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NYDIS Recommends April 29 Staten Island Faith Leader Preparedness Forum

NYDISnetNYDIS recommends that Staten Island religious leaders attend the April 29 Citizen Corps borough-based Emergency Preparedness Forum for Faith Leaders to be held at Staten Island Borough Hall from 8:30 am- 4:00 pm. These Faith Leader Preparedness Forums have been organized by the Citizen Corps Council in partnership with the American Red Cross of Greater New York, and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in collaboration with NYDIS and other Citizen Corps members, to promote best practices and to support clergy networking at the neighborhood level in all boroughs. NYDIS board members and staff are among the many subject matter experts on the forum faculty. All of NYDIS's mitigation education and preparedness training resources are available for free to forum participants. To date, 260 clergy have attended the previous forums in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens.

To register for free: click here or call 718.422.8904
:: NYDIS Executive Director Interviewed on Preparedness Tips by WTBY-TV 54

On April 9, NYDIS’s Executive Director & CEO Peter Gudaitis was interviewed about NYDIS’s work and household preparedness tips for New Yorkers on WTBY-TV 54’s “Joy in Our Town” program. This local cable network program aims to keep communities in the tri-state informed about issues of top concern. The interview will air on April 18 at 1:00 pm.
:: NYDIS and Partners to Launch Emergency Rest Center (ERC) Training

In May, in collaboration with NYU’s World Faith Program and the NYC Office of Emergency Management (NYC OEM), NYDIS will begin offering a three-hour training to houses of worship that would like to become NYDIS Emergency Rest Centers (ERC).

NYDIS ERCs are houses of worship who volunteer to self-activate or be activated by NYDIS to serve the public by offering hospitality and safe haven during emergencies. They also can be activated as cooling or heating centers. Houses of worship must meet basic criteria established in conjunction with NYC OEM. The training also provides operational guidance for volunteers and volunteer managers from NYDIS ERC houses of worship. If your house of worship wishes to participate, please contact NYDIS or register in HOWCALM™ (www.howcalm.org) with an indication of your interest.  Over 40 houses of worship are currently pre-registered.

If you have questions, contact:
Rick Fernandez - Trainer, Community Outreach and Training
:: NYDIS Publications Aiding Faith-Based Mental Health Recovery in the Gulf

NYDIS’s Disaster Tip Sheets for Religious Leaders and its manual, Spiritual Care and Mental Health for Disaster Response and Recovery, are being used to support faith-based mental health recovery in the Gulf Coast region. The Church Disaster Mental Health Project (CDMH Project) features these publications in its collection of resource materials for church leaders. Created in response to Hurricane Katrina, the CDMH Project aims to educate clergy about disaster mental health care for their communities and for themselves. It was created in August 2007 to address the continuing mental health needs of people living in the areas affected by Katrina with a focus on reaching out to faith leaders in African American churches, whose congregants have been disproportionately affected by the disaster.

View the site:
:: 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 and agencies providing case management services to financially assist individuals impacted by 9/11. Case managers who would like to present a case to the Roundtable must sign up for a case review meeting with the Moderator. Case review hours are posted on a bi-weekly basis on 9/11 RWCAN at https://911rwcan.communityos.org/cms/
    • Thursday, April 24 - 9:30 am-12:00 pm (Open)
    • Thursday, May 8 - 9:30 am-12:00 pm (Open)

    To RSVP, 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, May 1 - 10:00 am-12:00 pm

    To RSVP, contact:
    Lida Mora, Moderator, NYC 9/11 Unmet Needs Roundtable
:: 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
:: National September 11 Memorial & Museum Invites Participation

Joseph C. Daniels, President & CEO, and Alice Greenwald, Director of the Memorial Museum, encourage individuals and families affected by 9/11 to contribute their mementos and stories to the Memorial Museum collection. In a letter to these families, they write:

Your participation in building this Memorial Museum is so meaningful to us.  We sincerely hope you will consider helping us realize our mission of remembrance, education and inspiration by participating in the Voices of September 11th Living Memorial, by agreeing to record a StoryCorps interview and by entrusting to our care materials that will enable us to preserve and honor the memory of your loved ones.

Read the entire letter: click here

Learn more about the Living Memorial and StoryCorps projects: click here
:: National September 11 Memorial & Museum Reaches $350M Funding Goal

On April 9, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum announced that it has reached its fundraising goal of $350 million. This money will be used toward the construction of the Memorial & Museum. Along with various foundations and corporations, over 60,000 individuals from all 50 states and 31 countries have donated to the effort. The Memorial & Museum’s Board of Directors is beginning to fundraise for Musuem program support and for its endowment.

Read the press release: click here
:: Pope to Make Pastoral Visit to the World Trade Center Site

On the morning of Sunday, April 20, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI will visit the WTC site. The Archdiocese of New York has organized a small group of people who lost family members on 9/11 to attend the ceremony at Ground Zero. The Holy Father will light a candle and say a prayer for eternal light for all who died on 9/11, for healing for everyone who survived, and for peace in our world. Following the visit, the Holy Father will lead an afternoon Public Solemn Pontifical Mass at Yankee Stadium.

Read the prayer: click here

For more information about the Pope’s visit:
:: Reps. Nadler and Lofgren Hold Hearing on Compensation for 9/11 Illnesses

On April 1, Congressman Jerrold Nadler of New York and Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren of California held the first Congressional hearing that examined individuals’ economic losses after 9/11. Titled “Paying With Their Lives: The Status of Compensation for 9/11 Health Effects,” the hearing focused on ways that the government can compensate people who have been impacted by 9/11 for their subsequent health problems and economic losses. Congressman Nadler expressed his hope that the hearing would encourage the House to act on the Maloney-Nadler-Fossella 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. In addition, the hearing addressed the recent news that the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has decided that New York City and its contractors are not immune from lawsuits filed by people exposed to toxins at Ground Zero as a result of inadequate environmental monitoring and information.

Read the press release from the Office of Congressman Nadler: click here
:: FEMA's New National Response Framework Now In Effect

On March 22, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Response Framework (NRF) went into effect after being posted in the Federal Register for 60 days as the law requires. FEMA, part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), released the NRF in January to replace the former National Response Plan. The NRF coordinates the efforts of Federal, State, and local governments as well as community organizations, to effectively respond to and recover from disasters. It also focuses on disaster preparedness at all levels of the government. During the 60 days since it was released, FEMA has been reaching out to emergency managers to train them about important concepts and changes in the NRF.

Read the March 21 press release: click here

From Our Members & Partners

  • Red Cross Welcomes Gail J. McGovern as New President & CEO

    On April 8, the American Red Cross announced that Gail J. McGovern has been selected as its next President and CEO. Gail’s history of success in the business world and her dedication to service led the Board of Governors to unanimously agree to her selection. She previously has held top management positions with AT&T Corporation and Fidelity Investments and has been recognized twice by Fortune magazine as one of America’s most influential women. Since 2002, she has taught marketing at Harvard Business School. Gail will begin her work with the Red Cross on June 23. The Red Cross also thanks Mary Elcano for her quality work during the interim period.

    Read the press release:
  • NVOAD Now Accepting New Members

    National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) has approved its updated membership criteria and now is taking applications for new members. NVOAD works to coordinate planning and response efforts during and after disasters to increase the effectiveness and comprehensiveness of that response. This kind of collaboration between agencies is becoming increasingly important as the number and scope of disasters continues to rise. Organizations with voluntary membership and financial accountability that provide disaster relief services are welcomed to apply.

    View the Membership Criteria and Application: click here
  • National Disaster Interfaiths Network (NDIN) Launches Membership Drive

    NYDISnetThe National Disaster Interfaiths Network (NDIN) is pleased to announce that it has been incorporated with the State of New York and now enjoys 501(c)(3) status. NDIN was founded in 2006 by a group of Executive Directors from local, regional, and state disaster interfaith organizations. The network was launched at the 2007 National VOAD Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico last summer. Its mission is to reduce disaster-caused human suffering through the exchange of information and cooperative support across the nation. On February 1st, NDIN released its corporate documents as well as its Program Profile and 2008 Membership Application. Its website, www.n-din.org, will be available in March. All local, regional, and state disaster interfaiths are invited to join.

    To become a member of NDIN, submit the Membership Application: click here

    To view the NDIN Program Overview: click here

    For more information, contact:
    Emily Stoneham, VISTA Member, NDIN


  • Advocacy Letters Lead Senator Schumer to Support Stafford Act Amendments

    At the end of February, the New York City Office of Emergency Management (NYC OEM) wrote and distributed letters of support for the recently proposed human services-related amendments to the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. NYDIS and many of its member agencies joined OEM and NYC VOAD in this advocacy effort by sending letters to Representatives and Senators in support of the legislation. In early April, OEM notified senders that Senator Schumer will sign on to the two Senate bills concerning the Mortgage and Rental Assistance Program and the cap on federal grant assistance. If passed, the bills will increase the amount of assistance money that victims of disasters receive and therefore will make the money that disaster services organizations spend go farther. Many thanks to all agencies who have contributed to this advocacy effort!
  • Sikh Coalition Releases Civil Rights Agenda at City Hall Rally

    NYDISnetThe Sikh Coalition released a report, “Making Our Voices Heard: A Civil Rights Agenda for New York City’s Sikhs,” at a community rally at City Hall on April 14. The date of the event coincides with Vaisakhi, the biggest holiday in the Sikh religion that marks the anniversary of the creation of their faith community. The Civil Rights Agenda released at the rally includes results from a survey of over 1,000 Sikhs conducted in all 5 boroughs. For the purpose of assessing and improving the state of Sikh rights in New York City and the United States, Sikhs were interviewed about their experiences with harassment, bias in schools, racial profiling, employment discrimination, access to public accommodations, language access, and healthcare. At the rally, Sikh Coalition staff, members of the Sikh community, and local political figures spoke about civil and human rights for Sikhs living in New York City. Members of the press and representatives from NYDIS also were present.

    Read “Making Our Voices Heard: A Civil Rights Agenda for New York City’s Sikhs”: click here

    Read the press release about the rally: click here

    For more information about the Sikh Coalition:
  • Article Explains Dangers of Americans' Misperceptions of Islam

    John L. Esposito and Dalia Mogahed, authors of "Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think," wrote an article in the Los Angeles Times about the prevalence of American misconceptions of Muslims. They note that over half of Americans express some prejudice toward Muslims. According to the Gallup poll, almost three quarters of Americans assume that Muslims do not believe that men and women should have equal rights. However, not even a quarter of Muslims express this belief. Likewise, Americans assume that Islam supports violence more than other faiths, although more Americans than Muslims polled believe that targeting civilians in attacks is justified. In response to these misconceptions, Esposito and Mogahed encourage Americans to become educated about Islam. They argue that if America wants to win the war on terror and truly promote democracy, anti-Muslim bias must be addressed and overcome.

    Read the article:

Preparedness Initiatives

  • NYDIS Preparedness Resources

    • NYDIS's "Disaster Tip Sheets for NYC Religious Leaders"

      The Tip Sheets are a free resource to provide New York City’s religious leaders with a basic orientation to the skills and tools they will need in times of crisis. They are to be used for mitigation education and preparedness training orientation or as a quick reference in times of crisis.

      Download each Tip Sheet: click here

  • Spring Storm & Hurricane Preparedness

    • NOAA Predicts Above Average Flood Risk This Spring
      The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts that the flooding many U.S. states experienced in March may continue to occur across the country throughout the spring season. The above-average flood risk is in part a factor of high levels of rainfall expected in the coming months. New York, New Jersey, and New England are among the areas with greater-than-usual flood potential. Vickie Nadolski, deputy director of NOAA’s National Weather Service, encourages, “Arm yourselves with information about how to stay safe during a flood and do not attempt to drive on flooded roadways – remember to always turn around, don’t drown.”

      View U.S. map highlighting flood risk:

      Read the article from NOAA:

    • Flood Safety
      NOAA’s National Weather Service has created a site, Turn Around, Don’t Drown, to educate Americans about flood safety. The site reports that more deaths occur because of floods than any other form of severe weather, largely because people underestimate the power of even small amounts of water. The site presents a collection of flood safety resources and stories to encourage Americans to be prepared for flooding and make smart decisions during floods.

      Learn about flood safety at the Turn Around, Don’t Drown website:

    • Tornado and Thunderstorm Safety
      As the spring storm season approaches, it’s helpful to review thunderstorm and tornado safety information. CDC offers a preparedness fact sheet with tips about how to prepare, what to do to keep safe during a storm, how to accommodate for special needs, and important information to have on hand.

      Read CDC’s preparedness information:
  • Pandemic Flu Preparedness

    • DHS Report Presents Pandemic Best Practices and Model Protocols
      Intended to help communities plan and prepare for potential pandemics, this free report from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) outlines best practices and model protocols for a number of emergency management services, including emergency medical services, police departments, fire departments, and 911 call centers. While the report discusses the specific situation of a pandemic, the information it presents can be applied to other emergencies such as bioterrorism.

      Read the report:

We Recommend

  • Read "Spirituality: The DNA of Law Enforcement Practice"

    Featured in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, Samuel L. Feemster’s article, “Spirituality: The DNA of Law Enforcement Practice” aims to recognize the connection between spirituality and law enforcement. Feemster outlines why it is important to consider the spiritual needs of law enforcement professionals, who face the evil aspects of human existence each day in the forms of terrorism, murder, school shootings, and other violent crimes. Their work therefore affects their emotions, their values, and their sense of identity and purpose—all aspects of spirituality, which Feemster is careful to distinguish from religion. His ideas are supported by data taken from a survey of law enforcement professionals who reported their experiences of evil, their desire to implement justice, and their sense that their work is more a calling than an occupation.

    Read the article: click here
  • NYC Seniors - Sign Up for the USPS Mail Carrier Alert Program

    The NYC Department for the Aging, the Mayor’s Office for Persons with Disabilities, the United States Postal Service, and the National Association of Letter Carriers are partnering in an effort to help senior citizens in distress. The Carrier Alert Program trains letter carriers to recognize signs, such as an accumulation of unread mail, of a senior citizen who might need help. If the carrier feels something might be wrong, he or she will contact the Department for the Aging or call 911.

    View the flyer: click here

    Sign up for the program:
  • 9/11 Financial Planning Relief Services

    Anyone who was injured, lost a loved one, or lost a job because of what happened on 9/11 is eligible for free financial planning workshops and individual counseling services from the Financial Planning Association (FPA). FPA’s financial planners can assist with questions about bill payment, medical benefits, working with lawyers, and learning about additional resources that are available for people affected by 9/11.

    For more information, visit:

    To speak with a financial planner, call:
  • Order CDC's Free 3rd Edition Emergency Law Training CD-ROMs

    The Public Health Law Program of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released version three of its Public Health Emergency Law and Forensic Epidemiology trainings materials on CD-ROM. Developed for people who teach public health preparedness to practitioners, these trainings are useful for the emergency management community that is concerned with public health and pandemic flu preparedness. Public Health Emergency Law aims to build health and emergency management professionals’ understanding of the importance of law in the public health arena. Forensic Epidemiology specifically addresses ways that public health and law enforcement agencies can collaborate in their pandemic influenza preparedness and response.

    To learn more about the courses or to order a free CD-ROM:
  • 9/11 Scholarship Opportunity: The Michael Lynch Memorial Foundation

    The Michael Lynch Memorial Foundation is a scholarship program for children of New York City firefighters, victims of September 11, and victims of other disasters and fires. Since 2002, the Foundation has awarded over $800,000 in college scholarships to help these children afford a higher education. The application deadline for this year is April 30. The winners will be announced on June 30.

    Download the application:
  • Scholarship Opportunity: IAEM Scholarship Program

    The International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Scholarship Program has scholarship money available for undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in emergency management or a similar field. Applications are due on May 16.

    Download the application:

Save The Date

  • Celebrate Vaisakhi with UNITED SIKHS

    April 16
    Wednesday, April 16th from 1pm-3pm
    U.N. Church Center (44th & 1st Ave)

    UNITED SIKHS invites you to join them as they celebrate Vaisakhi, an important Sikh religious holiday which commemorates equality and purity among the Sikh community. Come discuss faith, conflict, and resolution. The event is co-sponsored by the Committee on Religious NGOs and the Office of the Chaplain of the Church Center for the U.N. Lunch will be provided.

    See the flyer: click here
  • Yale Center for Public Health Preparedness Conference

    April 17-18
    New Haven, CT

    Titled “Community Preparedness: Addressing the Needs of Diverse Populations,” this conference will aim to provide participants with tools that can be used to plan for the needs of special, at-risk, and vulnerable populations during an emergency. Topics include emergency preparedness for diverse populations, ethical principles of emergency management, and risk communication.

    See the informational flyer: click here

    Register for the conference:
  • Geriatric Mental Health and Emergency Preparedness: A Certificate Program

    April 25, May 2, 6, 16, & 23
    8:45 am- 4:00 pm

    J.J. Peters VA Medical Center
    130 W. Kingsbridge Rd., Bronx

    This certificate program will cover topics including Geriatric Mental Health and Disaster Preparedness, Humor in Healing and Stress Management during Disasters, the Role of Clergy as Responders in Disasters and Emergencies, and Alzheimer’s Disease and Emergency Preparedness. The five-day training is free for all J.J. Peters VA Medical Center staff and costs $200 for all others.

    To see the agenda: click here

    To register, go to:
  • Annual National VOAD Conference

    May 5 – 8
    Little Rock, AR

    The 16th Annual VOAD Conference, “Pathways to Partnership," will hold pre-conference meetings Monday and Tuesday, and Kick-Off events start Tuesday night. Responding to attendee feedback, there will be more opportunity to network with “Talkshops,” facilitated discussions around topics of interest. It will take place at the Peabody Little Rock at 3 Statehouse Plaza.

    For more information:
  • Long Island/ New York City Emergency Management Conference

    May 28-29
    Hilton Long Island
    Melville, New York

    Intended for business and emergency management professionals, the 15th Annual Long Island/New York City Emergency Management Conference is titled, “No Man is an Island: Disaster Survival Through Regional Support.” Presentations and speakers will concentrate on the importance of interagency cooperation and support during disasters. With this focus on collaboration, the conference will cover topics such as campus safety and dealing with natural disasters.

    For more information, contact:
    Elizabeth B. O’Neill

    Visit the conference website:

Job & Volunteer Opportunities

  • NYDIS, Communications Volunteers

    NYDIS is seeking volunteers to provide support for the Communications office. Positions begin immediately.

    To apply, please email a Letter of Inquiry and Resume to:
    pgudaitis@nydis.org or fax to 212.669.6101.
  • NYDIS, Community Outreach & Training Volunteers

    NYDIS is seeking volunteers to support disaster preparedness/training programs and to perform other outreach duties under staff direction. Positions begin immediately.

    To apply, please email a Letter of Inquiry and Resume to:
    pgudaitis@nydis.org or fax to 212.669.6101.

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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