If you are unable to read this edition, please view it on our website
Welcome to NYDISnet, the e-newsletter of NYDIS (New York Disaster Interfaith Services).

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.

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 www.NYDIS.org for more information.

NYDIS Sandy Recovery Resources

On-Line NYC Sandy Recovery Guide (with Widgets)

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
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NYDIS Announces the Retirement of EVP Rev. Ruth Yoder Wenger
On March 31, 2016, after eleven years on the NYDIS board and staff, Rev. Ruth Yoder Wenger will retire. After joining the board in 2005 representing Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) and STAR NYC, she joined the staff as Director of Community Outreach and Training in 2008; for the past seven years she has served as Executive Vice President. The Board of Directors would like to express our profound gratitude for her years of service with NYDIS - and we are thankful that Ruth will remain active as the MDS member representative to NYDIS. Ruth has been instrumental in building developing many of NYDIS' planning and training programs - her expertise in trauma resilience, disaster emotional and spiritual care, and training is unparalleled. Effective April 1st, Peter Gudaitis will assume the duties of Executive Vice-President and Chief Response Officer. Plans for Ruth's retirement party will be forthcoming.

NYDIS Pledges to Train 1000 NYC Religious Leaders in Mental Health First Aid
In March and April, NYDIS will be partnering with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to offer Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training to NYC religious leaders under the First Lady's ThriveNYC initiative. To pilot this initiative Chief Response Officer Peter Gudaitis, who is a certified Mental Health First Aid instructor, will be co-teaching one course in each borough during March. Trainings have already been held at Brooklyn Borough Hall and at the Bronx Christian Fellowship. Later this month trainings are being held in Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island. Following the pilot, NYDIS has pledged to train 1000 religious leaders through ThriveNYC.  

Please e-mail us to inquire about MHFA trainings.
Read more about ThriveNYC

NYDIS: Upcoming Public Health Emergency Faith-based Sector Needs Assessment Survey
Beginning in April, NYDIS will be send survey links and focus group invitations to all religious judicatory bodies, NYC congregations, and faith-based non-profits to assess their readiness for disasters and public health emergencies. NYDIS will then report on those findings and make recommendations on how to build and sustain the sector's capabilities and resilience. The project is taking place under the direction of the DOHMH Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response ( OEPR). Please be on the lookout for surveys. Any faith-based organizations wishing to host a needs-assessment focus group to document the specific capabilities or preparedness needs of their faith community or faith-based network should contact  info@nydis.org

NYDIS Continues Work on NYC Hurricane Sandy Recovery Task Force
Since January 2016 the task force has been working with staff from the Mayor's Office of Recovery and Resiliency and a research team from Columbia University to document the impact of Sandy on NYC Non-profits and Houses of Worship and to make recommendations on preparedness and resilience strategies and policy in support of whole-community resilience.  A report will be issued in June. Peter B. Gudaitis, NYDIS' Chief Response Officer, was appointed to the New York City Hurricane Sandy Charitable Organization and House of Worship Recovery Task Force by NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

NYDIS Seeks Housing Coordinator for NYC Sandy Temporary Rental Program (STRP)
The Housing Coordinator will report to the STRP Manager and will be based at the NYDIS office in midtown Manhattan. The position includes 50% office time and 50% in the field and some weekend/evening hours. The STRP Housing Coordinator will: Search for rental properties city-wide for placing Hurricane Sandy impacted homeowners who need short-term rentals during home rebuild or elevation; inspect rental properties to determine safety and appropriate condition for client housing; coordinate with community stakeholders to generate and retain housing stock for STRP; collaborate with the STRP Manager to assist in the placement of clients in temporary housing; serve as a "Housing Recovery Resources" subject-matter expert to Disaster Case Managers; assist in screening all STRP applications to the Roundtable; and track grant distributions and client documentation with donors and/or NYDIS finance staff.
NYDIS Seeks Rental Units for Sandy Temporary Rental Program
The Sandy Temporary Rental Program (STRP), administered by NYDIS in partnership with the Mayor's Office of Housing Recovery Operations (HRO), supports the unmet temporary rental housing needs of under-resourced Sandy-impacted homeowners who are being required by Build it Back to vacate for construction or elevation. The STRP is seeking to identify rental units for short-term rental (6-12 months) for clients who need to vacate their homes for construction or elevation. The following neighborhoods are a priority to ensure that even though families are displaced from their homes, they are not displaced from their communities: Brooklyn - Brighton Beach, Canarsie, Coney Island, Gerritsen Beach, and Sheepshead Bay; Queens - Arverne, Edgemere, Broad Channel, Breezy Pont, Far Rockaway - Bayswater; Staten Island - Cedar Grove, Midland Beach, New Dorp Beach, South Beach. Email inquiries and/or complete the checklist below and submit via email.
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Responds to Water Contamination in New York
March 11: Presbyterian Disaster Assistance recently deployed a National Response Team to the small community of Hoosick Falls, New York in response to reports of water contamination. Perflorooctanoic Acid (PFOA)-a known carcinogen once used in the manufacturing of non-stick coating such as Teflon-was found in the community of 3,500. The source was traced to a factory currently owned by Saint Gobain Performance Plastics, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Now the contamination has reached municipal wells in addition to several private wells outside the village. Read more .

Wisconsin Church Donates $100K to Shrine Near Ground Zero
March 8: St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Appleton donated $100,000-much of its remaining assets from savings and the sale of its property-to the St. Nicholas National Shrine in New York City. The shrine, which is currently under construction, will replace St. Nicholas of New York City. The church, just 35 feet tall, stood in the shadows of the World Trade Center towers and was buried in rubble following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Bishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago praised the generosity of the Appleton parish. The Metropolis has jurisdiction over Greek Orthodox parishes in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and portions of Indiana and Missouri. "St. Nicholas in Wisconsin will live on as a part of St. Nicholas in New York," Demetrios said. Read more.

Faith-Based Entities Encouraged to Submit NYCEM Space Survey
NYC Emergency Management (NYCEM) has released a Community Space Survey, which is critical to helping the City prepare for emergencies and reach out to its communities. Organizations citywide are encouraged to participate. The purpose of the survey is to identify spaces in a community that could potentially support the City's emergency operations or be used for community outreach events. (Providing information on a community space does not guarantee that it will be used in an emergency.) All information will be kept strictly confidential. Complete the survey here. For any questions, refer to the Frequently Asked Questions or contact intergov@oem.nyc.gov.

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

Resource Guides and Websites
- Catholic Charities-DCMP Resource Guide
- NYDIS Recovery Resource Guide
- JCC Staten Island Connect to Recovery Resources Guide  

National Flood Mitigation Resource List
FEMA's National Flood Insurance Resource List contains links to important information for property owners, notifications on Increased Cost of Compliance, FEMA flood hazard data, outlines of Community Rating System qualifications, and other details. The full resource list can be found here.

Counseling Support for Build it Back Applicants
Build it Back offers counseling referrals to eligible applicants who may need additional assistance moving their application forward. The Build it Back Counseling Partners are experts in housing, financial and legal issues with experience working in affected communities. They can work with clients one-on-one to resolve tough challenges related to their applications. Counseling is provided at no cost to individuals who are eligible and registered. Find out more here.

Free Mental Health Services for Children and Teens in Sandy-Affected Areas
The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) offers free mental health services available for children and adolescents living in the Rockaways, South Brooklyn, and Staten Island. Mental health evaluation and treatment will be provided at no cost through the NYC Child and Adolescent Resiliency Enhancement Services (NYC CARES) program. The NYC CARES program is available at Coney Island Hospital, St. John's Episcopal Hospital for residents of the Rockaways and at the Staten Island Mental Health Society for Staten Island residents. To learn more, call 311 or click here.

Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) Changes
NYC Mayor's Office of Recovery and Resiliency offers resources on flood risk, FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map updates, and flood insurance purchase requirements here. NYC residents can also learn about their flood risk at floodhelpny.org, a project of the Association of NYC Neighborhoods.

Disaster Assistance Resource
FEMA's Disaster Assistance Improvement Program (DAIP) has set up a website 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.

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.

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.

American Red Cross Home Fire Preparedness Campaign
The American Red Cross and its partners have launched an initiative that aims to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires by 25% in five years with the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign. The Red Cross is asking every household in America to take two simple steps that can save lives: checking or installing smoke alarms and practicing fire drills at home. Join the campaign as a volunteer by contacting a local Red Cross chapter. Learn more.

"My Preparedness Story: Staying Healthy and Resilient" Video Submissions Due March 29
Create a video that shows how you protect your family, friends, and community's health during disasters and submit it for a chance to win a video contest. Click here for instructions.

DHS-FEMA Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) Opportunity; Deadline: April 25, 2016
This grant program through the Department of Homeland Security/FEMA provides $20 million to support target hardening and other physical security enhancements for nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of a terrorist attack and located within one of the FY 2016 Urban Area Security Initiative - eligible urban areas. Learn more.

SBA Reopens Disaster Loan Applications for Sandy-Impacted Residents to December 1, 2016
Effective December 2, 2015, the recently approved Recovery Improvements for Small Entities (RISE) After Disaster Act of 2015 gives the SBA Administrator the authority to make disaster loans for Superstorm Sandy for a period of one year. The bill authorizes SBA to revise the disaster deadline for major Presidential declarations for Superstorm Sandy in Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island.  Additionally, SBA will be accepting applications under its related agency declarations for North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Virginia, West Virginia and certain counties in Maryland. The new filing deadline for physical damage and economic injury losses is December 1, 2016. Apply online here. Information on the locations of recovery centers and the loan application process can be obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or send an email.
NYT: Rising Sea Levels May Disrupt Lives of Millions, Study Says
March 14: Sea-level rise, a problem exacerbated by greenhouse gas emissions, could disrupt the lives of more than 13 million people in the United States, three times the most current estimates, according to a study published in Nature Climate Change. Rising seas, which already endanger coastal communities through tidal floods and storm surges, could rise three feet or more over the next century if emissions continue at a high level, threatening many shoreline communities. The study argues that most projections vastly underestimate the number of people at risk because they do not account for population growth. For the study, the authors combined future population estimates with predicted sea-level rise, using data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to demonstrate that millions are at risk: 4.2 million if seas rise by three feet, or 13.1 million with a six-foot increase, a high-end estimate. Read more.

Sandy-damaged Properties for Auction on Staten Island, Bids Starting at $14,650
March 7: The Governor's Office of Storm Recovery is giving developers the chance to rebuild Staten Island's shoreline that was ravaged by Hurricane Sandy through an auction of 55 storm-damaged properties. After hundreds of Staten Islanders lost their homes and all their belongings in Hurricane Sandy, the state bought many of their ravaged properties. Now, the governor's office will auction the damaged Staten Island properties-along with six in Queens and one in Brooklyn-on May 10 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Bloomfield, Staten Island. The properties to be auctioned were acquired by those homeowners who chose not to participate in the NYC Build it Back program. The storm-damaged Staten Island properties, which are among 115 statewide, have been acquired via the Housing Trust Fund Corporation, in connection with Governor's Office of Storm Recovery NY Rising Acquisition-for-Redevelopment Program. Read more.

NYCOSH Launches "Health for Heroes" Campaign for 15th Anniversary of 9/11
March 2: The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) has launched a Health for Heroes Campaign in the 15th anniversary year of the World Trade Center tragedy. The campaign aims to locate workers who were 9/11 responders and survivors so they can access health coverage and monitoring through the World Trade Center Health Program and financial compensation through the Victim Compensation Fund. Presenting partner, the New York City Central Labor Council (AFL-CIO), and lead partner, the New York Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, will kick off the campaign with a New York City labor drive throughout the month of March that will reach hundreds of labor affiliates throughout the city. The campaign will continue through September with NYCOSH providing outreach and enrollment assistance to organizations and individual workers.  Read more.

What NYC Would Look Like if Sea Levels Rose Just 20 Feet
The Surging Seas map created by Climate Central renders what would occur if global temperatures rose by approximately two degrees, which would raise the sea levels by about twenty feet. Bjarke Ingels, the famed architect slated with the job of designing the World Trade Center's final skyscraper, has a project in the works that will protect the "Dry Line, " a ten-mile area in lower Manhattan, which include reconfiguring park spaces and installing deployable walls. A lot of organizations are also at work through the Rebuild by Design competition put on by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the New York City's Vision 2020 plan, and the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance. These plans will take into account new waterfront edge design guidelines, which will hopefully protect Manhattan from rising sea levels in the decades to come. Read more.

SBA Disaster Loans for New Sandy Declaration Tops $30 Million
Last December, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) reopened the application filing period for Superstorm Sandy survivors making federal disaster loans available until December 1, 2016. Since then, the SBA has approved loans in excess of $30 million dollars. The low-interest loans are available to small businesses, most private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters located in NYC and the surrounding area. Read more.

NYC's Nuclear Power Plant Leaking "Uncontrollable Radioactive Flow" into Hudson River
February 29: Governor Andrew Cuomo called for an investigation after Indian Point, a nuclear power plant on the Hudson River, reported a leak of radioactive material flowing into the groundwater. Now, new samples taken from the local groundwater show that contamination levels are 80% higher than previous samples, prompting experts to claim this leak is spreading in "a disaster waiting to happen," and calling for the plant to be shut down completely. The Indian Point nuclear power plant is located just 25 miles north of New York City, and is a crucial source of power for over 23 million people living in the greater NYC metropolitan region. Read more.

WSJ: New York Outspends Other Cities on Climate-Change Countermeasures
February 29: The Wall Street Journal reports that New York City spent about $2.2 billion last year on coastal protection, urban drainage, and other projects. The city spends more to brace for rising seas and other side effects of climate change than any other of the world's 10 biggest cities-about $2.2 billion last year- outstripping spending by London, Paris, Beijing, Mexico City and other megacities, according to an analysis released by researchers at the U.K.'s University College London. Read more.

City Marks 23 Years since First World Trade Center Attack
February 26: A ceremony was held in lower Manhattan to mark the 23rd anniversary of the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. On February 26th, 1993, terrorists blew up a rental van filled with explosives in an underground garage in the north tower of the World Trade Center. Six people were killed and more than a thousand others were injured. Port Authority officials joined family members of the victims to take part in a ceremony near the North Pool of the 9/11 memorial at the World Trade Center. Family members of those killed in the first World Trade Center attack in 1993 placed flowers on the victims' names, etched in a special section on the September 11th memorial. Read more:
Report Finds NYC Nonprofits Plagued With Chronic Problems
February 26: A year after Federation and Employment Guidance Services (FEGS), a $250 million health and human services behemoth in New York City, went bankrupt, the city's human services sector is struggling to serve an estimated 2.5 million people, a report from the Human Services Council finds. The report, New York Nonprofits in the Aftermath of FEGS: A Call to Action, found that in addition to FEGS, a number of human services organizations in the city have recently closed their doors. According to the report, underfunded government payment rates-80 cents or less per dollar of true program delivery cost-are the primary driver of the sector's financial distress. In addition, chronic underfunding prevents agencies from delivering quality services and forces them to undertake costly borrowing to make payroll and rent; in 2013, nearly one in five human services providers in the city were insolvent. Read more.

New Tool for Coastal Planners Preparing for Sea Level Rise
February 23: Scientists have developed a new model to help coastal planners assess the risks of sea level rise. Put to use on a global scale, it estimates that the oceans will rise at least twenty-eight centimeters on average by the end of this century, and as much as 131 centimeters if greenhouse gas emissions continue to grow unchecked. "With all the greenhouse gases we already emitted, we cannot stop the seas from rising altogether, but we can substantially limit the rate of the rise by ending the use of fossil fuels," said co-author Anders Levermann of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. Columbia University reports that the new model reconciles two common ways of estimating sea level rise, incorporating key elements of process-based methods and semi-empirical methods to create a robust, fast, and accessible model. Read more.

Newsday: State Warns Sandy Victims that They May Need to Pay Back $59 Million
February 19: An estimated 1,500 superstorm Sandy victims could owe the state $59 million in disaster recovery money that was awarded to them to restore, repair, and lift their homes. The Governor's Office of Storm Recovery began sending out debt notice letters this month to applicants the agency believes were ineligible for housing rehabilitation and elevation money or received duplicate payments. Read more.

Emergency Management: The Economics of Rebuilding Stronger
February 17: Disaster Zone blogger Eric Holdeman hosted a discussion on the Emergency Management site on policies that reduce mitigation measures that might have helped with the next disaster. He uses the case of a Texas city easing standards for rebuilding homes after tornadoes to ask questions to readers: "If you were the emergency manager in that city, what would you advise? If you were the building official, would that recommendation differ from yours? If you are the elected official representing citizens from your precinct in the city, how would you vote? If you were the disaster czar and could mandate any course of action, what would it be?" Read more.

Schumer Slams Obama for Proposed NYC Anti-Terror Cuts
February 15: Sen. Charles Schumer launched an attack on President Obama for proposed budget cuts that would deal a blow to local counterterrorism efforts. Schumer called the proposed 2017 budget, which calls for slashes to the Urban Area Security Initiative from $600 million to $330 million, a "punch in the gut" to law enforcement working in anti-terrorism. "UASI is the lifeblood of New York's anti-terror programs and funds the massive terror prevention program for downtown Manhattan and its expansion into Times Square and Midtown," he said. "The president in general has been very good on security, but this is a serious mistake." A bulk of the localized anti-terror funding goes to New York City, with support increasing from fiscal year 2012 to 2015 from $151.6 to $180.9 million by 2015. Read more.

September 11th Victim Compensation Fund - Fourth Annual Status Report
The Victim Compensation Fund's (VCF) fourth Annual Status Report includes an update on the status of all claims processed by the VCF and highlights the substantial efforts of the team in rendering nearly 6,000 compensation determinations in 2015. The report also notes the efforts employed in 2015 to prepare the VCF for closure, which were then re-directed to address the requirements of the reauthorized program. The determination of Congress to reauthorize the VCF recognizes the importance of the Fund's ongoing work for the 9/11 community, the success of their efforts to-date, and the great need to continue to provide compensation to those who suffered physically and financially as a result of the September 11th terrorist attacks and debris removal. Resources:
Resilient Design Guide Released on "High Wind Wood Frame Construction"
The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) released a Resilient Design Guide focused on residential concrete construction, which was developed to guide the building of more resilient homes in high wind areas. The informative guide takes a look at cost implications and construction difficulty of ordinary construction vs. high wind construction vs. resilient construction. The goal of the guide is to provide architects, designers, or homeowners the information necessary to make any set of house plans useful for constructing a more wind resilient structure. The guide includes topics such as the impact of wind borne debris, and easy to understand graphics of how elements of a home - roof, walls, and foundation work in the wind. Read more.

36 Useful Apps and Online Tools for Nonprofits
A number of low-cost or free apps and online tools are available to nonprofits to significantly improve web, email, social media, and visual content. "Nonprofit Tech for Good " recommends and reviews a series of these resources on its website, including tools for social media, graphic design, photo editing, video editing, web/email content, and productivity. Read more.

Report Paints Picture of Disaster-Philanthropy Landscape
According to a new report published by the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and the Foundation Center, the largest 1,000 foundations in the U.S. made $116.9 million in disaster-related grants in 2013, with the Bill & Melinda Gates, Rockefeller, and Margaret A. Cargill foundations topping the list of contributors. Smaller foundations, charities, and international grant makers contributed another $60.1 million. The 2015 Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy report expands on an inaugural report released last year and was published in conjunction with online interactive and mapping tools to help grant makers track how and where disaster philanthropy dollars are being spent around the globe. Read more.
Gotham Gazette: Bill Mandates Board of Elections Emergency Plan
March 9: NY City Council Member Mark Treyger will introduce a bill to ensure that the Board of Elections, which administers voting in the city, joins other agencies in formulating its own disaster-preparedness procedures for conducting the polls. "We have to make sure that democracy perseveres through a crisis," Treyger told Gotham Gazette. The Council member represents parts of southern Brooklyn that were hit hard by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, just a week before election day. Treyger's experience with the storm and his role as chair of the Council's Committee on Recovery and Resiliency give him a unique perspective on the issue. "Every agency, NYCHA or DOE, are all in the process of updating their emergency response plans," Treyger said. "I'm curious to know what the BOE has done to better respond to emergencies post-Superstorm Sandy and what level of coordination exists between the City and the State." Treyger's bill would mandate that the BOE be prepared for extreme situations by working with the Mayor's Office of Emergency Management to create a reasonable plan to conduct an election amid a crisis. Read more.

Schumer Says Feds Should Make Shoreline Storm Resilient
February 25: A group of elected officials led by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer called on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to include Southern Brooklyn in any coastal protection projects it recommends in a new study of mitigation and resiliency programs in the New York/New Jersey harbor. Schumer (D-New York) and U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Coney Island-Canarsie-Eastern Brooklyn) successfully pushed for passage of an appropriations bill that included federal funding for a New York/New Jersey harbor feasibility study. The study will examine Sandy-related coastal flooding, test various solutions to prevent flooding in the future and make recommendations on how to alleviate flooding. Read more.

Expanding Language Access for NYC Government Websites
February 24: The New York City Council voted into law a piece of legislation that requires increased language access to city websites. The legislation will require a translation tool that works for the city's seven most commonly spoken languages - currently English, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Korean, Italian, and Haitian Creole. The bill would also require the adoption of an accessibility standard for city websites to better serve New Yorkers with disabilities. NYC Emergency Management has already adopted this accessibility standard for its written materials and provides all of its printed text in multiple languages. Read more.

City & State Officials Call on Congress to Fully Restore Critical NYC Anti-Terror Funds 
February 17: Mayor Bill de Blasio, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and New York City's Emergency Management, Police, and Fire Commissioners called on Congress this week to fully fund the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) program for the year 2017. Officials explained that urban cities like New York City rely on UASI funds to maintain terrorism prevention and response infrastructure. The UASI was recommended for a national funding level of only $330 million in the President's request for Fiscal Year 2017, after being funded at $600 million in Fiscal Year 2016. Watch the press conference here .

Zadroga Act Extended Until 2090 for Medical Aid to 9/11 First-Responders and Victims
In a move that prompted both exultation and relief among first-responders to the World Trade Center terrorist attacks, Congress passed an $8.1-billion deal to extend the Zadroga Act's Federal benefits for sick 9/11 survivors and first responders. The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act established the World Trade Center Health Program to ensure that the thousands of responders and survivors suffering from illnesses related to 9/11 are provided medical treatment and financial compensation. After months of lobbying and behind-the-scenes wrangling, Congressional supporters of the Zadroga Act struck a deal to add the law's renewal to a must-pass spending bill. Free medical care will be extended until 2090, and the Victim Compensation Act, which reimburses survivors for out-of-pocket costs, will be guaranteed for an additional five years and $4.6 billion. The deal makes some minor revisions to the World Trade Center Health Program, which was granted an additional $3.5 billion, and puts some limits on the VCF. But Congressional supporters were reportedly convinced that it was the best possible deal they could have made, and thrilled that House Republicans allowed the proposal-which had gathered an impressive 69 Senate and 272 House co-sponsors-to come to a vote. Resources on the Zadroga Act and related medical research on 9/11 first-responders and victims:

Active Shooter Incident Preparedness
There are a multitude of resources available to help prompt discussion on how to increase safety at houses of worship and address the potential for copycat threats. Resources:

Flood Preparedness
Floods can have a major impact on homes, communities, and regions and can develop over a period of days or occur suddenly. SAMHSA DTAC has compiled a list of tools and resources focused on flood preparedness and response:

  • Disaster-Specific Resources-Flood
    • This SAMHSA DTAC Disaster Behavioral Health Information Series (DBHIS) installment provides preparedness and response information for floods. Materials include tip sheets, podcasts, and links to helpful agencies. To access this installment, please visit the  website.
  • Stay Safe Before, During, and After a Flood
    • One way that individuals and families can prepare for a flood is to develop their own response and communication plan. The Public Health Emergency website contains materials that can help. Links to these resources are available on the website.  
  • Floods
    • This Federal Emergency Management Agency Ready.gov webpage includes flood-specific preparedness, response, and recovery information. There is also a special section highlighting tools and resources for spring flooding. Visit the website to learn more.
  • Strengthening Your Emotional Well-Being Ahead of the Flood
    • Individuals may experience distress when anticipating and preparing for a flood. This American Psychological Association article offers tips to manage flood-related anxiety and improve overall physical and behavioral health. Access the article here.

Flu Preparedness
Flu season is underway. Below are a few tips to lower chances of catching the flu in the upcoming weeks:
    • Get plenty of sleep. If you're well rested you're less likely to become infected with the flu virus.
    • Be strict about washing hands. Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub. Hands covered in germs spread colds and the flu. Make sure to scrub your hands well with soap or alcohol-based hand rub for 20 seconds.
    • Disinfect heavily touched items, such as doorknobs, remote controls, and phones.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
    • Get your flu shot. One of the best ways to avoid catching the flu away is to make sure that you get vaccinated against it.

Learn more about how to prevent contracting the flu at flu.gov. To stay up to date on the amount of flu cases being reported in the NYC area view the CDC's weekly influenza tracker.

Zika Virus Preparedness
Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (A. aegypti and A. albopictus). To date, Zika has not been spread by mosquitoes in the continental United States. However, lab tests have confirmed Zika virus in travelers returning to the United States. These travelers have gotten the virus from mosquito bites and a few through sex. With the recent outbreaks in the Americas, the number of Zika cases among travelers visiting or returning to the United States will likely increase. CDC is not able to predict how much Zika virus would spread in the continental United States. Many areas in the United States have the type of mosquitoes that can become infected with and spread Zika virus. However, recent outbreaks in the continental United States of chikungunya and dengue, which are spread by the same type of mosquito, have been relatively small and limited to a small area. 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.
Tanenbaum: Resources for Combating Extremism
The Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding is offering free, practical resources that can be used at home or at work, in schools, places of worship and in your community, including a September 11 Fact Sheet and World Religions Fact Sheet. The resources can be utilized for discussion at houses of worship, community centers, at the workplace, or at home with friends and family to help learn the facts and counter hate and terror.

Formidable Footprint - A National Community Exercise Series
January 30-July 30, 2016
This nationwide series of exercises is designed specifically for neighborhood, community and faith-based organizations to assess their disaster preparedness and response capabilities.

Youth Mental Health First Aid Training
April 5 or April 7, 2016 (Other dates are sold out.)
Youth Mental Health First Aid Training is an 8-hour public education program that teaches participants how to support a youth developing signs and symptoms of a mental illness or an emotional crisis.

AWARE Victim Assistance Training
Cyber Safety Workshop
April 15, 2016
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
524 West 59th Street
New York, NY 10019
The National Organization for Victim Assistance is providing an educational summit to raise awareness and equip participants on victim assistance and remediation processes. The free one-day workshop will examine current and emerging trends to cyber crime.
2016 Religious Communicators (RCC) Convention
March 31 to April 2, 2016
New York City
The 2016 RCC Convention will take place across a number of different locations in Manhattan, offering opportunities to join the RCC New York Chapter. While a number of professional associations serve those who work in faith-based or nonprofit communications, most of these represent a particular denomination or professional discipline. In contrast, RCC members are Ba'hai, Christian, Jewish, Muslim and more.
2016 National VOAD Conference
"Up North: Set Your Sights on Collaboration"
May 22-25, 2016

Minneapolis, Minnesota
New York State Training(s)
NYC Emergency Management Training(s)
American Red Cross-Greater New York


Lutheran Social Services of New York
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
NYC Service
New York Disaster Interfaith Services
American Red Cross - Greater New York Region
Social Work Supervisor Position as Adjunct Faculty for LMSW Prep Class - New
  • Email: socialworklicensing16@gmail.com
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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