Client Story: The Ongoing Impact of 9/11
Ms. P is a 32-year-old woman who worked as a Local 78 Asbestos Handler at Ground Zero from September 17, 2001 to
December 2001. As a result of her work there, Ms. P currently suffers from 9/11-related illnesses and musculoskeletal
injuries. Although Ms. P has tried to work as often as possible, her 9/11-related disabilities have affected her
ability to work consistently and permanently.
Ms. P is now able to work more regularly, but she reached out to NYDIS for assistance with rental and utilities
arrears accrued during periods of 9/11-related disability. Now that she is working more consistently, she is able
to meet her family’s current expenses but does not earn enough income to pay off the rental and utilities
Ms. P and her two daughters currently receive public benefits, such as Public Assistance and Food Stamps, but these
benefits do not meet all of the family’s basic expenses. Ms. P also filed for Workers’ Compensation in
2006, but the case has not yet been established for benefits.
Working with her case manager at Asociacion Tepeyac de New York, an agency funded by NYDIS to provide 9/11 case
management services, Ms. P was awarded $7,842.36 in cash assistance through the NYC 9/11 Unmet Needs Roundtable to pay
off her rental and utilities arrears. This assistance will function as a bridge to long-term recovery and financial
stability for her family.
Please help our clients! Donate now to the NYC 9/11 Unmet Needs Roundtable: click here
NYDIS Staff Featured Speakers at U of Albany Extreme Events III Conference
On August 6, the Extreme Events III: The Three Day Window conference will be held at the University of Albany School of
Public Health’s East Campus in Rensselaer, New York. The conference is being offered to faith-based and community
leaders, community health centers, hospitals, first responders, policymakers, and researchers. Executive Director Peter
Gudaitis and Community Outreach and Training Coordinator Pastor Ruth Yoder Wenger are two of the three featured speakers at
the conference. Gudaitis will address the critical roles and responsibilities faith and community leaders must assume to
assist the public in preparing both during and after extreme events. Wenger will address how religious leaders should
respond to the needs of the people traumatized by a disastrous event and how to re-build community strengths during
For More Information or to Register (Required) Contact:
Colleen at 518.486.7921 or
The conference is sponsored by: The Northeast Regional Public Health Leadership Institute, University at Albany Center
for Public Health Preparedness, and the New York Consortium for Emergency Preparedness Continuing Education
NYDIS Holds Orientations for New Emergency Rest Center Registrants
On July 14, NYDIS held its first orientation session for houses of worship that would like to become NYDIS Emergency Rest
Centers (ERCs). ERCs are houses of worship that volunteer, in partnership with NYDIS, to be activated to serve the public
by offering hospitality and safe haven during emergencies. During a heat wave, for example, your house of worship could
serve your community as a cooling center. The 90-minute orientation provided leaders from interested houses of worship
with a question and answer forum with NYDIS staff as a prerequisite to the training for their ERC managers and volunteers.
NYDIS collaborates with volunteers from World Faith (a multi-faith student organization) and with the NYC Office of
Emergency Management (OEM) to develop ERCs. Over 50 houses of worship are currently pre-registered for the ERC program.
Additional orientations will be held at NYDIS on the following dates:
Thursday, July 17, 9:30–11:00 am
Thursday, July 17, 5:00–6:30 pm
Saturday, July 19, 10:00–11:30 am
For more information about ERCs, view the ERC Program Profile: click here
To register your house of worship for one of these orientation sessions, contact:
Rick Fernandez - Community Outreach and Training
NYDIS ED Speaks at Natural Hazards Center Conference
From July 12-15, the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado held its 33rd Annual Research and Applications
workshop in Broomfield, Colorado. Executive Director Peter Gudaitis was invited to participate on the conference faculty
of the Communities, Organizations, and Resilience track. Joined by researchers from Circle Point, Purdue University, Sam
Houston University, and the University of New Orleans, Gudaitis addressed the topic “Disaster, Faith, and
Faith-Based Organizations: Roles of Religion in Preparedness, Response, and Recovery.”
Read the July 14 Colorado Daily article: click here
For more information contact:
NYDIS Bids Farewell to Three VISTAs
On July 11, NYDIS said goodbye to three VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) members who completed their service year.
After serving in capacity-building roles on the NYDIS staff since last July, HOWCALM® VISTA Laurie Rhodes, NDIN
VISTA Emily Stoneham, and Communications VISTA Alison VanBuskirk successfully finished a year of national service in the
AmeriCorps*VISTA program of the Corporation for National and Community Service. The board and staff would like to thank
them for their service and wish them the best in their future endeavors. Ms. Rhodes, who was ordained as an interfaith
minister in June, plans to complete another year of VISTA service with the American Red Cross in Greater New York. Ms.
Stoneham will travel to Guatemala, where she will participate in an intensive Spanish language school for six weeks. Ms.
VanBuskirk has accepted a position with the World Day of Prayer International Committee, where she will oversee the
production of their publications.
NYDIS Completes Pilot of New Disaster Chaplain Certification Curriculum
In June, NYDIS completed an eight-month project to develop a four-unit interfaith disaster spiritual care training and
certification curriculum. The curriculum includes a sixteen-hour Disaster Chaplain Training, a four-hour Spiritual Care
Worker Training, an eight-hour Chaplain Supervisor Training, and an eight-hour Trainer Certification Course. The
curriculum was written and edited by the Rev. Stephen Harding, BCC, in collaboration with writers John Berglund (Salvation
Army), Ali Gheith (NYC DOHMH), Rev. Earl Johnson (ARC-SRT), Zoe Landers, and Pastor Ruth Yoder Wenger (STAR NYC).
NYDIS offered two pilot training sessions for its Disaster Chaplain Training unit in June. The first session, held on
June 18, focused on Operations. The second, held on June 25, included the topics of Mental Health and Self-Care.
Beginning in August, NYDIS will offer training, credentialing, and deployment to its members. NYDIS training faculty are
available to teach all four units of the curriculum to any community in the United States. This curriculum was
developed through a grant from Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) and will be made available through ERD to clergy
and spiritual caregivers throughout the Episcopal Church.
For more information, contact:
Ruth Yoder Wenger, Community Outreach & Training
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
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/
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
recovery workers, updated weekly:
:: Recovery Resources for Other NYC Area Disasters
:: Advocate for WTC Workers Fired by Bush Administration
On July 3, the Bush Administration fired Dr. John Howard, Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
(NIOSH). Dr. Howard oversaw the federally-funded health care programs for 9/11 first responders who served on Ground Zero when the
air was toxic. In response to his firing, NY Representatives Maloney, Nadler, Engel, and Towns contacted Michael Leavitt, Health
and Human Services Secretary, and Dr. Julie Gerberding, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director, to demand an
explanation. Senators Clinton and Schumer sent a similar letter. These politicians believe that Dr. Howard was doing vital work and
would like to see him reappointed to his position.
Read the July 8 press release from the Office of Congresswoman Maloney: click here
:: WTC Site and 9/11 Memorial Construction Updates
On June 30, Chris Ward, Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, released his assessment of the
rebuilding effort at the World Trade Center site to Governor Paterson. While the Governor had requested a new schedule and cost
estimate for completion of the site, Port Authority said that it cannot accurately predict those dates and numbers. Its report
does stress that the project is making progress, even if it will not be completed by the previously-announced deadlines. In
response to this news about the WTC site, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum released a statement assuring the public
that it is feasible and imperative for the Memorial to open before the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
See Port Authority’s report: click here
Read the statement from the National September 11 Memorial & Museum: click here
:: Department of Health Releases Guidelines for Adults Exposed to the WTC Disaster
The New York City Department of Health has released Clinical Guidelines for Adults Exposed to the World Trade Center Disaster. The
guidelines outline possible types of exposure and their health effects, including the mental health issues that are common among
people who directly were affected by 9/11. It briefly summarizes treatments for many of the physical health effects that people
exposed to Ground Zero are suffering and offers information to help practitioners screen for mental illnesses such as
post-traumatic stress disaster.
View the guidelines:
:: FEMA Releases 2008 Disaster Housing Plan
On June 10, the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released its 2008
Disaster Housing Plan
. The plan describes FEMA’s role of working with local governments and organizations to
adequate housing for hurricane victims. It includes four priority actions to help them provide safe and timely temporary
housing that can be adapted to the specific needs that arise in a given area after a disaster. These four actions include
maximizing available housing resources, using traditional forms of interim housing, employing innovative forms of interim
housing, and authorizing permanent construction. FEMA’s plan outlines air quality specifications and testing protocols
for emergency housing facilities. It also addresses the use of trailers after a disaster and emphasizes that FEMA will only
consider that option in extraordinary emergency circumstances.
Read the press release:
From Our Members &
HSC Closes Disaster Preparedness and Response Program
At the end of June, the Human Services Council of New York (HSC) suspended its Disaster Preparedness and Response
Program due to a lack of funding. This program has brought the City’s non-profit Human Service agencies together
since 2004, when it took over the planning responsibilities of the 9/11 United Services Group, an organization that
coordinated between agencies to maximize the effectiveness of their 9/11 response and to make services easily
accessible to the people who needed them. In 2007, HSC drafted the Human Services Disaster Plan
, an important
preparedness document for efficiently managing the work of New York City disaster human services organizations. This
plan encourages communication between agencies, provides a toll-free HelpLine, and offers financial assistance for
unmet needs. It also led to the creation of a Disaster Recovery Assistance Fund that allows non-profits to begin
offering assistance immediately after a disaster takes place.
Read the statement from HSC: click here
See HSC’s website:
NDIN Launches Website
The National Disaster
Interfaiths Network (NDIN) website is now up and running! NDIN is a network of local, regional, and state
interfaith disaster organizations that share tools, information, and support across the nation. By bringing
a diverse group of disaster interfaiths together, NDIN seeks to build a nation of prepared and resilient
communities. Its website is designed to help interfaith disaster human service organizations network with
other disaster interfaith professionals; offer leadership and program expertise; and share their mitigation
education, preparedness, training, and recovery resources. The website is ready to accept membership
applications, donations, and inquiries.
Visit the NDIN website:
ADVOCACY & BACKLASH MITIGATION
Sikh Coalition Organizes March to Protect Sikh Children
On June 30, over 300 Sikhs from across the country gathered in Queens to march through the streets of Richmond Hill in
protest of recent hate crimes in New York City schools. In early June, two Sikh children were attacked in their
schools because of their faith. One student was punched in the face after someone tried to remove his patka
(smaller turban), while another student’s long hair was cut off. In response to these incidents, the Sikh
Coaltion organized this civil rights march which ended at Richmond Hill High School, the site of the former attack.
Their work has led the Department of Education to begin to respond to the bias that these children face in school by
incorporating the Sikh Coalition’s recommendations into its regulations and educational materials about bias.
The DOE also intends to expand its incident reporting system in order to better track incidents of bias.
Read the June 30 press release: click here
Read “Making Our Voices Heard: A Civil Rights Agenda for New York City Sikhs”: click here
Visit the Sikh Coalition’s website:
NYDIS Preparedness Resources
NYDIS's Disaster Human Services Resource Library
Located in NYDIS’s Lower Manhattan offices, this resource library houses an expanding collection of
disaster human services and related faith-based books, reference materials, reports, and multi-media resources.
Covering a range of genres from research reports to guidebooks to personal reflections and victim impact statements,
the library is divided into two main sections: one with material that relates to 9/11 or other recent disaster
recovery efforts, and one that focuses on a broad range of disaster preparedness topics for faith communities. A
valuable hub of information relevant to disaster recovery and preparedness, the collection is available to anyone on
request. Come share our resources and contribute your own.
Summer Storm & Heat Preparedness
NYC Department for the Aging Offers Free Air Conditioners to Seniors
Heat waves kill more Americans each year than all other kinds of natural disaster combined. To reduce
preventable heat-related deaths, the NYC Department for the Aging’s 2008 Cooling Assistance Program
offers free air conditioners to seniors over the age of 60 who are at risk for heat-related illnesses.
Eligibility requirements include living in a private home or apartment with at least one person who has an
acute medical condition.
For more information, guidelines, and an application: click here
For information about heat-related morbidity and mortality: click here
Extreme Heat Safety Tips
The New York City Office of Emergency Management (NYC OEM) offers a list of important pointers for staying
safe during periods of extreme heat. These tips include staying out of the sun, keeping living spaces
well-ventilated, drinking lots of water, and looking out for neighbors, especially senior citizens. The
resource also describes symptoms and basic treatments of common heat illnesses including heat cramps, heat
exhaustion, and heat stroke. In addition, it explains the health effects of exposure to ozone, a major
component of smog. Children are especially vulnerable to these effects.
Learn more about staying safe in the heat:
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
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
Ground-Breaking Pandemic Influenza Vaccine Study Published
A study about Baxter International Inc.’s avian influenza (H5N1) vaccine, CELVAPAN, has been published
in the June 12 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine
. This study is the first peer-reviewed
study published about the CELVAPAN vaccine. In the study, CELVAPAN produced a similar immune response in the
human body as the natural avian influenza virus does. CELVAPAN is the first cell culture-derived avian
influenza vaccine that has undergone clinical evaluation and that has been accepted for review by the
Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, part of the European Medicines Agency. The U.S. National
Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is also evaluating CELVAPAN.
Read the article in The New England Journal of Medicine:
Read the June 11 Baxter International Inc. press release: click here
Special Needs Preparedness
Emergency Management Research and People With Disabilities Guide
The United States Department of Education and the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) recently
published a resource guide about emergency management and people with disabilities. The guide includes a listing of research
projects concerning this topic as well as a list of recommendations that have come out of the research. Its purpose is to aid the
development and implementation of an evidence-based agenda that will effectively and efficiently protect the well being of people
with disabilities during emergencies and disasters.
Read the guide:
Heat Safety for Special Needs Populations
NYC OEM and the NYC Department for Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) have created a heat safety tip sheet for
service providers who work with special needs populations. Risk factors for heat-related illnesses include
being over the age of 65 or under the age of 4, having a medical condition such as diabetes or heart
disease, and taking certain medications. The tip sheet outlines these and other risk factors. It offers
ideas for preparing clients for periods of extreme heat as well as for reaching out to clients during such
Read the tip sheet:
Preparedness for Diverse Communities
Emergency Preparedness Resources for Culturally Diverse Communities
Developed by the Drexel University School of Public Health’s Center for Health Equality, the National
Resource Center on Advancing Emergency Preparedness for Culturally Diverse Communities is the first online
center designed to improve communication, advance preparedness efforts, and increase resilience among
racially and ethnically diverse communities. It aims to eliminate disparities in the emergency preparedness
and recovery capabilities of these communities through information-sharing and networking. The National
Resource Center includes training curricula, research tools, public health emergency news, and translated
materials. Its exceptional new e-newsletter provides subscribers with new resources, events, and updates
concerning public health and emergency preparedness for diverse communities.
Visit the National Resource Center:
Subscribe to the free e-newsletter:
National Consensus Statement on Diverse Community Preparedness
The National Consensus Statement on Integrating Racially and Ethnically Diverse Communities into Public
Health Emergency Preparedness describes the importance of including all communities of people in emergency
preparedness, response, and recovery efforts. Awareness of this issue emerged particularly during the
nation’s response to Hurricane Katrina, and this document provides guidelines that aim to prevent
disparities during all stages of disasters in the future.
Download the Statement and Guiding Principles: click here
Read the Article, "Are You Ready for the Next Disaster?"
Eric Klinenberg, in his July 6 NY Times article titled, “Are You Ready for the Next Disaster?,” discusses
the general ineffectiveness of emergency preparedness efforts throughout history. Even after 9/11 and Hurricane
Katrina, most Americans do not concern themselves with household preparedness even as they lose confidence in the
government’s ability to protect them. Klinenberg reports that after talking with New York City residents about
why they do not prepare themselves for disasters, he learned that many people feel overwhelmed by the vast number of
things that there are to worry about. Many shy away from the idea of a culture of preparedness because it appears to
place fear at the center of their lives. Klinenberg concludes by suggesting that an important aspect of disaster
preparedness is creating a feeling of community that makes people help their neighbors and trust that they would also
Read the July 6 NY Times article: click here
Watch the Film 9/12: From Chaos to Community
Named a “Best Documentary of 2007” by Video Librarian magazine, 9/12: From Chaos to Community
explores the experiences of a collection of New York men and women who volunteered at Ground Zero after 9/11. This
group of New Yorkers bonded deeply with each other as they worked to heal their city and deal with their personal
sufferings. The film presents the psychological and social effects of traumatic events on individuals and groups and
provides insight on the topics of self-care, post-traumatic stress disorder, and long-term recovery.
NYDIS was pleased to showcase the film at its 2006 Clergy Summit. It is a valuable teaching tool for emergency
management professionals, social workers, and community-based leaders. Davis Guggenheim, director of An
declares,“Styron's beautifully crafted documentary is a poem to a group of everyday
New Yorkers who discover in themselves a quiet greatness born from the darkness of 9/11.”
For more information:
Download Handouts from the National Conference on Animals in Disaster
The website of the Humane Society of the United States features a variety of handouts related to pet preparedness that
were distributed at the National Conference on Animals Disaster, which took place June 3-6. The conference offered
three tracks: Preparedness and Planning, Response, and Veterinary/Medical Issues. Handouts are available for all three
Go to: https://gateway.hsus.org/ncad/handouts/index.cfm
Read the Article "It's an Emergency. We're Not Prepared."
John Solomon, a New York-based journalist who has covered homeland security since 9/11, has written an article about
citizen preparedness titled “It's an Emergency. We're Not Prepared.” Published in the Washington Post in
May, the article considers the problem of how the public can be educated about the complex issue of emergency
preparedness. Solomon is also writing a book about the topic and posts regularly to his blog, “In Case of
Emergency, Read Blog.”
Read the article: click here
Also visit Solomon’s blog, in which he promotes NYDISNET
: click here
Visit NEMA's New Website
The National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) has redesigned its website based on feedback from its
membership. Notable improvements include a new organizational structure, a more comprehensive resource center, an
online application for joining the organization, and online discussion groups about key issues. The site also
features extensive information about NEMA’s Conferences, a topic which has its own tab on the menu of the site.
Other tabs include About NEMA, People & Groups, Initiatives & Projects, and Resources.
Visit the site:
DOHMH Offers: Emotional Needs of Children Symposium
Monday, July 14
1:30 – 5:00 PM
157 William Street, NYC
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) is presenting an awareness symposium to address
the mental health needs of children during disasters called “Prepare to Respond to the Emotional Needs of
Children in Times of Disaster.” The symposium will feature a panel of professionals with expertise in
responding to the psychosocial needs of children.
For more information or to sign up, contact:
Carol Rogers 212.219.5502 or
Feel the Music! Event for WTC Families
Dingmans Falls in the Delaware Water Gap, PA
Pick-up: St. Peter’s Lutheran Church at 54th St. and Lexington Ave.
Feel the Music!
invites families affected by September 11 to join them for this Saturday adventure to
Dingmans Falls. The day will include a group hike with a park ranger, outdoor drumming with Bashiri Johnson, and
time to make sun prints and swim in the river. Remember to bring a bathing suit, wet shoes, sunscreen, and a towel.
Lunch will be provided.
For more information or to sign up, contact:
ASPCA Training, All Animals - All Disasters
Wednesday, July 23
Time: 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Location: John Jay College of Criminal Justice,
555 West 57th Street, Ste. 603, NYC
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the Illinois Regional Institute
for Community Policing, and the New York/New Jersey Regional Center for Public Safety Innovations will host
this day-long program, which addresses concepts and skills associated in developing a coordinated local
response to disasters that affect both people and animals.
For more information or to register, contact:
Lindsay Buhr 877.864.7427 or
6th Annual International Emergency Preparedness Symposium
8:30 am – 4:30 pm
32 Old Slip
Goldman Sachs Training Center
The New York Downtown Hospital is holding its 6th Annual International Emergency Preparedness Symposium to bring
together specialists from across the country and world to share their experience and learn from other emergency
preparedness professionals. This year’s topics include Response to Urban Construction Disasters, Medical and
Public Health Readiness for Catastrophic Events, and Update on Health Status of 9/11 Workers. The conference also
will explore emergency preparedness and response as they relate to recent events in China, Burma, and Iraq.
For more information: click here
Job & Volunteer Opportunities
NYDIS, AmeriCorps*VISTA Position
NYDIS’s AmeriCorps*VISTA program engages VISTA members at NYDIS and partnering sub-site agencies in
capacity-building activities that enhance and expand disaster preparedness and recovery services for low-income
communities. The ultimate goal is to build a culture of preparedness by increasing and improving faith-based
disaster and emergency programs, thereby reducing the vulnerability of under-served, marginalized populations.
We currently are seeking a VISTA Leader who will support NYDIS’s VISTA program. A detailed position
description is attached below.
For more information, contact:
Sikh Coalition, Operations Director
The Sikh Coalition is seeking a well-organized and business-oriented Operations Director to manage and scale the
growth of the Coalition’s two offices in New York and California. Duties include managing and expanding
their intern and volunteer programs; processing bills for vendors as well as payroll and benefits for employees;
maintaining relationships with community members and partners; and representing the Coalition at various
meetings and events. The position will be based in New York City.
For more information:
Department of Homeless Services, Emergency Preparedness Planner
The Department of Homeless Services is seeking an Emergency Preparedness Planner to provide operational development for
the Coastal Storm Plan Sheltering Plan. The job includes assisting in the development of other emergency sheltering
projects as well.
For the job description and qualifications: click here
Government Disaster Human Services and Other Jobs
Support NYDIS - Donate Online
like to make a donation to assist NYDIS in its mission of providing faith-based disaster services,
, 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":