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Welcome to NYDISnet, the e-newsletter of New York Disaster Interfaith Services (NYDIS).

NYDISnet is New York City's only faith-based Sandy recovery e-news resource, and provides the latest updates on resources, events, trainings and other matters of interest to the recovery community and religious leaders - including 9/11 long-term recovery news. NYDIS also distributes NYDISnet ALERTs during local emergencies or to notify New York City faith communities and our partners of important news.

If you have questions or comments about iNET, or if you have news that you want to submit to us, please e-mail info@nydis.org.


Rev. Ruth Yoder Wenger, Executive Vice President

Visit our website for more information.

NYDIS Sandy Recovery Resources

On-Line NYC Sandy Recovery Guide (with Widgets)

On-Line NYC Sandy Recovery Calendar
NYC Sandy Unmet Needs Roundtable & NYC Unmet Needs Fund
The Unmet Needs Roundtables convene donors, long-term recovery groups and case management agencies to financially assist impacted families with unmet needs beyond those met by all other current programs. Through the advocacy of a case manager, the Roundtables (which are centrally managed and meet in each borough) provide emergency cash assistance, recovery grants, loans and discounted/tax-free building supplies to eligible survivor households. Assistance is targeted to ensure and sustain survivors' long-term recovery. For more information, contact info@nydis.org.
NYC Volunteer Group Housing Program (VGHP) & Form-Sets
NYDIS supports and coordinates out-of-state volunteer groups seeking housing and Sandy rebuild organizations for them to volunteer with during their stay.

To secure housing or find a place to volunteer, call 212-669-6100 or Email the VGHP

A comprehensive culturally and religiously competent form-set to assist potential host sites in housing rebuild volunteers in support of Superstorm Sandy Recovery efforts includes two handbooks for host sites and volunteer groups and exhaustively covers a wide range of resources for organizations involved in volunteer housing rebuild.

View or download the VGHP Form Set for Host Sites & Volunteer Groups
Connect With Us - for Daily Recovery Updates
Register Now for Two Back-to-Back Trainings here in New York City.

Register Now: Faith Community Engagement Training, MCNY, 3/23
Co-sponsored by NYDIS and MCNY's (Metropolitan College of New York) Emergency & Disaster Management Program, the National Disaster Interfaiths Network (NDIN) will offer, “Engaging Faith Communities in Disasters: Increasing Religious Competency & Literacy” - a one-day training course. The training teaches best practices in working with faith communities in crisis settings, religious competency and literacy, as well as an overview of current resources and how to databank local faith communities. The course prepares government, non-profit and religious leaders to conduct outreach to and engage congregations and religious leaders in partnerships or to support disaster human services/mass care needs of religious populations. Held March 23, 2015 at MCNY in Manhattan, tuition is $95 (includes breakfast, lunch & materials). For more information and registration  click here.

Register Now: Disaster Chaplain Training at MCNY, 3/24-25/15
Through a training partnership with NYDIS and MCNY's (Metropolitan College of New York) Emergency & Disaster Management Program, the National Disaster Interfaiths Network (NDIN) will offer their two-day Disaster Chaplain Training course in NYC at MCNY on March 24-25, 2015. This course prepares religious leaders to volunteer as a NYDIS Disaster Chaplain in mass-care settings or within their houses of worship, religious community or professional institution.  Tuition is $145. For more information and registration click here.

NYDIS to Transition Sandy News and Recovery Calendar to Recovery Hub
February will mark the final monthly issue of NYDISnet for Sandy Recovery. For Sandy recovery information, NYDIS will be partnering with http://recoveryhub.net Recovery Hub, a project of the International Center for Disaster Recovery, which connects communities and recovery workers with the resources they need after a crisis or disaster. We look forward to your feedback once their site is launched in March of 2015. NYDISnet will continue to be released as needed for updates on current NYC event or training opportunities.  As always, NYDISnet ALERTS will be issued in times of crisis.
ICNY: Defining Religious Leaders
Dr. Sarah Sayeed, the Director of Community Partnerships, examines leadership through difference faith lines from the Interfaith Center of New York. Often, the term clergy is often thought of when religious leaders are referred to. Though, ICNY defines "religious leaders" as not only clergy, but religious teachers, lay leaders, social service providers, and anyone playing a leadership role to serve their faith communities.  Read here.

SILive: Task Force to Examine Religious Organizations' Impact on Sandy Recovery
Anna Sanders from Staten Island Live reports on the City Council approval for a task force examining the services provided by religious organizations in Hurricane Sandy recovery. Proposed by Brooklyn CM Mark Treyger, this task force will also examine how city officials can work with these religious organizations during future storms. The task force is awaiting Mayor Bill de Blasio's approval. Read more

American Red Cross Co-Brands NDIN-CRCC Sheltering & Mass Care Tip Sheets
In January, the American Red Cross signed a collaboration agreement with the National Disaster Interfaiths Network (NDIN) and the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture (USC CRCC) to co-brand their tip sheet set entitled "Religious Competency in Mass Care". The five tip sheets were produced jointly by NDIN and USC CRCC. The tip sheets provide government, non-profit and faith-based organizations facts and guidance for specifically addressing the unique mass-care needs of minority faith communities.
NYT: 3 Brooklyn Men Arrested and Accused of Joining ISIS
Marc Santora and Stephanie Clifford from the New York Times report about the arrest of 3 men arrested in Brooklyn accused in joining ISIS. The three men were influenced by videos posted online by the Islamic State that has been using social media to target young people across the world. Authorities say its reach has extended into New York to these three men. Read here.
SBA Low-Interest Disaster Loans for Flooding in April: Deadline 3/2/15
NYC residents and businesses affected by the significant rain and flooding event on April 29 and 30, 2014 can now apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. (The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage was July 28, 2014.) The deadline to return economic injury applications is March 2, 2015. This declaration covers Kings and Queens Counties; and the contiguous counties of Bronx, Nassau, New York and Richmond in the state of New York can apply. For more information, click here.
FEMA Recoupment - New
Make the Road New York's Legal Department is working with families in handling their FEMA recoupment. Clients in Staten Island can call the Midland Beach office at (718) 987-5503 or the Port Richmond office at (718) 727-1222.
GRID Alternatives' Solar Affordable Housing Program (SAHP) - New
SAHP offers full service installation of rooftop solar energy for low or fixed income households. They aim to expand the program to Sandy-impacted neighborhoods on Staten Island. For more information, contact GRID by email or calling 212-549-3977.
Northfield Community LDC: Building Violations & Open Permit Consultation - New
Northfield Community LDC works with Staten Island residents impacted by Sandy to resolve obstacles they face in recovering from this devastating storm. In addition to housing counseling and referrals to rehabilitation services, we assist home owners to resolve open permit applications and violations with the NYC Department of Buildings. For more information, please contact the office at 718-442-7351 ext 238.
New Disaster Assistance Resource - New
FEMA's Disaster Assistance Improvement Program (DAIP) has released a new website (DisasterAssistance.gov) to help survivors navigate the disaster recovery process. DAIP helps survivors by shortening the time required to apply for assistance and reducing the number of forms that need to be completed. Survivors can also upload documents, check the status of their application, and access information and resources, all through the website.
9/11 Health Benefits
People exposed to the stew of toxins released when the World Trade Center collapsed on 9/11 can still apply for health benefits. Tens of thousands of workers, volunteers and residents who believe they are suffering from 9/11 related illnesses have until 2016 to apply for the health care they need and deserve under the World Trade Center Health Program. To apply click here or call 855-4WTC-AID.

NY State, Sandy Disaster Case Management Referral Line: 855-258-0483

Resource Guides and Websites
DN: Madelaine Chocolate Co. awarded $13.3m in Recovery Funds
Lisa Colangelo from the Daily News reports on the $13.2 million recovery funds awarded to Madelaine Chocolate Company by the city. This company is the largest private employer in the Rockaway section of Queens. The chocolate factory encountered about $50 million in damage from the storm, leaving the company unsure whether they would need to move outside of New York if they didn't receive Sandy aid from the city. With this new funding, Madelaine Chocolate Co. will not only be able to stay in the Rockaways and hire back their employees, but will be able to double its workforce within two years. Read more
NYT: New NYPD Plans to Fight Terrorism and Improve Community Relations
J. David Goodman from the NY Times reports that Commissioner William J. Bratton announced future plans for the New York Police Department for improving police-community relations. Bratton also announced that there will be a new police unit called the Strategic Response Group, or SRG. This new unit will be composed of 350 police officers to handle counterterrorism and protests. Read more
DI: FEMA Approves $500M for Rockaway Boardwalk Rebuild
Katie Honan from DNA Info reports on the Federal Emergency Management Agency's approval of $480 million to rebuild and repair more than 3 miles of board walk destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Work will include rebuilding resilient concrete decking, benches, stairs, and lighting. Plans also include elevating the boardwalk above flood level and to build a sand barrier for future storms. Read more
NJS: Why Sandy Victims are Frustrated with Their Insurance Companies
Scott Gurian from the New Jersey Spotlight reports that of the nearly 75,000 claims filed by NJ homeowners following Sandy, 6,532 claims were rejected and roughly 1,500 cases are in litigation. Insurance industry spokespeople say that many homeowners were underinsured or didn't understand their coverage, while policyholder advocates claim that many homeowners were wrongly rejected or underpaid. Read more
$28 Million in Flood Protection at LaGuardia Airport
Governor Cuomo has announced that FEMA has approved a $28 million Hazard Mitigation Grant for use at LaGuardia Airport. LaGuardia suffered severe flooding during Superstorm Sandy and this grant will implement resiliency measures such as construction of a floodwall and rainwater pumping system, and improvement of the existing generators. Read more
NJ: 9/11 Fund OKs Payments of $804 Million to 3,000 Claimants
Jan 15: The Sept. 11th Victim Compensation Fund has approved payments of $804 million to 3,100 claimants. Those affected by 9/11 are eligible to receive monitoring and treatment for 9/11-related health problems. Read more about the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 in this AP article. Continue 
NYDN: City Beats de Blasio's Sandy Reconstruction Goals, Starts 1,002 Homes
Eric Durkin from New York Daily News reports that the city's Build It Back Program has exceeded Mayor de Blasio's 2014 Hurricane Sandy reconstruction goals. Rebuild work has started on 1,002 homes and 2,104 reimbursement checks have been sent to homeowners. NY Continue
NYT: Altered Hurricane Sandy Damage Report Allegations
David Chen from the New York Times reports on Hurricane Sandy Damage report allegations. The Attorney General of New York has begun a criminal inquiry into allegations that engineering reports for flood insurance claims by Sandy victims were altered. Homeowners claim that they have identified more than 500 reports that have been altered to show that the damage was not due to the storm, when initial findings were positive in the homeowners' favor. Read here
WNYC: HUD Faults NYC for Slow Release of Sandy Funds
Matthew Schuerman from WNYC News reports that the de Blasio administration has been slow to disburse federal housing funds on Sandy Recovery programs. The city disburses federal housing funds through the Build It Back Program, a program designed to help rebuild homes affected by Hurricane Sandy. Only 1000 out of about 13,000 applications have received actual repairs, and about 2,482 have received funds for work performed by external contractors. Due to factors such as administrative hurdles, winter weather, and lack of construction crews, only a small percentage of the homes affected by Hurricane Sandy have been rebuilt. Read more.
NPR: FEMA's Role in Flood Insurance Questioned
Charles Lane from NPR reports on allegations that FEMA tries to protect the interests of those holding flood insurance, while making sure that the government doesn't pay too much money. Homeowners and advocates argue that FEMA should cede the regulatory role to a third party, which would be an impartial judge between homeowners and the government. FEMA representatives argue that flood insurance only covers damage due to flooding specifically, and that reimbursing all damages due to a storm would require a significant expansion of the flood insurance program. Read more.
LP NYC Calls On Congress to Back 9/11 First Responders
Joe Maiscalco reports for LaborPress.org that The Zadroga Act, which ensures that those affected by 9/11 continue to receive monitoring and treatment services for 9/11-related health problems, is set to expire next year without reauthorization. Recently, City Council members urged the US congress to reauthorize the act. Labor Press reporter Joe Maniscalco spoke with Jake Lemonda, head of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association, about the looming deadline. Read more
Winter Weather
Each year, snow, sleet, and storms lead to injuries and even claim lives. Make sure you're prepared for winter weather with the following resources.
NYC Reduce Your Risk
New York City's dense population and geographic location make it especially vulnerable to emergencies caused by natural and human-made hazards. While it is important for you to protect yourself and your family from emergencies, it is also important to protect your property. Learn more
DN: NYC Climate Change More Frightening than Sandy Damage
Erin Durkin from the Daily News reports on NYC climate change predictions. The New York City Panel on Climate Change released a study predicting drastic climate changes that will affect NYC. The study predicts that the flood zone will double in size by 2100, covering 99 square miles of the city. Higher sea levels will mean more floods like the disasters brought by Hurricane Sandy. The study also predicts a trend toward increasingly high temperatures and more heat waves. Read more
Emotional and Spiritual Care Committee of VOADNYC Meeting
March 10
Office of the Chief Medical Examiner    
421 E. 26th St. (near 1st Avenue) New York, NY
Rsvp by March 6th: volunteercoordinator@dcs-ny.org

The Emotional and Spiritual Care Committee of VOADNYC meeting will be March 10th from 9:30am- 11:00am, with guest speaker: Mark Desire, an Assistant Director with the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner. He will talk to us about the inner workings of the Chief Medical Examiner's office, describe several incidents and cases on which they have worked.  He will offer us an insider's view of the critical work they accomplish for the City of New York. Please feel free to invite your colleagues at your individual agencies. All attendees must RSVP. Please arrive early to check in with security.

The Annual Bill Lane Social Work Disaster Response Conference
March 12, 2015
Jacobi Medical Center-Corporate Conference Center (Building 4, 2nd Floor)
1400 Pelham Pkwy S, Bronx, NY 10461
More Info

This free conference will focus on the topics of "Psychosocial Capacity Building in Response to Disasters: A Culturally Informed Approach," Joshua Miller, LICSW, Ph.D., and " Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery in Multicultural Settings," Guadalupe Pacheco, MSW.
Integrating Access and Functional Needs into Emergency Planning
March 3 - 4, 2015
May 27-28, 2015
September 9-10, 2015
National Emergency Training Center
Emmitsburg, MD 21727
More info

Sponsored by the Emergency Management Institute (Emmitsburg, MD), this two-day course will train emergency planners how to include access-and-functional-needs-inclusive practices in emergency preparedness, response, and recovery plans. Lessons will define access and functional needs, identify resources to assist in planning for adults and children with access and functional needs, and raise awareness of the importance of inclusive practices. Continuing health education credits are available. Cost and Registration: Free, if register before January 6, 2015.
Engaging Faith Communities in Disaster, Religious Competency & Literacy Training
March 23, 2015
Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY)
431 Canal St. 
New York, NY

Co-sponsored by NYDIS and MCNY's (Metropolitan College of New York) Emergency & Disaster Management Program, the National Disaster Interfaiths Network (NDIN) will offer, "Engaging Faith Communities in Disasters: Increasing Religious Competency & Literacy" - a one-day training course. The training teaches best practices in working with faith communities in crisis settings, religious competency and literacy, as well as an overview of current resources and how to databank local faith communities. The course prepares government, non-profit and religious leaders to conduct outreach to and engage congregations and religious leaders in partnerships or to support disaster human services/mass care needs of religious populations. Tuition is $95 (includes breakfast, lunch & materials).
Volunteer Disaster Chaplain Training Course 
March 24-25, 2015
Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY)
431 Canal St. 
New York, NY

The Metropolitan College of New York, Emergency & Disaster Management Program, through a training partnership with the National Disaster Interfaiths Network invites religious leaders and spiritual caregivers of all faiths to take this two-day Disaster Chaplain Training. This training is being co-sponsored by NYDIS (New York Disaster Interfaith Services). Each registrant must be endorsed for this training and/or currently serve as a chaplain, congregation staff and/or credentialed religious caregiver or leader. Emergency managers and disaster mental health professionals may register using their agency affiliation. To download our training brochure  click here.
National VOAD Annual Conference   
May 11-14, 2015
Sheraton New Orleans Hotel
500 Canal Street
New Orleans, LA  70130
More Info

The 2015 National VOAD Conference will be the 23rd annual gathering of representatives from our national organization members, state and territory VOADs, private sector partners and emergency management representatives. The conference will include disaster-related trainings, over 30 educational workshops, and valuable collaboration and networking opportunities for over 500 participants.
Catholic Charities Disaster Case Management
Federal Emergency Management Jobs
Met Council Disaster Case Management
National Service (CNCS)
New York Cares
NYC Office of Emergency Management - New Jobs
NYC Medical Reserve Corp
NYC Service - New
World Cares Center
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

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Please Contact: info@nydis.org