Fourteen sites throughout the state took part in a successful Booster Blitz event on Saturday, December 11, 2021.

About 10,000 New Hampshire residents made appointments to receive their booster as part of the blitz.

“Like thousands of other Granite States, today I got boosted at a community pop up site through our Booster Blitz initiative,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “I would like to thank all of our local, regional, and state partners who worked around the clock to ensure today was a success.”

A second Booster Blitz is scheduled for January 8, 2022. Additional vaccination opportunities can be found at nh.gov/covid19.

Seabrook Station Combined Functional Exercise

On December 8, approximately 300 federal, state and local partners participated in the first of two Seabrook Station Combined Functional Exercises (CFE) at sites around the state.  The CFE is a Full Scale Exercise (FSE) coordinated by HSEM, the Department of Health and Human Services, and Seabrook Station Nuclear Power Plant. This non-evaluated exercise is a rehearsal for the evaluated exercise, which is scheduled for April 6, 2022.  During the graded exercise, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will evaluate off-site response organizations (local and state agencies).

The purpose of this exercise is to evaluate player actions against current response plans and capabilities for a nuclear power plant-related incident and to comply with the evaluation criteria set forth under the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s ”NUREG” guidelines.  The overall objective of the exercise for Offsite Response Organizations (OROs) is to demonstrate reasonable assurance that the health and safety of emergency workers and the public can be protected during a nuclear power plant emergency.

Every two years, the plant, state agencies and the 17 local communities within the 10-mile radius around the plant, known as the Emergency Planning Zone, are required to participate in exercises to evaluate plans, policies and procedures. These exercises provide an opportunity for state and local responders to learn about the processes and collaboration required to determine precautionary/protective action decisions during a radiological incident at Seabrook Station. To learn more about Radiological Emergency Preparedness in New Hampshire, go to ReadyNH.gov/rep.

ESF Bi-Monthly Meetings Resume

HSEM hosted the first ESF (Emergency Support Functions) meeting since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic on Wednesday, November 3, at the Incident Planning and Operations Center in Concord.  HSEM status updates included the current technology upgrade plan for the Emergency Operations Center, new staffing at HSEM, emphasis on continued all-hazards training for New Hampshire, and plans for training and development of jobs aids for each ESF. 

Assistant Planning Chief Olivia Barnhart provided an update on HSEM’s recently finalized Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP). This is an actionable plan that explains the background, procedures, and steps HSEM takes to focus our efforts on high priority functions and continued operations in the event that we cannot access the EOC or utilize our normal operational procedures.

The location of the SEOC remains the same: IPOC, 110 Smokey Bear Blvd., Concord, N.H. In the event that this plan needs to be utilized, the secondary location for the EOC is the NH National Guard facility located at 1 Minuteman Way, Concord, N.H. The tertiary location is the NextEra Incident Field Office at 108 Corporate Drive, Portsmouth, N.H.

According to the plan, all three locations are in-person locations. Although we have seen the success of remote working, and other states may be utilizing it, we still consider in-person to be the primary response method in New Hampshire.

Look for updates from HSEM on the next ESF meeting, scheduled to be held in January 2022.

Training and Exercises

Stratham Exercise

On Wednesday, November 10, the town of Stratham, in partnership with HSEM, hosted an active threat exercise at the Stratham Fire Department. The object of the exercise was to assess response capabilities of the town’s police and fire departments to an active threat in town. HSEM used a role-play scenario to assess communications, coordination of personnel, and ability to handle on-scene media response. Fourteen members of the town’s departments participated, along with HSEM team members.

“Each agency in attendance took vital training, experience and knowledge with them to better prepare for such a real world event” said Exercise and Training Officer Steve Cooper.

 Lessons learned from the exercise will be used to improve overall response and specific operational plans for any active threat in the Stratham community.

Warner Tabletop Exercise

On Tuesday, November 16, HSEM staff members joined members of Warner’s police, fire, town administration and local stakeholders to work through a tabletop exercise to test, validate and implement existing plans for responders during a severe weather event.

Your community can schedule training with the NH HSEM Exercise and Training Team by emailing exercisetraining@dos.nh.gov.

Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP)

New Hampshire Homeland Security and Emergency Management was able to bring the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) to Portsmouth in November. This was the first presentation nationwide of the 2020 update of HSEEP.

This two day program presented the guiding principles for exercise and evaluation programs, used by national, statewide and municipal organizations as the standard for Emergency Management exercises of all sizes. HSEEP presents a common approach to exercise program management, design and development, conduct, evaluation, and improvement planning.

This class was attended by approximately 20 people with a wide variety of backgrounds and expertise from several states.

Plans for a future HSEEP class are in the works for early summer of 2022. Anyone interested in additional information can contact T&E State Training Officer Richard Cloutier (richard.j.cloutier@dos.nh.gov) or refer to the available training page on the HSEM resource center.

G290 – Public Information Officer

HSEM has sponsored two G290 classes over the last quarter, with 21 participants in Bethlehem and Concord increasing their knowledge and skill base in the area of public information. This two-day course considers the value of communication before, during and after an incident and helps PIOs identify critical audiences, both internal and external. The primary audience for this training is individuals who have public information responsibilities in their main job or as an auxiliary function at the federal, state, local, tribal or territorial level of government, and in the private and non-governmental sectors.

Upcoming Training

G291 Joint Information Center

Concord, N.H. – January 6, 2022, 0800-1700

PER-386 Economic Recovery Virtual

Virtual – 1/12/2022, 0800-1230 – An introduction to economic recovery planning using a method in which the entire community is empowered to work collaboratively in preparation, mitigation, response, and in recovery from a  disaster.

MGT-452 Physical and Cyber for Critical Infrastructure

Concord, N.H. – 2/22/2022, 0800-1700 – The national and economic security of the United States depends on the reliable functioning of critical infrastructure. This course encourages collaboration efforts among individuals and organizations responsible for both physical and cybersecurity toward development of integrated risk management strategies that lead to enhanced capabilities necessary for the protection of our nation’s critical infrastructure.

AWR-122-C Law Enforcement Prevention and Deterrence of Terrorist Acts, Customized  LAW ENFORCEMENT ONLY

Concord, N.H. – 2/23/2022, 0800-1200 – This course, also known as Fraudulent Documents, provides participants with an overview of general security features employed by the U.S. government to establish the validity of government documents, as well as known methods used to alter or counterfeit the types of documents commonly presented to law enforcement officers. Several government documents are discussed, including identity cards, driver’s licenses and social security cards.

AWR-219-C Site Protection through Observational Techniques, Customized

Concord, N.H. – 2/23/2022, 1300-1700 – Emergency responders, security professionals, security support staff, and the public must work together to identify suspicious objects, substances, and people. This course trains public safety personnel to improve their observational techniques by using a four-step ongoing screening process that includes increasing protective awareness, identifying pre-operational behaviors, evaluating, and taking action. Participants will use fictional scenarios to examine each step of the process.

MGT-417 Crisis Management for School-Based Incidents for Key Decision Makers

Concord, N.H. – March 8-9, 2022, 0800-1700 – The purpose of this two-day management/planning level course is to provide the operational-level details to support many of the topics covered in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) approved AWR 148: Crisis Management for School-Based Incidents – Partnering Rural Law Enforcement and the Local School Systems awareness-level course. Rural schools, law enforcement, other emergency responders, and community stakeholders are often limited in their access to resources so it is imperative that all potentially affected parties collaborate in planning, preparation, communication, response, and recovery in the event of a school-based incident. Moreover, these affected parties must come together to practice their interoperable skills through drills and exercises to ensure the strategies in place provide for an effective crisis response and collaborative recovery.

AWR-147 Rail Car Incident Response

Portsmouth, N.H. – March 15, 2022, 0800-1600 – This eight-hour awareness-level course is designed to increase the knowledge of first responders in recognizing and characterizing the different types of rail cars, potential leaks, and courses of action to be taken based on initial site assessment. The course will increase participants’ knowledge of safety and hazardous conditions that may exist at the scene, and will allow them to become familiar with safe practices adopted by the railroad industry.

MGT418 Readiness: Training Identification and Preparedness Planning

Concord, N.H. – May 19-20, 2022 – This course teaches participants how to create effective training plans for their agencies and jurisdictions. By evaluating their abilities to meet their emergency operations plan (EOP) using traditional and national preparedness tools, participants can answer the following critical readiness questions:

• How prepared do we need to be?

• How prepared are we?

• How do we prioritize efforts to close the difference?

Operation Santa Claus

HSEM would like to thank everyone, particularly our business partners, who supported Operation Santa Claus 2021 this year. With the help of your generosity we were able to sponsor Christmas for 29 children in need, a new HSEM record! Thank you for helping to make their holidays brighter!