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Hurricane Season Begins June 1

:: NYDIS Co-Sponsors 2007 Hurricane Summit

On June 5, the Human Services Council of New York (HSC), New York Disaster Interfaith Services (NYDIS), and the New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) co-sponsored “Hurricane & Evacuation Planning: A Summit for NYC Religious Leaders,” a half-day event that focused on the City’s Evacuation Plan for Coastal Storms, where NYC’s Flood Zones are, and the role of religious leaders and houses of worship in readiness, response and recovery. NYC is extremely vulnerable to deadly storm surge, which could reach heights of 24-30 feet. About 1300 NYC houses of worship are located within the City’s three coastal storm flood zones. Summit attendees were provided with information on how to educate congregants about mitigation and preparedness and with tools for business continuity planning, community rebuilding and recovery planning. There were welcoming remarks from Peter Gudaitis, Executive Director of NYDIS, Michael Stoller, Executive Director of HSC, and OEM Commissioner Joseph Bruno. The City’s Coastal Storm Plan was presented to the religious leaders by Commissioner Bruno, followed by a presentation from OEM and NYDIS staff on Hurricane preparedness for houses of worship in flood zones.

Download the NYDIS Houses of Worship Hurricane Mitigation Preparedness Presentation (pdf): click here

Learn more about the NYC Coastal Storm Plan:

Coastal Storm Map of the NY Bight:

Hurricane Evacuation Zone Finder:

Flood Recovery updates:
:: NYDIS Awarded BBB Accreditation
Download PDF
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) provides information on businesses and charities, resolves consumer-business marketplace disputes, and educates the public on consumer and nonprofit issues. NYDIS is pleased to participate in the BBB’s Metro NYC Seal, which indicates that NYDIS meets all 20 of the Standards of Charity Accountability program. These 20 standards evaluate charities’ financial accountability, governance and oversight, effectiveness measures, and fundraising and informational materials.
:: NYDIS Board & Staff Participate in HOPE-NY Training

On May 21 and 22, ten members of the NYDIS Board and Staff participated in the training “Enhancing Public Health Emergency Coping Skills and Risk Communication for Community and Spiritual Leaders: The Power of Care, Emotional Knowledge, and Community Networks.” The four-session training, developed by Healing and Outreach through Psychoeducation (HOPE-NY) in partnership with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), focuses on promoting resilience, communication, quality of service, and decision-maker functioning during crises. The training was hosted by the HealthCare Chaplaincy.
:: NYC 9/11 Recovery Resources Online

A comprehensive list of news, updates and resources for 9/11 victims and injured recovery workers, updated weekly:
:: NYC 9/11 Unmet Needs Roundtable Updates

  • NYC 9/11 In-Service Training for Case Workers
    In-Service Training is required for case workers who have never presented a case at the Roundtable, and is recommended as a refresher for experienced case workers who have previously presented cases. All training sessions take place at NYDIS (map).
    • Monday, July 2 – 1:00-3:30 pm
    • Monday, August 6 - 1:00-3:30 pm
  • NYC 9/11 Unmet Needs Roundtable Schedule
    The NYC 9/11 Unmet Needs Roundtable brings together donors with agencies providing case management to 9/11 victims. Case Workers who would like to present a case must sign-up by Friday prior to the meeting of the Roundtable. Due to the influx of cases which need presenting, the 9/11 Unmet Needs Roundtable will be adding an additional Wednesday date each month. There will now be three meetings a month, instead of two.
    • Wednesday, June 6 - 12:30-3:30 pm
    • Thursday, June 7 – 9:30 am-12:30 pm
    • Wednesday, June 13 – 9:30 am-12:30 pm
    • Thursday, June 14 - 9:30-12:30 pm
    • Wednesday, June 20 - 9:30-12:30 pm
    • Thursday, June 21 – 9:30 am-12:30 pm
    • Wednesday, June 27 - 9:30 am-12:30 pm
    • Thursday, June 28 - 9:30 am-12:30 pm
    • Tuesday, July 3 - 9:30 am-12:30 pm
  • NYC 9/11 Case Management Coordination Meetings
    NYDIS hosts monthly Case Management Coordination meetings for service providers that are assisting 9/11 recovery workers and the general 9/11-affected community. These meetings are open to representatives from any service providers that wish to coordinate and share information about their services and the community's needs.
    • Wednesday, June 6 – 9:30-11:00 am
    • Wednesday, July 25 – 3:00-5:00 pm
    • Wednesday, August 15 - 9:30-11:00 am
:: NYC Katrina Evacuee Recovery Resources Online

A comprehensive list of news, updates and resources for Katrina evacuees in NYC, updated weekly:
:: NYC Katrina Unmet Needs Roundtable

  • NYC Katrina In-Service Training for Case Workers
    NYDISnetCase managers working with Katrina or Rita survivors are required to attend an in-service training prior to presenting at the Roundtable. The purpose of these trainings is to provide case managers with a better understanding of the workings of the Roundtable and to help increase the likelihood that a client's needs could be funded.

  • NYC Katrina Unmet Needs Roundtable
    The NYC Katrina Unmet Needs Roundtable aids case managers in securing cash assistance and to share resources to best meet the unmet needs of disaster victims so that they may regain self-sufficiency and recover from the impact of a disaster. The Roundtable helps to facilitate long-term recovery by supporting clients' recovery plans. Case managers who would like to present at the NYC Katrina Unmet Needs Roundtable may submit a request the Friday prior to the Roundtable meeting.
    • Tuesday, June 19 – 2:00-5:00 pm
    • Tuesday, July 24 - 2:00-5:00 pm
    • Tuesday, August 21 - 2:00-5:00 pm
    • Tuesday, September 25 - 2:00-5:00 pm

  • To sign up for In-Service Training or to present a case:
    Dominique Atchison, Moderator
:: Upstate NYS 2006 Resources

Download the Hudson Valley Region Disaster Assistance Guide for Upstate NY Floods: click here

For complete information on Flooding Assistance in NY and NJ, please go to the Flood Resources section of the NYDIS website:
:: NYS & NJ 2007 Nor’easter Recovery Resources:

Staten Island Disaster Recovery Center: click here

FEMA Disaster Assistance: click here

FEMA Offers Free Disaster Legal Services in NY:
Through an agreement with the American Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division (ABA/YLD), FEMA is providing free legal help for those who suffered damages or losses from the April nor'easter. Residents of Albany, Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, Richmond (Staten Island), Ulster and Westchester counties may be eligible for the services, which include legal advice, counseling or certain types of representation. Types of assistance available might include: landlord/tenant issues, help with contractors and home repair contracts, insurance claims, guardianships, and powers of attorney.

For more information call the toll-free hotline:
1.866.488.0268 (Monday-Friday, 9:00 am-5:00 pm

Read the May 17 FEMA Press Release:

:: 9/11 Workers' Compensation Registration Deadline Aug. 14

NYDISnetNYDIS urges 9/11 chaplains, recovery workers and volunteers to register now to protect their right to workers' compensation benefits. NYDIS and New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) in collaboration with other agencies is mounting a media campaign to inform workers throughout the country about the necessity of registering by the deadline, Tuesday, August 14, 2007.

Download the brochure (pdf): English | Español

Call for registration guidelines: 866.WTC.2556
:: WTC Registry Report Shows Impact of 9/11 Health Crisis

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Congressman Fossella released a report showing that people from all 50 states and the District of Columbia have enrolled in the WTC Health Registry, which will track changes in their physical and mental health over the next 20 years.

Read the entire report:
:: Near Misses Allowed Man with Drug Resistant TB to Fly Internationally

A series of near misses accounted for a Georgia man’s trip to Europe in which he might have exposed fellow passengers on a series of commercial flights to a rare form of tuberculosis. May 31, Andrew Speaker, an Atlanta lawyer, was detained under a federal isolation order at Grady Hospital in Atlanta, and then moved to Denver’s National Jewish Medical and Research Center for definitive treatment of his infection, an extremely drug resistant form of tuberculosis, which is often lethal. American officials and those in other countries are seeking to advise more than 100 passengers who sat closest to him on the longest flights and crew members to be tested for the infection. Health officials are also offering testing to hundreds of other passengers on the flights. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this incident has exposed many flaws that need to be fixed for future episodes; and also raised questions about how rapidly health officials could respond to a similar emergency with other deadly infectious diseases.

Read the June 1 NY Times article by Lawrence Altman:

Read the May 31 NY Times article by Lawrence Altman and John Schwartz:
  • TB Incident Raises Questions about Government Response – Hearing June 6

    Investigations in several countries into this health incident, raises questions about balancing the rights of an individual with the needs to protect the public. Experts are questioning whether more could have been done before he ever left Atlanta. "I think this is going to be a lesson learned nationwide of the importance of local and county health departments being the front line of protection for the rest of the population," said Michael Greenberger, director of the University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security. A congressional committee, the House Homeland Security Committee, announced May 29 it will hold a June 6 hearing examining health officials' response in the case.

    Read the May 31 Atlanta Journal-Constitution article by Alison Young and Kevin Duffy:
  • HAN Alert May 29: CDC Advisory Concerns US Traveler with TB

    The Health Alert Network (HAN) sent out an Alert on May 29 regarding the CDC investigation of the TB incident.

    Download the HAN Alert: click here

    If healthcare providers have any concerns regarding a suspected or confirmed case related to this CDC notification, please call the NYC DOHMH Provider Access Line:

    Contact HAN:

    For information about Tuberculosis:

    Learn more about XBR TB and read CDC’s Letters to Healthcare Providers and Passengers:
:: Former EPA Chief Will Testify About Air at Ground Zero

Christine Todd Whitman, the former chief of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has agreed to testify before a congressional panel investigating how she and other top federal officials decided the air in lower Manhattan was safe to breathe soon after 9/11. Rep. Nadler said he would accommodate her by rescheduling the hearing that had been set for May 22. Upon her original refusal to testify Nadler said, "Our committee must have her testimony at some point, so the American people can hear her direct response to the many lingering questions."

Read Rep. Nadler’s May 18 Press Release:
:: Clinton & Domenici Reintroduce Health Care Disaster Response Bill

Senators Hillary Clinton and Pete Domenici May 23 announced the reintroduction of legislation to help prepare first responders and health care professionals to effectively address mental health consequences in the wake of public health emergencies, like those created after 9/11 and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The Public Mental Health Emergency Preparedness Act of 2007 would establish the National Center for Public Mental Health Emergency Preparedness to coordinate the development and delivery of mental health services in collaboration with federal, state and local entities when the nation is confronted with public health catastrophes.

Read Senator Clinton’s Press Statement:
:: For the First Time, NYC ME Links a Death to 9/11 Dust

NYC’s chief medical examiner, Dr. Charles S. Hirsch, has for the first time directly linked a death to exposure to dust from 9/11. In a letter made public May 23, Dr. Hirsch said that he was certain “ beyond a reasonable doubt” that dust from the WTC contributed to the death of Felicia Dunn-Jones, 42, a civil rights lawyer who was engulfed as she ran from her office a block away. She later developed a serious cough and had trouble breathing, and she died five months after the attack. Dr. Hirsch amended her death certificate to indicate that exposure to WTC dust “was contributory to her death.” By making a formal connection between her death and her exposure to the dust, the ME’s decision could have a wide impact on how the city deals with the growing number of illnesses and deaths linked in some way to Ground Zero.

Read the May 24 NY Times article by Anthony DePalma:
  • Senator Clinton Calls for Further Examination of 9/11 Responder Deaths

    Senator Hillary Clinton May 25 also called on the NYC Chief Medical Examiner to further examine cases of those whose death may have been attributed to exposure to the toxins at Ground Zero and Fresh Kills.

    Read Senator Clinton’s May 25 Statement and Metter to the ME:
:: Governor Announces New NYS Alert System

Governor Spitzer announced May 31 two important initiatives designed to enhance the State’s ability to alert the public in emergency situations and respond after disasters. The first initiative will provide web-based emergency alerts to the public. Dubbed NY-ALERT, it will provide National Weather Service bulletins about severe weather, advisories on road closures, and other emergency response information from federal, state and local authorities. The second initiative, called NY-DELIVERS, will forge public-private partnerships to support the state’s emergency response missions. The initiative is modeled on best practices identified after Hurricane Katrina. The two initiatives are expected to be operational within 60 days.

Read the May 31 Press Release:
:: New Report: DHS Immigration Policies Show No Counter-Terrorism Results

Claims of terrorism represented less than 0.01% of charges filed in recent years in immigration courts by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), according to a report issued May 27 by an independent research group, the Transactional Records Action Clearinghouse (TRAC), which is affiliated with Syracuse University. This comes despite the fact the Bush administration has repeatedly asserted that fighting terrorism is the central mission of DHS. TRAC analyzed millions of previously undisclosed records obtained from the immigration courts under the Freedom of Information Act. Of the 814,073 people charged by DHS in immigration courts during the past three years, 12 faced charges of terrorism.

Read the CNN story by Scott Bronstein:
:: Katrina Homeowners Short Aid by $2.9B

In a review by contractor ICF International, the homeowner aid program for Hurricane Katrina victims, The Road Home, is $2.9 billion short of serving all eligible applicants; and the budget shortfall exceeds $4 billion if Louisiana can't come to an agreement with federal officials over the use of about $1.1 billion in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hazard mitigation funding for purchasing damaged homes to turn the properties into green space. The Louisiana Recovery Authority, which created the Road Home and set its budget, explained that the shortfall stems from three faulty assumptions when the program began last summer: more homeowners applying, higher cost to repair, and less insurance than was expected. The new ICF review estimates the Road Home will need $9.8 billion to serve 132,215 homeowners. Nearly 200 Katrina Evacuees who relocated to NYC remain in case management and despite being self-sufficient prior to the storm remain unemployed and unable to return home.

Read the Times-Picayune article:

Listen to NPR’s May 24 “Morning Edition” program with David Schaper:
:: TSA Tests Liquid Explosives Detectors at 6 Airports; including Newark Liberty

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has been testing technology capable of screening sealed bottled liquids for explosives at six major airports: Miami International, Newark (NJ) Liberty International, Detroit Metro, Los Angeles International, Las Vegas McCarran International, and Boston Logan International. The commercially available hand-held bottled liquid scanners are being used by the US. government domestically and overseas, but this is the first time they are being used in an airport environment.

Read the TSA Press Release:
:: DHS Needs Cooperation from Private Sector

The main information-sharing network for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN), needs more focus and cooperation from the private sector if it is to succeed as an efficient and reliable source of intelligence. HSIN links DHS with 17,500 users in state and local agencies and the private sector, but is experiencing problems that include duplication with other state and local systems, sporadic use and the lack of a clear mission, according to recent government audits. DHS is starting to make improvements to HSIN by hiring a program manager, identifying user needs, setting up an advisory committee and developing performance metrics.

Read the Washington Tech May 30 article:

From Our Members & Partners

  • ARC/GNY and ICNA Relief USA Sign Disaster Service MOU

    NYDISnetA signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the American Red Cross in Greater New York (ARC/GNY) and the Islamic Circle of North America Relief USA (ICNA) has established a partnership between the organizations that will help the Red Cross strengthen its already comprehensive local emergency response and assistance services for people affected by emergencies. ARC/GNY responds to more than 3,000 local emergencies each year. ICNA addresses the basic human and social service needs of the underserved communities in the US. The two organizations worked closely to provide assistance for the families affected by the tragic Bronx fire last March. Under this new collaboration, which was signed by ARC/GNY Chief Executive Officer Theresa A. Bischoff and ICNA Executive Director Ayub Badat, ICNA becomes a participating partner of ARC/GNY’s Ready When the Time Comes program, which trains volunteer teams from local companies and organizations in disaster relief services, deploying them during a local emergency to provide sheltering, food, and supplies. ICNA-Relief is a member of NYDIS and is one of 10 remaining agencies providing 9/11 case management.

    Read the ARC/GNY May 31 Press Release: click here

  • Sikh Coalition & Councilman Liu Denounce Student’s Hair Cutting Attack

    At a Sikh Coalition press conference held on June 4, Council Member John Liu and City Council members along with a coalition of ethnic, religious, interfaith, and civil rights organizations, asked the Department of Education to take immediate action to ensure the safety of students who face harassment and bias in city schools. On May 25, arising from a verbal dispute, two high school students in Queens forcibly cut a Sikh student’s hair. The Sikh Coalition released preliminary results of an ongoing civil rights survey of Sikh children, which makes clear that a majority of Sikh students in city schools have experienced bias-based harassment and bullying. The Sikh Coalition is a member of NYDIS and is a lead agency in efforts to develop more comprehensive backlash mitigation planning for NYC ethnic religious communities.

    Read the Sikh Coalition Press Advisory: click here

    For more information, call Amardeep Singh, Executive Director:

  • HAN Web System Alerts NYC’s Health Providers

    The NYC Health Alert Network (HAN), a web-based alerting system from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), provides doctors and other medical providers with up-to-date information on urgent and emergent public health issues. See the May 29 HAN Alert under Community News.

    To register:

    Download the HAN PowerPoint presentation: click here
  • New Ground Day Camps Registers Campers

    New Ground Day Camps, a partnership between Koinonia, Lutheran Counseling Center, and NYC area congregations is now registering campers ages 6 through 12 years old. This creative, fun, healthy, Christian Day Camp ministry begun post 9/11 incorporates a mental health component to assist children in dealing with disaster. The Lutheran Counseling Center provides an advisor in residence who teaches life skills such as communication, non-violence, and identifying your support system. Koinonia provides trained college age camp counselors to lead worship, crafts, Bible study and games. The local congregation registers campers and provides hospitality. This faith-based program is open to all children helping them move beyond the events of 9/11 and to stand on New Ground. To register a camper, call the phone number noted for each site on the list.

    For a list of Day Camp sites:

    For information about Koinonia, call Pr. Ann Tiemeyer, Director:


Preparedness Initiatives

  • About NYDISNET and NYDISNET Alerts

    Welcome to NYDISNET, our bi-weekly e-newsletter. We hope this resource will keep you updated about the work of NYDIS and developments in disaster readiness, response and recovery initiatives here in New York City. During emergencies we will send a NYDISNET ALERT to all subscribers. The alert will include all official information available through the NYC Office of Emergency Management and news from our members and partners. Please feel free to copy and distribute any information from NYDISNET that you find helpful. If you would like to distribute NYDISNET to your agency staff or faith community leaders please let us know - we're happy to provide that service free of charge.
  • Have You Registered with HOWCALM™?

    NYDISnet NYDIS has developed and made available, free to NYC faith communities and houses of worhship, a secure, web-based database system for managing faith-based assets in times of crisis. By tracking the logistics and resources of houses of worship, religious schools and faith-based service providers, the system enhancing the preparedness, response capacity and emergency planning efforts in NYC. Enrolling your congregation will include enrollment in emergency communication systems, disaster training opportunities and enhance NYDIS’ ability to work in partnership with OEM and Human Service agencies to include your house of worship in all-hazards planning.

    For more information download the brochure on pdf: click here

    To register your House of Worship: click here
  • OEM Tip: Know the Zones

    Upon the official beginning of hurricane season, OEM asks that New Yorkers use the calm before the storm to create an emergency plan. Use the Hurricane Evacuation Zone Finer to determine if you live in an evacuation zone and identify friends or family willing to shelter you outside of the evacuation zones. The Hurricane Evacuation Zone Finder also provides directions to public shelters as a last resort.

    Go to OEM’s Hurricane Evacuation Zone Finder:

    Learn about Coastal Storms and Hurricanes in NYC:

    OEM’s Ready NY Hurricane Guide in 11 languages:
  • SEMO Director: “Prepare Now for Hurricane Season”

    With the 2007 hurricane and coastal storm season here, the State Emergency Management Office (SEMO) advise New Yorkers to begin preparations by reviewing their emergency plans and check their cache of emergency supplies. “Hurricanes and coastal storms are a threat not only to NYS’s coastal communities but the entire state,” said John R. Gibb, Director of SEMO. “We are reminded of the destructive force of these storms by April’s nor’easter which brought extensive floods throughout the Hudson Valley region and caused extensive damage to beaches on Long Island.” He also advises individuals with special needs or requiring more information to contact their local emergency management office.

    Read Director Gibb’s Press Release click here
  • ARC-GNY Preparedness Presentation-Headquarters

    Prepare New York is a free 45-minute emergency preparedness presentation teaching NYC residents how to create a plan, build a supply kit, and keep loved ones safe and informed during times of disaster. Participants receive an interactive CD that can be used to create a customized evacuation plan and brochures from the ARC and NYC OEM. The next presentations are on Thursday, June 7, and Thursday, July 12, 6:30 to 7:15 pm at 520 West 49th Street.

    Sign up online for June 7:

    Sign up online for July 12:

    • ARC-GNY Preparedness Presentation-Chinese
      The next presentation of “Prepare NY in Chinese” is on Monday, June 18, 7:15 to 8:15 pm at the CCBA at 62 Mott St. in Manhattan.

      Sign up online for June 18:
  • Hurricane Preparedness

    • June 1 Marks Official Beginning of Hurricane Season

    • NOAA Predicts Above Normal 2007 Atlantic Hurricane Season
      Experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center are projecting a 75% chance that the Atlantic Hurricane Season will be above normal this year— showing the ongoing active hurricane era remains strong. With the start of the hurricane season upon us, NOAA recommends those in hurricane-prone regions to begin their preparation plans. "NOAA scientists predict 13 to 17 named storms, with seven to 10 becoming hurricanes, of which three to five could become major hurricanes of Category 3 strength or higher," said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, NOAA administrator. An average Atlantic hurricane season brings 11 named storms, with six becoming hurricanes, including two major hurricanes.

      Read NOAA’s entire May 22 Prediction:

    • NOAA News Conference on 2007 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook
      On May 22, Anson Franklin, NOAA’s administrator, Admiral Conrad Lautenbacher, discussed the hurricane outlook at this first event of National Hurricane Awareness Week and presented NOAA’s Atlantic seasonal outlook. “…our coasts are becoming more populated. There are 153 million people living in our coastal areas in the United States. Fifty-three percent of our population lives in coastal areas, and a good number of those Americans live in hurricane-prone areas. Now, what we’ve found is that the growth continues in these areas…Coastal areas continue to be more and more popular for people to move.”

      Read the entire May 22 News Conference transcript:

    • Utilities and Insurers Prepare for Storms
      Forecasts for a busier-than-normal hurricane season mean added pressure on the utility and insurance industries, but they say they're more prepared to absorb a catastrophic hit. Power utilities have invested in hardier equipment to better withstand storms, gas utilities have formed a resource-sharing plan that quickly sends reinforcements, and insurers have more cushion to absorb losses after reporting record operating profits in 2006. Natural gas utilities, meanwhile, have borrowed an idea from electric utilities in forming a mutual assistance program, said Tracey Shifflett, of the American Gas Association. When a storm strikes, gas utilities across the country will be ready to send their work crews in to quickly assist those damaged by the storm.

      Read the May 22 Associated Press article:

    • Federal Report on Future of Hurricane Forecasting
      At the 61st Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference held in New Orleans in March, federal agencies involved in hurricane research released a report on the future of hurricane forecasting capabilities titled, “Interagency Strategic Research Plan for Tropical Cyclones: The Way Ahead.” Compiled by the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorological Services and Supporting Research, the plan identifies areas within the field of hurricane-related sciences that need research and focuses on transferring this research into operations.

      Read the 2007 Report:

    • Preparing Pets in Case of a Hurricane
      Now is the time for pet owners to get prepared by creating a plan and gathering supplies when a hurricane strikes. "The key to survival during a disaster for you and your animals is to be as prepared as possible before the storm hits," says Randy Covey, director of disaster services for The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). There are over 358 million companion animals living in American homes. According to national surveys post-Hurricane Katrina, 61 percent of pet owners will not leave their companion animals behind during a disaster, which highlights the need for pet owners to prepare.

      Learn what you need to know at the HSUS Hurricane Preparedness Page:

  • Pandemic Flu Preparedness

    • HHS Offers Pandemic Flu Blog & Summit
      The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has launched the Pandemic Flu Leadership Blog, a five-week-long blog about pandemic preparedness. Participant bloggers include some of the nation’s most influential business, health care, faith-based and community leaders. This online event is part of a new campaign to help Americans prepare for a potential influenza pandemic and engage US leaders in the challenge to help others prepare. Ideas generated during the leadership blog will contribute to HHS’ upcoming pandemic influenza leadership forum June 13 in Washington, DC, with business, faith, civic and health care community leaders. The Pandemic Flu Leadership Blog will continue through June 27 and is open to the public and media.

      Join the Blog:

      Read the HHS May 24 Press Release:

      Find out more about the June 13 Leadership Forum on Pandemic Preparedness:

    • Flu Preparedness Guide for Faith Communities
      Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) has developed several audience specific brochures that will help guide you and your organization through the pandemic planning process. One that is of particular interest to the NYDISnet readership is entitled, “It’s Not Flu As Usual: What Faith Based and Community Organizations Need to Know about Pandemic Flu.”

      Download the Booklet:

    • Course: Pandemic Flu Preparedness for Faith-Based Organizations
      The Extension Disaster Education Network’s (EDEN) mission is to share education resources to reduce the impact of natural and man-made disasters. The "Pandemic Influenza Preparedness for Faith-Based Organizations" course was designed by EDEN, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to enable congregations, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship to protect the health of their staff and the communities in which they serve; and fulfill their mission during an influenza pandemic. Participants will learn about infection control measures to use in their organization to protect themselves and their community before and during a pandemic; and how to write a basic preparedness and response plan to maintain the critical functions of the organization.

      To find out more about the course, contact Abigail Borron:

      To learn about EDEN membership:

    • DHS Report on Pandemic Flu Best Practices
      The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently issued a report, “Pandemic Influenza: Best Practices and Model Protocols.” The report, which focuses on the need for a community to plan and prepare for a pandemic outbreak, includes best practices to support planning and preparedness. It also includes model protocols for emergency management, 911 call centers, emergency medical services, law enforcement, public works, and fire service.

      Download the Report:

    • US Financial Sector to Test Avian Flu Response in the Fall
      The Financial Services Sector Coordinating Council for Critical Infrastructure Protection and Homeland Security (FSSCC) will conduct a market-wide business continuity and disaster recovery test to assess the sector's readiness for dealing with an Avian Flu pandemic.
      The sector-wide exercise, which will be the first of its kind in the US, will begin on September 24 and last for a number of weeks in order to simulate a full pandemic wave. Participants will take part in the tests from their own office locations using email and a secure exercise website. Goals of the exercise include identifying systemic risk to the sector, allowing participants to test individual plans against a realistic scenario and clarifying the ripple effects of a pandemic within the industry. The exercise will involve advisory group representatives from power and telecommunications, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

      Read the May 24 FSSCC Press Release:

    • Agreement Reached on Flu Virus Sharing
      The World Health Assembly (WHA), the decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO), wrapped-up its sixtieth session May 23, reaching a last-minute agreement on a Pandemic influenza preparedness resolution. Member States agreed upon "Sharing of Influenza Viruses and Access to Vaccines and Other Benefits," a resolution which will help all countries better prepare for the global public health threat which an influenza pandemic presents. It requests WHO to establish an international stockpile of vaccines for H5N1 or other influenza viruses of pandemic potential, and to formulate mechanisms and guidelines aimed at ensuring fair and equitable distribution of pandemic-influenza vaccines at affordable prices in the event of a pandemic.

      Learn more:

  • TSA Reminds Travelers: Be Prepared

    As the busy summer travel season begins, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reminds travelers to be prepared and plan ahead for security. Passenger preparedness for the security process can have a significant impact on wait times at the checkpoint. TSA is working with aviation industry partners to ensure the highest levels of security for travelers.

    Learn more:
  • Business Owners Should Prepare in Advance for Disasters

    "Planning for disasters, natural or manmade, will help protect your business investment and give your company a better chance for survival," said Peter Martinasco, federal coordinating officer for the US Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Among the factors business owners should include in disaster planning: carefully assess the risks (e.g., flood, fire, tornado, etc.) for each specific business location and plan accordingly; identify operations critical to your company's survival and recovery; determine which staff, materials, procedures and equipment are necessary to keep the business operating and establish procedures for succession of management; plan what you will do if your building, plant or store is not accessible.

    Read the May 31 FEMA Statement:

We Recommend

  • Add Your Info to www.NYDIS.org Resource Library

    Do you have a useful resource for caseworkers, recovery providers and clients that you would like to submit? The NYDIS Resource Library on our website contains a large compilation of disaster resources including downloadable documents, links to useful websites, and references to printed publications. We welcome your agency's resources, which can be posted on NYDIS.org by clicking on the "Resources" Tab. You will then find directions on how to "Submit a Resource".

  • New Catastrophic Health Event Report

    Citizen preparedness for health emergencies must look beyond the individual and the home. So says a panel of experts whose report, “Community Engagement: Leadership Tool for Catastrophic Health Events,” instructs mayors, governors, and health and safety officials in why and how to involve community partners in disaster- and epidemic-related policymaking, urging them to tap community resources in advance of epidemics and disasters.

    NYDIS Executive Director Peter Gudaitis served as a member of the Working Group, helping to define and enhance the role of faith-based community preparedness efforts.

    www.upmc-biosecurity.org/website/focus/ community_engage/2007_working_group/press_release.html

    Download the Report: click here
    Download the Summary Findings: click here
  • FEMA’s New Guide Asks: “Are You Ready?”
    The FEMA publication “Are You Ready?” offers free assistance in planning and preparing for hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through November 30. The 200-page guide to disaster preparedness can be used as a reference or as a step-by-step manual on how to learn more about local emergency plans, how to identify local hazards, and how to develop an emergency communication plan and build a disaster supplies kit. Other topics include evacuating safely, making use of emergency public shelters and protecting people with disabilities.

    Download the new “Are You Ready Guide?”:
  • Book Review: Path of Destruction

    John McQuaid and Mark Schleifstein offer a clear explanation for the greatest natural disaster in American history. Path of Destruction: The Devastation of New Orleans and the Coming Age of Superstorms isn't just a book about the storm, those who survived, and those who didn't; it's also an account into the dreadful inadequacies that existed prior to 2005, an indictment of the Washington officials who failed to act, and a scientific investigation into why these huge storms are coming now. Brilliantly written and fiercely reported, Path of Destruction is necessary reading for all who wish to understand the past, present, and future of American natural disasters.

    To learn more about the book and read an excerpt:
  • Photo Exhibit: “Kids Take Pictures of New Orleans Today”

    From June 6 to 29, a powerful exhibit of photographs taken by kids of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, will be on display at Gallery 1199, 310 West 43rd Street in Manhattan. The pictures and stories on display bring an unfiltered view of New Orleans through the eyes of its youth. The kids were given free cameras and photography lessons and asked to document what they saw.  Their images offer an intimate, honest, and eye-opening look at post-Katrina New Orleans. The New Orleans Kid Camera Project is a grassroots community endeavor to address the impacts of Hurricane Katrina on children.

    For information contact Zoeann Murphy:

    Download the Flier: click here
  • Comfort Dog Teams Help After Disasters

    HOPE Animal-Assisted Crisis Response (AACR) is a national all-volunteer, non-profit, crisis response organization with specially trained and certified handler/canine teams that emergency responders call upon to provide comfort and support to people affected by disasters, usually in the recovery phase. AACR partners with relief organizations such as the American Red Cross, FEMA, The Salvation Army, NOVA, and Faith Based groups.


    Read the DNN article:

  • PlainViews: E-Newsletter for Spiritual Care Providers

    Subscribe to this bi-monthly e-newsletter offering views on Professional Practice, Advocacy, Education & Research, and Spiritual Development. Sponsored by the HealthCare Chaplaincy in NYC and edited by NYDIS Board President The Rev. Dr. Martha Jacobs.

    Send your email address to:


Save The Date

  • Animal Disaster Preparedness Training

    Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue
    Friday, June 8-Monday, June 11
    Nassau County 4-H Camp, Riverhead, NY

    Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue
    Friday, June 15-Monday, June 18
    Humane Society, Fairport, NY

    The Empire State Animal Response Team (ESART) 2007 Conference in the NYC area will be held at two locations in June. ESART supports the preparedness for, response to, and recovery from emergencies for animals. There are workshops, presentations and a tabletop exercise. There is no charge and attendees receive breakfast and lunch. The all-day events are 8:00 am-4:30 pm.

  • National Citizen Corps Conference

    Sunday, June 10 - Wednesday, June 13
    The Hilton Alexandria Mark Center
    Alexandria, Virginia

    The National Office of Citizen Corps conference on community preparedness, "Partnerships and Collaboration Through Citizen Corps", will be held in conjunction with the International Association of Emergency Managers and the National Emergency Management Association.

  • IAEM 2007 Mid-Year Meeting

    Wednesday, June 13 - Thursday, June 14
    Hilton Alexandria Mark Center
    Alexandria, Virginia

    The International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Mid-Year Meeting is for IAEM members, emergency management professionals, Congressional staffers and federal officials with a role in homeland security and emergency management. Sessions will include briefings from top DHS officials.

    For more information:
  • Free Mental Health Risk Communication Workshop

    June 15, 18 ,19, or 22
    New York City

    The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) invites you to participate in one of four Mental Health Risk Communication workshops led by Dr. Vincent Covello, the lead risk communications consultant for the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO). Learn key mental health and risk communications principles that will help you plan for and respond to the communication challenges of emergencies. Workshops are targeted for mental health professionals, community and faith-based leaders, social workers, clinicians, and administrators.

    Mary Aquino: 202.884.7370
    Sebrena Sawtell: 202.884.7330

    Download the Flyer: click here
    RSVP Form: click here
  • NYS VOAD Disaster Human Services Conference

    Tuesday, June 26 -Wednesday, June 27
    Binghamton, NY

    New York State Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NYS VOAD) will present the NYS Disaster Human Services conference. You don't have to be from NY to participate.

    Download registration form, list of workshops and the agenda:

  • US Disaster Preparedness Conference

    Tuesday, August 21-Wednesday, August 22
    New Orleans, LA

    Presentations, interactive panel discussions, tradeshow exhibits and networking events with the nation ’s top experts combined with classroom-style training will arm participants with disaster planning and response best practices. Recent changes in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the National Response Plan, and the National Incident Management System (NIMS) will be detailed.

    For conference and registration details:

Job & Volunteer Opportunities

  • NYDIS, VISTA Positions

    NYDIS is seeking candidates for the following VISTA positions:

    VISTA Leader – Disaster Preparedness & Recovery Program
    To download the Position Profile click here

    VISTA Member – National Disaster Interfaiths Network
    To download the Position Profile click here

    VISTA Members – Preparedness Outreach & Marketing
    To download the Position Profile click here

    VISTA Member – Disaster Recovery & Advocacy
    To download the Position Profile click here
  • NYDIS, Office Volunteers

    NYDIS is seeking office volunteers to support the finance and disaster preparedness/training departments, and to answer phones and perform administrative duties for 20 hours per week. Positions begin immediately.

    To apply, please email your Cover Letter and Resume to:
    pgudaitis@nydis.org or fax to 212.669.6101.
  • NYC OEM, Emergency Management Professionals – 19 Positions

    The Planning Division seeks skilled individuals with experience in planning, project management and technical writing and with engineering, science or human services backgrounds. These individuals will work with City, State and federal partners to develop citywide response plans in one of five planning units —Health and Medical, Human Services, Transportation and Infrastructure, Logistics or Plan Management. Critical initiatives include the Coastal Storm Plan, the Pandemic Influenza Plan, the Area Evacuation Plan and the CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive) Response Plan.

    The Operations Division seeks candidates with emergency management, fire, police EMS, public safety, public health or engineering experience. These individuals will work side-by-side with City, State, and federal partners to coordinate emergency response and recovery in OEM Watch Command (communications center) or in Field Response.

    View all job descriptions:

    To apply, submit resume and cover letter:
    Annette Santiago, Director of Human Resources
    165 Cadman Plaza
    East Brooklyn, NY  11201
  • World Vision, Storehouse Manager - Bronx, NY

    World Vision is seeking a motivated, high-energy, self-starter to manage their NY Storehouse operations. Responsibilities include overseeing on-site programs, evaluating gifts-in-kind, overseeing the volunteer program, and directing the development of a network of ministry partners. Two-year technical or junior college degree or equivalent experience of 5-8 years is required.

    Apply online at www.worldvision.org
    Reference # 1238

Make a Gift to NYDIS
  • Support NYDIS - Donate Online

    NYDISnetIf you'd like to make a donation to assist NYDIS in its mission of providing faith-based disaster services, click here, or send a check to NYDIS at 22 Cortlandt Street, 20th Fl., New York, NY 10007. NYDIS is a 501(c)(3) corporation and contributions are 100% tax deductible. It is a great way to honor or memorialize someone and we will send an acknowledgement of your gift.

    To donate online, go to the NYDIS homepage and click "Make a Donation":


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