Guidance on Improving Security

From the Jewish Community Relations Center in NYC, a list of useful documents on Security Guidance.

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Great Source of Help for Houses of Worship

In New York City, there is a model organization in place to help houses of worship deal with and recovery from disasters.  It it the NY Disaster Interfaith Services. The organization developed many useful programs, documents, and tip sheets after Superstorm Sandy, which should be useful to those helping with response and recovery from Harvey and Irma.

One example is a  recent offer to help with Volunteer Group Housing in Housto> Here is a link to the NYDIS Volunteer Group Housing Program  which NYDIS developed to organize and support the voluntary rebuild efforts in NYC post-Sandy. Some documents   produced by the program include a Host Site Handbook, Volunteer Group Handbook, and a Guide to Writing a Host Site Manual

Each document includes applicable form sets which can be found separately on the link provided above. The program was designed with special concentration on religious and cultural needs of volunteers and host sites, and will provide organizations with the knowledge and resources necessary to begin and sustain long-term volunteer housing programs. These documents include formative advice based on sector best practices, extensive research, partnerships with NYC Sandy volunteer housing programs, and what was the NYC Volunteer Group Housing Task Force.

Another is this Community Emergency Management Toolkit.


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How to Communicate During a Disaster

A 13-page booklet on How to Communicate During a Disaster. It probably could be used as a poster.


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Tell Folks in TX and LA About this Site

If you know people in TX and LA who belong to a house of worship damaged by H. Harvey, please tell them about this site.

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Safeguarding Houses of Worship

There is a new app and many sources of information re Safeguarding Houses of Worship on this site, provided by the U.S. Dept. of Justice.


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VA Gets Emergency Preparedness Money

Now is the time for non-profit organizations to get their grant applications in. See this article re VA.


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Webinar – June 13th

Join the webinar Protecting Your Organization – Resources, Partners, and Tips to Help Keep Your Office, House of Worship, or Community Center Safe on Tuesday June 13, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. EDT

The Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, members of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters, and others offer numerous resources to assist faith-based and community organizations with their efforts to prepare for all types of hazards, whether natural or human-caused. This webinar will highlight federal resources and partners to help community and faith leaders improve the safety and security of their facilities. To register for the webinar and ensure you receive a recording of the webinar click here

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NYC Has a House of Worship Alert System

From the NYC Disaster Interfaiths Service which is worth considering elsewhere in the U.S.

NYC HOWalert (House of Worship Alert System) – 2000 Subscribers and Growing. Launched in April 2017, In partnership with the NYC Faith Sector Community Preparedness Program Advisory Board, NYDIS is now providing HOWalert, a free emergency notification system for all NYC religious leaders. Only used during emergencies and two optional annual tests/exercises, HOWalert sents emergency information to registrants by text, email or voice messages. That message will notify NYC religious leaders and other Faith Sector communications decision makers, about life threatening or urgent crisis management incidents that should be rapidly shared with their congregants, clients or staff – or, that may impact their facilities and programs. The system may also be used for two-way communication – to send a message and then collect damage assessments or to allow religious leaders to submit requests for help during an unfolding public health emergency or disaster. All information submitted is kept STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL.

Because NYDIS receives and distributes Crisis and Risk Communications (CERC) from government and the non-profit (VOAD) sectors, our staff take the time to adapt the information for a faith-based context – addressing how the incident may affect worship and public gatherings. As well as how and what congregants, clients or staff should be informed of the threat and what they should be told to do. Religious Leaders are often critical transmitting trustworthy life saving information.

Any faith-based organization or religious body in NYC may submit their contact lists for bulk upload, and then use HOWalert to send their own messages at their discretion, free of charge.

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Non-Profit Security Grants Available

This info from the NYC Jewish Community Relations Council may be of interest to others.

  1. We now expect FEMA will release the FY 2017 Nonprofit Security Grant Program guidelines next Friday, June 2nd to the states. New York’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services has been working hard and they will have their Request for Applications (RFA) ready ASAP. However, they must have their documents approved through the various channels as required by NY State law.
  2. The application deadline in NY depends on the DHS/FEMA deadline. Remember, they have to score the applications and comply with federal guidelines for submission. That takes time, especially when they must process 200 or so applications. Please don’t contact us to ask about the due date. Expect a quick turnaround. We won’t know any details until after June 2nd.
  3. The New York State Hate Crimes grant applications will be released within the same timeframe. As soon as we see the RFA we will publish additional materials to help qualified groups apply for that grant.
  4. If your Grants Gateway Document Vault is not pre-certified (or well under way) you are running out of time. Organizations that are not pre-certified cannot apply for the grants. Click here for more information.

For the latest information and assistance click to

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“How Social Ties Make Us Resilient to Trauma”

This may be of interest to the faith-based community:

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