iNET - E-Bulletin Board of News & Resources:
August 2017 Issue
Back to School Month
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.

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Upcoming Trainings:

COMBO Courses - Disaster Chaplaincy & Religious Literacy & Competency (3 Days)
  • Atlanta: January 8-10, 2018 (Pending)
  • The Beecken Center/School of Theology: Sewanee, TN • August 6-8, 2018 (Pending)

Increasing Religious Literacy & Competency (1 Day)
The NDIN/USC CRCC course "Engaging Faith Communities in Disaster: Increasing Religious Competency and Literacy" is framed by our field-guide set and tip sheets, this one-day field skills course provides an overview of why and how to engage faith communities during disasters and public health emergencies. The 90-minute orientation or one-day training focuses on best practices in working with faith communities in crisis settings, religious competency, and literacy, as well as an overview of current resources and how to databank local faith communities. The course prepares government, VOAD/nonprofit and religious leaders, and volunteers to conduct outreach to and engage congregations and religious leaders in partnerships or to support disaster human services/mass care needs of religious populations.

  • Lehigh County Emergency Management, PA • November (Invite Only)

Disaster Chaplaincy Certification (2 Days)
This two-day (16-hour) NDIN Disaster Chaplain Training course prepares chaplains and credentialed religious leaders to provide spiritual and emotional care during deployment to disaster sites as well as within their own communities. The course comprises four, 4-hour sessions offered over two days, covering disaster operations, disaster spiritual care, disaster mental health, and self-care for caregivers. Each registrant must be endorsed for this training and/or currently serve as a professional chaplain and/or credentialed religious leaders. Led by a NDIN Instructors, participants learn through lecture and interactive group exercises about disaster response operations, disaster spiritual care, mental health, and self-care. Strategies to promote recovery and resiliency are also covered.

  • New York Disaster Interfaith Services: NY, NY • November 28-29 (Register Here)
NDIN Attends FEMA's Voluntary Partners Day at FEMA HQ
On July 26th, FEMA hosted a daylong conference at their DC Headquarters for all their national partners from the voluntary sector - NDIN President Peter Gudaitis was in attendance. National VOAD members and partners were introduced to the newly appointed FEMA Administrator, Brock Long and Rev. Jamie Johnson, Director of the Center for Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships. Colleagues old and new were then able to network with other FEMA HQ staff. FEMA also hosted a series of workshops updating partners on the latest FEMA assistance programs and program changes.

Seeking Funding: Religious Literacy Primer App for First Responders/VOADs
NDIN is seeking funding to convert our Religious Literacy Primer for crises, disasters, and public health emergencies into a smart phone app for field use. The tool was created in partnership with the University of Southern California Center for Religion and Civic Culture as an at-a-glance quick reference on 24 of the largest faith traditions in the United States. Using these tools, government, first r esponders, chaplains and voluntary organizations active in disaster can enhance their religious literacy and competency when conducting faith community engagement, field operations and mass care operations. If you have a donor to refer or are interested in collaborating to produce the App,  email NDIN.

NDIN Offers Consulting & Training for Faith Communities and 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 comm unities. 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

Download our Consulting & Training Brochure.

Special Notices:

9/11 Health Benefits & Victims' Compensation Fund
People exposed to the 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 may be suffering from 9/11-related illnesses have been granted extended deadlines (2016, 2018, or 2020 depending on their situation) to apply for the health care they need and deserve under the World Trade Center Health Program.
For information on deadlines and to apply click here or call 855-4WTC-AID.

Hurricane Harvey Updates:
Flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey continues to affect much of Coastal Texas and Louisiana. By many measures, this storm and its impact are historic. With response operations ongoing, it is too early to say just what the total human and economic impact will be, let alone future recovery needs.

National VOAD Update
National VOAD website for updates on the Hurricane Harvey response, can be found here.
  • Volunteer registration form here.
  • Donations to Texas VOAD members: here.
  • Donations to National VOAD members: here.
  • Individual In-Kind Donations form: here.

Death Toll Keeps Rising in Houston as Tropical Storm Harvey Hits Louisiana
August 30: ABC NEWS; From late Friday, August 25th to Tuesday, August 29th, between 25 and 30% of Harris County, home to 4.5 million people in the Houston area, was flooded and an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 homes were destroyed by Hurricane Harvey, leaving behind billions worth of damage. With nearly 52 inches of rain at one location east of Houston, the National Weather Service said, Harvey, now downgraded to a Tropical Storm, broke the record for the greatest amount of measured single-storm rainfall for the continental United States. And even though heavy rains have ended in Houston, the danger is far from over.

Emergency workers and volunteers are going door to door for a fifth day on Wednesday, August 30th, trying to rescue victims of the flood. Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo says authorities have received 60,000 to 70,000 calls for help. As the number of confirmed deaths is unclear, ranging from 12 to 30 confirmed death on different news outlets, as of Wednesday morning, Acevedo prays "that the body count that we know will rise (...) won't rise significantly." And while people in Houston are still waiting for their rescue, Harvey has pummeled the coastal cities of Beaumont and Port Arthur with 26 inches of rain in 24 hours on Tuesday. Port Arthur, about 90 miles east of Houston, was inundated so badly that floodwater overwhelmed an evacuation center. The situation in Port Arthur is so critical that the police department has taken to Facebook, asking for volunteers to bring boats and help. "Rescue boats welcome in Port Arthur to assist emergency personnel," the police department posted on Facebook. The city is asking anyone trapped to hang a white towel, sheet or shirt outside to alert rescuers.

On Wednesday, Harvey made its third landfall in Cameron, Louisiana, at 4am CT Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service. As of 7am CT, Harvey is anticipated to continue moving to the north and east across the Lower Mississippi Valley and Tennessee Valley through Thursday. Even though expected to weaken over land, the National Weather Service says Harvey still has the potential to cause life-threatening flooding. "Catastrophic and life-threatening flooding continues in southeastern Texas and portions of southwestern Louisiana," the National Weather Service warned in its advisory Wednesday morning. "Excessive runoff from heavy rainfall will cause flooding of small creeks and streams, urban areas, highways, streets and underpasses as well as other drainage areas and low-lying spots. " Read the full article here. See pictures and videos of survivors here.

Experts Predict Years of Recovery From Hurricane Harvey
August 29: The Guardian; While thousands still wait to be rescued, many people are having difficulty reaching out for help due to power outages and lack of cellphone service. Not only has Harvey displaced thousands of people in immediate need of shelter, and destroyed up to 40,000 homes, the storm has also taken a hard hit on Texas infrastructure, electrical grid, and economy. It is "one of the largest disasters America has ever faced," Gov. Greg Abbott said, warning against expecting anything resembling recovery any time soon, or a return to the way things were. "We need to recognize it will be a new normal, a new and different normal for this entire region." A process that will be especially brutal for the most vulnerable communities in the Houston area, said Gavin Smith, director of the Department of Homeland Security's Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence at the University of North Carolina. "If you think of a storm striking an area of modest means, low- and moderate-income individuals, their capacity to recover is very different from those that have flood insurance, that have the economic means to recover on their own." The administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Brock Long, said on Monday, August 28th, that he expected more than 450,000 people to apply for federal assistance. "We're going to be here for several years helping you guys recover," he said. "The state of Texas is about to undergo one of the largest recovery housing missions the nation has ever seen." Read the full article here.

Hate Rally vs. Counter Protest Violence Boils Over in Charlottesville
August 21: ABC NEWS; A city council meeting in Charlottesville, Virginia, erupted in fury on August 21st over the authorities' handling of the white supremacist rally on Saturday, August 12th, which left one women dead and 19 others injured. Some residents were screaming and cursing at councilors Monday night and called for their resignations. At one point, the mayor, vice mayor, and three council members fled as two people holding a sign that said "blood on your hands" jumped on the chamber's dais. The protests in Charlottesville turned violent on Saturday as white supremacists clashed with counter-demonstrators, and a car ploughed into the crowd of anti-racist and anti-fascist protesters. The "Unite the Right" rally, which was described as one of the largest white supremacists rally's in recent U.S. history, was planned for Saturday, August 12th to protest against the removal of a statue of Confederate General, Robert E. Lee. The day before, on Friday, August 11th, marchers  descended on the University of Virginia carrying torches and yelling slogans "white lives matter" and "blood and soil." Read the full article here. Read more related articles here.

With Increased Destruction, a New Tornado Alley Emerges
August 18: Bloomberg; Due to the up to two-and-a-half miles wide tornados storming through every year, the area between Iowa and Texas became known as Tornado Alley. But since 1997, a new Tornado Alley is growing in the southeast U.S., because the bulk of the destruction inflicted by these massive storms has shifted to the states from Louisiana to Georgia. Tornadoes in this new area, called Dixie-Alley, averaging more than $600 million in property damage annually and 40 people killed per year, compared with $470 million in damage and 13 deaths in Tornado Alley. Read the full article here.

Experts Say Far-Right Extremists are a Greater Threat Than Left-Wing MilitantsAugust 16: Homeland Security News Wire; In regard to President Trumps remarks that left-inspired violence in the United States is as bad as violence generated by the extreme right during his press conference on Tuesday, August 15th, following the violence that erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia the Saturday before, experts say that the president's assertion is patently false. "Using the fact that some counter-protesters were, in fact, violent, creates a structural and moral false equivalency," says Brian Levin, the director of the  Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino. According to Homeland Security News Wire, the FBI, DHS, state and local law enforcement all consider right-wing extremists to be more dangerous to public safety than left-leaning extremists. Domestic security experts estimate that there are 400 ,000-500,000 Americans who are affiliated, in one way or another, with various right-wing extremist groups, compared with a few thousand Antifa, Black Bloc, and other militant left-wing activists."  Read the full article here. Read more related articles here and here.

Active Hurricane Season May Get Even Busier
August 09: The New York Times; Government forecasters predict two to five major hurricanes during this year's Atlantic hurricane season, and say it may be the busiest hurricane season since 2010. "There's a possibility that the season could be extremely active," said Gerry Bell, the lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with the Climate Prediction Center. In all, he said, the center was forecasting 14 to 19 named storms, with winds of 39 miles per hour or higher, including five to nine hurricanes. Read the full article here.

Man Killed in 9/11 Attacks is Identified by DNA Testing
August 07: The New York Times; Last month, the remains of a man who was killed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center have been positively identified. The man, whose name was withheld by officials at his family's request, was the first Sept. 11 victim to be identified in more than two years. Recent improvements to how DNA is extracted and tested helped identify the man's remains and give hope to families whose loved ones are still missing. "This ongoing work is vital because with each new identification, we are able to bring answers to families affected by tremendous loss," said Dr. Sampson, the City's Chief Medical Examiner. Read the full article here.

U.S. Electrical Grid Still Vulnerable To Attacks
July 21: The National Academies Press; A report published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine details increasing threats to the U.S. electrical grid and provides recommendations for improving its resiliency. Specifically, natural disasters and cy berterrorism have the potential to cause loss of life and billions of dollars in damage to the grid. M. Granger Morgan, Professor of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, who led the committee, says, "Outages caused by natural disasters are more common than one might think. While the U.S. (Electrical Grid) has not been subject to a large physical assault or cyberattack, both pose serious and growing risks." Get the report  here. 

New Research on Flood Technology Improves Forecasting
July 21: Homeland Security News Wire; The Flood Apex Program, run by the Science and Technology Directorate's First Responders Group in conjunction with the Lower Colorado River Authority, is developing new Internet of Things sensor technology and geo-targeting alerts to aid in flood preparedness and recovery. The technology will alert first responders, emergency managers, and the public to potential threats in their area and could save lives, money, and property. It is expected that the sensors will be delivered by early 2018 for field evaluation, testing, and evaluation. Read the full article here.

Hawaii Launches a Campaign to Prepare Islanders for Nuclear Attack
July 21: Homeland Security News Wire; The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency has begun a public education and information campaign to prepare locals and tourists in case of a North Korean nuclear attack. The campaign will mainly focus on tests of a new emergency siren on the first workday of every month. It aims to prepare for the possibility that a missile could reach Hawaii in 20 minutes from 4,000 miles away, giving the residents 15 minutes to take shelter after immediate detection by U.S. satellites and ships. Read the full article here.
Capitol Police Officer Paints to Cope With 9/11 Trauma
July 20:; Federico A. Ruiz, a 9/11 first responder at the Pentagon, now has paintings on display in the exhibition, "Land, Sea & Sky: A Minimalist's Caribbean" in Glenn Echo Park, Maryland. The Army search-and-rescue team leader currently resides in Fort Belvoir, VA and works as a Capitol Police officer. He took up painting again as a way to deal with the trauma he experienced. "I started exploring different types of styles of painting and digging into who I am and what made me happy," he commented. Read the full article  here.
Extreme Sea Levels More Likely
July 14: Nature Communications; According to a newly published study in Nature Communications, extreme events due to rising sea levels will occur more frequently than was thought before. When an extreme event collides with continually rising seas, it takes a less intense storm, such as a Category I hurricane, to inflict as much coastal damage as a Category II or III storm would have had when the seas were lower. The researchers, from the University of Central Florida, analyzed data that examines extreme events to study the impacts of rising sea levels on coastal communities. They predict that by 2050, extreme events, that were expected to happen about once every h undred years, could occur every decade or even every year due to rising sea levels. Get the study  here.

Tsunami Safety Plan Meant for Elementary School Students is too Fast For Track Athlete
July 13: Seattle Times; When the Seattle Times learned that a local elementary school would have just 20 minutes to reach high ground after a tsunami, they sent a top high school athlete to run the course. He made it just in time, but watching this video makes it clear that kindergarteners wouldn't. It's a powerful look at the difference between having a plan and having a practical plan. Read the full article and watch the video here.
House Defeats Amendment to Strip Climate Study From Defense Bill
July 13: The Hill; U.S. Representative Scott Perry's (R-PA) amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act was defeated on Thursday in a vote of 185 to 234. The amendment targeted the bill's provision which requires the Pentagon to conduct a study on the 20-year impacts of climate change on the military and national security. Rep. Perry didn't gain the support of 46 Republicans who voted to keep the study provision in the bill. Read the full article  here.  Read a related article here.

Religious Leaders Oppose Changes to Johnson Amendment
August 16: Religion News Services; Spearheaded by Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, more than four thousand religious leaders from a wide range of different faiths have signed a letter asking Congress to preserve, in its current form, the Johnson Amendment, a law that effectively bars faith-based organizations from making political statements from the pulpit. Earlier this year, President Trump signed an executive order that directed the Internal Revenue Service to relax enforcement of rules barring tax-exempt churches from political activity and vowed to "totally destroy the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear." Read the full article here.

Faith Movement Seeks to Reclaim 9/11
August 09:; A Christian group named "In God We Trust" is hoping to redeem the anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks with a new TV special and online petition. "Our message is simple - we want to take back a day that was used for evil and, instead, redeem it for good," says Don Black, President and CEO of Cornerstone Television Network. The group hopes to have September 11 declared an official day of prayer in the U.S. Once they have 100,000 signatures on their online petition, they will present it to President Trump. Read the full article here.

Hundreds Attend Event to Support Bombed Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center
August 09: Star Tribune; People of many faiths came together on Tuesday, August 8th, at the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington to show their support and denounce the bombing of the center's imam's office Saturday morning. At least 1,000 people gathered on the back lawn of the mosque and listened to more than 20 speakers — imams, priests, rabbis and lay people. They all shared the same message: We are all one Minnesota. We will not let hate win. "An attack on a mosque is an attack on a synagogue, an attack on a church, an attack on all communities of faith," said the Rev. Curtiss DeYoung, head of the Minnesota Council of Churches. "We have to stand up to this kind of hate." Read the full article here.
United Church of Christ Speaks Out on Climate Change
July 04: Boston Globe; On Monday, June 3rd, the United Church of Christ approved an emergency resolution on climate change, denouncing President Trump's plans to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord and urging the church to take action. Even though the resolution, entitled "The Earth is the Lord's, Not Ours to Wreck," has no direct authority over or influence on single congregations within the UCC, it is said to provide moral support to clergy who preach on climate change. "It was important that the church be on record as declaring we are now in a new moral era because of the administration and the ways in which it is compromising truth," says Rev. Jim Antal, the head of the church's Massachusetts conference. Read the full article here.

Inspector General Issues Scathing Report on 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund
August 18: NY 1; The U.S. Department of Justice' Office of the Inspector General has released the final report on the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund. During a five-year study, the office says the fund didn't keep supporting documents for some claims, including proof establishing presence at the World Trade Center. The victim compensation fund released a statement saying it acknowledges the work done by the Inspector General, and has undergone "many positive changes since OIG concluded its substantive review, including new leadership and updated regulations that implement changes as a result of the Dec. 18, 2015 reauthorization of the program by Congress and the President for an additional five years." Read the full article here. Read the report here.

Scientists Fear Trump Will Dismiss Climate Report
August 07: The New York Times; Scientists from 13 federal agencies have published a report saying that global warming is already having a large effect on the United States. The report shows that heat waves and droughts have reached record intensities in some parts of the country, and concludes that even if humans immediately stopped emitting greenhouse gases, the world temperature would still rise by an additional 0.50 degrees Fahrenheit over this century. Scientists say, the projected actual rise will be as much as 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Read the full article here. Read the report here.

Pulse First Responder Who Battled Police Over PTSD Receives Disability Pension
July 13: NY Daily News; After fighting with his Orlando police department for months Gerry Realin, an Orlando Police officer diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after responding to the Pulse massacre was granted a disability pension by the city board Thursday, July 13th.  The 37-year-old father of two, was diagnosed with PTSD after working on the hazmat team that removed the bodies of the 49 victims the morning after the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in June 2016. Read the full article here.

Naomi Klein: How Power Profits From Disaster
July 06: The Guardian; Using the example of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Naomi Klein discusses the dangers of what she calls economics of "shock doctrines" after a crisis or emergency. According to Klein these shock doctrines almost always penalize the victims of the crisis even further, while benefiting the private financial sector. In her article, she describes how New Orleans was taken over by private military con tractors who descended on the flooded city not to help the survivors of the hurricane, but to receive billions in "funding for work done badly." Read the full article here.

Climate Change

  • Climate Literacy: The Essential Principles of Climate Science 
    This guide from the United States Global Research Program presents information that is deemed important for individuals and communities to know and understand about Earth's climate, impacts of climate change, and approaches to adaptation or mitigation. This resource is available in English and Spanish. 

  • QuakeSmart
    The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes maintains QuakeSmart, a website that offers resources on earthquake preparedness for businesses and organizations. Click here to access toolkits, workshops, flashcards, and videos on safety during earthquakes. 

Faith Based Volunteers
  • How to Train Disaster Volunteers in Your Church
    The following article from Church Law & Tax offers five tips for training volunteers when building a disaster ministry: communicate the vision, build a leadership team, connect gifts with needs, prepare the heart, and practice. Read the full article here.


Tips and Resources on Mental Health for Flood-Affected Communities

  • Flood Mapping is an interactive flood mapping tool, developed by the NYU Furman Center, which merges housing and population information with FEMA flood insurance rate maps to produce an interactive map and downloadable data tables at the national, county, state, and Census tract levels. Learn more about the map  here.
  • Flood Preparedness Video
    This 90-second animation video from FEMA illustrates what you should do before, during, and after a flood. Watch the video  here.

Gun Violence
  • UPDATED Gun Violence Prevention Congregational Toolkit
    Updated in 2017, this toolkit from the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship aims to help congregations, groups, and organizations discuss issues of gun violence. Download the toolkit here.

  • Hurricane Safety Guide
    To learn more about hurricanes and how you can adequately prepare for its effects, check out this hurricane safety guide. The guide notes that New York is one of the most hurricane-prone states. Read the full guide  here.
  • 2017 Hurricane Seasonal Preparedness Digital Toolkit
    This digital toolkit contains social media posts and links to graphics/videos hurricane preparedness and improve clear actionable information for individual and community preparedness. Learn more here.
  • Hurricane Alerts - What to Do When You Receive a Hurricane Watch or Warning 
    This page explains what actions to take when you receive a hurricane watch or warning alert from the National Weather Service for your local area. It also provides tips on what to do before, during, and after a hurricane. Learn more  here.

Mental Health
  • Disaster Mental Health Study
    In a study titled, "Helping African American Clergy and Churches Address Minority Disaster Mental Health Disparities: Training Needs, Model, and Example," researchers, led by Jamie D. Aten from Wheaton College Illinois, have conducted 41 qualitative interviews with African American clergy one year after Hurricane Katrina in severely affected areas of south Mississippi. These interviews revealed how mental health professionals can work with African American clergy and their churches by providing training that targets minority disaster mental health disparities. Get the study  here.
  • NEW Issue of The Dialogue: Low Socioeconomic Status and Disasters
    A person's socioeconomic status (SES) can shape their everyday life due to factors such as education, occupation, and level of income. Those with low SES have comparatively less access to behavioral health resources and professional treatment in the United States. As a result, these people may be more affected by disasters. This issue of "The Dialogue" from SAMHSA's Disaster Technical Assistance Center highlights how the Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program and other disaster behavioral health efforts can best serve those living in low SES communities. Read the issue here.

  • Preparedness Guides
    This website offers a range of personal preparedness plans for individuals and families to have the right tools ready when disaster happens:

Slow-Onset Disasters

  • NEW Review of Surge Practices For Slow-Onset Crises
    This report from the "Transforming Surge Capacity Project," examines the challenges of responding to slow-onset events (e.x. refugee crises, drought, or food shortages), and how resources that are normally deployed in surge events might also be used for progressive disasters. The report suggests a variety of ways governments and humanitarian agencies can craft policies that trigger responses to slow-onset disasters and allow surge capability to be used. Read the full report here.


  • Four Steps to Tornado Preparedness
    The How to Prepare for a Tornado Guide from Prepareathon explains how to protect yourself and outlines the steps you can take now so you can act quickly when a tornado appears.
    Additionally, offers four more tips on how to prepare for a tornado ahead of time:
  • Build an emergency kit
  • Make a family communications plan
  • Sign up for local emergency alerts and warnings. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials
  • Look for danger signs including: dark, often greenish sky; large hail; a large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating); and, a loud roar, similar to a freight train. If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately.
  • Taking Shelter from the Storm, Building a Safe Room For Your Home or Small Business
    This FEMA Guidehelps home or small business owners assess their extreme winds, such as tornadoes and hurricanes, risk and determine the best type of safe room for their needs. The guide includes safe room designs and shows how to construct a safe room for your home or small business. Design options include safe rooms located inside or outside of a new home or small business. Learn more here.
  • How To Prepare For A Tornado
    If a safe room is not available during severe weather, seek the best available shelter with these tips from America's PrepareAthon. Read the full guide here.

Tribal Community
  • NEW Introduction to Tribal Emergency Preparedness Law
    This introduction to tribal emergency preparedness by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides an entry into understanding the tribal authority and cross-jurisdictional coordination. First, it outlines tribal emergency preparedness authorities and gives examples of these authorities across tribal law. Then, it discusses federal Indian law and the principles governing the relationships among tribes, states, and the federal government in the context of emergency preparedness. Learn more  here.


  • Six Steps to Tsunami Preparedness
    According to the National Weather Service (NWS), tsunamis can happen at any time of the year. If you live in or visit a tsunami hazard zone, the NWS offers these preparedness tips to help keep you safe:
  • Map out evacuation routes to safe places on high ground or inland. The community may have evacuation routes and assembly areas. Find out if the community is TsunamiReady.
  • Verify with your service provider that your mobile devices receive wireless emergency alerts, which are emergency messages sent by authorized government alerting authorities through your mobile carrier.
  • Put together a portable disaster supplies kit with items you and your family ( including pets) may need in an emergency. Prepare kits for work and cars, too.
  • Make an emergency plan that includes family communication.
  • Get a NOAA Weather Radio - National Weather Radio broadcasts official warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Broadcasts are found in the VHF public service band at these seven frequencies (MHz): 162.400, 162.425, 162.450, 162.475, 162.500, 162.525, and 162.550.
  • Sign up for local alerts and warnings to receive timely information about weather conditions or other emergency events. 


  • Wildfire Preparedness Video "When the Fire Starts"
    This new animation video from FEMA illustrates what you should do before, during, and after a wildfire. Watch the video here.
  • Guide: How to Prepare for A Wildfire
    This wildfire guide provides information on the basics of wildfires, how to protect yourself and your property from them, and what steps to take now so that you can act quickly when you, your home, or your business is. Learn more here.
  • America's PrepareAthon Resource Website
    The PrepareAthon website provides information and different materials and resources to prepare for and learn how to react during a wildfire. Learn more here.

Zika Virus

  • Centers for Disease Control Information & Resources
    Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (A. aegypti and A. albopictus). To date, Zika has not been spread by mosquitoes in the continental United States. However, lab tests have confirmed Zika virus in travelers returning to the United States. These travelers have gotten the virus from mosquito bites and a few through sex. With the recent outbreaks in the Americas, the number of Zika cases among travelers visiting or returning to the United States will likely increase. CDC is not able to predict how much Zika virus would spread in the continental United States. Many areas in the United States have the type of mosquitoes that can become infected with and spread Zika virus. However, recent outbreaks in the continental United States of chikungunya and dengue, which are spread by the same type of mosquito, have been relatively small and limited to a small area. Click to view: CDC Information & Resources.

New Guide for Nonprofits Regarding Immigration Enforcement
July 18:; The New York Lawyers for the Public Interest released a guide for nonprofit leaders to assist and protect immigrant clients in times of heightened immigration enforcement. The guide aims to provide answers to key questions, advice on how to deal with specific scenarios, and give a background on particular legalities nonprofits should know. Find the guide here.  Read the full press release here.

Facing the Nation's Largest Active Disaster: Liquid Asset Poverty
"Safer, Stronger, Smarter: A Guide to Improving School Natural Hazard Safety"by FEMA provides up-to-date, accurate information, and guidance that schools can use to develop a comprehensive plan for mitigating natural hazards. It is intended to be used by administrators, facilities managers, emergency managers, emergency planning committees, and teachers and staff at K through 12 schools. It can also be valuable for state officials, district administrators, school boards, teacher union leaders, and others that play a role in providing safe and disaster-resistant schools for all. Parents, caregivers, and students can also use this guide to learn about ways to advocate for safe schools in their communities Learn more here.

HazNet Spring Climate Issue
This issue of HazNet, the magazine of the Canadian Risks and Hazards Network, examines climate with a collection of interviews, policy considerations, practice concerns, and research perspectives. Those interested in how our neighbors are working to build resilience to climate extremes should keep an eye out for the Fall issue, as well when the conversation will continue. Read the full issue  here.

National Health Security Preparedness Index
This has aggregated health data in several categories (called domains by the index) and rates preparedness for each state and the nation as a whole. The most recent report, released in April, found health security is improving, but slowly, and some areas are far less prepared than others. Access the index here.

How Did Climate Change Affect That Extreme Weather Event?
Using a baking analogy to explain how climate change impacts the quality of the weather, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine created this animated video to provide an entertaining and easy-to-understand overview of the connection between climate and weather. Watch the video here.

Article: Physically Uninjured - A Survivor's Perspective
Domestic Preparedness; "A mass casualty incident leaves many victims in its wake. Beyond those who are tragically killed, survivors also suffer from the physical and psychological effects of the incident. Unfortunately, the psychologically injured can sometimes go u nnoticed. One survivor of the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007 recounts her story of survival and her journey back to recovery." Read the full article here.

Book: The Cure for Catastrophe: How We Can Stop Manufacturing Natural Disasters
BasicBooks; In "The Cure for Catastrophe," global risk expert Robert Muir-Wood argues that our natural disasters are in fact human ones: "We build in the wrong places and in the wrong way, putting brick buildings in earthquake country, timber ones in fire zones, and coastal cities in the paths of hurricanes. We then blindly trust our flood walls and disaster preparations, and when they fail, catastrophes become even more deadly." Learn more about the book here.

Study: Mass Trauma Can Disrupt Children's Sense of Competence
Applied Developmental Science; Traumatic events can have a profound effect on communities. Whether it is a terrorist attack or a natural disaster, the aftermath can have lasting effects, especially on children. This three-year study by scientists from Iowa State University and Louisiana State University examines how children respond in the wake of mass traumatic events in regard to their perceptions of competence - or how they view their ability to control a situation. The study shows, that an overwhelming challenge can disrupt the development of children's sense of  well-being deeply. Download the study here.

National Preparedness Month
September 1 - 30, 2017
United States
Learn more here

This September, National Preparedness Month (NPM) will focus on planning, with an overarching theme "Disasters Don't Plan Ahead. You Can. " Everyone is able to help their community by training how to respond during an emergency and what to do when disaster strikes. The goal of NPM is to increase the overall number of individuals, families, and communities that engage in preparedness actions at home, work, business, school, and place of worship.

9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance
September 11, 2017
United States
Learn more here

MyGoodDeed, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, founded the federally recognized September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, also known as 9/11 Day. "The long-term mission of MyGoodDeed is to transform 9/11 into a day of unity, empathy and service as an enduring and positive tribute to those lost and injured on 9/11, and the many who rose in service in response to the attacks, including first responders, recovery workers, volunteers and members of our military."

CDC Emergency Partners Strategic Communication Conference
September 07 - 08, 2017
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Atlanta, Georgia
Email to register

The CDC and CDC Emergency Partners invite organizations to send one representative to this year's Strategic Communication Conference, to discuss Zika outbreak communications and how lessons learned can be applied to other health emergencies. The conference will also address how to streng then the sector's mutual readiness for communicating about health during emergencies. The CDC will provide transportation, lodging, and a per diem for attendees. For more information inquire via email.

Children's Disaster Services (CDS) Workshop
September 22 - 23, 2017
Church of Brethren
Bridgewater, Virginia
Email to register or call 540-810-4999

September 29 - 30, 2017
Florida Christian Church
Jacksonville, Florida
Email to register or call 561-889-2323

November 10 - 11, 2017
Ward Evangelical Presbyterian Church
Northville, Michigan
Email to register or call 734-776-1667

November 17 - 18, 2017
Little Swatara Church of the Brethren
Bethel, Pennsylvania
Email to register or call   610- 678-5247

Children's Disaster Services and its trained and certified volunteers provide care for children and families following disasters. The 27-hour overnight workshops provide required training for volunteers who wish to serve in the program. Anyone 18 or over can attend this two day training and become a certified CDS caregiver. References and background checks are required for certification. Once caregivers complete certification, all expenses are paid for disaster responses. The training simulates a shelter operation, and includes an overview of CDS' work, introduction to the disaster lifecycle and how to work with disaster partners, children and families following a disaster. Register here.

NEMA Annual Forum
September 28 - October 01, 2017
National Emergency Management Association
Scottsdale, Arizona
Register now

The National Emergency Management Association's 2017 annual meeting will provide the opportunity to continue to advance the profession of emergency management through our collaboration, as well as share the accomplishments and progress made since the Mid-Year Forum by each of the c ommittees.

FLASH 2017 National Disaster Resilience Conference
October 25 - 27, 2017
Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)
Atlanta, Georgia
Register now

At this year's National Disaster Resilience Conference keynote presentations, discussion panels, and spotlight topics will focus on the latest in science, policy, and practice to create more resilient buildings and disaster-resilient communities in the face of earthquakes, floods, hail, hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, and wildfires, as well as human-caused disasters. 

Featured Panelists - Kathryn Godfrey and Denton Herring
"Join Kathryn Godfrey, Assistant Director, US Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Denton Herring, Senior Analyst, GAO to explore opportunities for the federal government to foster stronger national disaster resilience, during the FLASH 2017 National Disaster Resilience Conference."

65th Annual IAEM Conference
November 10 - 15, 2017
International Association of Emergency Managers
Long Beach, California
Register now

The 65th annual IAEM conference provides an opportunity for all levels of emergency managers to exchange and discuss lessons learned and best practices, and to connect with colleagues from around the world. 

2018 Disaster Ministry Conference
June 21 - 23, 2018
Humanitarian Disaster Institute
Naperville, Illinois
Register now

The 2018 Disaster Ministry Conference equips church and lay leaders to serve during disasters domestically and internationally. The event will feature global leaders from the fields of disaster ministry, emergency management, humanitarian aid, public health, and mental health. Participants will gain new knowledge, skills, and networks for effectively leading their congregations in developing disaster ministries.

Department of Homeland Security Counter-IED Training
DHS offers training in recognizing terrorist threats, particularly bomb threats. Among others the training is offered to law enforcement agencies and infrastructure stakeholders. Read more here.

National Disaster Preparedness Training Center (NDPTC)
The NDPTC develops and delivers training and educational programs related to homeland security and disaster management, with a specific focus on natural hazards, coastal communities, and the special needs and opportunities of islands and territories. The NDPTC actively engages internally with FEMA and the University of Hawai'i, as well as with external partners across the region to integrate the delivery of its trainings, products, and services. For a list of nationwide trainings, click here.
International Assoc. of Emergency Managers (IAEM)
A resource for IAEM members to search for internship and career opportunities in emergency management.
Islamic Relief USA (IR USA)
National Service (CNCS)
NDIN Volunteer Positions
Please contact for more information.
New York Disaster Interfaith Services

NYC DOHMH's Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response

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

During 2017, thirty-six federal Major Disaster Declarations have been declared in twenty states/tribal governments. To date, have been four declarations in August. Storms and flooding in Iowa and Idaho, and Hurricane Harvey declarations for Louisiana and Texas.

As of August 30th, Harvey as put 32,000 in shelters, 40,000+ homes damaged, 18,0000 rescues, 25 dead, and nearly 1 million registered for FEMA assistance. We’re looking at a minimum of 10 years for long-term recovery.

As always, please keep all communities who are in long-term recovery, and their caregivers, in your prayers – and give generously to National VOAD agencies, established disaster interfaith and long-term recovery committees. Please donate or lend a volunteer hand in recovery efforts; if we can be helpful, contact our office for suggestions or reach out to your National VOAD partners!

If you have questions or comments about iNET, or if you have news that you want to submit for iNET, email us.

Peter B. Gudaitis, M.Div.