Client Story: The Ongoing Impact of 9/11
Mr. Arrigo is a Local 79, unionized laborer who resides in Staten Island and worked on the rescue and recovery
efforts near the World Trade Center site from September 2001 to January 2002. As a result of his work there, Mr.
Arrigo developed chronic physical and mental health problems. He is now totally disabled from performing any type of
work duties due to his 9/11-related illnesses.
functioned as the primary breadwinner for his family of five, including his wife, one son (13
y/o), and two daughters (11 y/o and 9 y/o), but is unable to support his family at this time due to
subsequent loss of income. After depleting all of his financial resources and savings, Mr. Arrigo contacted
NYDIS in May 2008 to request much-needed assistance. At the time, he and his family were being evicted from
their home and had received utilities shut-off notices. Although he had applied for long-term benefits, such
as Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability, these claims had not yet been established and
the family had no income.
Mr. Arrigo was assigned a case manager at NYDIS, and she is currently working with the Arrigo family on issues of
relocation and benefits coordination. She also presented the Arrigo family’s case to the New York City 9/11
Unmet Needs Roundtable. The Roundtable donors funded $7,652.67 of moving expenses, utility expenses, and future
supplemental rental payments while the case manager continues to work with the Arrigo family on the development of
a sustainable long-term recovery plan.
Please help our clients! Donate now to the NYC 9/11 Unmet Needs Roundtable: click here
NYDIS Searches for New Home - Do You Have Space Available to Donate or Rent?
NYDIS’s lease at 22 Cortlandt Street expires on October 31,
so after 5 years at Ground Zero, the organization is now actively
searching for a new home. With the closing of its 9/11 case management coordination program, NYDIS is preparing to
dramatically reduce the size of its staff and anticipates needing office space for 3 to 5 employees. Both short-term and
long-term space needs are being considered for staff and training programs.
Any Ideas? Contact:
Peter Gudaitis, Executive Director & CEO
NYDIS 9/11 Recovery Director Quoted in Recent AP Article
NYDIS’s Director of Recovery & Advocacy, Scottie Hill, was quoted in a July 16 Associated Press article about
9/11 recovery organizations that are being forced to shut down as funding disappears. The article mentions
NYDIS’s 9/11 Recovery Program, which will close on October 31 of this year. To address the issue of funding, Hill
describes the disparity between public opinion and the 9/11 community. She says, "The public at large really does
think ... why haven't people moved on? There's also a population of people who have been very active in 9/11 recovery
that know that this is very real." The article also mentions a variety of other 9/11 organizations that are
struggling to continue offering services as recovery funding wanes.
Read the July 16 AP article: click here
:: NYDIS Launches Disaster Chaplain Certification - Sign-Up Now!
Starting August 1st, NYDIS will begin taking registration for its Disaster Chaplain training program. Upon successful
completion of training, participants will be certified to serve as a NYDIS Disaster Chaplain when activated. The 16-hour
training includes a pre-requisite course in FEMA Incident Command, and four 4-hour units of training in disaster
spiritual care, chaplaincy operations, self-care, and mental health assessment and referral. Sign-up now for sessions
that will be
scheduled in coming months. The course will cost $400, including 16 hours of instruction, a training manual, a response
credential, response uniform, and a background check. NYDIS training faculty are also 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
For more information, contact:
Ruth Yoder Wenger, Community Outreach & Training
NYDIS Offers Trainings for Houses of Worship as Emergency Rest Centers
Calling all New York City houses of worship that would like to become NYDIS Emergency Rest Centers (ERCs) - sign-up
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
neighborhood as a cooling center – or, in the case of an evacuation, it could serve as a waiting center. NYDIS
offers a 90-minute orientation for senior religious leaders from interested houses of worship, including a question and
forum with NYDIS staff, as a prerequisite to the training for their ERC managers and volunteers. The orientation is
followed by a 3-hour training for volunteers and volunteer managers for each ERC. NYDIS’s ERC program works in
collaboration with volunteers from World Faith (a multi-faith student organization at NYU) and with the NYC Office of
Emergency Management (OEM). 10 houses of worship are scheduled for training in August.
For more information about ERCs, view the ERC Program Profile: click here
For more information, contact:
Ruth Yoder Wenger, Community Outreach & Training
:: 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
sessions take place at NYDIS (map
:: 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
:: Report Concludes 7 WTC Fell Because of Fire, Not Explosives
On August 21, federal investigators concluded that 7 World Trade Center collapsed because fire destroyed its structural columns
and floor beams. Previous theories suggested that the building fell because of diesel fuel tanks or explosives. Its collapse
often used by conspiracy theorists as the number one piece of evidence that the government blew up the building. Modern
skyscrapers are built so that even a fire that burns for hours should not lead to collapse. However, investigators of the
building’s fall have determined that the heat from the fire caused the steel floor to expand, which in turn placed extreme
pressure on the vertical beams of the building. These investigators note that the noise of explosives, had they been used,
would have been loud enough to hear half a mile away, which was not the case. While they state that their findings are based
entirely on science, many people who believe 9/11 was a conspiracy remain skeptical.
Read the August 22 NY Times article: click here
:: Police Department Calls for Tight Security Zone at Ground Zero
The New York City Police Department has developed a security plan for the new World Trade Center site. Part of the Lower
Manhattan Security Initiative, the plan is designed to prevent further terrorist attacks there. It would only allow taxis, cars,
and limousines which have been screened by police into the area surrounding the World Trade Center through five special
barriers. Other guard booths would be established around the area to monitor pedestrians entering the site. All delivery trucks
would be screened for bombs before they are allowed access. While community leaders are eager to have a secure World Trade
Center, some are concerned that all of the restrictions will make it difficult to incorporate the site into city life.
Read the August 12 NY Times article: click here
NYC Airports Will Get $400M from Federal Government for Explosive Detectors
The federal government’s Transportation Security Administration will give NYC-area airports money to upgrade their
post-9/11 baggage screening technology by installing explosive detectors. John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia, and Newark Liberty
airports will receive $400M for this purpose over the course of the next two years. Congress began requiring airports to install
explosive detectors for baggage after 9/11 to increase national security.
Read the August 20 WNBC article: click here
NOAA Distributes Public Alert Radios to U.S. Schools
The Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), funded by the Department of Homeland
Security, is distributing over 182,000 Public Alert Radios to preschools, Head Start programs, K-12 nonpublic schools, K-12
school district offices, and post-secondary schools. Previously, all K-12 public schools received these radios. The radios
provide alerts and safety steps to school personnel when a weather emergency or other urgent situation takes place. They work
even when other communication channels do not. This Public Alert Radios for Schools program also helps schools work with local
emergency management agencies and create an environment of community preparedness.
For more information:
:: DHS Releases National Emergency Communications Plan
On July 31, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released its National Emergency Communications Plan (NECP), the
nation’s first strategic plan to support homeland security through improved communications during emergencies. The plan
includes all levels of government and spans across all fields to facilitate clear and uniform communication. It outlines three
communications goals involving the capacity of urban and non-urban areas to provide accurate internal and external messages
during emergencies. These recommendations are consistent with the ones that are described in FEMA’s National Response
Framework and the National Incident Management System.
Learn more about the plan in the DHS press release: click here
From Our Members & Partners
NYC Citizen Corps Council Plans National Preparedness Month Citywide Kickoff
The New York City Citizen Corps Council (CCC) is planning a citywide event on September 4 to kickoff National
Preparedness Month, which takes place throughout September. At the Kickoff CCC will distribute 1,000 “go
bags” to NYC residents, along with information about emergency preparedness and volunteerism. CCC needs
volunteers from its member agencies to help make this day a success. Distribution locations include Borough Hall
(Columbus Park) in Brooklyn, Fordham Plaza (3rd Avenue and E. Fordham Road) in the Bronx, Union Square Park in
Manhattan, the Staten Island Ferry Terminal in Staten Island, and Queens Library Flushing Branch (Main St. and
Kissena Blvd.) in Queens. Volunteer shifts are two hours long beginning at 7:00 am and ending at 6:00 pm.
To volunteer, email your contact info, preferred location, languages spoken, availability, and agency to:
Church Of God In Christ Partners with Operation HOPE to Promote Financial Literacy
Earlier this summer, the Church Of God In Christ (COGIC) and Operation HOPE (HOPE) signed a memorandum of
understanding to work together to educate youth and adults about financial literacy. Operation HOPE, a nonprofit
focused on social investment banking and financial empowerment, has the knowledge and capacity to educate large
numbers of people about finances. Meanwhile, COGIC has a membership of over 6 million people. Its Urban Initiative
includes a five-point program focused on improving the lives of underserved communities through improving education
and employment, reducing crime, strengthening families, and increasing financial literacy. Operation HOPE also
offers disaster financial planning tools for individual and families. By joining together, both organizations hope
to make a greater impact on the communities that they serve.
Read the August 18 press release: click here
DOHMH Offers NYC 9/11 Benefit Program for Mental Health and Substance Use
The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is offering a new benefit for NYC residents who were impacted by
and who are experiencing mental health and substance use problems as a result. The NYC 9/11 Benefit Program for
Mental Health and Substance Use provides free or low-cost insurance, easy enrollment, and flexible treatment
for people exhibiting the symptoms of a mental illness since 9/11. Common symptoms include anxiety, depression,
trouble sleeping, and increased drug or alcohol use.
For an overview of the program: http://nyc.gov/html/doh/wtc/html/mhb/mhb.shtml
To speak to someone who can help, call:
ADVOCACY & BACKLASH MITIGATION
Sikh Coalition Releases its Second Quarterly Report Card for TSA
In October 2007, the United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) responded to the Sikh
Coalition’s human rights advocacy work by revising its screening procedures for Sikh turbans. To monitor
TSA’s progress in implementing these procedures, the organization has collected reports from Sikh travelers
about their experiences going through airport security. From these reports, it has produced a TSA Report Card which
outlines its findings, educates Sikhs about their rights during screening, and provides additional suggestions for
TSA as they carry on their work to put the procedures into practice across the country. The Sikh Coaltion
Sikhs to continue to report their airport experiences to ensure that their rights are respected.
Read the Sikh Coalition’s TSA Report Card: click here
NYDIS Preparedness Resources
NYDIS's Disaster Spiritual Care and Mental Health Manual
The NYDIS Manual for New York City Religious Leaders: Spiritual Care and Mental Health for
Disaster Response and Recovery
is a comprehensive resource and tool enabling NYC religious leaders to best
serve their congregations and the public as they respond to and recover from disasters. Its 19 chapters were
written by 16 disaster mental health and spiritual care experts. Organized in three sections –
Preparation & Mitigation, Response & Recovery, and Reference & Resources – the Manual offers an
overview of the lifecycle of disasters, discusses the role of faith leaders throughout these phases, and
provides information on skill sets, training resources, and effective clinical and pastoral best practices.
Download the Manual:
NYDIS Emergency Rest Centers Training
NYDIS Emergency Rest Centers (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. NYDIS offers a
90-minute orientation for senior religious leaders from interested houses of worship. The orientation is followed
by a 3-hour training for volunteers and volunteer managers for each ERC.
For more information about ERCs, view the ERC Program Profile: click here
For more information, contact:
Ruth Yoder Wenger, Community Outreach & Training
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:
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:
Pandemic Influenza Preparedness
NYDIS Resources Featured in ASTHO Pandemic Flu Planning Guide
The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), the national nonprofit organization that
represents state and territorial public health agencies of the United States, released a pandemic flu
planning guide called the At-Risk Populations Project. This project aims to provide guidance for local and
state public health officials as they plan to protect at-risk populations during a pandemic flu outbreak.
Two NYDIS resources, HOWCALM® and NYDISnet, are featured as best practices in faith-based risk
and asset management. HOWCALM® is listed as a resource in Chapter 1, page 14. NYDIS’s
e-communications resources, NYDISnet and NYDISnet Alerts, are featured in Chapter 3, page 22.
To download the whole guide or individual chapters: click here
Human-to-Human Transmission of Bird Flu Suspected in China
China’s National Disease Authority has confirmed that a man in China has been infected with the H5N1
strain of the influenza virus after his son died of the disease. This incidence has led to concerns about
possibility of human-to-human transmission of the virus. H5N1, an especially virulent and lethal strain of
the virus that is found mostly in birds, could potentially pass quickly between people, even though it does
not pass easily from birds to humans. So far, none of the 69 people who came in contact with the men who
infected have shown signs of the disease, a fact which suggests that even if the virus passed from son to
father, it is likely not a highly contagious strain.
Read the July 19 article:
Positive Outlook for DNA Vaccine against Pandemic Flu
Inovio Biomedical Corporation has announced the pre-clinical results from two DNA-based broad-spectrum
candidates intended to protect against pandemic influenza. In laboratory tests, 100% of mice injected with
the vaccines survived after being introduced to the H5N1 influenza virus. The mice showed only minor weight
loss as a side effect. This kind of DNA-based vaccine varies from other vaccines because it can protect
against multiple strains of the influenza virus. While strain-specific vaccines protect against single types of the influenza virus, broad-spectrum vaccines target parts of the virus’s genome that are more
and less likely to mutate.
Read the July 16 article in Business Wire: click here
Public Health Preparedness
Bioterrorism Continues as Top Security Concern
According to the Wall Street Journal article, “Bioterrorism's Threat Persists
As Top Security Risk,” the federal government has spent nearly $50 billion to develop programs that
confront the threat of bioterrorism. Even so, bioterrorism remains a taxing concern for the security of
United States. Biological attacks are difficult to detect, and some major challenges that would come
with one include distributing drugs to protect against a specific threat as well as processing high
volumes of victims who need medical care. New York City has made large strides to improve its capacity
detect and respond to such an attack. It currently employs a system of sensors that can detect the
presence of a lethal pathogen. If a sensor is activated, officials plan to quickly begin distributing
drugs that will protect against the pathogen. The article stresses that even such a cutting-edge system
has its weaknesses, and the country still has far to go in its bioterrorism prevention strategies.
Read the August 4 article in the Wall Street Journal:
GAO Report: States Are Planning for a Medical Surge
The Government Accountability Office released a June 2008 report concerning states’ ability to respond
to an influx of patients needing care after a mass casualty. The report examines what states are doing to
prepare, what the federal government is doing to help them prepare, and what concerns have arisen during
the preparations. Most states have begun to plan for such a surge by following guidelines from the federal
government and by using the federal money allocated to them. The report outlines the challenges and
concerns that states face as they continue to meet the government’s guidelines about preparing for a
States have requested guidance about the critical issue of how to distribute scarce resources during an
Read the June 2008 GAO Report:
Special Needs Preparedness
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
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:
New FEMA Planning Guide for Special Needs Populations
On August 15, the DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and FEMA released an Interim Emergency
Management Planning Guide for Special Needs Populations. This guide is intended as a tool for state,
territorial, tribal, and local emergency managers in the development of emergency operations plans (EOPs)
that are inclusive of the entire population of a jurisdiction of any size. It provides recommendations for
planning for special needs populations. The information in this document is universal in its application and
tied to national planning policies and guidance such as the National Response Framework (NRF), National
Incident Management System (NIMS), and Comprehensive Preparedness Guide 101 (currently under development).
Download this draft guide:
The Interfaith Manual by the Rev. Dr. Stephen Albert
A compilation of the beliefs and thoughts of 12 different faiths, including Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism,
Judaism, Islam, New Thought, and Sikhism, this manual is the first of its kind. Well-received at the 2008 North
American Interfaith Network (NAIN) conference in San Francisco, the manual is an excellent resource for classes and
workshops, as well as for general reference. It offers each faith’s perspective on 40 topics as well as its
general customs and traditions. It was edited by religious leaders from all 12 of the faiths it covers.
Order The Interfaith Manual
: click here
Read the Article, “Be prepared for disasters"
In Kim Painter’s July 20 article in USA Today, titled “Be prepared for disasters,” she describes
the lack of preparedness in America in 2008. In spite of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, as well as awareness of other
recent disasters, most American households have no emergency kits or disaster plans. Painter recognizes the
difficulties that Americans find with preparedness guidelines, such as the financial hardship of having to purchase
respirators and face masks to prepare for pandemic flu, but she encourages taking inexpensive, quick, and important
steps, like planning how families will contact each other in an emergency and locating the emergency supplies
already in the home.
Read the article:
Read the President’s “Fact Sheet: Protecting America from Terrorism”
On August 20 at the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention in Orlando, Florida, President Bush spoke about
the policies against terrorism that the government has established since 9/11. The President described the progress
of the War on Terror and of homeland security initiatives. He also explained his Administration’s efforts to
promote freedom across the globe.
Read the press release:
Request to Be Entered into the Lottery for This Year's 9/11 Ceremony
The Office of the Mayor is currently accepting requests from 9/11 family members to be entered into the lottery to
be a part of the 7th Anniversary 9/11 Ceremony.
Send requests to:
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
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
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
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum's StoryCorps Initiative
September 5 and 12
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum Office
One Liberty Plaza
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is pleased to invite people affected by 9/11 to participate in the
StoryCorps September 11 Initiative, which aims to collect and preserve memories from 9/11 and the 1993 WTC
bombing. These remembrances will be permanently archived at both the Memorial Museum and the Library of Congress.
Staff from StoryCorps and the Memorial Museum will help participants record their story on an appointment
basis. Each appointment will last approximately 40 minutes.
To get more information or schedule an appointment, contact:
Caitlin Zampella, Director of Program Partnership Initiatives
Learn about the StoryCorps September 11 Project:
9/11 Interfaith Unity Walk
Battery Park by the 9/11 Memorial
Sponsored by Religions for Peace – USA, the 9/11 Interfaith Unity Walk aims to bring people of different
faiths and cultures together to demonstrate unity, peace, and shared hope. The walk will begin by the 9/11
in Battery Park and will continue up through the Financial District, with a brief stop by Ground Zero for a
ceremony. The closing ceremony will take place at St. Peter’s Catholic Church at 22 Barclay Street.
See the flyer on the website: click here
For more information, contact Claire:
VOAD Mental Health and Chaplaincy Committee
9:00 am – 11:00 am
State Office of Mental Health (OMH)
330 Fifth Avenue (at 33rd Street), 9th Floor
At the September meeting of the VOAD Mental Health and Chaplaincy Committee, the NYC Department of Health and
Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) - Office of Mental Health Disaster Preparedness and Response will offer a presentation on
current DOHMH response planning and an overview of current response training. Ms. Adela M. Rodriguez, LMSW, Field
Response Coordinator, and Ali Gheith, Coordinator of Population Based Resilience, will be presenting.
Worker Safety and Health Technical Conference
EPA East Building
1201 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.
The Worker Safety and Health Subcommittee of the United States National Response Team focuses on oil and
hazardous materials response and recovery. It is hosting this conference to generate awareness and offer insight
about issues surrounding worker safety during emergency response. The conference will provide networking
opportunities while it engages participants about the topics of Operational Risk Management and Emergency
Response and Recovery.
See the flyer: click here
Job & Volunteer Opportunities
Internal Planning Specialist, NYC Department of Homeless Services
The New York City Department of Homeless Services is seeking an Internal Planning Specialist for their Emergency
Preparedness and Operations Unit, Shelter Security Management Division. This individual will develop and implement
the agency’s all-hazards plans and oversee its emergency functions, including its role in the Coastal Storm
Plan. During an emergency, the Internal Planning Specialist will serve at the Emergency Operations Center.
View the job posting: click here
Emergency Response System Specialist, Visiting Nurse Service of New York
The Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY) is looking to hire an individual with strong project management,
organizational, communication, and presentation skills to help coordinate and implement their Emergency Response
System. The job includes interaction with department heads, senior managers, and other critical staff in a
multidisciplinary effort to support and develop ERS goals and projects. Other duties include coordinating and
supporting departments in Business Continuity planning, creating and presenting training materials, and designing
For more information, read the job description: 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":