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:: NYDIS Launches 9/11 Recovery Worker Coordinated Assistance Network

In December 2007, NYDIS facilitated the launch of the 9/11 Recovery Worker Coordinated Assistance Network (9/11 RWCAN). 9/11 RWCAN is a specially formatted web-based database designed to promote information sharing and coordination of services for WTC rescue, recovery, and cleanup workers. Using 9/11 RWCAN, case managers are able to coordinate their efforts for the purposes of increasing inter-agency collaboration, mitigating against the duplication of services, and streamlining the referral of services through the formation of a central resource database. The creation of 9/11 RWCAN has been highly anticipated throughout the 9/11 human services community and will greatly enhance the efficiency, quality, and ease with which case management is provided for WTC rescue, recovery, and cleanup workers. 9/11 RWCAN is now in its implementation phase while 9/11 Case Managers are trained to operate the system. Like the national Coordinated Assistance Network, 9/11 RWCAN uses Tapestry software from VisionLink. It has been funded by a grant from the American Red Cross Liberty Fund.

Case Managers can sign up for trainings by visiting:

For more information on 9/11 RWCAN, contact the system administrator:
:: NYDIS to Host 9/11 Health Impacts and Medical Benefits Training

On Thursday, January 24, NYDIS will host a 9/11 Medical and Mental Health Impacts Training for 9/11 case managers. This two-part training includes presentations and a panel discussion from medical and mental health providers in the morning, followed by an afternoon presentation by Urban Justice Center on the New York State Hospital Financial Assistance Law benefiting low-income, uninsured individuals. The training is especially important because it will allow case managers, their supervisors, and the Unmet Needs Roundtable donors to learn about 9/11 and non-9/11 related health conditions affecting their clients, help case managers better assist clients to understand and access care for these health problems, and foster interaction between the people providing and advocating for these services both in the medical and case management communities.

For more information, contact Lida Mora, Moderator, NYC 9/11 Unmet Needs Roundtable:
:: NYDIS Attends Forum for New WTC Environmental Health Clinics

On December 15, the WTC Environmental Health Center, NYCOSH, and the Centro Internacional Ecuatoriano sponsored an event to introduce the new WTC Environmental Health Clinics and the latest services available for 9/11 survivors. Held at Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens, the event served as a forum for 9/11 recovery workers, Lower Manhattan office workers, health care professionals, and other service providers. NYCOSH discussed the NYS Workers’ Compensation benefits for recovery workers and volunteers. Representing NYDIS at the forum, Recovery and Advocacy VISTA Member Sara Epstein distributed information about recovery services that NYDIS provides for people impacted by 9/11.
:: NYDIS Offers Rental of Short-Term Office Space

NYDIS has office space available for immediate short-term leasing to non-profit and/or faith-based agencies with a similar mission to NYDIS. Located on the 20th Floor of 22 Cortlandt Street in Lower Manhattan, these spaces are furnished and equipped with computers, internet connection and telephone.

For more information about renting these spaces, contact Peter Gudaitis:
:: 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).
  • 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.
    • Thursday, January 10 – 9:30 am-12:00 pm (Open)
    • Thursday, January 17 – 9:30 am-12:00 pm (Open)
    • Thursday, January 31 – 9:30 am-12:00 pm (Open)

    Contact Lida Mora, Moderator, NYC 9/11 Unmet Needs Roundtable
  • 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.
    • Thursday, February 7 – 9:00-11:00 am

    To RSVP, contact Lida Mora:
:: NYC 9/11 Recovery Resources

A comprehensive list of news, updates and resources for 9/11 victims and injured recovery workers, updated weekly:
:: Recovery Resources for Other NYC Area Disasters
:: $158M Federal Money Approved for 9/11 Health Care Efforts

On December 17, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees approved an additional $108 million of federal funding to expand health coverage for 9/11 recovery workers and other populations affected by 9/11. This money brings the total amount of federal 9/11 health recovery funding to $158 million for 2008. NY Senators Hillary Clinton, Charles Schumer, Frank Lautenberg, and Robert Menendez, along with Representatives Jerrold Nadler, Carolyn Maloney, and Vito Fossella advocated for this added funding, which will provide health care to residents of Lower Manhattan in addition to first responders. It also will be the first time 9/11 healt clinics receive funding for a full year at a time.

For the complete press release: click here
:: NY Reps Urge Attorney General to Grant 9/11 Paramedics Public Safety Officers’ Benefits

On January 4, NY Representatives Maloney, Fossella, Weiner, King, and Nadler wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey asking him to award Public Safety Officers Benefits (PSOB) to five private hospital paramedics for their response work on 9/11. The work left these paramedics permanently disabled, but they have not received benefits through the PSOB Program. “These heroes were there for us when we needed them most, and we should be there for them now in their time of need,” Maloney said.

Read the letter from the NY Representatives:

Read the Press Release from the Office of Congresswoman Maloney:
:: NY Reps Intensify Efforts to Pass the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act

Two years after the death of NYPD Detective James Zadroga, which was related to his work at Ground Zero, Representatives Maloney, Nadler, and Fossella announced their plan to intensify their efforts to pass the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. The act would provide medical monitoring for anyone exposed to toxins at Ground Zero and treatment for anyone who is sick as a result of that exposure. It would also establish a World Trade Center Health Program within the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to oversee this monitoring and treatment.

Read the January 4 Press Release from the Office of Congresswoman Maloney: click here
:: WTC Health Care Business Processing Center Request Canceled

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) canceled a request on December 13 to develop a business processing center that would coordinate WTC health programs that treat 9/11-related health issues across the country. Such a center would have performed administrative functions such as recruiting doctors, collecting financial data, and developing and managing a prescription benefits plan. On December 15, Representatives Maloney, Nadler, and Fossella joined with firefighters and other 9/11 health activists to encourage HHS to reverse this cancellation. 

See the December 15 Press Release from the Office of Congresswoman Maloney: click here

Read the New York Times article:
:: Con Ed Determines Cause of July 18 Steam Pipe Explosion

Con Edison has discovered that the July 18 steam pipe explosion at Lexington Avenue and East 41st Street was caused by a bubble-collapse water hammer that exerted seven times more pressure than normal. This condition occurred when a steam bubble formed in the pipe and then collapsed, causing the surrounding water to rush in rapidly at high pressure. Con Ed has replaced 1,654 steam caps on the system as a safety precaution, has implemented new inspection and repair procedures, and continues to research steam trap design.

Read the reports and Con Edison’s Action Plan:

Read the full press release:
:: Mayor Launches “Notify NYC” Emergency Public Communications System

Notify NYC is a pilot program to deliver emergency public information by email, text messages, and reverse-911 alerts. Any interested individual can sign up for Notify NYC and receive information about significant emergency events in four pilot communities: Lower Manhattan, the Northeast Bronx, the Rockaways, and Southwest Staten Island. The Office of Emergency Management (OEM), with other City agencies, is instrumental in orchestrating this endeavor.

To sign up for Notify NYC go to:
:: First Round of Environmental Tests in Lower Downtown

Initial tests at 53 apartments and in the common areas of nine buildings within 1,500 feet of Ground Zero found three dust samples that were contaminated with asbestos above safe levels and 71 samples that were laced with lead that exceeded federal standards. The spaces were tested under the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Lower Manhattan Test and Clean program, established to identify the possible presence of contaminants associated with the collapse of the WTC buildings. Since the testing began this year, most of the 5,600 samples the agency has analyzed have fallen below federal benchmarks for exposure. More testing, including 272 apartments and 25 buildings below Canal Street, will be tested within the next year, and any contamination will be cleaned.

Complete test results can be viewed at:
:: 2007 Record Year for Disasters

Tornadoes, floods, freak winter ice storms, wildfires, and public violence throughout the US all kept disaster responders busy in 2007. Worldwide it was a record year with at least 950 major disasters recorded. Near the end of 2007, there were 63 major federal disaster declarations issued nationwide, according to the FEMA; that number could change as some requests were still coming in or pending. Volunteers continue to be needed along the Gulf Coast to help in the ongoing recovery from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, as well as in response to catastrophes from NY to California.

For a list of volunteer opportunities:

Read the DNN article:
:: View the Progress at Ground Zero

As rebuilding continues at Ground Zero, the area is really taking shape. If you haven’t viewed photos recently, the area looks nothing like the last time you’re seen it.

For the latest images of planned development, including the Freedom Tower, visit:
:: Integrating Hazard Mitigation into Local Planning: Best Practices Sought

The American Planning Association (APA) is working on a new project with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) titled “Integrating Hazard Mitigation into Local Comprehensive Planning.” In order to learn what communities have already accomplished in integrating hazard mitigation into planning, and how best to share the lessons from their experiences, APA will create an inventory of best practices in the coming months.

For more information on this project:

If you know of a community that should be included, contact Jim Schwab:

From Our Members & Partners

  • Governor Spitzer Meets with the Human Services Council of NYC

    On December 18, Governor Spitzer met with the Board of the Human Services Council of NYC (HSC) to discuss ways that non-profit organizations and the State government can work together to effectively deliver services and meet the needs of the community. The Governor addressed challenges that non-profits face, including staff retention, financial limitations, and potential disaster preparedness and response issues. Executive Director of HSC, Michael Stoller, commented, “HSC views this meeting as a first step in building a stronger relationship with the Administration and improving communication between the not-for-profit provider community and State government.” NYDIS’ Executive Director Peter Gudaitis was in attendance as a Standing Member of the HSC Board of Directors.

    For more information, see the article in New York Nonprofit Press:
  • Change in FEMA’s Relationship with Faith-Based Organizations Seen in 2007

    The Roundtable on Religion and Social Welfare Policy reports that 2007 was a year of positive change for FEMA’s relationship with faith-based organizations. For the first time in the Department of Homeland Security’s history, the Faith-Based and Community Initiatives director worked alongside FEMA’s voluntary liaison to coordinate volunteers during the California wildfires. This partnership between FEMA and faith-based organizations is evidence of the reform that has taken place within FEMA since 2005. Diana Rothe-Smith, executive director of National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD), commented, "FEMA has taken a much more active role in listening to volunteer organizations and making us part of their response."

    Read the full article: http://www.religionandsocialpolicy.org/news/article.cfm?id=7518


  • Sikh Coalition and United Sikhs Secure TSA Policy Change for Turban Screening

    In response to concerns presented by the Sikh Coalition and United Sikhs, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has agreed to inform Sikh passengers of their three secondary turban screening options rather than expect them to assert these options on their own. These options include puffer machine, self pat down, and TSA pat down. The policy change is not yet official but will be taken into effect in the coming months after Transportation Screening Officers are trained for the procedures. Meanwhile, the Sikh Coalition and United Sikhs continue to collect feedback from the Sikh community about their experiences with airport turban screening and to report their findings to TSA to ensure that Sikh passengers’ rights are protected.

    Read the December 13 press release by United Sikhs: click here

    Download the “Guide to Airport Screening Procedures for Sikh Passengers”: click here

Preparedness Initiatives

  • NYDIS Preparedness Resources

    • Have You Registered with HOWCALM™?

      NYDISnet NYDIS has developed and made available, free to NYC faith communities and houses of worship, 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 Preparedness Resources

    • Ready NY Preparedness Guides

      The Office of Emergency Management’s (OEM) Ready NY preparedness campaign is designed to help New Yorkers better prepare for all types of emergencies. The Ready NY preparedness guides and brochures are available online and in many languages. They are geared for businesses, hurricanes, pets, households, seniors, the disabled, and kids – and there’s even a pocket guide.

      For more information and to download these guides: click here

    • OEM Tip: Whistle Your Way to Safety

      Among the emergency supplies every New Yorker should have is a whistle. A whistle can come in handy if you are trapped in your home and you need to alert rescue workers to your whereabouts. Shouting can be exhausting and even dangerous, as it can make you inhale hazardous debris. Remember, the universal signal for help is three short blasts.

      Learn about what should be in your emergency kit:
  • Resolve to Be Ready in 2008

    “Don’t wait. Set a date.” The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Ready Campaign encourages Americans to make emergency preparedness their New Year’s resolution. Keeping New Year’s resolutions is challenging but Americans can succeed with preparedness resolutions by following the Ready Campaign’s easy steps.

  • Hurricane 2008 Season Forecast

    Hurricane forecasters at Colorado State University predict a "somewhat above average" 2008 Atlantic hurricane season with 13 named storms, seven of them hurricanes, three of which could strengthen into major Category 3 or above storms.

    Read the entire Forecast:
  • Cold Weather Preparedness

    • OEM: Winter Health & Safety Tips
      Exposure to cold can cause life-threatening health conditions. Avoid serious conditions such as frostbite and hypothermia, by keeping warm. When the temperature drops, it's important to keep your body sheltered from the air. Hypothermia's symptoms include slurred speech, sluggishness, confusion, dizziness, shallow breathing, unusual behavior, and slow, irregular heartbeat; those for frostbite include gray, white or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, and waxy feeling skin.

      Read more about cold weather safety:

    • FDNY's Fire Safety Tips: Using Heaters
      NYC's Fire Department (FDNY) warns that safe measures and precautions should always be taken to ensure a safe, warm home through the winter. Heating equipment is the leading cause of home fires during the months of December, January and February. Learn what you need to know about furnaces, space heaters, coal and wood stoves, fireplaces, and smoke detectors.

      Read FDNY’s cold weather safety tips:

  • Pandemic Flu Preparedness

    • CIDRAP Presents Collection of Pandemic Preparedness Resources
      The Center For Infectious Disease Research and Policy, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, has developed “Promising Practices: Pandemic Preparedness Tools,” a collection of over 130 public health preparedness practices used by healthcare experts across the country and world. The project aims to prepare and educate public health professionals by sharing peer-reviewed best practices related to pandemic influenza.

      Access the collection of Promising Practices: click here

      Go to the Center For Infectious Disease Research and Policy website:

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".

  • Become a Mentor for a Child Who Lost a Parent on 9/11

    Tuesday’s Children, a not-for-profit organization formed to help children who lost a parent on 9/11, is seeking mentors for kids ages 6-16. Mentoring provides children with a supportive and positive adult role model to help them cope, grow, and achieve. Mentors and mentees meet twice a month for a minimum of one year. Suggested activities include playing sports, working on homework, volunteering, and sharing a meal together.

    For more information about the program, go to:

    To become a mentor, contact:
    Jennifer Betancourt Aparicio, LMSW
    Director of Mentoring
  • HHS Releases Public Health Emergency Response Guide in Hard Copy

    The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is releasing its Public Health Emergency Response: A Guide for Leaders and Responders guide this month. It provides information on public health emergencies that addresses the unique needs of first responders (e.g., police, fire, EMS) and public officials (e.g., mayors, governors, county executives, emergency managers). It includes comprehensive information on resources and tools within the public health system for addressing emergencies, how federal health agencies function in an emergency, food security and environmental safety, risk communication, legal issues, and more. Hard copies will be distributed within the next month to first responders and public officials nationwide, as well as key Federal, State, and local public health communicators.

    For additional copies:

    Download the Guide:
  • Book Review: The Edge of Disaster: Rebuilding a Resilient Nation

    In a world where we cannot prevent disaster, the threat of earthquakes, hurricanes, terrorist attacks, and pandemic flu outbreaks looms large. In The Edge of Disaster: Rebuilding a Resilient Nation, Stephen Flynn argues that we need to acknowledge rather than deny the potential dangers if we are to build a resilient and prepared nation. Flynn focuses on what can be done at the societal level to enable our country to prepare for and recover from disasters with strength and grace, as well as on what individuals can do to actively take part in preparedness efforts. Joining an organization like Citizen Corps is one example of a proactive step toward resiliency that Flynn suggests.

    To read the book, visit NYDIS’ Library or order it at the Random House website.
  • CBS TV Special: “In God’s Name”

    After Jules and Gedeon Naudet, both survivors of the collapse of the South Tower on 9/11, made their first film “9/11,” they began traveling around the world seeking a better understanding of the prevalence of religious extremism and violence in the 21st century. In the process, they interviewed 12 faith leaders from 12 different traditions including Tibetan Buddhism, Sikhism, Sunni and Shiite Islam, Evangelical Christianity, Orthodox Christianity, Protestant Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and Shintoism. These leaders’ reflections on tolerance, unity, and peace were featured in a CBS broadcast, “In God’s Name,” which aired Sunday, December 23.

    For pictures from the broadcast and a full list of the featured faith leaders, go to:

Save The Date

  • Trinity Institute’s 38th National Theological Conference

    Monday, January 21 – Wednesday, January 23
    Trinity Church Wall Street

    The Trinity Institute’s 38th National Theological Conference, titled “Religion & Violence: Untangling the Roots of Conflict,” will address the deep roots of religious violence in the 21st century and explore ways to promote peace between people of different faiths. The interfaith panel of featured peakers includes James Carroll, James H. Cone, Susannah Heschel, and Tariq Ramadan. The conference will also incorporate keynote presentations and reflection groups, as well as participation from religious leaders cross the world through video webcast.

    For more information and to register:
  • Institute for Disaster Mental Health Conference

    Friday, April 11
    SUNY at New Paltz, NY

    The Institute for Disaster Mental Health’s 5th annual conference, “Healing the Scars of War,” is for spiritual leaders and mental health professionals who provide services to veterans. Morning keynote speakers will highlight several approaches to assessment and treatment of service personnel and their families. Afternoon workshops will provide mental health practitioners and spiritual care providers with in-depth information, guidance, and training.

    For more information:

    Online pre-registration begins January 15:

Job & Volunteer Opportunities

  • 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.
  • ARC GNY, Senior Coordinator, Mass Care

    The Disaster Planning & Response Department is seeking a qualified candidate to develop, implement, and oversee a comprehensive disaster feeding program for disaster clients, first responders, volunteers, and staff during emergencies. The position also involves developing Mass Care workshops for Red Cross volunteers and staff as well serving as the Feeding lead for all disaster feeding issues. 

    For details about this position: click here

    To apply, send resume and cover letter to:
    American Red Cross in Greater New York
    Human Resources Department
    520 West 49th Street
    New York, NY 10019
    Fax: 212-875-2357
  • United Sikhs, Internships for 2008

    The United Sikhs is seeking candidates for a wide range of internship opportunities for 2008. These positions are ideal for law students, other undergraduate and graduate students, and anyone who wants experience in an international non-profit humanitarian organization.

    For detailed descriptions of these positions:

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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