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About Us


NYDIS is a 501(c)(3) faith-based federation of service providers and charitable organizations who work in partnership to provide disaster readiness, response, and recovery services to New York City. Our mission is to inspire, connect and provide resources for New York City faith communities serving in disaster to create an urban environment of social justice for all.

NYDIS is New York City’s faith-based...

COMMUNICATOR of the significance of faith-based roles in disaster response, and disseminator of information, tools and resources to members, the disaster response community, and the public.

CONNECTOR to vital resources and services provided by faith-based providers, local houses of worship, religious leaders, and the Unmet Needs Roundtable.

COORDINATOR of faith-based emergency response programs, assistance efforts, and collaborations.
EDUCATOR of the public, faith communities, and religious leaders about faith-based roles in mitigation, preparedness, spiritual care, and the needs of the vulnerable and under-served.
TRAINER of clergy, religious leaders, and communities for disaster spiritual care and preparedness.
LEADER in faith-based disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery programs.


NYDIS works primarily in two distinct yet closely connected arenas. First, we build the capacity and strengthen the resources of faith-based agencies providing secular disaster human services. Second, by coordinating the disaster services of faith-based and other organizations, NYDIS and its members seek to mitigate human suffering caused by catastrophes and serve the most vulnerable and under-resourced households and communities affected by disaster. 

Events such as the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina, and Hurricane Sandy have clearly established that faith-based agencies and religious leaders serve as focal points for people seeking humanitarian aid, economic assistance, and spiritual care when disaster strikes. In fact, about two-thirds of the social services agencies participating in the Ground Zero and post-Katrina recovery efforts were faith-based. In times of crisis, an estimated 60% of Americans turn first to their religious leaders for advice and comfort*; in low-income communities, this percentage has been found to be even higher. Disaster studies also indicate that low-income and immigrant groups are more affected by calamities and face greater economic, psychological, familial, and health-related hardship than any other segment of the population. 

Well-entrenched in their neighborhoods, faith-based organizations typically reflect the social, ethnic, cultural, and linguistic attributes of their respective communities. NYDIS reaches out to all the houses of worship, religious schools, and faith-based social services agencies in New York City. By training religious leaders from all faiths in disaster readiness, preparing them to assume a leadership role before, during, and after a crisis, and encouraging them to work together and pool their resources, NYDIS can help ensure that all New Yorkers—particularly the most marginalized segments of the City’s population—have access to knowledgeable, culturally sensitive, disaster-trained leaders who can assist them through the different phases of the disaster life cycle.

* “2001 Ripple Effect,” American Red Cross



Following the events of September 11, 2001, New York City faith-based agencies established programs to assist in rescue, relief, and recovery efforts. Thousands of religious leaders and people of faith volunteered to help those impacted by the disaster and the recovery worker community. This collective response was effective, but it lacked both the capacity to coordinate recovery services and the resources to prepare for future disasters.  NYDIS was incorporated in 2003 to meet these needs. It has proven to be an innovative model for an interfaith long-term recovery organization. NYDIS evolved beyond the limits of a typical recovery agency to address all phases of the disaster life cycle with mitigation education, preparedness training, planning, recovery, and advocacy programs.

Throughout the organization's years of operation, NYDIS has provided the following programs and services for our members and clients. A team of former NYDIS staff and experts from partner disaster human service and spiritual care organizations currently provide program development and training based on best practices in their respective arenas. Some of these services are currently available on a fee-for-service basis through the National Disaster Interfaith Network (
- Advocacy
- Community Outreach & Training
- Disaster Chaplaincy & Spiritual Care*
- E-Communications*
- HOWCALM® Asset-Mapping System*
- Planning
- Recovery
- Unmet Needs Roundtables*
Currently Active NYDIS Programs *