software. Participants will be introduced to logging into WebEOC and all of the boards used for situation awareness and sharing information.


Contact your Field Representative at nhfs@dos.nh.gov or view the NH Homeland Security and Emergency Management staff listing here.