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Welcome to NYDISnet, the e-newsletter of NYDIS (New York Disaster Interfaith Services). NYDIS also distributes NYDISnet ALERTs during local emergencies or to notify New York City faith communities of important news.

NYDISnet reaches over 7000 congregations and faith-based organizations - and over 15,000 religious leaders and faith community partners in the five boroughs. NYDISnet is a resource for faith-based organizations and our community partners to stay informed about recovery news and resources, events, trainings and other matters of interest.

Incorporated in 2002, in response to 9/11, NYDIS is a 501(c)(3) federation of over 80 faith communities, faith-based service providers and religious charitable organizations working in partnership with their National VOAD partners to provide disaster readiness, response, and recovery services to New York City. Over the past twelve years, NYDIS has responded to 22 disasters impacting NYC.

Given its impact in every borough and neighboring states, Super Storm Sandy has proved to be an extraordinary challenge for our City. NYDIS staff, members, NYC faith-based long term recovery groups and regional disaster interfaiths have been responding, and are now engaging with long-term recovery planning efforts.

In addition to interagency coordination with over 400 network agencies, NYDIS staff are tasked with maintaining an online recovery guide, resource sharing and supporting congregation recovery efforts. NYDIS and our National VOAD partners also offer technical support and training to long-term recovery groups in all boroughs. Our office staff are currently managing a volunteer group housing program, and preparing for the March launch of the NYC Sandy Unmet Needs Roundtable - a cash assistance resource of last resort accessed by case workers.

Hurricane Sandy has left over 40,000 families homeless, damaged in excess of 100,000 homes, devastating neighborhoods and communities throughout NYC.  The relief efforts of NYC faith communities have been extraordinary, but the recovery ahead will take years. Recovery and the road to whole community resilience is about relationships, skills and coordination within and across communities. So, please join a long-term recovery committee if you're borough based, or join NYDIS if you're a faith-based network or FBO - along with NYC VOAD, the Immigration Coalition, Non-Profit Coordinating Committee or any other network that will amplify or improve your capabilities and capacity. We're in this together!


Ruth Yoder Wenger, Executive Vice President


Visit www.NYDIS.org for more information.


Connect With Us
Social media is quickly becoming a critical tool in the recovery process. We post recovery updates several times a day - news that impacted families and recovery agencies need to know. We invite you to connect with us to share valuable tools, updates, and information. And, if you're part of a faith-based network, please join NYDIS and help us build a disaster reslient New York City.

Valentine Tweet "Show New York Some Love" for Unmet Needs Fund
For Valentine's Day, ask your friends to tweet, text or donate to the Show New York Some Love Campaign to benefit the New York Unmet Needs Fund. The Fund, administered by NYDIS and the Health & Welfare Council of Long Island, provides resources to both  regions' roundtables. If you or your corporation or foundation would like to donate to the fund, please contact us. 

TWEET: #NewYork is still hurting from #Sandy, join me in helping them recover - Text "Sandy" to 72727, you'll get a link to #Fans4NY, donate as much as you can.

Or donate at (Fans4NY)

NYC Sandy Unmet Needs Roundtable & Unmet Needs Fund Launches
Since 2002, NYDIS has been the lead agency for administering the Unmet Needs Roundtable in NYC. The mission of Unmet Needs Roundtables is to bring together donors, long-term recovery groups and case management agencies to financially assist impacted families with unmet needs that are not, or cannot, be met by all other current programs. Through the advocacy of a case manager, the Roundtables (which are centrally managed and will meet in each borough) will provide both emergency cash assistance and/or final recovery grants that will sustain survivors' long-term recovery. This is a fund of last resort, when all other sources of assistance have been exhausted. The Sandy Unmet Needs Roundtable will be launched March 1.

NYDIS facilitates the NYC Sandy Unmet Needs Roundtable; the Health & Welfare Council of Long Island facilitates the Long Island Sandy Unmet Needs Roundtable; and both agencies administer the New York Unmet Needs Fund.   We are seeking donors to each roundtable's fund, as well as donors who wish to sit on the donor panel and distribute their own funds.

For more information, contact info@nydis.org

NYDIS On-Line Hurricane Sandy Recovery Guide with Widgets
NYDIS's online Hurricane Sandy Recovery Guide and Resources offers a single source of information and resources for recovery organizations, case managers or families impacted by Hurricane Sandy. This guide is updated daily and pulls resources from FEMA, New York State and City agencies, and non-profit programs. In order to help you save time and money, NYDIS provides a Recovery Guide widget you can place on your own website that links directly to the guide - so your staff and clients can easily get the information through you.

Submit resources to recovery@nydis.org
To access the guide, click here.
To download a widget for your website.

NYDIS Makes NYC Community Recovery Calendar Available
It's hard to keep track of all the long-term recovery meetings, trainings, and events - so we decided to create a Google calendar to share with the recovery community. Please contact recovery@nydis.org if you have an event or meeting that you would like listed. 

To access the calendar, click here.

NYC Volunteer Group Housing Coordination for FBOs
Following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, many individuals and groups have traveled from around the country to assist with recovery efforts.  In the coming months, primarily Spring Break and summer months, thousands of volunteers will do the same.  These volunteers are an invaluable asset to the recovery process, providing free labor to recovery groups and homeowners - to those most in need.  NYDIS is working with local congregations and community partners to coordinate housing and shower facilities for these volunteers.  Increasing our communities' capacity to house volunteers will provide more volunteers and resources, helping our communities recover faster.

To volunteer as a "dorm," contact info@nydis.org

NYDIS Co-Sponsors Vital Relief Operations Survey
In cooperation with the Interfaith Center of New York, the National Disaster Interfaiths Network and New York VOAD, NYDIS has created a survey for NYC congregations, faith-based organizations, non-profits, and VOAD partners.  The two-fold purpose of this survey is to gather and then to share information about what each organization did during the first 60 days of the Sandy relief effort and how each organization intends to support recovery in 2013.  If you have been involved in Sandy response and recovery, please take a few minutes to take the survey, and to share it with your community partners.

To complete the survey, click here.

NYDIS Thanks NYC Partners from the First 100 Days of Sandy Relief
The first 100 days of Sandy relief have been a challenge - but our sector has done extraordinary work. Congregations and community groups have been the backbone of this relief effort. NYDIS volunteers have also been supporting and tracking the relief efforts of our 80 members and over 400 congregations and neighborhood groups. Perhaps the most impressive grass roots group has been Occupy Sandy and its 80,000 volunteers based out of congregations across the region - and collaborated on several NYDIS initiatives. We are grateful for the partnership of the World Cares Center which has been partnering with NYDIS to support and supply dozens of congregations, training hundreds of congregation volunteers, and managing many of our network's spontaneous volunteers doing muck-out and mold suppression. We also owe our thanks to the Interfaith Center of New York, which partnered with NYDIS to co-host over 60 daily faith community coordination conference calls during the relief effort. Since the New Year, we have focused on networking with long-term recovery committees and weekly planning meetings with case management agencies and donor stakeholders helping to launch the NYC Sandy Unmet Needs Roundtable. Thank you all!
Unbound: Robinson On Developing Community Resiliency in Disaster Recovery
Feb. 8 - In the most recent issue of UnBound, Rev. John Robin­son, Asso­ciate for Dis­as­ter Response in the U.S. for Pres­by­ter­ian Dis­as­ter Assis­tance (PDA) and Pres ­i­dent of the National VOAD writes that America has entered a new ter­ri­tory in nat­ural dis­as­ters, with fewer resources to pre­pare and respond. Robinson suggests that a new model for dis­as­ter recov­ery is needed, in which every­one has a role to play: gov­ern­ment, the busi­ness sec­tor, indi­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies, edu­ca­tion and foun ­da­tions, as well as vol­un­tary orga­ni­za­tions.

Read the article

TJV: Far Rockaway Residents Still Struggling with Mold, Other Problems
Jan. 10:  Boruch Shubert reports in The Jewish Voice that residents of Far Rockaway continue to struggle with the unpleasant and health-endangering problem of mold in their homes.  Many are concerned for their wellbeing, and feel that more should be done to assist them.

Read the article

Interfaith Coalition Offers Help to Staten Island Victims of Hurricane Sandy
Jan. 7:  Staten Island Advance reporter Tom Wrobleski tells how Hurricane Sandy victims with federal aid questions, legal problems or health concerns can get help coping with the disaster from the Staten Island Interfaith Disaster Response Coalition.  Appointments can be made by calling 718-448-1544 ext 103.  Help is available in English, Spanish, Russian, and Polish.

Read the article

NYCCR: Staten Island Reverend to Build Homes on Church Property
Dec. 21:  The New York City Clergy Roundtable recognizes Rev. Frank Santora and the Siller Foundation.  Rev. Santora partnered with the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation to build 25 pre-fab homes on his church property.  These homes will prevent the displacement of 25 families from Staten Island.  Each home has two bedrooms, is fully furnished; rent and utility costs will be covered for one year.

Read the article
FEMA: Survivors Must Recertify for Rental Assistance
Feb 8: Most eligible applicants initially received four months of rental assistance and may be eligible for additional help, if their damaged residence is still not livable. Applicants with an ongoing need for temporary rental assistance who have signed a valid lease can recertify.

View Press Release
Applicants should contact FEMA's Helpline, 800-621-3362

FEMA:  Extends Transitional Sheltering Assistance Program to 2/24
Feb 7: FEMA, at the request of the State of New York, has approved a 14-day extension to the Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program, which allows eligible survivors from Hurricane Sandy who cannot return to their homes to stay in participating hotels or motels.
The new checkout date for those in the TSA program is Feb. 24, 2013. FEMA will call applicants eligible for the extension to notify them of the new checkout date.

PND: Post-Sandy Mold Assistance Program Launches in New York City
Feb. 4:  Philanthropy News Digest reports that the Robin Hood Foundation, American Red Cross, and the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City are co-sponsoring a $15 million program.  This initiative will assist 2,000 homeowners with removal of mold resulting from Superstorm Sandy.  Neighborhood Revitalization NYC, an affiliate of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, will administer the program and coordinate mold remediation efforts at no cost to homeowners.  Thirteen mold-remediation-training dates have been announced.

Read the article
Read Mayor's Press Release & Training Dates ( click here)

PND: NYC Foodbank Still Recovering From Sandy
Jan. 27:  Philanthropy News Digest reports that food banks and pantries across the city are still working to recover from the impact of Superstorm Sandy.  The system, which was already struggling prior to the storm, was significantly depleted by the disaster.

Read the article

PRN: Robin Hood Foundation Providing More Support
Jan. 25:  PR Newswire reports that the Robin Hood Foundation's Hurricane Sandy Relief Committee has approved more than $9.59 million in the latest round of grants.  Seventy-one organizations were awarded grants.  The total amount of money granted through the Robin Hood Foundation is now $29.8 million, benefiting nearly 250 organizations in the tri-state area.  The majority of grants ($5.275 million) were for housing-related programs designed to get families back in their homes. 

Read the article

NYRS: Rockaway Residents Address Congress: "Walk a Mile in Our Shoes"
Jan. 15:  New York Resilience System reports that Rockaway residents spoke with their voices and their feet to focus attention on what they perceive to be a blatant case of foot-dragging on Sandy relief on the part of the Congress.  They hoped to send a message with an event "Walk a Mile in Our Shoes."

Read the article

PND: Robin Hood Foundation Announces Latest Round of Sandy Relief Grants
Jan. 15:  The Robin Hood Foundation has announced grants totaling more than $2.2 million to nonprofit organizations providing assistance to people and communities affected by Superstorm Sandy, according to the Philanthropy News Digest.  Grants awarded include $250,000 to the Child Mind Institute, $150,000 to Circulo de la Hispanidad, and $100,000 to HOPES CAP. 

Read the article

SIA: Siller Foundation to Distribute Home Depot Gift Cards on SI
Jan. 12:  Tom Wrobleski of the Staten Island Advance reports that the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation will distribute Home Depot gift cards to help Sandy victims buy some of the building supplies they need to repair their storm-damaged homes.  Each card will be worth $250.  Individuals who are registered with FEMA may be eligible to receive a gift card.

Read the article

NYDN: Families Debate Housing Unidentified Remains in WTC Museum
Jan 10:  The Daily News reports that a group of 9/11 families are seeking information for all victims' relatives to help fight a plan to bury unidentified remains in the World Trade Center museum.  Families are outraged and believe that this is a disrespectful and uncivilized way to treat the remains of their loved ones.

Read the article

NY Times: No Clear Link Between Cancer and 9/11 Debris, Study Finds
Dec. 18:  Anemona Hartocollis reports in The New York Times that a new study completed by the New York City health department has found no clear evidence that cancer is caused by the 9/11 debris.   This study comes six months after the federal government added cancer to the list of sicknesses covered by the World Trade Center fund.

Read the article

TWH: Establishing the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force
Dec. 7:  The White House released a press release announcing the establishment of the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force.  Due to the extensive damage and significant loss of life caused by Hurricane Sandy, FEMA is establishing this task force.  This enables a comprehensive and collaborative approach to long-term recovery. 

Read the article
WNYC: Sandy Evacuees Are Still in Hotel Limbo
Feb. 5: More than 3,100 households that were evacuated during Sandy remain in temporary hotel situations.  Many do not have a plan to return to permanent housing.  These families are calling for financial assistance that will provide permanent, stable housing arrangements.

Read the article 

NY1: Hearing Held on Evacuation Shelters during Sandy
Feb. 5:  Colby Hamilton with WNYC News reported  that on Feb. 4, a hearing was held to determine how well the city did in managing its evacuation shelters during Hurricane Sandy.  Officials from the city's Department of Homeless Services and City Council members testified with different opinions.

Read the article

MNY:  Hotel and Shelter Conditions Criticized by Displaced
Feb. 5:  Metro- New York reports that people whose homes were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy are speaking out about the conditions of their temporary housing.  Displaced people say that they are living in squalid conditions in hotels and shelters.

Read the article

MTRNY: Unmet Needs: Superstorm Sandy and Immigrant Communities
Dec. 18:  Make the Road New York has published the first ever report on the devastation of immigrant communities in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.  This report outlines the challenges that immigrant communities face as a result of Sandy as well as recommendations to meet the needs of these communities.

To read the article, (click here).
Access and Functional Needs

Accessibility Toolkit-People with Disabilities During Emergencies  
Emergency 2.0 Wiki Accessibility Reference Group announced the launch of the Emergency 2.0 Wiki Accessibility Toolkit to help people with disabilities to use social media to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters.

To read more, click here.  

Winter Weather Preparedness Month
Severe winter weather impacts our region each year.  Make sure you are prepared by checking out these resources.

  • DC Winter Weather Tips Ready.gov Winter Storms & Extreme Cold
  • Winter Weather Safety and Awareness
  • People with Disabilities - Winter Preparedness Tips
  • Winter Weather Checklist for People with Disabilities

Flu Season
2013 Flu Season Gets an Early Start
Flu season is off to an early start this year, with many more cases than usual being reported.  Taking a few simple steps, such as getting a flu shot, washing your hands, and staying home from work or school when feeling ill, can make a huge difference in your health and the health of those around you.  For more information on how to stay safe during flu season, check out these resources:

  • What You Should Know for the 2012-2013 Influenza Season
  • Flu.gov
  • NJ State Department of Health Seasonal Influenza - General Information
  • CDC Says "Take 3" Actions to Fight the Flu

Bulk Debris Pickup
Deadline Extended to Feb. 18.
Notes:  Pickup is night before usual trash pickup.

FEMA Transitional Shelter Assistance (TSA) Program
Deadline: Feb. 24
Notes: FEMA, at the request of the State of New York, has approved a 14-day extension to the Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program, which allows eligible survivors from Hurricane Sandy who cannot return to their homes to stay in participating hotels or motels.
The new checkout date for those in the TSA program is Feb. 24, 2013. FEMA will call applicants eligible for the extension to notify them of the new checkout date.

FEMA Individual Assistance Application
Deadline: Feb. 28
Notes:  Visit www.disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362

SBA Loan (For Homeowners)
Deadline: Feb. 28
Deadline for economic injury applications: July 31
Notes:  Individuals should apply too, even if they do not borrow any money.  This is the only way to keep a FEMA file open.  Apply online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov or at a Disaster Recovery Center, http://www.fema.gov/disaster-recovery-centers
  • Private Insurance Warning
    Homeowners should NOT wait to settle with their insurance company before applying for a Small Business Administration disaster loan. Their insurance policy may not cover all replacement, repair and rebuilding costs; a disaster loan is available to cover the difference.
SMARMIE Conference
Social Media and Disaster Response Management Interface Event
February 28, 2013
Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY)
431 Canal Street, New York, NY 10013
For more information: (click here)
There is currently no area of emergency management planning that is as talked about or as under-utilized as Social Media.  During a disaster event, people usually have their cell phones with them.  This means that each individual has a networking device with a database of phone numbers, and the ability to describe, photograph, and videotape incidents as they happen.  The power of an expanding network of individuals reporting their first-hand experience is often the first communication link to report or to come back on-line in a major disaster event.  Emergency managers need to be able to harness this resource and build Social Media Management Tools (SMMT) into their emergency response plans.

Workshop: Ministry of Spiritual Care for Trauma Victims & Spiritual Self Care
Thursday, February 28th, 6-8pm thru Friday, March 1, 9am-4pm
Fordham University: Rose Hill Campus

For more information: (click here)

The presentation will focus on the vocation of chaplaincy as a ministry, how the profession has evolved, and what one should consider if one is contemplating this ministry. Keynote speakers include; Rabbi Stephen Roberts, BCC and Father David Lichter, D.Min., Executive Director at National Association of Catholic Chaplains. The event is free.

Disaster Chaplain Training
April 2-3, 2013

Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY)
431 Canal Street, NY, NY 10013
Tuition: $145
For information and registration: (click here)

In partnership with MCNY's Emergency and Disaster Management Program and NYDIS (New York Disaster Interfaith Services, NDIN, the National Disaster Interfaiths Network, will offer its two-day Disaster Chaplain Training course in New York City on April 2 and 3. Upon completion, New York City participants can serve as Disaster Chaplain volunteers with NYDIS. The course prepares chaplains and religious leaders to volunteer or serve as disaster chaplains in mass care settings or their local communities and/or houses of worship. Tuition cost for the course is $145.00 USD.

2013 Annual National VOAD Conference
May 13-16, 2013
Hilton Portland & Executive Tower
Portland, Oregon
For more information: (click here) The National VOAD Conference is the largest annual gathering of emergency management individual assistance professionals in the country ranging from federal, state, and local governments to faith-based organizations, nonprofits, voluntary agencies, corporations, and academic institutions. It's the best disaster networking event of year!
Catholic Charities Disaster Case Management Jobs
View at: http://www.catholiccharitiesny.org/about-us/job-opportunities/

Federal Emergency Management Jobs
  • Deputy Regional Administrator (Region II): (click here)
  • NYC Hurricane Sandy Recovery Jobs: (click here)
  • Voluntary Agency Liaison (Region II): (click here)

National Service
New York City Office of Emergency Management
View or Apply Online at: www.nyc.gov/oem

Met Council Disaster Case Management Jobs
View at: (click here)

NDIN Volunteer Positions
Please contact info@ndin.org for more information.
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 4 West 43rd Street - Suite 407, New York, NY 10036. 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": www.nydis.org

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