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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


Register Now: Mental Health First Aid Certification for NYC Religious Leaders
Offered by NYDIS and The Salvation Army in association with EmblemHealth and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Lay and ordained religious leaders of all faith traditions are encouraged to attend a MHFA training to help improve their skills in working with congregants and clients who may be in crisis! The Winter and Spring 2017 training dates are as follows:
  • Wednesday, February 15th
  • Wednesday, March 15th
  • Wednesday, April 19th
  • Wednesday, May 24th
  • Wednesday, June 14th

All trainings will be held from 8:30am-5:00pm, at EmblemHealth, 55 Water Street, New York, NY 10041 - in the Connecticut Room. Register here.

NYDIS is Hiring
NYDIS opened a new position, please forward this posting to all qualified candidates.
Housing Placement Coordinator: NYDIS is hiring a Housing Placement Coordinator for our Superstorm Sandy Temporary Housing Services. This is a full-time temporary (3-4 month) position - Immediate Availability.

NYDIS Welcomes Five New Staff Team Members
In January, NYDIS warmly welcomed:
  • Jason Wolfe, Program Associate for Preparedness
  • Jalise Hackle, Staff Accountant
  • Katharina Mennrich, Communications Associate
  • Chance Kamps, Office Assistant
  • Quinn Zimmerman, Program Associate for Recovery

NYC Sandy Unmet Needs Roundtable ARC Funding Ends with $5.8M in Awards.
The NYC Sandy Unmet Needs Roundtable (UNR), funding from the American Red Cross ended on December 31, 2016 - at total of $5.8 in ARC assistance was distributed by NYDIS through the UNR. NYDIS remains profoundly grateful to the American Red Cross, not only as the largest single donor to the UNR, but for funding four years of UNR administrative costs in partnership with the Mayor's Fund, Robin Hood, and the United Way. Those funds insured that 100% of all other donated dollars went directly to survivors & victim's families. To date, the UNR has assisted 3378 Sandy survivors by providing financial assistance in emergencies or enabling sustainable long-term recovery.
NYC Sandy Unmet Needs Roundtable Passes $13M in Assistance
As of January 2017, NYDIS and the other NYC Sandy Unmet Needs Roundtable donors have awarded over $13 million in assistance to Hurricane Sandy survivors through emergency cash assistance, loans, recovery grants and discounted/tax-free contractors/building supplies to eligible survivor households - another $1.5M in assistance funds remains available, through an SSBG Grant from the New York State Office of Children & Family Services. NYDIS continues to seeks donors to support unmet needs and to partner with long-term recovery groups, case management agencies and rebuild non-profits to financially assist impacted families with unmet needs.

NYDIS is now Offering Disaster Case Management for Sandy Survivors
As the New York State Disaster Case Management Program closes there are many families who remain in crisis and NYDIS is committed to providing DCM until all remaining 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 Stoessel for an unmet needs assessment at 212-669-6100.

NYDIS Launches $100,000 DOHMH Project to Build NYC Faith-Sector Resilience
Starting January 2017, 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 to increase the disaster and public health emergency resilience of faith communities in our city. NYDIS will be starting a city-wide committee for religious leaders who will help lead a coordinated effort to engage faith communities in building disaster resiliency.

For more information, to get involved, click here to email NYDIS.

Update: NYDIS Training 1000 NYC Religious Leaders in Mental Health First Aid
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 and CEO 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 2017. Please e-mail us to inquire about MHFA trainings.

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.

Shorefront Y Questionnaire for Sandy Survivors
Shorefront Y created this survey to identify the successes and failures of the response and recovery services offered to those affected by Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Take the survey.

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.          

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 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.

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 this year. The full article can be read 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 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.
Mayor De Blasio Announces New Center for Faith and Community Partnerships
January 12: Office of the Mayor; Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced the creation of the Center for Faith and Community Partnerships to transform the way in which faith organizations and other community organizations access City services. The Center will be led by Jonathan Soto, former chair of the Bronx Long-term Recovery Group, and serve as a direct line to City Hall, connecting local and citywide coalitions of leaders to services that increase equity and inspire civic engagement throughout our neighborhoods. Read the press release here.

Religious Police Officers in New York Will Be Able to Wear Beards and Turbans
December 28: New York Times; The New York City Police Department is one of the first departments in the U.S. to allow facial hair and turbans. Commissioner James P. O'Neill says: "We're making this change to make sure that we allow everybody in New York City that wants to apply and have the opportunity to work in the greatest police department in the nation, to make sure we give them that opportunity." Read the full article.

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at the World Trade Center Officially Topped Off
December 21: Queens gazette; After being destroyed by the collapse of the South-Tower on September 11, 2001, St. Nicholas takes another important step towards its reopening, with a six-foot three-inch high Justinian cross placed atop its dome. Read the full article.

NYC Muslim Civic Engagement Survey
December 16: VIA the Majlis Ash Shura of New York: "Please take some time out to fill out this survey & share with others. The survey is conducted by NYC Mayor's Community Affairs Unit. One of Mayor's Community Affairs Unit current initiatives is to assess and improve civic engagement amongst Muslim adults and youth in the city. The NYC Muslim Civic Engagement Survey is a short and anonymous survey for Muslim New Yorkers." Take the survey.

A Retrospective DHS Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
November 28: FEMA; Government emergency managers and faith- and community-based groups respond to disasters in their own important, and, sometimes, independent ways. The  Department of Homeland Security Center for Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships was established to build bridges of understanding and partnerships for action between these neighbors. The DHS Center also assists faith- and community-based organizations that combat human trafficking. Learn more.

Bomb Threat Guidance
What would you do if you received a bomb threat? This Bomb Threat Guidance from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security will help you plan and prepare for an emergency and assess received threats carefully. Click to read or download here.
Jon Stewart Encourages 9/11 Survivors to Register for Zadroga Act Treatment
December 18: Pix11; In a Facebook live video, Jon Stewart, former host of The Daily Show, joined other survivor advocates to urge those affected by 9/11 to sign up for the Zadroga Act Treatment Plan. "The act, which was renewed last year after becoming a law in 2010, helps 9/11 first responders and survivors receive medical monitoring, treatment and compensation for their injuries or medical conditions, according to the WTC Health Program. It provides care and coverage for 75 years." First responders are automatically eligible for health monitoring every year for the rest of their life and survivors are eligible for screenings, and if they are found to have an illness, can receive health monitoring for the rest of their life. Learn more.

FDNY Publishes 9/11 15 Year Study
December 09: NYC Fire Department; "September 11th took the lives of 343 FDNY members, and it continues to take the lives of far too many more men and women who bravely took part in the World Trade Center rescue and recovery effort," said Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro.  "This comprehensive study details the terrible toll the attack continues to take on the FDNY family, as well as the critical need for continued monitoring, treatment and funding to help those suffering from World Trade Center illness." The study is the most comprehensive post-disaster health report ever published. "The findings highlight the importance of early and continued health monitoring coupled with integrated care for exposure-related mental and physical health conditions." A summary can be found here and the full report can be accessed here.

Dismantling Climate Rules Isn't So Easy
December 08: New York Times; As President-elect Trump nominates Scott Pruitt as head the Environmental Protection Agency, many fear that improvements regarding sustainability and climate change rules will be repealed. Fortunately, law and reality constrain presidents and agency heads. So do deeply ingrained federalism traditions that leave room for state leadership on the environment. Collectively, law, reality and regulatory choices by states would create a bulwark against abrupt changes by Mr. Pruitt and the president. Read the full article.

Finding Hate Crimes on The Rise, Leaders Condemn Vicious Acts
December 05: New York Times; Since President-elect Donald Trump was announced the official winner of the 2016 presidential elections hate crimes in New York City have risen over 35% compared to last years' statistics. The incidents range from vicious graffiti to physical violence. One of the victims of this newly ignited hate is officer Elsokary, an 11-year veteran of the force, who was assaulted when she tried to protect her son from a man accusing him of belonging to ISIS. At a press conference Mayor Bill de Blasio condemned the spreading of hatred and bias in his city: "This is Officer Elsokary's country. She is an American. She is a New Yorker. She's already at home". Read the full article.
Climate Disasters Cost U.S. $46 Billion as Flooding Leads List
January 09: Bloomberg; Damages related to Climate Disasters cost over $46 billion and killed at least 138 people in the U.S. last year. The seven types of disasters noted in the National Centers for Environmental Information's yearly report are closely watched by scientists and industries to gauge how changing patterns affect peoples' lives. Read the article here.

No Discipline for FBI Agent Accused of Writing 9/11 Report FBI Now Calls Bogus
January 9: Florida Bulldog; "The FBI agent who wrote a powerful investigative report about 9/11 that the bureau later publicly repudiated faced no apparent discipline even though the FBI subsequently deemed his report to be ‘poorly written' and ‘wholly unsubstantiated'." Read more here.

Mayor de Blasio Appoints Jainey Bavishi as Director of Recovery and Resiliency
January 03: NYC Gov; Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the appointment of Jainey Bavishi as the Director of the Office of Recovery and Resiliency. Bavishi is a nationally recognized expert in climate adaptation and resiliency. "For a coastal city like ours, rising sea levels mean rising risk for our neighborhoods, infrastructure and economy. That is why we're making an unprecedented investment in the City's resiliency" said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "To help keep us on the path of protecting our residents and demonstrating leadership and collaboration in adapting to these threats, I am so pleased to have Jainey Bavishi join our team of extremely talented climate experts." Read the press release.

NYC "Build It Back" Has Fixed 60% of Homes in the Superstorm Sandy Repair Program
January 2:  NY Daily News; Good news from the NYC Build It Back program: numbers are up from 44% in October 2016 to 60% in January 2017. Build It Back is now completing 75 homes per week and has completed around 840 projects since October. Read more here.

Assessing Climate Resiliency of More Than 250 U.S. Cities
December 29: Homeland Security News Wire; The University of Notre Dame's Global Adaptation Index (ND-GAIN) has announced it will assess the climate vulnerability and readiness of every  U.S. city with a population over 100,000 — more than 250 in all — in an effort to help inform decisions by city officials on infrastructure, land use, water resources management, transportation and other adaptive strategies. Read the article here. Learn more about ND-GAIN here.

PTSD Associated with Cognitive Impairment in WTC Responders, Study Finds
December 09: PR Newswire; A new study links PTSD to cognitive impairment in WTC responders; the findings suggest that responders with PTSD should be monitored for signs of cognitive impairment. The rate of cognitive impairment, which is the decline of abilities such as memory and thinking skills, was 13 percent among 9/11 responders, the researchers found. Read the article.

Climate Change to Drive Stronger, Smaller Storms in U.S.
December 06: Homeland Security News Wire; The effects of climate change will likely cause smaller but stronger storms in the United States, according to a new framework for modeling storm behavior. Though storm intensity is expected to increase over today's levels, the predicted reduction in storm size may alleviate some fears of widespread severe flooding in the future. The new approach uses new statistical methods to identify and track storm features in both observational weather data and new high-resolution climate modeling simulations.
Read more.

Cities and States Lead on Climate Change
November 30: New York Times - Opinion: "As President-elect Donald J. Trump considers whether to break the United States commitment to the Paris climate accord, the rise of clean energy across the heartland is already too well entrenched to be reversed." Read more.
Access and Functional Needs Preparedness
  • Emergency Planning for People with Access and Functional Needs
    Read or Download the 2016 NYC Emergency management report on DAFN emergency planning here.

Cold Weather Preparedness
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.
  • Winter Storms: The Deceptive Killers: A Preparedness Guide
    Written by the National Weather Service, this guide discusses the dangers of winter weather, hazards involved in specific types of weather, and winter weather in different parts of the United States. Read or download t guide here.
  • Winter Storms and Extreme Cold
    This Ready.gov webpage presents things you can do to prepare for winter storms and very cold winter weather. This resource is available in English and Spanish.
  • Be Red Cross Ready: Winter Storm Safety Checklist
    This document includes several checklists to guide you through what to do during and after a winter storm, what to include in an emergency kit, and ways to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. This resource is also available English and in Spanish.
  • NDIN Tip Sheet: Faith Communities & Cold Weather Hazards
    This NDIN tip sheet provides religious leaders with information and tips on how to prepare their communities for the hazards of extreme. Learn more here.

Flood Preparedness
  • Spring Flooding: Risks and Preparedness
    While spring brings the promise of warm weather and longer days, it also brings a variety of conditions that can include heavy rains, severe weather, and rapid snowmelt that can increase your flood risk. Learn more here.

Trauma Preparedenss
  • Resource Guide to Trauma-Informed Human Services
    The guide is intended to provide an introduction to the topic of trauma, a discussion of why understanding and addressing trauma is important for human services programs, and a "road map" to find relevant resources. Learn more.
Sandy Survivor Support Meeting
Shorefront Y
Brooklyn, NY
Sunday, February 12th - 2:00-4:00pm
Learn more here.

The Support Group for Sandy Survivors meets every 2nd Sunday from 2-4pm and last Thursday from 6:30- 8:30pm at Shorefront Y.

Mental Health First Aid Certification for NYC Religious Leaders
55 Water Street, New York, NY 10041 (Connecticut Room).
  • Wednesday, February 15th
  • Wednesday, March 15th
  • Wednesday, April 19th
  • Wednesday, May 24th
  • Wednesday, June 14th

All trainings will be held from 8:30am-5:00pm
Register here.

Offered by NYDIS and The Salvation Army in association with EmblemHealth and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Lay and ordained religious leaders of all faith traditions are encouraged to attend a MHFA training to help improve their skills in working with congregants and clients who may be in crisis!

Sandy Survivor Support Meeting
Shorefront Y
Brooklyn, NY
February 23rd - 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Learn more here.

The Support Group for Sandy Survivors meets every 2nd Sunday from 2-4pm and last Thursday from 6:30- 8:30pm at Shorefront Y.

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 2016 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
National Service (CNCS)
New York Cares
NYC Medical Reserve Corp
NYC Office of Emergency Management NYC Service NYDIS Is Hiring
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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