July 2019, Vol. 3

HSEM’s New Director – Jennifer Harper

On June 5, 2019 the Executive Council confirmed the appointment of Jennifer Harper of Laconia, as the Director of New Hampshire Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM).

“Jennifer has dedicated her career to the protection and well-being of others, and with more than 27 years’ experience in emergency management, is well-qualified to serve in this new role,” Governor Chris Sununu said. “I am confident that with Jennifer at the helm of HSEM, New Hampshire citizens will be well served.”

“Jenn has proven her leadership ability and tireless work ethic time and time again while serving alongside our local, state and federal partners during disaster relief and response efforts,” Department of Safety Commissioner Robert Quinn said. “I have no doubt she will continue to ensure the safety of New Hampshire’s residents and visitors and I thank the Executive Council for its decision.”

Director Harper has more than 30 years of experience in state government with more than 27 years in emergency management. Since 2014, she has served as the Assistant Director of HSEM and previously served as the HSEM Chief of Operations and the State’s Liaison with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

“It is truly an honor and privilege to be the first female director of New Hampshire Homeland Security and Emergency Management,” Harper said. “I stand ready with the dedicated team at HSEM to work collaboratively with our local, state and federal partners to further the State’s prevention, preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation efforts. Together, we all play an important role in the safety and security of New Hampshire’s citizens and visitors. I thank Governor Sununu, the Executive Council and Commissioner Quinn for entrusting me with this honor.”

Director Harper holds a master’s degree in security studies from the Naval Postgraduate School and a master’s degree in business administration from Southern New Hampshire University.


15th Annual NH Emergency Preparedness Conference

The 15th Annual NH Emergency Preparedness Conference took place on Tuesday, June 4 in Manchester.  The event featured 45 emergency preparedness break-out sessions, with topics ranging from school emergency preparedness planning, Weather 101, and hazard mitigation,  to cyber security,  the hepatitis A outbreak , and OSHA regulations.

The NH Emergency Preparedness Conference is an annual event that brings together emergency responders and partners from around the state to explore a wide spectrum of emergency management topics using an all hazards approach.  This year, over 800 attendees were on-hand to expand their knowledge base and network.

In between sessions, attendees also got exposure to products and services from over 65 exhibitors that either work in or have products geared towards emergency management and preparedness.

In addition, the opening featured the conferral of the annual conference awards, presented by Department of Safety Commissioner Robert Quinn, Department of Safety Assistant Commissioner Perry Plummer, Department of Education Deputy Commissioner Christine Brennan, Division of Public Health Services Director Lisa Morris, and then HSEM Assistant Director (now Director) Jennifer Harper.  This year’s winners were:

  • 2019 NH Emergency Management Director of the Year – Chief Allan Clark, Sugar Hill Fire Department and Emergency Management Director                                                                                                                                                               Chief Allan Clark was awarded at the 2019 Emergency Management Director of the Year for his continued work in improving emergency preparedness for Sugar Hill, the north country and the entire state of New Hampshire. Chief Clark also represented the North Country on the Governor’s School Safety Preparedness Task Force.
  • 2019 Most Valuable Partner Award – Captain Joseph Fay, Nashua Police Department                                            Captain Joe Fay was awarded the 2019 Most Valuable Partner Award for his work in advancing law  enforcement training in New Hampshire.  Captain Fay serves as a leader of the New Hampshire Tactical Officers Association and was instrumental in bringing the “Rescue Task Force” concept in active shooter events to New Hampshire.
  • 2019 NH School Emergency Preparedness Award  – Auburn Village School, Auburn, NH                                                Auburn Village School implemented a robust school emergency operations plan through teamwork with the local police and fire departments.  Additionally, the school implemented the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement to enrich school culture with social and emotional learning.
  • 2019 NH Homeland Security Partner Award – Commissioner Denis Goulet, NH Dept. of Information Technology                                                                                                                                                                                                    Commissioner Goulet was instrumental in the creation of the NH Cyber Integration Center, updating the state’s Cyber Disruption Plan and enhancing overall cyber hygiene in NH.  Commissioner Goulet was selected for his collaborative partnership with NH Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
  • 2019 NH Public Health Partner Award – Town of Hampton, NH                                                                                 The Town of Hampton received the 2019 NH Public Health Partner Award for their collaborative work with NH Division of Public Health Services in the response and investigation into the Legionnaire’s Disease outbreak between May 2018 and August 2018.

The NH Emergency Preparedness Conference is organized by the NH Department of Safety Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and the NH Department of Health and Human Services.  Planning partners include members form the NH Department of Environmental Services, NH Department of Resources & Economic Development, Community Health Institute/JSI, NH Health Officers Association, VolunteerNH, NH Hospital Association, Public Health Network Coordinators, NH Public Works Mutual Aid, NH Building Officials Association and representatives from the NH Boston Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

For more information about this event, go to:  http://www.nhemergencyprepconference.com/home.html


HSEM Staff Spotlight

Meet the Radiological Emergency Preparedness (REP) Team

Clockwise from bottom:  Robert Gustafson – Assistant Chief, Radiological Emergency Preparedness,  Leonard Tremblay – REP Program Specialist II,  Brian Eaton – REP Program Planner I, Karen O’Neill-Roy – REP Program Planner II

HSEM’s REP Planning is the group that has coordination responsibility for the State’s REP Program and for supporting the Offsite Response Organization for the Seabrook Station Nuclear Power Plant. Their mission is to coordinate efforts with planning, implementing, and guiding exercises regarding radiological emergencies in New Hampshire.

Every two years, the plant, state agencies and the 17 local communities within the 10-mile radius around the plant are required to participate in Plume Exposure Exercises to evaluate plans, policies and procedures.  Once every 8 years, an additional day of exercise is added to the cycle for an Ingestion Pathway Exercise (IPX).  The IPX is focused on the 50-mile radius around the plant.  This brings the number of NH communities potentially impacted to 97, as well as additional communities in Maine and Massachusetts.

During the second day of the IPX state and federal officials will look at how the state would respond to the contamination from a radiological accident, what that means for the impacted population, agriculture, infrastructure, and the environment.  The focus will be on how the remediation and recovery process would be accomplished.

The 2020 Ingestion Pathway Series will start in November 2019, includes a workshop, a tabletop exercise, two Combined Functional Exercises, and finishes up with an evaluated exercise in September 2020.

To learn more about Radiological Emergency Preparedness in New Hampshire, go to : https://prd.blogs.nh.gov/dos/hsem/?page_id=458


5th Annual School Resource Officer Conference

School resource officers, law enforcement and school administrators are invited to register for the 5th annual School Resource Officer Conference, taking place this year on August 22nd and 23rd at the NH Fire Academy in Concord.  Day one topics include:  School Threat Reporting, Criminal Street Gangs, NH Youth Firesetter Task Force, Legal Issues, Social Media Trends, and Cyber Security.  Day two topics include:  Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement, School Safety/Behavioral Health, Vaping Unveiled, and Parkland, FL – MSDSHS Active Shooter Presentation.  Registration deadline is August 1st, 2019.  To register, go to:  https://prd.blogs.nh.gov/dos/hsem/?page_id=5778.

New Hampshire School Safety Resources

Have you visited the NH School Safety Resources website recently?  View all of the task force recommendations, their status and all of the available resources on the NH School Safety Resources website:  https://schoolsafetyresources.nh.gov/

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:  https://prd.blogs.nh.gov/dos/hsem/?page_id=5661

There are also free See Something, Say Something® materials that are available for distribution to other interested partners.  Contact the Community Outreach Office at 271-2231 or hsempio@dos.nh.gov  to place an order or for more information.


Editor’s Note:  The HSEM Newsletter is moving to a new schedule.  Starting in September, the newsletter will be published at the end of each quarter, highlighting our recent and upcoming programming and endeavors.  Going forward, expect to see it come out in March, June, September and December.