iNET - E-Bulletin Board of News & Resources:
February 2010 Issue
Welcome to iNET, the information network and electronic bulletin board of the National Disaster Interfaiths Network (NDIN). This national electronic bulletin board and information resource provides U.S. disaster news, reports on the latest best practices, and information on upcoming conferences and trainings of relevance to disaster interfaiths, spiritual care organizations and their government or NGO partners.

To submit news or resources for publication contact
Click each iNET Bulletin Board topic below to view this months articles and resources

Register Now: Upcoming Disaster Chaplain Trainings in FL, NY, PA and TX
NDIN will offer our two-day Disaster Chaplain Training courses in four states during March. This course prepares chaplains and religious leaders to volunteer in mass-care settings or to serve as disaster chaplains within their house of worship, religious community or professional institution. Tuition is $195. NDIN can bring this training to your community on request. Give us the dates, and we take care of the rest.

To organize a training in your community contact us at;
Register for Orlando 3/2-3: clik here
Register for Long Island 3/8-9: click here
Register for Philadelphia 3/15-16: click here
Register for San Marcos, TX 3/22-23: click here
Register for New York City 4/10 & 17: click here
To download our Disaster Spiritual Care Training brochure click here

NDIN President Finishes 6th Week of Deployment for Haiti Relief with NYDIS
On Janauary 13th, New York Disaster Interfaith Services (NYDIS) opened operations to address the unmet needs of the New York City Haitian community. NYDIS and its partners have been supporting Haitian houses of worship in NYC in by providing emotional and spiritual care as well as technical support to impacted families and repatriated survivors. NDIN President Peter Gudaitis has been directing these operations and coordinating the NYDIS response. In partnership with NYDIS, the Haitian First Church of the Brethren in Brooklyn continues to operate a Haitian Family Support Center for over 500 families. NYDIS is also sponsoring TPS clinics, ESL classes, disaster spiritual care training for Haitian faith leaders, and has conducted over 800 unmet needs assessments for Haitian families visiting the New York State Haitian Earthquake Family Resource Center at the Brooklyn Armory.

For more information contact: (212) 669-6100 or
To donate go to:  clik here

NDIN Offers Consulting and Training for Faith Communities & Their Partners
NDIN provides consulting and training in disaster human services and faith-based program development to faith communities and faith-based organizations. NDIN also contracts with community-based and government agencies who seek to enhance their mitigation, readiness, response, and recovery capacity in partnership with faith communities. To learn more about our 13 different training courses or areas of expertise in consulting, call us or download our Consulting & Training brochure from the link below.

For more information contact: (212) 669-6100 or
To download our Consulting & Training brochure click here

The National Response to Haiti Earthquake
In the wake of the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti on January 12, National VOAD and USAID partners have has been working closely with one another and established local Haitian partners to assist those impacted by this disaster. It is estimated that one in three Haitians were affected by the quake, roughly three million people.  The most recent numbers from the Haitian government indicate that the death toll has reached 230,000 people, and that number continues to climb. In Florida and NYC, where the largest Haitian populations resides outside of Haiti, thousands of Haitian-American families and repatriated survivors have been helped by hundreds of volunteers, faith-groups and VOAD partners.

USAID Haiti Homepage:
NVOAD Haiti page: click here
CWS Haiti page: click here

Napolitano Meets with National Faith-based Groups and Religious Leaders
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano met with religious leaders from Muslim, Sikh, South Asian and Arab communities Jan. 28 to discuss ways the department can increase engagement, dialogue and coordination, and enhance information sharing between DHS and faith and community-based groups. "In times of crisis, leaders of faith-based communities and other grassroots organizations often play a critical role in the broad and timely dissemination of accurate information," said Napolitano. "Strengthening our partnerships with faith- and community-based groups will allow improved information sharing and better coordination in preparing for, assessing and responding to threats."

Read the story

HUD, FEMA Extend Disaster Housing Assistance Program
U.S.Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate announced an extension to the Disaster Housing Assistance Program-Ike (DHAP-Ike), giving approximately 11,000 families who were displaced by Hurricanes Ike and Gustav more time to transition to longer term housing solutions. The announcement extends DHAP-Ike until May 27, 2010.

More at

NYC Citizen Corps Launches Volunteer Development Training Program
The New York City Citizen Corps plans to help increase community resiliency by sponsoring programs that increase the capacity of NYC disaster volunteers; allow disaster volunteers from NYC Citizen Corps Council organizations to network with each other; and showcase trainings conducted by other NYC Citizen Corps Council members. The first is slated for Feb. 24 at New York City Office of Emergency Management in Brooklyn, N.Y.

For more information, e-mail

Poll: Swine Flu Overblown
A new poll released early February reveals a majority of Americans will not continue to get the swine flu shot, that many believe the flu threat was overblown, and that the flu is over. The Harvard School of Public Health poll states about a fifth of Americans had H1N1 shots and that the shots were not popular with adults; instead, children were more likely to receive them.

To lear more: click here

Evangelizing Groups Draw Scrutiny During Haiti Disaster
The New York Times recently reported a story that focused on the impact of missionaries self-deploying to Haiti following the Jan. 12 earthquake. Many of these organizations seemed to be in Haiti purely for "converting" or for  "attention" and did not provide vital services. Winslette, a volunteer with Give Me Shelter Ministries in Shalimar, FL stated that "many missionaries … were mostly interested in returning to their churches with grand stories of good works." "These people are so zealous to get out there and say, ‘Look what I did; look at these kids I saved.' " Unaffiliated volunteer groups without operational experience or ethical spiritual care practices can seriously undermine public trust and fracture cultural taboos. An Adventist surgeon in Haiti made note that "the community trusts us, but when other groups make shortsighted decisions it undermines everyone's credibility," he added.

Read the story at

2010 Emergency Management Summit
Washington, D.C.
March 3-5
The Emergency Management Summit provides emergency managers, first responders, emergency physicians, and other professionals with the opportunity to increase their knowledge on how to best prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. For more information on the Summit.

More at

NDIN Volunteer Disaster Chaplain Training Course - Garden City, NY
March 8-9
The Mercer School of Theology, Garden City (Long Island), NY
Co-sponsored by Episcopal Community Services of Long Island, the Long Island Council of Churches and the Mercer School of Theology, this training is open to faith leaders of all faiths. Long Island participants who complete this certification can volunteer with Council of Churches or LI VOAD partners.

More at

NDIN Volunteer Disaster Chaplain Training Course - Philadelphia, PA
March 15-16
The Lutheran Theological Seminary of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Co-sponsored by Liberty Lutheran Services and Lutheran Theological Seminary of Philadelphia, this training is open to faith leaders of all faiths. Area participants who complete this certification can volunteer with Southeastern Pennsylvania VOAD faith-based spiritual care providers.

More at

NDIN Volunteer Disaster Chaplain Training Course - San Marcos, TX
March 22-23
First Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, San Marcos, TX
Co-sponsored by First Christian Church, DoC & TIDES (Texas Interfaith Disaster Educations & Services), this two-day training is open to faith leaders of all faiths. Texas participants who complete this certification can volunteer as disaster spiritual care providers with TIDES.

More at

Institute for Disaster Mental Health
March 25-26
State University of New York, New Paltz, NY
This yearly conference will focus on post-traumatic stress disorder and Cognitive Processing Therapy, a 12-session behavioral treatment.

NDIN Volunteer Disaster Chaplain Training Course - New York City (Queens), NY
April 10 & 17
Imam Al-Khoei Islamic Center, New York City (Queens), NY
Co-sponsored by Liberty Imam Al-Khoei Islamic Center, the Muslim Consultative Council of New York and NYDIS (New York Disaster Interfaith Services), this training is open to faith leaders of all faiths. Area participants who complete this certification can volunteer as disaster spiritual care providers with NYDIS.

More at

Church World Service Forum on Domestic Disaster Ministry
April 17-20
New Windsor Conference Center, New Windsor, Md.
At the fourth Church World Service Forum on Domestic Disaster Ministry, scholars, researchers, theologians, and field personnel will help religious community disaster program leaders and their secular partners engage current issues towards shaping their work into the future.

More at

National VOAD - 18th Annual Conference
May 11-13
Hilton Hotel at Walt Disney World, (Orlando) Lake Buena Vista, Florida
More at
The AVC brings together 49 national members, 55 state and territory VOADs, local VOADs, emergency management partners, and our private sector partners. This is the only time during the year that these groups all come together in one place for a 3 day event. The conference includes disaster-related trainings, over 30 educational workshops and talkshops, and networking opportunities.

World Conference on Disaster Management
June 6-9
Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North Building
More at

Faith-based Providers Submit Comments on Their Absence from NDRF Draft
FEMA's recent release of the National Disaster Recovery Framework has no clear definition for faith-based organizations, according to advocates. "The NDRF gives us the opportunity to upgrade and integrate the disaster response at both strategic and tactical levels. The document in its present form fails to do this by omitting the vital role of non-sectarian disaster spiritual care plays in the disaster life-cycle. Mention is made of establishing crisis counseling services. This is well and good, but it lacks specificity with regard to how those services have been updated and brought into the next century. Furthermore, there is no mention of how the faith-based community does or can be specifically mobilized, thus it remains an untapped resource."

More at

United Sikhs & NYDIS Partner to Help Haitians in NYC
In an effort to help those devastated by the earthquake in Haiti and flocking to New York, United Sikhs is providing urgent legal advocacy services and serving traditional meals to Haitian families affected by the earthquake, as well as to Haitian repatriates who have arrived in the US.   Legal assistance is provided at the New York Haitian Earthquake Family Resource Center at the New York National Guard Armory in Brooklyn, and at the Family Support Center at the Haitian First Church of the Brethren in Brooklyn organized in conjunction with New York Disaster Interfaith Services (NYDIS) and the American Red Cross.

More at Profiling is Racist, Ineffective

This article discusses the popular topic of racial profiling at airports and for security concerns. Discusses topics such as the right's extremist opinion, why it doesn't work and the better way to do it.

More at

Children's Preparedness

Preparing Children for Emergencies has created a separate Web site that offers ways to teach kids to ready for possible disasters. It gives them four easy steps to communicate what to do in an emergency. Site also includes games and information for parents.

More online at

Diversity and Special Needs Preparedness

Preparedness Resources for Culturally Diverse Communities
Developed by the Drexel University School of Public Health's Center for Health Equality, the National Resource Center on Advancing Emergency Preparedness for Culturally Diverse Communities is the first online center designed to improve communication, advance preparedness efforts, and increase resilience among racially and ethnically diverse communities. It aims to eliminate disparities in the emergency preparedness and recovery capabilities of these communities through information-sharing and networking. The National Resource Center includes training curricula, research tools, public health emergency news, and translated materials.

Visit the National Resource Center at

For Special Needs
Web site put together by the Northeast Texas Public Health District.  It has compiled 18 emergency preparedness topics and formatted the information to be friendly to deaf, blind, and limited sight populations. The information is in video and downloadable document format for public use.

View at

Weather Watch

Dealing With the Cold
American Red Cross offers tips on how to bundle up during the frigid temperatures. These include heating your home safely and remembering about your neighbor.

To Learn more click here

Terrorism at Houses of Worship

Security at Places of Worship: More Than a Matter of Faith
Scott Stewart and Fred Burton, of STRATFOR Global Intelligence, outline terrorism survival techniques for houses of worship in response to a potential attack. Suggested techniques include awareness, physical security measures and protective intelligence, training and liaison.

More at

Citizen Corps Widgets
Citizen Corps widgets are easily placed on your web page by copying the code of the widget and placing it within the html code of your Web site's editor. currently offers three widgets: Citizen Corps Logo Widget, which provides quick links to and FEMA's email updates during disasters; Community Preparedness News Widget, which provides regularly updated community preparedness news from FEMA's Community Preparedness Division; Are You Ready? Widget, which enables users to search for Citizen Corps Councils and partners close to them.

Sign up at

The Klaxon: Crisis. It reveals character.
This new emergency management and disaster Web site offers commentary and analysis on emergencies and disasters around the globe. Site also offers podcasts, video, RSS feeds and alerts, as well as profiles on emergency managers around the world. Since its launch Dec. 1, 2009, the organization has grown 700 percent and launched Klaxon Talks, the company's speaker bureau that offers lectures in terrorism, law enforcement, business continuity and new media.

More at

Institute for Church Safety and Risk Management
The Institute in Church Safety & Risk Management, LLC (ICSARM) provides consultative services to the local church and parachurch ministries in the areas of church safety, church security, risk management, and even assistance in knowing what insurance to purchase (or not purchase). By utilizing a very detailed audit and assessment process, ICSARM provides a detailed and complete assessment in any of the following services to local churches and/or their staff.

More at

LCMS World Relief and Human Care Training Manual
This downloadable manual developed by LCMS Disaster Response, is just one tool for congregations interested in disaster preparedness training. The resource explores three areas of disaster response: An introduction the LCMS Disaster Response initiative; the "Be Aware, Be Prepared, and Live by Faith" congregation preparedness program; Lutheran Early Response Team volunteer training.

View online at

Episcopal Diocese of Texas Disaster Relief and Development
Episcopal Relief & Development has disbursed emergency funding for its program partner, the Diocese of Haiti, to help meet immediate needs such as food, water and shelter. The agency is standing ready to support the Diocese with post-earthquake recovery and rebuilding efforts and is partnering with the Diocese of the Dominican Republic to coordinate efforts that can be administered from the border areas.  The Diocese already has staff in place and relationships with the Episcopal priests across the border. As communications and access improve, Episcopal Relief & Development will continue to provide updates.

More at

Book Review: ‘A Paradise Built in Hell'
In A Paradise Built in Hell, award-winning author Rebecca Solnit explores these phenomena, looking at major calamities from the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco through the 1917 explosion that tore up Halifax, Nova Scotia, the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, 9/11, and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. She examines how disaster throws people into a temporary utopia of changed states of mind and social possibilities, as well as looking at the cost of the widespread myths and rarer real cases of social deterioration during crisis. This is a timely and important book from an acclaimed author whose work consistently locates unseen patterns and meanings in broad cultural histories. - Penguin Group

More at

Federal Jobs

United Sikhs Offers Spring Internships
United Sikhs, an international UN-affiliated NGO undertaking advocacy projects to protect and promote civil and human rights for minorities and underprivileged communities in the USA and globally, seeks college students for its Education, Community Organizing and Operations/Technology program areas. Interns are required to commit 10 hours a week for eight to 10 weeks during the spring semester. Internships are available for academic credit.

Each applicant is required to submit a cover letter and current resume to Visit for more information.

Welcome to iNET, the e-newsletter of the National Disaster Interfaiths Network (NDIN).

The January 12th earthquake in Haiti continues to inspire the compassion and generosity of the global community; thousands of American volunteers, NGOs and military personnel continue to respond alongside colleagues from around the world. Please keep the Haitian people and their caregivers in your prayers and give generously to established relief agencies now supporting the survivors in Haiti and in the United States. Remember the disaster recovery mantra: CASH IS BEST - CLOTHES CREATE A SECOND DISASTER! Find out how you, your house of worship or your agency can help!

Volunteer Opportunities: Sign up for Haiti relief with the international relief office of any NVOAD partners; or contact your local disaster interfaith or American Red Cross to help repatriated survivors returning to the United States. Meanwhile, many other ongoing recovery projects can use your support, for example, the fall flooding in Georgia and the deadly tsunami in American Samoa.  If you can make a donation or lend a volunteer hand in recovery, please contact your National VOAD partners!

As always, if you have questions or comment about iNET, or if you have news that you want to submit to us, please e-mail Joshua Wilwohl, Editor, at

Peter B. Gudaitis, M.Div.
President, Board of Directors