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 NYDISnet, or if you have news that you want to submit to us, please e-mail info@nydis.org.


Peter B. Gudaitis, M.Div.
Executive Vice President & Chief Response Officer


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
Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
NYDIS Completes NYC DOHMH Faith-based Sector Needs Assessment Focus Groups
The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's (DOHMH) has contracted New York Disaster Interfaith Service's (NYDIS) to help assess and improve the New York City Faith-based Sector's disaster and public health emergency readiness. Over 7,000 organizations and congregations were sent surveys in April. Throughout May, focus groups were also conducted with Catholic, Interfaith, Jewish, Muslim, and Racial and Religious Minority federations and networks. The resulting report and recommendations will allow DOHMH to better understand the disaster and public health emergency capabilities and needs of NYC congregations, religious bodies/networks and faith-based non-profits. The project is taking place under the direction of the DOHMH Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response (OEPR

NYDIS' New Sandy Recovery Positions
NYDIS is currently seeking qualified candidates for the following Administrative and Sandy Recovery positions on our full-time staff. These are both office and field positions.
NYDIS and Rebuild Partners Featured in NYC Service Volunteer Count Report
May 2016: NYC Service, a volunteerism-focused program of the Mayor's office has released its report on volunteerism in the city in 2015. NYDIS appears twice,
New York Disaster Interfaith Services                                                                        2,789
New York Disaster Interfaith Services (NYDIS) - Sandy Voluntary Rebuild                    27,780
Thank you to all our wonderful Sandy voluntary rebuild partners. Many of our member organizations and partner agencies appear throughout because we reported on data sets from our recent city-wide assessment - we are proud to serve with all of you. Click here to view the full report.

NYDIS Working Toward Training 1000 NYC Religious Leaders in Mental Health First Aid
NYDIS is currently partnering with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to offer Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training to NYC congregations and religious leaders under the First Lady's ThriveNYC initiative. Chief Response Officer Peter Gudaitis, a certified Mental Health First Aid instructor, has been be co-teaching courses in all boroughs. NYDIS has pledged to facilitate the training 1000 religious leaders through ThriveNYC.  

Please e-mail us to inquire about MHFA trainings
About ThriveNYC

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 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:
Brighton Beach, Canarsie, Coney Island, Gerritsen Beach, and Sheepshead Bay
Arverne, Edgemere, Broad Channel, Breezy Pont, Far Rockaway, and Bayswater
Staten Island
Cedar Grove, Midland Beach, New Dorp Beach, and South Beach.

Email inquiries and/or complete the checklist below and submit to unmetneeds@nydis.org.

Faith, Disasters, and Post-traumatic Growth
April 18: Benjamin Andrews of Wheaton College's Humanitarian Disaster Institute reflects on the possibility for growth "out of the soil of struggle, posttraumatic stress, and profound loss." Read more.

$20,000 Available in Federal Grants for 2016
April 18: The Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) is part of the National Preparedness System intended to provide "target hardening and other physical security enhancements to nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of terrorist attack and located within one of the specific FY 2016 Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI)-designated eligible urban areas. The program is also designed to promote coordination and collaboration in emergency preparedness activities among public and private community representatives, as well as state and local government agencies." 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.

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 (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.

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 are urged 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.

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 via email.

SBA Disaster Loan Program in Brooklyn for March 2016 fire
New York businesses and residents affected by a fire that destroyed multiple apartment buildings and damaged several businesses in Brooklyn, on March 29, can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. SBA's customer service representatives will be available at the Disaster Loan Outreach Center to answer questions about the disaster loan program and help individuals complete their applications. Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application at SBA's website. The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is July 11, 2016.  The deadline to return economic injury applications is Feb. 10, 2017.
NY State Auctions off Sandy-Damaged Homes
May 10: New York State acquired many homes in the aftermath of Sandy. Earlier this month, 61 Sandy-damaged homes in New York City were auctioned by the state, 56 of the properties were in Staten Island. Read more here.

National Center for Disaster Preparedness Says Americans Are Significantly Underprepared
May 12: Based on a 2015 study, the National Center for Disaster Preparedness of Columbia University's Earth Institute has issued a report examining American "preparedness, attitudes, and opinions." From the executive summary;
"Approximately 50% of households claimed to have a disaster plan and supplies, but when pressed for more information on a follow-up question only 35% of all households are able to report an adequate plan and supplies. In an online survey we conducted with the same questions this number is 40% reporting preparedness plans/supplies with only 20% of the total respondents reporting an adequate plan/supplies based on a follow-up question."

NYC Climate Justice Agenda 
Last month, the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance (NYC-EJA) and its member organizations released The NYC Climate Justice Agenda: Strengthening the Mayor's OneNYC Plan, intended to "assess whether or not efforts from City government, as laid out in the City's sustainability and resiliency blueprints, can begin to reduce the vulnerabilities of low-income communities and communities of color to climate change impacts, and to propose recommendations to broaden and strengthen such protections."

New York City Launches $21M Effort To Combat Zika
April 19: Based on an existing city program to combat West Nile Disease, which is also a mosquito-borne illness, the New York Times says the city's new multi-million dollar campaign will expand mosquito surveillance to help combat the Zika virus host, and improve testing services for pregnant women who may have been exposed to the virus and are at risk of infection. Read more.

Level of Twitter Use Good Predictor of Severity of Hurricane Sandy Damage
April 15: A new study published in Science Advancessuggests that the volume of storm-related tweets align closely with proximity to landfall and the eventual level of damage. Read this article in The Verge for a more lay-person-friendly piece.

Recovery Efforts May Trigger Increased Property Tax as Neighborhoods Improve
April 15: According to the Sheepshead Bites local news site, Sandy recovery efforts may be improving storm-damaged neighborhoods to the detriment of financially struggling residents. 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 construct ing 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.
9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Triples Payments in 2015  
The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund said it has offered financial support to nearly 6,000 victims' families and first responders who became sick because of 9/11 in the past year. An annual report released by the VCF Tuesday  says that's nearly triple the number of payments the fund awarded the year before. Sheila Birnbaum, who manages the fund, said that VCF worked urgently to process claims last year. She said VCF saw more claimants applying because the fund was set to expire in October. Congress voted to fund the program for the next five years in December. "We're very happy that has taken place and that, instead of being in shutdown mode, we can now pay the claimants their full awards and we will be open over the next 5 years to pay additional claimants," she said. 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:

Notify NYC Is Now Multilingual
New York City government's preparedness and early warning tool, Notify NYC, has been expanded to offer common notifications in 13 languages, American Sign Language (ASL), and audio formats. Pre-scripted translations of Notify NYC messages will now be available in Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, French, Haitian Creole, Italian, Korean, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Urdu, and Yiddish. Subscribers can receive alerts in seven ways: phone, email, SMS, fax, BlackBerry PIN, Instant Messenger, and Twitter. Non-English speaking subscribers who receive any of the above digital formats will be given an option to follow a link in which the same message is listed in 13 different languages, audio format, and ASL. Learn more here

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.

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:

The Sandy Mobilization, Assessment Referral and Treatment for Mental Health (SMART-MH)  
July 1, Deadline 
If you or someone you know was impacted by Superstorm Sandy and are age 60 or older, contact SMART-MH, a free or low cost treatment program.  Click here to learn more.
NYC's 2nd Annual Disability Pride Parade 
July 10, Event 
Disability Pride NYC and the Mayor's Office of Disability have partnered to present the 2nd Annual Disability Pride Parade. Registration for the parade begins on May 1st. Click here to learn more.
Formidable Footprint - A National Community Exercise Series 
July 30, Deadline 
This is a nationwide series of exercises designed specifically for neighborhood, community and faith-based organizations to assess their disaster preparedness and response capabilities. Click here to learn more.
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
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
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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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