BLOCK D  3:30-4:45 Concurrent Session Descriptions

​​D1. Be Cool, Be Prepared! Planning for Heat Events
Audience: Health Care/Behavioral Health/Public Health, Emergency Services, Business/Critical Infrastructure Partners, Human/Social Services, Municipal/County/State/Federal Government
Level: Intermediate

The NH Environmental Public Health Tracking Program and Climate and Health Program are part of a New England collaboration focused on heat and health. A recent study conducted by the Collaborative evaluated the impacts of heat on health, and demonstrated that both moderate (e.g., 90-95oF) and extreme (e.g., >105oF) heat are associated with an increase in hospitalizations and deaths. The results were shared with the National Weather Service (NWS), who then decided to lower the threshold for Excessive Heat Advisories in the Northeast for the upcoming 2017 summer heat season.

This presentation provides participants with study findings, the new NWS policy, and strategies to incorporate this information into planning and communication efforts.

Presented by:
Kathleen Bush, PhD, Program Manager, Environmental Public Health Tracking, NH Department of Health & Human Services, Division of Public Health Services
 

D2. Building Resiliency and Wellness Among Volunteers and Other Responders
Audience: Emergency Services, Human/Social Services
Level: Intermediate

This session discusses how Team Rubicon, a veteran-led disaster response organization, approaches resiliency and wellness to promote the physical and mental health of its volunteers through training, physical fitness programs, community service projects, and partnerships. The goal of this session is to promote discussion of strategies for building resiliency and wellness for anyone involved in disaster response activities and share best practices that may be implemented in NH and other regional emergency response groups.

Presented by:
Dana Braverman, Regional Administrator, Team Rubicon
Jennifer Lawrence, LICSW, Regional Wellness Manager, Team Rubicon

 

D3. Public Information Officers: A One-Person Band Part II
Audience: Emergency Services
Level: Intermediate

The Public Information Office is often one person performing the critical function of public outreach during an emergency.

For many populations, including journalists, social media has become a primary information source and outlet during emergencies. Effective use of social media is paramount. This presentation covers best practices of using social media as an everyday tool as well as before, during, and after an emergency to reach your target audience.

Note: This is a two-part session but you do not have to attend both. Part I is being held at 1:45 in Block C / Session C3. Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop or tablet.

Presented by:
Michael Todd, JD, Public Information Officer, NH Department of Safety
Anna Swenson, Public Information Office Program assistant, Homeland Security and Emergency Management, NH Department of Safety



D4. How Utilities Apply Technology Throughout an Outage Lifecycle
Audience: Emergency Services, Municipal/County/State/Federal Gov’t
Level: Intermediate

This discussion details the “life cycle” (Prepare, Respond, Recover, and Mitigate) of an outage from a utility perspective, highlighting various technology applications and the differences between them. The panel includes members from each NH utility company, and will discuss how utilities manage a typical outage utilizing technology. Additionally, the session includes discussions around mitigation strategies and best practices, such as system hardening, vegetation management, and system upgrades.

Presented by:
John O’Connor, Supervisor Emergency Preparedness, Eversource
Jacklyn Ulban, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, Unitil
Tom Murphy, Manager of Business Continuity, Unitil
John Ducsai, Service Continuity Manager, NH COOP Electric
Robert Johnson, Engineer – Electric, Liberty Electric



D5. Lessons Learned from My Own Emergency: How We Can Better Prepare the Public for Emergencies
Audience: Emergency Services, Human/Social Services, Municipal/County/State/Federal Government
Applicable for any agency that has an outreach/education mission or conducts emergency preparedness training for citizens.
Level: Basic

This session describes the many preparedness resources available to public safety agencies for the purpose of training community members on personal emergency planning and basic emergency skills. In addition, the presenter will provide a background of a personal emergency that occurred to his family in 2017, some of the lessons he learned, and how he was able to adapt his agency’s community training programs to include actions residents can take until help arrives and how to better prepare for an emergency displacing them from their home.

Presented by:
Justin Kates, CEM, Director of Emergency Management, City of Nashua


D6. Bomb-making Materials Awareness Program
Audience: Emergency Services, Business/Critical Infrastructure Partners, Municipal/County/State/Federal Government
Level: Basic

This course provides awareness to the public and private sectors on what precursor chemicals can be utilized in the illicit manufacture of explosives and bomb making materials, and how reporting suspicious behavior is critical to protecting a community. The information provided encourages a working relationship among partners to report and investigate suspicious behavior in an effort to prevent a bombing incident from occurring.

Presented by:
Matthew C. Partington, TFC – Bomb Technician, NH State Police Bomb Squad
 

D7. Responding to the Detection of PFCs in NH’s Drinking Water
Audience: Emergency Services, Education/Child Care, Municipal/County/State/Federal Government
Level: Basic

Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) have been detected in drinking water and groundwater at multiple sites in NH, contaminating hundreds of private drinking water wells and several public water supply sources that serve tens of thousands of people. The release mechanism of these compounds combined with their fate and transport properties, part-per-trillion analytical detection limits, updates to public health advisories for two PFAS, and the lack of health risk information for 20 other PFAS have created an unprecedented challenge to environmental and public health professionals.

NH, in partnership with other state and federal agencies, is rapidly determining the extent of the PFAS contamination, providing alternative drinking water, and developing long-term mitigation strategies to address existing, and prevent future, groundwater contamination. These entities are also responding to public health concerns caused by the exposure to PFAS which has included blood testing thousands of people.

Presented by:
Brandon Kernen, Manager – Hydrology and Conservation, NH Department of Environmental Services

 
D8. Automating Hospital Mass Casualty Incident Response: What Matters and Why?
Audience: Emergency Services
Level: Intermediate

Mass Casualty Incidents (MCIs) occur without warning and require hospitals to quickly transform operations to accommodate a rapid influx of patients. Immediate activation of an institution’s Emergency Operations Plan is critical, but is not sufficient to ensure an effective response. To be truly prepared for an MCI, hospitals must have well practiced MCI protocols that succinctly define actions and responsibilities across key departments. These protocols must be tested regularly in the environment where response actions would occur during a real event, with the personnel who will be required to respond. Preparing in this manner instills confidence in those responsible for the most time critical aspects of a hospital’s MCI response.

Presented by:
Paul Biddinger, MD, Director, Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Disaster Medicine
Alison Parmar, JD, Senior Administrative Manager, Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Disaster Medicine

 

D9. NH Opioid Crisis: Creating an Eye in the Storm
Audience: Health Care/Behavioral Health/Public Health, Emergency Services, Business/Critical Infrastructure Partners, Human/Social Services, Municipal/County/State/Federal Government
Level: Basic

This session provides an overview of the Safe Station programs in NH’s two largest cities. Discussion will focus on challenges that were faced when setting the programs up and how the programs are making an impact on the opioid epidemic in NH.

Presented by:
Christopher Hickey, Paramedic, EMS Coordinator, Manchester Fire Department
Christopher Stawasz, Paramedic, Regional Director, American Medical Response



D10. Understanding Cyber Threats
Audience: All
Level: Basic

This presentation focuses on what you should know given the growing concern over cyber threats and provides a basic overview of the cyber threats we encounter on a daily basis, including the who, why, and how. Information on what you can do to protect yourself and your organization will be included.

Presented by:
Perry Plummer, Director, Homeland Security and Emergency Management, NH Department of Safety
 


D11. Best Practices for Working With Persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Audience: Health Care/Behavioral Health/Public Health
Level: Basic

This presentation explores special considerations for law enforcement officers and emergency service providers when responding to incidents involving persons on the autism spectrum. The presentation discusses the signs of autism and how to recognize behaviors associated with autism. Participants learn strategies and tactics that allow law enforcement and other emergency responders to best respond to situations, such as disturbances, medical emergencies, crimes, and fires, involving the autistic population. Best practice de-escalation methods to reduce the use of force involving persons on the autism spectrum will be discussed. Finally, we will examine considerations for responding to reports of missing adults and children with autism spectrum disorders.

Presented by:
Rachel Schneider, Special Education Teacher, Merrimack Public Schools
Adam D. Schneider, Resident Agent-in-Charge, Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General

 

D12. Preparing for the Next Disaster (Declaration)
Audience: All - Local governments, Private Non Profits, Emergency Managers, Finance Officers, Procurement personnel, Public Works staff, Debris Managers, who are involved with the FEMA Public Assistance Grant process and are responsible for pre-event planning.
Level: Basic

This presentation covers the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How of pre-event planning for FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) Grant Program. This session is intended to provide an overview of information and documentation gathering and record keeping to assist with the planning for potential FEMA PA project grant funding. Topics will include: Documentation compilation and retention; Pre-disaster contracts; Procurement policy; Insurance; Environmental/Historic; Debris; Labor, Equipment and Materials; and Contracted Work.

Presented by:
Fallon Reed, Planning Chief, Homeland Security and Emergency Management, NH Department of Safety

NH EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS CONFERENCE