Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Assistance for Irene's damage

In the wake of Hurricane Irene, individual assistance is available for homeowners, renters and small businesses in Bronx, Kings, Queens and Richmond counties.  In addition, public assistance is available for NYC agencies and eligible Private Not for Profits (PNPs) that sustained damage or have response/recovery costs associated with Hurricane Irene (DR 4020) in all 5 boroughs.

Residents and small businesses in a total of 27 counties are now eligible to apply for the following assistance: the Individuals and Households Program, Crisis Counseling, Disaster Unemployment Assistance, USDA food coupons and distribution, USDA food commodities, Disaster Legal Services, the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and Small Business Administration disaster loans.

The counties currently eligible for individual assistance (assistance to individuals and households) are as follows: Albany, Bronx, Columbia, Clinton, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Greene, Kings, Montgomery, Nassau, Orange, Otsego, Putnam, Queens, Rensselaer, Richmond, Rockland, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Suffolk, Sullivan, Ulster, Warren, Washington and Westchester counties.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance by registering online at http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362. Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

Public Assistance

On August 31, 2011, New York City received a Major Disaster Declaration for Hurricane Irene (DR 4020).  All five NYC counties were included in the declaration.  The next step will be an Applicant’s Briefing for all NYC agencies and eligible Private Not for Profits (PNPs) that sustained damage or have response/recovery costs associated with the event. In the past, yeshivot, day schools, hospitals and other quasi-governmental organizations were eligible.

The Applicant Briefings for New York City will take place on:

Friday September 16th, 2011

NYC Office of Emergency Management
165 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn

There will be two sessions
10:00am – 12:00pm
1:00pm – 3:00pm

The briefing will go over eligibility for applicants, facilities, types of work and costs. 

A representative from each agency should attend one of the briefings

To RSVP, email Mariel Diaz (mdiaz@oem.nyc.gov) with the name (and session time) of each individual who will be attending

Following is a link to the form: “Request for Public Assistance”: If possible please fill in the point of contact info and bring to the Applicant Briefing (each city agency will be an individual “applicant.”)  While applicants have 30 days to submit this form, FEMA would like to collect as many as possible up front.

After the Applicant Briefing, FEMA will contact each applicant to schedule a Kickoff Meeting.  This meeting is where FEMA will begin to work directly with that agency to identify damages and write up project worksheets to cover actual costs.  FEMA gives applicants 60 days from the kickoff meeting to identify all potential costs; however, the more prepared you are to present actual costs with supporting documentation the quicker and easier it will be.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

9/11 Anniversary Threat

For weeks counterterrorism officials have spoken of the possibility of a terrorist incident coinciding with 9/11. Tonight, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, Matt Chandler, called the threat “specific, credible, but unconfirmed.” Another official said American intelligence agencies were urgently pursuing leads overseas in an effort to gauge the seriousness of the threat.

Our sources have speculated about the nature of the threat, but there is no information that  Jewish communal institutions will be targeted. However, the overlap of the 9/11 anniversary events with Sabbath services lead us to suggest heightened vigilance throughout the weekend. 

For specific security suggestions:

We lost the part of our video where our presenters were introduced.  Below please find some biographical information for them. 

David Pollock is the associate executive director and Director of Government relations of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC).  Mr. Pollock articulates Jewish communal concerns regarding community relations issues to federal, state and city officials. He is the liaison for the Jewish community with law enforcement officials and active in the development of security, emergency planning and community relations for the Jewish community.
Paul DeMatteis is the Senior Advisor on Corporate Security Programs and the Director of the Vulnerability Assessment Program at John Jay College of Criminal Justice here in New York. Paul has supervised over 300 Terrorism Vulnerability Assessments of Jewish organizations. He is a professional’s professional.
Douglas Andrew Smith is the Assistant Secretary for the Private Sector of the Department of Homeland Security. He is the key advisor to DHS Sec’y Janet Napolitano on how DHS policies affect private companies and the not-for-profit sector. Asst Sec’y Smith is our voice at DHS. We are fortunate to have him. Jarrod Bernstein is traveling with Sec’y Napolitano. Latest round of NSGP grants just released. Thank the Sec’y.
Mordecai Dzikansky retired from the NYPD. He spent five years as the NYPD liaison with the Israel National Police and Security forces, bringing Israeli counterterrorism tactics to NYC. He is the author of “Terrorist Cop” and the co-author of “Terrorist Suicide Bombings: Attack Interdiction, Mitigation, and Response”, which will be released in October.