​​BLOCK B  11:00-12:15 Concurrent Session Descriptions

​​B1. Joint Hazard Assessment Teams: What Are They and Why You Want One For Your Large Special Event
Level: Basic       Intended Audience: Emergency Services; Municipal/County/State/Fed Gov’t  (Anyone responsible for security planning for special events)

If you are responsible for public safety at a large special event, such as concerts, commencements, and sporting events, having a plan to deal with suspect packages, improvised explosive devices, and chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear weapons is critical in today's threat environment. A national model that is utilized in NH is having a Joint Hazard Assessment Team (JHAT) as part of the overall public safety team. By combining operators from the Bomb Squad, HAZMAT, K9, and others, you can have a scalable, efficient, and comprehensive initial response package that can confirm or clear potential threats. This approach limits unnecessary delays and interruptions to the event, provides for initial response to real threats, and provides deterrence to would-be attackers. This presentation will define what a JHAT is, what its capabilities and limitations are, and describe how you can request one for your event.

Presented by: Sgt. Jeffrey Dade, Bomb Squad Commander, State Police, NH Department of Safety

B2. Weather 201: Severe and Hazardous Weather
Level: Basic       Intended Audience: All

This course builds off of the Weather 101 course and teaches severe weather basics to those working in the Emergency Management field, providing tools to better understand forecast information from the National Weather Service. This course will focus on severe weather events such as thunderstorms, tornados, downbursts, hurricanes, and winter weather, and the hazards associated with each.

**NH Emergency Management Academy**

Presented by: Vanesa Urango, MS, All Hazards Planner, Homeland Security and Emergency Management, NH Homeland Security and Emergency Management

B3. River Ice Jams in NH: What They Are and Technologies to Assess Them
Level: Basic       Intended Audience: Emergency Services; Municipal/County/State/Federal Govt. (Local government officials, including responders, emergency management directors and elected officials, who are charged with responding to and managing ice jams within town)

Towns throughout NH have experienced ice jams and attendant flood impacts in recent years, most recently in January 2018. This presentation will briefly summarize the science of ice jams, including what is known about how they form and how to mitigate the risks caused by such jams once formed. Given the availability of new technology, datasets, and recent experience, this presentation will also describe tools that town officials and emergency management directors can utilize to evaluate flood risks once ice jams form. The use of LiDAR, a high-resolution topographic dataset now available for the majority of NH, to evaluate ice jam risks will be a key dataset that will be discussed. Additionally, the National Weather Service’s river forecasts and warnings system for ice jams will be described.

Presented by: 

  • Shane Csiki, PhD, Flood Hazards Program Administrator, NH Geological Survey, NH Department of Environmental Services
  • Thomas Hawley, National Weather Service Forecast Office, Gray, Maine

B4. Preparing to Surge: Preliminary findings from NH’s Health Care System Surge Exercise
Level: Basic       Intended Audience: Health Care/Behavioral Health/Public Health; Emergency Services; Municipal/County/State/Fed Gov’t

The US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) requires that all health care coalitions conduct an annual exercise aimed at improving the ability of the health care system to manage a 20% increase in acute care patients. The Coalition Surge Test exercise specifies that health care coalitions work through a simulated evacuation of over 500 patients. In NH, the exercise focused on the ability of NH’s health care system to communicate and coordinate quickly to find and match available beds and transportation resources with the needs of patients being evacuated. Findings from the exercise will inform the Granite State Health Care Coalition’s activities going forward.

Presented by: 

  • J. Scott Nichols, MBA, Director, Granite State Health Care Coalition, Foundation for Healthy Communities
  • Amy Cullum, MPH, MSN, CNL, Senior Consultant, Community Health Institute/JSI

B5. Understanding Dementia: Implications for Emergency Preparedness and Response  
Level: Intermediate      Intended Audience: HealthCare/Behavioral Health/Public Health; Emergency Services; Business/Critical Infrastructure Partners; 
Human/Social Services; Municipal/County/State/Federal Govt.

Dementia impacts the brain in a number of ways. Those with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia are uniquely affected by emergencies or crises. This workshop will describe the unique needs of and risks faced by individuals with dementia and their implications for response including wandering, search and rescue, shelter settings, and other emergency scenarios. Participants will learn strategies for successfully intervening with those living with dementia.

Presented by: Melissa Grenier, LCSW, CDP, Regional Manager – NH, Alzheimer’s Association

B6. Military Support During Major Emergencies  FULL
Level: Basic      Intended Audience: Emergency Services; Municipal/County/State/Federal Govt.

This session will provide an overview of how the National Guard and the federal military can support state and local authorities in an emergency, the capabilities within the region, and the procedures to request support. Discussion will also include how military forces are deployed and employed within the state, statutory authorities and limitations, and foundational principles in National Guard and Dept. of Defense support to civilian authorities.

Presented by:

  • Lt. Col. Jeff Samon, MPA, Joint Strategic Plans & Policy Officer, NH National Guard
  • Col. Steven Grady, MPA, MSS, NH State Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officer, 76th Operational Readiness Command, US Army Reserve

B7. WebEOC Awareness Course
Level: Basic       Intended Audience: All (Anyone with interest in the State's crisis information management platform.)

This course is not intended for those audience members that will be expected to utilize WebEOC. We encourage those audience members to register for the regularly hosted WebEOC classes through https://prd.blogs.nh.gov/dos/hsem/.

This is an awareness level course designed to give participants an understanding of WebEOC, the State of NH's crisis information management platform. This course will illustrate how and why the State of NH's Emergency Operations Center uses this platform during emergencies, planned and unplanned events and incidents. Additionally, we will explore the flow of information within WebEOC between local, state, federal, military, private, and volunteer agencies.

**NH Emergency Management Academy Level I**

Presented by: Meghan Geoffrion, MS, WebEOC Coordinator/State Exercise & Training Officer, Homeland Security and Emergency Management, NH Department of Safety

B8. Addressing Security Threats to NH Electric Utilities
Level: Basic       Intended Audience: Emergency Services; Business/Critical Infrastructure Partners; Municipal/County/State/Federal Govt.

This presentation will be offered by the four major utilities within NH: Eversource Energy, NHEC, Unitil, and Liberty Utilities. The presentation will highlight current risks/threats impacting the electric utility industry and how the utilities prepare for and mitigate these risks, including discussion of information sharing, implementation of cyber and physical security measures, and training and exercises.


  • Jacklyn Ulban, Emergency Planning Coordinator, Unitil
  • John O’Connor, Supervisor, Emergency Preparedness and Operations Planning, Eversource Energy
  • Heather Tibbetts, Senior Analyst, Rates and Regulatory Affairs, Liberty Utilities
  • Derick Royer, Information Security Analyst, NH Electric Cooperative

Moderator: Thomas Murphy, Manager of Environmental Compliance, Unitil

B9. Crisis Leadership: Are You Prepared?  FULL
Level: Intermediate       Intended Audience: Emergency Services; Business/Critical Infrastructure Partners; Municipal/County/State/Federal Govt.

Eventually we will all face some sort of crisis or disaster that will push our leadership abilities to the limit. Most of us are not prepared to handle an event of this magnitude. This presentation focuses on what is required to take on a leadership role and how to prepare yourself and your team. Preparation and learning from others’ mistakes and successes are critical to your own success. Whether it be a man-made or natural disaster, the response is very similar. Focus on the key issues and be sure your organization is trained and prepared. This program will hopefully give you the information needed to lead an unforeseen event.

Presented by: Kenneth Erickson, BS, Fire Chief, City of Laconia

B10. Debris Management: Dealing with what the storms leave behind
Level: Basic       Intended Audience: Emergency Services

Hurricane Sandy left behind 5.25 million cubic yards of debris…enough to fill the 102-story Empire State Building more than 3.5 times. This session will review the State of NH Debris Management Plan, which applies to state and local agencies that need to manage debris generated during a natural disaster. Discussion will include state and local responsibilities per the State Emergency Operations Plan (SEOP), contracting requirements, disposal options for various types of debris, and the importance of record keeping, tracking, and documenting costs associated with debris management and disposal.

Presented by:

  • Mark Kirouc, RPE, Senior Engineer/Assistant Administrator, Bureau of Highway Maintenance, NH Department of Transportation
  • Roger Appleton, RPE, Civil Engineer/Project Engineer, Bureau of Highway Maintenance, NH Department of Transportation

B11. Radiological Emergency Preparedness: What the heck is that? 
Level: Intermediate       Intended Audience: Emergency Services

Did you know the State of NH has a nuclear power plant? The towns in the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone do, but are you aware that there is also a 50-mile planning zone? In 2020, we are going to be conducting an exercise about preparedness of all 96 communities in the 50-mile planning zone. This session will provide an overview of the Radiological Emergency Preparedness (REP) Program in NH, the history of REP in the United States, the value of the REP Program to the State, the level of preparedness and planning required for the REP Program, and some things to think about as we approach 2020.

Presented by: 

  • Robert Gustafson, Assistant Chief of Planning/Radiological Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Emergency Management, NH Department of Safety
  • Laura Bartlett, MS, Radiological Emergency Preparedness Planner, Homeland Security and Emergency Management, NH Department of Safety

B12. Applying the NIST Cybersecurity Framework: A Primer  
Level: Basic       Intended Audience: All

This session will provide an overview of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework, and highlight basic cybersecurity practices which can be applied by any person or organization surfing the web.

Presented by: Daniel Dister, MS, CISSP, Chief Information Security Officer, NH Department of Information Technology