September 2019, Vol. 4


Kevin LaChapelle Named Assistant Director of HSEM

Director Jennifer Harper announces the appointment of Kevin LaChapelle, of Tilton, New Hampshire as the Assistant Director of New Hampshire Homeland Security and Emergency Management.  “Kevin brings more than two decades of experience, an invaluable level of understanding and knowledge, and an unparalleled work ethic to the position,” Harper said. “For many years, Kevin was a customer and partner of HSEM; that perspective will be instrumental in his role as Assistant Director.”  Assistant Director LaChapelle has over 25 years of experience in emergency services, most recently serving as the Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director for the City of Franklin, New Hampshire.  Assistant Director LaChapelle is a U.S. Coast Guard veteran, a nationally Certified Public Manager (CPM) and the recipient of the 2017 NH Emergency Management Director of the Year award.  “This is an honor and privilege,” LaChapelle said.  “I am excited to join Director Harper’s team at HSEM in furthering the mission and commitment to the safety and security of New Hampshire’s citizens and visitors. The role of HSEM in assisting individuals, communities and businesses to be more resilient and to quickly recover from disasters is essential to the State’s economic vitality.”  “He has proven his leadership ability time and time again and is clearly the correct choice to serve as the Assistant Director,” Harper added.



September is National Preparedness Month.  Each week during the month had a different focus:

  • Week 1, Sept 1-7: Save Early for Disaster Costs
  • Week 2, Sept 8-14: Make a Plan to Prepare for Disasters
  • Week 3, Sept 15-21: Teach youth to Prepared for Disasters
  • Week 4, Sept 22-30: Get Involved in Your Community’s Preparedness

Throughout the month of September, HSEM has been sending helpful information via social media about what individuals can do NOW to prepare before an emergency or disaster strikes.  Follow us on social media:  Facebook – @NH.HSEM, Twitter – @NH_HSEM, Instagram – @NH_HSEM to join in becoming a more #ReadyNH!


Major Disaster Declaration for Grafton County

Governor Chris Sununu announced in August that President Donald Trump has granted his request for a major disaster declaration for Grafton County in response to a severe rain and flash flooding event, which occurred on July 11-12, 2019.

“At the peak of the incident, rapid flash flooding occurred with little warning that prompted a significant swift water rescue effort, washed out road infrastructure in ten communities, and significantly strained state and local resources,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “I thank President Trump for his timely response to my request. Through this major disaster declaration, those most heavily impacted by the storm can have access to federal support for response efforts.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), working with state and local emergency management officials, recently completed a Preliminary Damage Assessment, finding that the statewide cost for response efforts related to this event exceeded $2,882,518.

The President’s declaration also makes federal support available through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide and the Public Assistance Program. The purpose of the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program is to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters and to enable the implementation of mitigation measures during the immediate recovery from a disaster. FEMA can fund up to 75 percent of the eligible costs of approved projects. The Public Assistance Program provides grants to state and local governments to assist with disaster recovery, including debris removal, emergency protective measures, and permanent restoration of infrastructure.

“We are very pleased to receive this declaration,” Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Jenn Harper said. “We will be reaching out to emergency management directors within Grafton County to provide meeting dates, information about the application process, and to assist with applications.”

In response of the storm, Governor Sununu executed the State Emergency Operations Plan with an activation of the State Emergency Operations Center on July 11, 2019. The combination of numerous heavy rainfall episodes over a short period of time and damaging winds caused severe damage to local and state roadways and dozens of bridges and culverts.

For more details on the Governor’s request, the major disaster declaration and available resources, visit www.governor.nh.gov.


HSEM wrapped up its 5th annual School Resource Officer conference in August.  110 school partners from around the state joined us in Concord for two days full of information around school and school safety topics.  Presentations by Scarlett Lewis of the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement on social emotional learning and Sgt. John Suess of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department sharing the results of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission report were particular highlights.  HSEM thanks all of our participants and presenters and looks forward to our 6th annual conference next year.


Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission Presentation 

Sgt. John Suess of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department joined HSEM, the Bow Police Department, and the NH Tactical Officer’s Association (NHTOA) for two days in August to present on the findings of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission. Sgt. Suess is the lead investigator for the commission that was assembled following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas on February 14, 2018.  The committee looked into various systemic failures and made recommendations for lessons learned and improvements to make.  Over 130 partners from around the state attended the presentation and heard the lessons learned across all aspects of the response to the tragic event.


HSEM Staff Spotlight

Meet the Training and Exercise Unit

Left to right: Training & Exercise Supervisor Meghan Geoffrion, Exercise Training Officer Mark Nash, State Training Officer Joann Beaudoin, and Exercise Training Officer James Leach

The Training and Exercise Unit works with State and local partners and all other stakeholders to provide all-hazard, emergency preparedness and management training and exercise opportunities statewide.  The Training & Exercise Unit is part of HSEM’s Operations Section. The group consists of a full-time Training & Exercise Supervisor, a full-time State Training Officer (STO), two part-time State Exercise & Training Officers (ETO), a part-time School Exercise & Training Officer and a part-time Program Assistant.  This team works together to provide grant and non-grant funded exercises and training utilizing the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) doctrine. During fiscal year2019, the group facilitated 46 exercises, including workshops, tabletops, drills, games, functional, and full-scale exercises. The group also facilitated or coordinated 65 trainings during FY 2019.

HSEM exercises follow an all-hazards concept where the actions and outcomes for a specific exercise can be used in numerous types of emergencies and disasters. The following typify the variety of exercises HSEM helps to facilitate:

  • Active Threat – These exercises test emergency response plans, incident management and evacuation/lock-down procedures for a specific discipline. An active threat event is defined as an individual or individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area. HSEM has conducted these exercises in schools, places of assembly, houses of worship and in a public/private partnership with large retail centers within New Hampshire.
  • Bomb Threats – Although a bomb has never been found in a New Hampshire school after a communicated threat, it is imperative that each threat be taken seriously and that each school has a Bomb Threat Response Plan as part of their All-Hazards Plan. These exercises test planning and preparation, threat assessment, shelter-in-place/evacuation, and public safety response.
  • EOC Activations – In this type of exercise, local EOC staff are tested on their knowledge and implementation of their procedures to set up and function during any number of events, planned or unplanned.
  • Evacuation and Reunification – In this type of exercise, school staff are tested on their knowledge and implementation of evacuating students during an emergency to an off-site location where their transportation plan, student accountability, security and reunification site logistics and set-up are evaluated.
  • In development are several board games. These games are an efficient training tool that are quick and inexpensive to execute, but cover the core response capabilities. The games are designed to be used at the local level for all hazard plans ranging from active shooter to evacuation and lock-down to weather disasters. Game kits are available for loan and include task sheets, incident management job aids and maps.

The Training & Exercise Unit can assist in the design, documentation and facilitation of an exercise, and can provide logistics, personnel, resource support, and grant funding.

Training provided through the Training & Exercise Unit comes from a variety of sources including the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium, Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium and Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training.  Courses offered through these partners, whether in or out of state, are at no cost.  Additional training providers are located based on a customer’s needs.  In addition to the training opportunities provided, HSEM has developed an Emergency Management Academy that focuses on providing emergency management directors (EMDs) and other emergency management practitioners with training they need to effectively handle emergencies and promote emergency preparedness.


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.


Upcoming Events & Programs

G317: CERT


October 17th (8a.m. – 4:30p.m.) G290: Basic Public Information Officer (FULL – wait list established) Concord: https://nhfa-ems.com/events/g290-basic-public-information-officer/

November 6th – 7th (8a.m. – 4:30p.m.) MGT317: Disaster Management for Public Service Dover: https://nhfa-ems.com/events/mgt-317-disaster-management-for-public-services-2320odp299-dover-11-6-7-19/

November 18th – 19th (8a.m. – 4:30p.m.) PER-211: Medical Management of Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNE) Events Portsmouth: https://nhfa-ems.com/events/per-211-medical-management-of-cbrne-events-2320odp31-11-18-19/

WebEOC Training

Other opportunities

ICS-300: Intermediate ICS

ICS-400: Advanced ICS