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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.


Peter B. Gudaitis, M.Div.
Executive Director


NYDIS Sandy Recovery Resources

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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.
NYDIS Is Hiring
NYDIS opened three positions recently, please forward these postings to all qualified candidates.
  • Disaster Preparedness Internship (Paid) This paid, 12-week internship will assist the executive staff in increasing disaster preparedness in congregations throughout New York City and help develop tools promoting human and faith-based institutional resiliency. Candidates working towards an emergency management degree are encouraged to apply. A Summer extension is possible by invitation.
  • Communications Internship (Paid) This paid, 12-week internship will assist the executive staff in developing an organization-wide communications plan, increasing social our media presence, newsletter lay-out, with some copy editing. A Summer extension is possible by invitation.
  • Staff Accoutant (Full-time) NYDIS is seeking a full-time Staff Accountant for our mid-town office to assist the CFO with office bookkeeping, maintaining financial records, track grant distributions, and manage PayChex payroll and insurance benefits for a staff of 20-25.
NYDIS Hurricane Sandy Referral Line & Disaster Case Management
Starting in September, following the closing of the New York State Disaster Case Management Program, NYDIS is now operating a resource referral line and disaster case management of Sandy impacted individual families with unmet needs - until all remaining recovery resources are exhausted. The work is being funded by a grant from the NY State Office of Children and Family Services. Any Sandy impacted New Yorkers still in need of assistance may contact Eric for an unmet needs assessment at 212-669-6100.

NYDIS Expands MHFA Trainings towards 1000 NYC Religious Leaders Goal
In November, NYDIS launched a new training partnership with Emblem Health and the Salvation Army's  Emergency Disaster Services to offer monthly trainings for NYC religious leaders at Emblem Health's training facility at 55 Water Street.

NYDIS is an ongoing partnership with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to offer Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training to NYC congregations and religious leaders under the First Lady's ThriveNYC initiative. Executive Director Peter Gudaitis, a certified Mental Health First Aid instructor, has been be co-teaching courses in all five boroughs. NYDIS has pledged to facilitate the training of 1,000 religious leaders through ThriveNYC.E

Upcoming Trainings

  • Emblem Health, Manhattan - Wednesday, Nov. 30 • 8:30-5 (Register Now)
  • Emblem Health, Manhattan - Wednesday, Dec. 14 • 8:30-5 (Register Now)
Please e-mail us to inquire about MHFA trainings.
NYDIS to Co-Chair/Name DOHMH Faith-Sector Preparedness Working Group
NYDIS has embarked on a new 18-month project funded by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene - Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response (DOHMH OEPR) to increase the disaster and public health emergency resilience of faith communities in our city. NYDIS will co-Chair and appoint members to a new city-wide Faith-Sector preparedness  working group of senior religious leaders who lead a coordinated effort to engage faith communities in building disaster resiliency through preparedness programs.

For more information, to nominate leaders, click here to email NYDIS.
2015 Hate Crime Statistics Released
In November, the FBI released its annual report detailing hate crimes across America, detailing 5,850 known hate crimes from 2015. The report separates crimes on the basis of religion, ethnicity, sexual identity, gender, and disability. The report brings to light some discomforting statistics, indicating a 67% increase in anti-Muslim incident - rising to more than half of the statistic's 2001 peak. Additionally, for the first time the report has included anti-Sikh hate crimes in its report. The report's data table can be accessed here.

Religious Competency Guidelines for Sheltering & Mass Care
The guidelines in this Tip Sheet set are designed to inform religious literacy, cultural competency, and reasonable religious accommodation mandates for U.S. Mass Care providers, and to assist staff and volunteers in competently meeting the needs of minority faith communities during disaster response or recovery operations - whether at a government or private shelter, or a shelter in house of worship or other religious facility.

In 2014, NDIN and USC CRCC signed a "Collaboration Agreement" with the American Red Cross to co-brand this Tip Sheet Set. The collaboration allowed for wider distribution of these tools through our nation's leading Mass Care provider and its many chapters, partners and volunteers.

Click to View or Download Tip Sheet PDFs
  1. Competency Guidelines: Sheltering & Mass Care for Buddhists
  2. Competency Guidelines: Sheltering & Mass Care for Hindus
  3. Competency Guidelines: Sheltering & Mass Care for Jews
  4. Competency Guidelines: Sheltering & Mass Care for Muslims
  5. Competency Guidelines: Sheltering & Mass Care for Sikhs

SBP Resources for Homeowners
SBP (formerly St Bernard Project) has web page devoted to resources for homeowners impacted by disasters. There are downloadable PDF guides on topics as varied and essential as mold remediation and contractor fraud. Find the resources 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.

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.

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.

September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Begins Payments to Group B Claimants
As of Oct. 3, the VCF has issued more than 10,700 awards over the life of the program, including 9,130 awards in Group A and 1,573 awards in Group B. When combined, these awards total approximately $2.05 billion. Please visit the "How to File A Claim" page here.

Period for Ground Zero Workers to Seek Compensation Extended to 9/11/2018
September 12: NYT reports that "New York State is extending the period for workers and volunteers to seek medical benefits and lost wages resulting from their involvement in the rescue and recovery operations in Lower Manhattan after the attack on Sept. 11, 2001." Read more here.

SBA Reopens Sandy Disaster Loan Applications until 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 was July 11, 2016.  The deadline to return economic injury applications is Feb. 10, 2017.

FEMA National Flood Insurance Program Expires in 2017
The flood insurance program is at the center of the climate change storm. And with the authorization of the program set to expire on Sept. 30, 2017, flood insurance could become a hot-button legislative issue next year. The full article can be read here.
9/11 Memorial and Museum Overspends By $25 Million
November 20: According to the New York Post, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum has lost $25.2 Million over the course of its first year of operation. Although grants, admission, tours, souvenirs, and memberships brought in $87.3 Million, operating costs and expenses were around $108 Million. "In February, the House passed a bill to grant up to $25 million a year to the foundation. A Senate subcommittee on national parks has yet to vote on the measure, which critics call a disguised earmark." The full article can be read here.

9/11 First Reponders Lead Veteran's Day Parade
November 11: "More than 40,000 veterans, military personnel and supporters marched up Manhattan's Fifth Avenue Friday in the 97th annual Veterans Day Parade to honor America's men and women in uniform." Three 9/11 first responders, Joseph Duggan, Stephanie Dawson, and Detective Nelson Vergara, served as Grand Marshals of the parade. The full article with interviews can be read here.

Mark Chambers Appointed as NYC's Director of Sustainability
November 10: Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his appointment of Mark Chambers as the Director of the Offices of Sustainability. The announcement stated that" Mark Chambers is a nationally-respected expert in clean energy, inclusive climate action and sustainability. He will lead the City's sustainability programs, working to reduce the City's contributions to the causes of climate change and expand environmental quality across the city. This includes significant initiatives to meet the City's aggressive greenhouse gas emissions targets - an 80 percent reduction from 2005 levels by 2050 - and achieve important air quality and renewable energy goals, aspects of Mayor de Blasio's OneNYC plan which aims to create a more equitable, resilient and sustainable city. Chambers most recently served as the Director of Sustainability and Energy in Washington D.C., and will start in his new role later this month."

Build it Back Expedites Sandy Recovery Services
November 2: NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law legislation which expedites demolition and construction work performed by contractors under the city's Build it Back program. The bill sponsored by Council Member Mark Treyger speeds up the pace at which rebuild can progress by allowing paper work to be filed post-demolition and allowing construction to happen on homes with open violations. Read the press release here.

Sandy High Water Mark Signs 
October 27: Through a joint effort of NYCEM and FEMA, signs marking the water level during Sandy were unveiled last week in both Breezy Point, Coney Island, and the South Street Seaport. According to NYCEM Commissioner Joseph Esposito, "These new initiatives will help remind New Yorkers of the life-threatening danger that hurricanes bring to coastal communities." See the announcement here.

FEMA to Revise NYC Flood Maps
October 17: Mayor Bill de Balsio and FEMA announced that the NYC Flood Map will be updated to reflect current flood risk. The Flood Map determines whether homeowners with mortgages are required to have flood insurance. The updated map will reduce insurance costs to New Yorkers, while remaining adaptable to future climate change predictions. Read more here.

World Risk Report 2016
This comprehensive report from the United Nations is recommended reading from NYDIS. The full text can be found here.
The mission of OpenFEMA is to execute federal open data machine readable policies and standards, and to promote a culture and empower open government within FEMA. Data available includes FEMA Datasets and FEMA Library. Find more information here.

More Evidence of WTC First Responder Illnesses
A team of Long Island doctors has found evidence linking the presence of first responders on the WTC debris pile to a debilitating nerve condition called neuropathy. Read the full article here.

Trump Vowed to Reopen 9/11 Investigation, Will He?
During his campaign to be elected the President of the United States of America, now President-Elect Donald Trump vowed to re-open the investigation of the 2001 September 11 attacks. Presidential Candidate Trump said "the original 9/11 investigation is a total mess and has to be reopened." An article from the Daily Star details the statements of President-Elect Trump and Former Governor of Florida Bob Graham can be found here.

Access & Functional Needs Preparedness

Emergency Planning for People with Access and Functional Needs Symposium Report

Read or download the 2016 NYC Emergency Management report on DAFN emergency planning here.

Disaster Preparedenss
  • How to Prepare Your Home for a Natural Disaster
    Given the many large disasters which have struck the US this year, this article provides a good reminder for the many types of disasters which can strike, and the myriad of ways we can prepare our home to withstand the devastation of these events. Although the source is a financial website, it has a complete and simple list of steps to make your home safer, and steps to help you avoid financial destruction.
  • Fact Sheet From Obama Administration Announces New Preparedness Efforts
    In an effort to address vulnerabilities identified in the 2016 National Preparedness Report, the Fact Sheet gave details on the actions federal agencies have put together to address these areas for national improvement. The Agencies involved in these actions range from FEMA to the Heritage Emergency National Task Force. The Fact Sheet can be found here and the 2016 National Preparedness Report can be found here.

El Niño Preparedness
Forecasts in the U.S. are showing a soon-to-peak El Niño that could deliver drenching conditions to California and throughout the South. Predicted conditions come with an enhanced flood threat and an increase in tornado activity through the spring. For the next several months, many areas in the United States are at an increased flood risk from El Niño as a direct result of drought and wildfires. Resources:
Zika Virus Preparedness
  • NYU: U.S. Public Perception of Zika Risk
    The World Health Organization recently downgraded the spread of Zika from an international public health emergency to a significant public health challenge-a determination that is still concerning to public health practitioners. Average Americans, however, weren't adequately grasping their personal risk even before that development, according to this report based on more than nearly 2,500 surveys. The report finds that U.S. residents have a general awareness of the disease but that their "specific knowledge regarding the virus's symptoms and transmission routes is incomplete, their personal sense of threat of Zika infection is relatively muted." The report looks at public perception based on a variety of factors, as well as their implications. Click to view or download PDF

  • Centers for Disease Control Information & Resourcs
    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. Click to view: CDC Information & Resources

Mental Health First Aid Certification for Religious Leaders
Offered by NYDIS and The Salvation Army in association with EmblemHealth and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. All NYC religious leaders are encouraged to attend these very important trainings supported by ThriveNYC.
  • Wednesday, November 30th, 8:30am - 5:00pm
  • Wednesday December 14th, 8:30am - 5:00pm

All trainings will be held at Emblem Health, 55 Water Street, New York, NY  10041. Register here.

Winter Weather Community Planning Workshop
November 29th, 2016 6-8pm. Learn how NYC plans for winter weather emergencies, and how you can prepare your community for blizzards, ice storms, and extreme cold. Register here.

Citizen Corps Event:
2016 Disability, Access, and Functional Needs Symposium: From Theory to Practice  
December 14, 2016 
9 AM - 1:30 PM
Learn more and register here.

Join us for our annual symposium that aims to strengthen partnerships around emergency preparedness efforts for people with disabilities.

Shorefront Y - Sandy Survivor Support Group Meeting 
December 11, 2016    2 PM 

If you are a Superstorm Sandy Survivor, come join this group at the Shorefront Y to share resources and become empowered. 

Shorefront Y - Sandy Survivor Support Group Meeting 
December 27, 2016    2 PM 

If you are a Superstorm Sandy Survivor, come join this group at the Shorefront Y to share resources and become empowered. 

New York State Training(s)
NYC Emergency Management Training(s)
UN Sphere Project: Online Course on the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS)
The online course was launched in May and covers the history of the CHS, its structure and scope, the principles underpinning it, the links between the CHS and Sphere sectoral standards, and how individuals and organizations can apply the CHS. Read more.
American Red Cross-Greater New York
Hostage US is recruiting a Fundraising and Strategic Partnerships Manager. Hostage US is an independent non-profit organization that supports hostages and their families both during and after a kidnapping. Hostage US provides personal support and a range of professional services that are completely free of charge, confidential, and independent of any outside interest.
National Service (CNCS)
New York Cares
NYC Medical Reserve Corp
NYC Office of Emergency Management
NYC Service
New York Disaster Interfaith Services (NYDIS)
  • Job Opportunities
  • Disaster Preparedness Internship (Paid) This paid, 12-week internship will assist the executive staff in increasing disaster preparedness in congregations throughout New York City and help develop tools promoting human and faith-based institutional resiliency. Candidates working towards an emergency management degree are encouraged to apply. A Summer extension is possible by invitation.
  • Communications Internship (Paid) This paid, 12-week internship will assist the executive staff in developing an organization-wide communications plan, increasing social our media presence, newsletter lay-out, with some copy editing. A Summer extension is possible by invitation.
  • Staff Accoutant (Full-time) NYDIS is seeking a full-time Staff Accountant for our mid-town office to assist the CFO with office bookkeeping, maintaining financial records, track grant distributions, and manage PayChex payroll and insurance benefits for a staff of 20-25
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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To Submit News or Events for Publication
Please Contact: info@nydis.org