If you are unable to read this edition, please view it on our website
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.

Please consider donating to NYDIS to support the recovery needs of New Yorkers effected by last week's East Villlage explosion. You can donate at our website link below.

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, 6/22
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  June 22, 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, 6/23-24/15
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 June 23-24, 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 Partners with GRID Alternatives' Solar Affordable Housing Program (SAHP)
NYDIS via the NYC Sandy Unmet Needs Roundtable has partnered with GRID Alternatives to offer full free-service installation of rooftop solar energy for low or fixed income households impacted by Hurricane Sandy. For more information, contact GRID by email or calling 212-549-3977.

NYDIS Disaster Chaplain Sworn in as First Women and Lesbian FDNY Chaplain
March 6: The Rev. Ann Kansfield, a NYDIS Disaster Chaplain was sworn in this week as the first woman and the first openly gay chaplain in the history of the New York Fire Department. "The Fire Department currently has seven chaplains — six of them Christian and one Jewish. Ms. Kansfield will be the eighth. Chaplains perform a variety of services: They provide counseling to firefighters and department personnel; they perform blessings and invocations; and they assist with notifying families in the rare instances when a firefighter is killed in the line of duty. "
ERD: Episcopal Diocese of NY Pilots New National Asset Map for Denomination
With limitless applicability to emergency and disaster ministry, Episcopal dioceses across the United States are being invited to establish and expand their digital presence on the Episcopal Asset Map, a joint web-based project of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society and Episcopal Relief & Development. The project began with pilot maps in the  Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana in 2012 and the Diocese of New York in 2013.  Episcopal Relief & Development's US Disaster Program worked with leaders in both dioceses to build an online platform to catalog and celebrate the ministries and facilities in their dioceses.  Now, these maps serve as models for other dioceses to get involved in building their own presence. View more.

NYI: Harlem Church Still Waiting to Rebuild One Year After Deadly Explosion
March 12 marks the one year anniversary of the devastating gas main explosion in Harlem. It leveled two buildings, including a church, which lost five congregants. NY1's Jose Martinez looks at how the church is enduring one year later and filed the following report. View report.

NYC Creates Sandy Charitable Organization/House of Worship Recovery Task Force
March 3: Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation to improve coastal storm emergency preparedness including the creating of a Hurricane Sandy Charitable Organization and House of Worship Recovery Task Force under the leadership of Council Member Mark Treyger, Chair of the Committee on Recovery and Resiliency. Treyger stated that "it is imperative that we do not forget about the charitable organizations and houses of worship that opened their doors to storm victims and played a vital role in the hours, days and weeks after the storm hit our city. This legislation will help accomplish these goals and better prepare us for the next major storm or emergency." Press Release

NYT New York City Adds 2 Muslim Holy Days to Public School Calendar
March 2: The New York Times reported that New York City will become the nation's first major metropolis to close its public schools in observance of the two most sacred Muslim holy days, a watershed moment for a faith community that has endured suspicion and hostility since the Sept. 11 attacks. Muslim advocates spent nine years pressing for inclusion on the city's school calendar, which already recognizes several Jewish and Christian holidays. Muslims make up about 10 percent of the student body in the city's public schools, according to a 2008 study by Columbia University. Read article.

NYAC-UMC Provides Major Support for Rockaway, Queens Home
In February, New York Annual Conference-United Methodist Church (NYAC-UMC) partnered with Rebuilding Together NYC to complete a project in Rockaway Queens. This project was a significant undertaking and involved the installation of a new kitchen, a bathroom remodel, hardwood floor installation, interior painting, and electrical work. NYAC-UMC provided significant financial support for this project and the homeowner would not have their living space back if it were not for NYAC-UMC's help. To learn more, click here
FEMA Recoupment
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.
Northfield Community LDC: Building Violations & Open Permit Consultation
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
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

East Village Explosion Claims Two Lives & Mobilizes LES Ready
March 30: On March 26th, for the second time in less than two years a number of residential buildings and store were destroyed by an explosion caused by a gas leak. The explosion claimed the lives of two men, seriously injured four individuals and injured dozens and displaced over 100 families. The event also prompted LES Ready (Lower Eastside Ready), a post-Sandy recovery collaborative, to mobilize for the first time since Sandy to support a community crisis, along with other city disaster human service providers and government partners. Please consider supporting LES Recovery or NYDIS efforts to support survivors and victim families.
FEMA Mandates States Include Climate Change in Disaster Planning for Funding
March 17: Federal funds that help communities brace for emergencies will stop being provided to states if they ignore threats posed by climate change in their disaster planning. States publish reports every five years or so detailing their vulnerability to natural disasters. Such plans are needed in order to qualify for a share of nearly $1B in Hazard Mitigation Assistance grants  provided every year by FEMA. But those plans rarely consider climate change impacts in detail. Now "the risk assessment must provide a summary of the probability of future hazard events," the new guidelines state. "Probability must include considerations of changing future conditions, including the effects of long-term changes in weather patterns and climate." Read article.

NYTimes: Battered by Hurricane Sandy, Bought by New York and for Sale for a Song
March 16: After Superstorm Sandy in October 2012, NY State created a buyout program, with the thought that whole neighborhoods would sell, and the parcels would return to nature. To the surprise of politicians and planners, far fewer people wanted to leave than anticipated. To date, the state has bought about 1,200 properties, with 500 intended to become open space in clusters from Staten Island to Long Island. The remaining 700 properties, in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, will be resold to avoid creating communities that resemble Detroit-by-the-bay. Read article.

John Stewart Show: Hurricane Sandy Survivors Long Wait for Housing
On March 13, Jordan Klepper from "The Daily Show" shone a light on Staten Islanders who are still out of their homes more than two years after Hurricane Sandy. By turns funny and all too serious,
the segment pointed out that $648 million had been allocated for the Build It Back program, and yet people were still waiting, even as they continue to pay taxes and flood insurance on their destroyed properties. Alana Tornello, of the Staten Island Long-Term Recovery Organization, told Klepper: "This is still a story." View video clip.

State Mitigation Plan Review Guide (Revised March 2015)
March 9: The State Mitigation Plan Review Guide is FEMA's official policy on, and interpretation of, the requirements for State Standard and Enhanced Mitigation Planning found at 44 Code of Federal Regulations Part 201 Mitigation Planning.  The intended use of the State Mitigation Plan Review Guide is to facilitate consistent evaluation and approval of State Mitigation Plans as well as to facilitate State compliance with the mitigation planning requirements when updating plans.  To view or download Guide.

EM: FEMA Agrees to Review All Suspect Sandy Insurance Claims
March 5: The Federal Emergency Management Agency has agreed to establish a process to review the claims of all Superstorm Sandy victims who suspect they were defrauded on flood insurance settlements. The move, which applies to storm victims regardless of whether they filed lawsuits, is part of a series of reforms outlined by the agency during a call Wednesday night with Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey. FEMA also said any company caught cheating homeowners would be barred from processing claims for the National Flood Insurance Program. Read article.
IT: Philanthropy and Government Underscore Framework for Disaster Resilience
Feb. 19: At an Urban Institute event held at the National Building Museum, discussion focused on what it takes for communities to develop resilience and the roles philanthropists and public leaders can play to help catalyze it, and how to better serve low-income communities, which are, more often than not, hit hardest by disasters. Communities need to build greater resilience, prepare more effectively for challenges, quickly respond and adapt when a disruption does occur, and to revitalize, not just return to the status quo. The Rockefeller Foundation and HUD recently partnered to launch a $1 billion National Disaster Resilience Challenge that aims to fund the implementation of state, local, and tribal leaders' innovative resilience projects. Read more.

CBS Report on 60 Minutes: The Storm After the Storm
"Now two and a half years later, Sandy victims have been hit by something else they didn't expect, the storm after the storm. Many of them say they have been cheated out of their insurance claims. T housands of claims have still not been resolved and there is evidence that many homeowners were victims of what appears to be wide-scale fraud where original damage reports were later changed to make it look like the damage wasn't as bad. Making matters worse, appeals to the federal agency in charge of all of this, FEMA, went nowhere." View report.
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
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.
OCHA Hashtag Standards for Emergencies Manual
The United National Office of Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs has released this resource to encourage proactive standardization of Twitter hashtags, emergency responders may be able to reduce a big-data challenge and better leverage crowdsourced information for operational planning and response.
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
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.

Integrating Access and Functional Needs into Emergency Planning
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
June 22, 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) and USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture 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  
June 23-24, 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..

NYC Emergency Management Training(s)
Below you will find links to upcoming NYCEM training opportunities.* Please feel free to circulate these to all your partner organizations that you believe could benefit from them.
Catholic Charities Disaster Case Management
Federal Emergency Management Jobs
Met Council Disaster Case Management
National Service (CNCS)
New York Cares
NYC Medical Reserve Corp
NYC Office of Emergency Management - New Jobs
NYC Service - New
New York Disaster Interfaith Services
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