Client Story: The Ongoing Impact of 9/11
Mr. R. joined the 9/11
recovery efforts at Ground Zero on September 13, 2001. After spending eight months working for an asbestos
removal company at the site, Mr. R. began to experience health problems that forced him to cut his hours and
eventually stop working altogether.
In January 2004, the World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program diagnosed Mr. R. with chronic
respiratory conditions, acid reflux disease, and totally disabling back injuries. He also suffered from psychological
trauma and has been diagnosed with chronic post traumatic stress and major depressive disorder.
He turned to NYDIS for help and was assigned a caseworker who has been helping him since August 2004. The NYC 9/11
Unmet Needs Roundtable has provided Mr. R. and his family of five with rent, utilities, and food payments to aid
their long-term recovery when all other means of assistance failed them. As a result of his application to the
Roundtable, his wife has received job training and is now fully employed. His family is sustained by his wife’s
income along with public benefits, while he is actively pursuing the maximum allowable benefits under workers’
compensation. Mr. R. says about the UNR, “They have helped me move on with my life, to overcome my
problems. I am thankful to (NYDIS) for giving me these moments, this peace of mind in times of crisis.”
NYDIS's Marco Riquelme Named 2008 AmeriCorps Spirit of Service Finalist
Each year, the Corporation for National and Community Service presents the Spirit of Service Award to outstanding
participants in each of its AmeriCorps programs, including State and National, NCCC, VISTA, and Alumni. NYDIS was pleased
to nominate Marco Riquelme, IT and HOWCALM® Program Manager, for the Alumni category. Marco served with NYDIS in
the AmeriCorps Homeland Security Project ROSES program in 2005-06. During his term of service, Marco was responsible
for building the web-based asset mapping system now called HOWCALM® (House of Worship Communitywide Asset and
Logistics Management). This system is now the leading technology available for faith-based disaster human services
asset mapping in the nation. NYDIS has benefited greatly Marco’s AmeriCorps service as well as his dedication
and creativity as a member of the professional staff. As a result of his continued commitment to service, he was
selected as a finalist for the award.
NYDIS Participates in Citizen Corps Council Disaster Volunteer Conference
On May 17 and 18,
NYDIS’s Executive Director and VISTAs participated in NYC Citizen Corps Council’s 2008 Disaster
Volunteer Conference, titled “Preparing to Recover.” Intended to build interagency
coordination on the issues of disaster readiness, response, and recovery, the conference focused on
training and educating volunteer leaders. In the morning, Office of Emergency Management (OEM)
Commissioner Joseph Bruno welcomed attendees to the event. Following his remarks, a panel of volunteer
leaders discussed their complementary roles in disaster response. The day ended with two workshop sessions
which addressed topics related to disaster preparedness and recovery, including “Community
Disaster Networks,” co-taught by NYDIS Executive Director Peter Gudaitis, Adam Runkle of the
American Red Cross in Greater New York, and Herman Shaeffer of OEM. Along with these panels and
workshops, the conference provided networking opportunities among a variety of disaster services
professionals and religious leaders.
For more information about Citizen Corps Council:
For more information about NYC OEM:
NYDIS Leads HOWCALM® Outreach Project during AmeriCorps Week 2008
From May 11 through May 18,
AmeriCorps Week’s service projects, community gatherings, and recruitment fairs took place across the
country to highlight and promote the contributions that AmeriCorps programs make in our communities. NYDIS
VISTA members led a project in New York City which focused on conducting outreach for HOWCALM®,
NYDIS’s asset-mapping database system for disaster planning and response. With approximately ten
students from the High School of Public Service and local colleges participating in the outreach, fifteen
houses of worship in Brooklyn were verified. NYDIS is grateful for these volunteers’ work and for
their VISTA members, whose service has contributed to HOWCALM®’s implementation.
NYDIS ED Attends White House Compassion in Action Roundtable
On May 19, NYDIS’s Executive Director & CEO, Peter Gudaitis, was among 100 invited guests to attend the White
House Faith-Base and Community Initiatives Roundtable entitled, “Partnerships in Emergency Preparedness, Response
and Recovery: The Role of Faith-Based and Community Organizations in Building Resilient Communities.” Held
in the White House complex, the conference brought together government agencies with faith-based and community leaders
to strengthen their collaboration on disaster preparedness, response, and recovery efforts. The Roundtable emphasized
key policies, models, and technology that enhance these efforts. U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Michael
Chertoff delivered the keynote remarks.
Read the press release:
9/11 Unmet Needs Roundtable Updates
NYC 9/11 In-Service Training for Case Workers
In-Service Training is required for case workers who have never presented a case at the
Roundtable, and is recommended as
a refresher for experienced case workers who have previously presented cases. All
sessions take place at NYDIS (map
NYC 9/11 Unmet Needs Roundtable Schedule
The NYC 9/11 Unmet Needs Roundtable brings together donors and agencies providing case management
services to financially assist individuals impacted by 9/11. Case managers who would like to present a
case to the Roundtable must sign up for a case review meeting with the Moderator. Case review hours are
posted on a bi-weekly basis on 9/11 RWCAN at https://911rwcan.communityos.org/cms/
Thursday, June 5 - 9:30 am-12:00 pm (Open)
Thursday, June 19 - 9:30 am-12:00 pm (Open)
To RSVP, contact:
Lida Mora, Moderator, NYC 9/11 Unmet Needs Roundtable
NYC 9/11 Case Management Coordination Meetings
NYDIS hosts monthly Case Management Coordination meetings for service providers that are assisting
9/11 recovery workers
and the general 9/11-affected community. These meetings are open to representatives from any
service providers that wish to coordinate and share information about their services and the
To RSVP, contact:
Lida Mora, Moderator, NYC 9/11 Unmet Needs Roundtable
:: NYC 9/11 Recovery Resources
A comprehensive list of news, updates and resources for 9/11 victims and
recovery workers, updated weekly:
:: Recovery Resources for Other NYC Area Disasters
:: U.S. Government's Focus on Terrorism Frustrates States
State and local governments are becoming increasingly frustrated by the federal government’s focus on terrorism. For
example, in order to receive needed federal funding, states are now required to create plans to keep their state safe from IEDs,
a threat that is common in the Middle East but that states find to be an unrealistic concern in the United States. Many state
and local officials understand the importance of protecting their residents against potential threats but believe that their
most important financial priorities involve everyday violence in their neighborhoods. Without any concrete evidence that
terrorism is likely, these leaders feel the need to allot the majority of their funding to other causes. Michael Chertoff,
secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, explains that federal directives to state governments are not
unreasonable. Instead, he argues, the U.S. must take precautions to keep the country as prepared as possible.
Read the May 26 NY Times article: click here
:: Mount Sinai Study Finds High Rates of PTSD in 9/11 Responders
A new study by Mount Sinai School of Medicine reveals that people who served as first responders after the 9/11 attacks on the
World Trade Center have significantly higher rates of psychological distress than the general population. Some of these
psychological problems include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and panic disorder. The study reveals that
the number of responders who are experiencing PTSD is comparable to that of veterans who served in the war in Afghanistan.
In response to Mount Sinai’s findings, Senator Clinton and Representatives Maloney, Nadler, and Towns have again stressed
the need for federal funding to support the physical and mental health care available to these responders.
Read the Mount Sinai Report: click here
Read the May 20 press release from the Office of Representative Nadler: click here
:: Emergency Management Sector Shows Growing Job Outlook
According to FEMA and data from private sector research, the field of emergency management and disaster recovery is growing in
the United States in spite of the weakened economy. By 2012, these sources predict that the sector will spend $65 billion in
wages alone to employ 1.2 million people. Examples of emergency management jobs include environmental science and protection
technicians, paramedics, fire fighters, and occupational health and safety specialists. While $65 billion may seem like a
on government spending, the cost of not being prepared in a large-scale disaster is much greater, as Hurricane Katrina and
Cyclone Nargis reveal.
Read the article in Homeland Security News: click here
:: Larry Silverstein Optimistically Rebuilds the WTC Complex
With construction in progress on the Freedom Tower as well as WTC 3 and 4, Larry A. Silverstein’s company has over $9
billion worth of projects in process at a time when many other developers are suffering in a staggering economy. Silverstein
has weathered tumultuous times at the World Trade Center site since 1987, when the first 7 WTC building was finished shortly
before the stock market crashed. Just under 15 years later, 9/11 happened. In both instances, Silverstein remained optimistic
about his goals for his buildings. Firmly and patiently waiting for the right time and buyer, he does not budge in his rent
negotiations. He confidently anticipates an upturn in the economy that will help him fill WTC 7 and that will continue through
the upcoming years to coincide with the availability of space in the WTC Complex, which will be completed in 2012.
Read the May 14 NY Times article: click here
Health Department Announces New Program for 9/11 Mental Health Treatment
On April 21, the NYC Health Department announced its plans for a new program that will cover mental health and substance
abuse treatment for New York City residents and workers who are still struggling with the psychological impacts of 9/11.
The program will reimburse eligible New Yorkers for out-of-pocket outpatient treatment including therapy, medication, lab
work, and evaluations received anytime between January 2, 2007 and January 7, 2011. According to data collected in the
years following 9/11, as many as 40% of Lower Manhattan residents experienced stress symptoms that indicate a potential
for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Similarly, recovery workers experienced PTSD symptoms three times more than the
rest of the population. Enrollment for the benefit will continue from the present until July 2010.
For more information:
To find out if you are eligible for the benefit or to enroll, go to:
From Our Members &
Sikh Coalition to Open Office in San Francisco Bay Area
On May 19, the Sikh Coalition announced its plans to open a Western Region office in the San Francisco Bay Area
during the summer of 2008. Staff members in the New York office have been planning this expansion for over a year and
a half and are preparing to help start operations on the West Coast. By the end of 2008, the Western Region office
will have three full-time staff members to support Sikh civil rights through education, litigation, and advocacy.
With offices in both New York and San Francisco, the Sikh Coalition will expand their capacity to educate and
engage the community in this vital work to stand up for Sikh rights as they practice their faith without fear.
Read the press release: click here
ARC Seeks Federal Funding to Support Disaster Response Staff
Although the American Red Cross (ARC) typically does not seek government funding, it has recently requested $7
million of federal money to maintain a staff that will manage state and federal disaster resources. This staff is
required by the new National Response Framework (NRF), which lays out a plan for national disaster response in the
United States. Under the NRF, ARC must provide one full-time employee at each of FEMA’s ten regional
offices. These positions provide important coordination services during disasters, but ARC’s current budget
does not have room to sustain them.
Read the NY Times article: click here
NVOAD Now Accepting New Members
National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) has approved its updated membership criteria and now
is taking applications for new members. NVOAD works to coordinate planning and response efforts during and after
disasters to increase the effectiveness and comprehensiveness of that response. This kind of collaboration
between agencies is becoming increasingly important as the number and scope of disasters continues to rise.
Organizations with voluntary membership and financial accountability that provide disaster relief services are
welcomed to apply.
View the Membership Criteria and Application:
ADVOCACY & BACKLASH MITIGATION
UNITED SIKHS Advocates for the People of Myanmar Concerning Cyclone Relief
On May 22, the Malyasian Operations Coordinator of UNITED SIKHS Myanmar Disaster Relief, Sunil Shukvir Singh,
attended a briefing by the Prime Minister of Myanmar to the U.N. Secretary General. Following the briefing, Sunil
Shukvir Singh participated in a series of meetings with other global relief workers to advocate for the people
affected by the disaster. These meetings concerned how international aid organizations can coordinate the relief
efforts to help the people of Myanmar receive vital food and medical supplies quickly and efficiently. With the
generosity of Air Asia, which offered free air travel and cargo room, Sunil Shukvir Singh was able to carry 1,000
pounds of donated infant formula and food along with important medical supplies to distribute in Myanmar. More
supplies will be delivered when additional UNITED SIKHS staff members fly to Myanmar. To donate to the UNITED SIKHS
aid efforts in Myanmar, please drop off supplies at any Sikh Gurdwara.
Read the press release for more information: click here
NYDIS Preparedness Resources
Is Your House of Worship Registered with HOWCALM®?
Available to NYC faith communities and houses of worship, NYDIS has developed HOWCALM®, a free,
secure, web-based database system for managing faith-based assets in times of crisis. By tracking the logistics
and resources of houses of worship, religious schools, and faith-based service providers, the system enhances
preparedness, response capacity, and emergency planning efforts in NYC. Enrolling in HOWCALM® provides
congregations with access to the emergency communication system as well as disaster training opportunities. It
also enhances NYDIS’s ability to work in partnership with OEM and human service agencies in their emergency
planning and preparedness efforts.
For more information download the brochure on pdf: click here
To register your House of Worship: click here
Spring Storm & Hurricane Preparedness
DTN/Meteorlogix's Free Summer Weather and Hurricane Forecast
On May 29 at 1:30 pm, DTN/Meteorlogix's long-range forecaster, Jeff Johnson, will share a free summer weather
and hurricane forecast for first responders. Following his online presentation, viewers will have the
opportunity to ask him specific questions about their region of the country or their field of work.
For more information and to register:
Colorado State Forecasters Predict 8 Hurricanes This Year
Forecasters at Colorado State predict that there will be 15 tropical storms and 8 hurricanes this
Read the Reuters alert:
NOAA’s National Weather Service has created a site, Turn Around, Don’t Drown
educate Americans about flood safety. The site reports that more deaths occur because of floods than
any other form of severe weather, largely because people underestimate the power of even small amounts
of water. The site presents a collection of flood safety resources and stories to encourage Americans to
be prepared for flooding and make smart decisions during floods.
Learn about flood safety at the Turn Around, Don’t Drown
Tornado and Thunderstorm Safety
As the spring storm season approaches, it’s helpful to review thunderstorm and tornado safety
information. CDC offers a preparedness fact sheet with tips about how to prepare, what to do to keep
safe during a storm, how to accommodate for special needs, and important information to have on hand.
Read CDC’s preparedness information:
Pandemic Flu Preparedness
Physicians Release Recommendations about Who to Save First in Pandemic
On May 5, a report outlining a specific list of recommendations concerning who doctors should treat first
in the case of a pandemic flu outbreak appeared in Chest
, the medical journal of the American
College of Chest Physicians. The list attempts to provide guidelines for doctors who might face the
dilemma of not having enough time and resources to save every patient. Compiled by a task force of
professionals from top universities, medical groups, and government agencies, the recommendations suggest
not treating people whose chance of survival is minimal even with treatment. This group includes those
who are over the age of 85, who suffer from severe chronic diseases, and who have severe mental
impairments such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Read the AP story in USA Today:
Read Emergency Management Research and People With Disabilities Guide
The United States Department of Education and the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research
(NIDRR) recently published a resource guide about emergency management and people with disabilities. The guide
includes a listing of research projects concerning this topic as well as a list of recommendations that have come
out of the research. Its purpose is to aid the development and implementation of an evidence-based agenda that will
effectively and efficiently protect the well being of people with disabilities during emergencies and disasters.
Read the guide:
OSHA Safety and Health Checklist for Disaster Recovery
The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) created this checklist for
voluntary and community-based organizations engaged in disaster recovery demolition and construction activities. A
compilation of planning resources for recovery training programs comes along with the checklist.
View the checklist:
Read “Preparing for disaster? (I have church business to conduct.)”
In his article, “Preparing for disaster? (I have church business to conduct.),” J. Lewis Saylor,
FCBA, explains why disaster preparation not only is an important investment for churches but also makes them more
efficient day-to-day. Preparing for disasters encourages churches to function in an organized and effective
manner at all times. It also has the potential to build community and individual readiness among members of the
congregation. Saylor suggests that having a disaster plan encourages clergy and congregants to consider what it
means to be good stewards of their resources. Even if a disaster does not occur in a given month or year at a
particular church, volunteers can offer the skills and resources that they accumulate through preparedness efforts
to disaster-stricken areas across the country that do have great need of services and supplies.
Read the full article: click here
Take the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Course for Faith-Based Organizations
This online course was developed through the Extension Disaster Education Network and the Centers for Disease
Control. It takes two to four hours to complete. While it focuses on planning for pandemic influenza, the
strategies and ideas it presents can be used to prepare for all hazards. The first section of the course presents
participants with control measures they can use to protect themselves and their communities in the case of a
pandemic. The second section elaborates on potential impact a pandemic can have and instructs participants about
how to write an effective pandemic preparedness and response plan.
Take the course:
White House Conference on Disaster Relief and Preparedness
May 29 and 30
Day 1: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Day 2: 8:30 AM – 1:00 PM
New Orleans, LA
Hosted by the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, this conference will focus on the
role of faith and community organizations in all stages of disaster preparedness and response. It will pay
special attention to providing non-profits with trainings and resources for achieving sustainable disaster
relief in the Gulf Coast region. Additionally, the conference aims to offer opportunities for networking among
these non-profit organizations and the government. Registration ends on May 15.
For more information:
2nd National Capital Region Interagency Chaplains Conference
8:00 am – 3:30 pm
Ft. Myer, VA
Co-hosted by Joint Force Headquarters—National Capital Region / U.S. Army Military District of Washington
(JFHQ-NCR / MDW) and the Public Safety Chaplains Committee of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
(MWCOG), this conference is titled, “Concentric Circles of Care: Who Can Do What, When, Where, Why, and
How in Response to a Disaster in the NCR?
” It includes sessions about Interagency Emergency Response
Ministry, First Responders, and Community Based Organizations (CBOs). The purpose of the event is to educate
professionals from a range of organizations about what people in other sectors do during disasters to enable
maximum understanding and cooperation.
To register: click here
To view the schedule:
Feel the Music! First Responders and Veterans Day
11:00 am – 3 pm
Church of Our Saviour
One Education Drive
1901 Northern Blvd.
Manhasset, NY 11030
Feel the Music!
invites WTC recovery workers, returning veterans, and their families to participate in
a fun day
of free percussion and art classes. A light lunch will be provided.
For more information, visit:
To register, contact:
MCNY Emergency Management Symposium
9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY)
431 Canal Street
Titled “We Know Where We Have Been, But Where Are We Going?,” this symposium will offer emergency
management professionals an opportunity to share ideas and best practices concerning public health, special needs,
and training. Speakers include New York City OEM Commissioner Joseph Bruno, United Nations Chemical Weapons
Inspector Paul Butler, and pandemic specialist and MCNY professor Jessica O’Neill.
For more information or to register, contact:
Engaging Youth in Emergency Preparedness
8:30 am – 11:00 am
American Red Cross Headquarters
520 West 49th Street, Manhattan
The Youth Task Force of New York City Citizen Corps Council (CCC) will be holding a meet and greet with the
directors of youth programs throughout the city. Participants will come away with a variety of resources and ideas
for incorporating preparedness efforts and a spirit of volunteerism into their programs for the city’s youth.
To sign up for the event, contact:
Job & Volunteer Opportunities
NYDIS, AmeriCorps*VISTA Positions
NYDIS’s AmeriCorps*VISTA program engages VISTA members at NYDIS and partnering sub-site agencies in
capacity-building activities that enhance and expand disaster preparedness and recovery services for low-income
communities. The ultimate goal is to build a culture of preparedness by increasing and improving faith-based
disaster and emergency programs, thereby reducing the vulnerability of under-served, marginalized populations.
We currently have a total of four VISTA positions available at NYDIS. For job descriptions and position details,
see the attachments below.
Community Outreach & Training VISTA: click here
HOWCALM® VISTA: click here
VISTA Leader: click here
For more information, contact:
NYDIS, Communications Volunteers
NYDIS is seeking volunteers to provide support for the Communications office. Positions begin immediately.
To apply, please email a Letter of Inquiry and Resume to:
or fax to 212.669.6101.
NYDIS, Community Outreach & Training Volunteers
NYDIS is seeking volunteers to support disaster preparedness/training programs and to perform other outreach
duties under staff direction. Positions begin immediately.
To apply, please email a Letter of Inquiry and Resume to:
or fax to 212.669.6101.
Government Disaster Human Services and Other Jobs
Support NYDIS - Donate Online
like to make a donation to assist NYDIS in its mission of providing faith-based disaster services,
, or send a check to NYDIS
at 22 Cortlandt Street,
20th Fl., New York, NY 10007. 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":